Why I Am Fat

02.27.2009 | 7:56 am

I’m fat because of weekends.

I have a serious “grazing” instinct — if I’m in the house, I often find myself near the fridge or pantry without ever conciously intending to go there. I’ll fix myself a snack, even though I’m not hungry. And if there’s nothing I want to eat immediately obvious, I treat it as a Grazer’s Challenge. This has resulted, in recent memory, in the following:

  • Peanut butter and mozzerrella cheeze on a tortilla, heated in microwave for 25 seconds. Actually, very tasty.
  • Cool whip and chocolate milk mix (powdered), blended together and used as a dip with graham crackers. Again, very tasty.
  • Saltine crackers with Chipotle-flavored Tabasco sauce (my new favorite hot sauce, by the way). Once again, very tasty, but probably would have been better if I had mixed the Tabasco with sour cream.
  • A milkshake created using vanilla ice cream, milk, a handful of M&Ms, and a large piece of chocolate cake. This was possibly the best thing I have ever tasted, and could be the basis of a successful milkshake chain: “Cake Shakes!”

This ability to always find something to eat — and then eat it, natch — is pretty easy to suppress for short periods of time — a couple of hours, for instance. When I’m at home for 60 hours at a stretch, though, eventually my willpower breaks down.

Which explains why my weight has gone from 181.4 on Sunday to 184.4 today. Around 7PM last night, I just started eating, and eating, and eating. Handfuls of Cap’n Crunch, improvisational burritos (everything’s better with a tortilla around it), a bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats (I could happily eat nothing but cold cereal and Mexican food for the rest of my days), and part of an ice cream cone one of my twins didn’t finish.

I was, in short, a train wreck.

Originally, I intended to spend some time today detailing the weirdness I’ve been through in the past year, and try to link it to my current weight problem. I think this is the more honest answer, though: I’m fat because I run out of willpower before I run out of weekend.

Mark my words, you’ll see a variation of that on a fridge magnet someday.

PS: Today’s weight: 184.4

PPS: This post rescued from my Spaces Archive. Originally published May 16, 2005


  1. Comment by Big Boned | 02.27.2009 | 8:03 am

    This is still funny. Make sure you put it in the book.

  2. Comment by Weiland | 02.27.2009 | 8:08 am

    Is 184.4 your 2005 weight or do we need to adjust for… inflation?

  3. Comment by fatty | 02.27.2009 | 8:16 am

    weiland – weirdly, in this case it’s BOTH my 2005 weight and my current weight. but i will be posting my current weight as i move these.

  4. Comment by Mel | 02.27.2009 | 8:23 am

    I probably shouldn’t be showing you this, but we have a local milk-shake place that will mix up pretty much anything you like in a blender with some milk… very dangerous! http://www.milkshack.co.uk/menu.html


  5. Comment by Greg | 02.27.2009 | 8:39 am

    Well put. So much of this rings familiar to me (Although even I have never thought of throwing a slice of cake into a blender, for ANY reason)

    Tendonitis has sidelined me from running for a while, and since my physical therapist and orthopaedist have both said “no running” (at least for now), I have turned to stationary cycling. I’m loving it so much that I might just take to the road once the weather gets a bit better. I’m quite a bit fatter than you (6′2″ and 264 pounds), but I’m hoping that there’s room for another fat cyclist out there on the road.

    Cheers to you, Fatty.
    Prayers for Susan and her battle.
    Hoping I run out of weekend BEFORE I run out of willpower.

  6. Comment by blair | 02.27.2009 | 8:51 am

    not a spam but a testimonial:


    read the first chapter

    there’s something about the motivational stuff in it that makes you read the rest of the book and live it

    and once that happens, you don’t graze any more. binge, maybe, after your first injury kicks you off the program. but otherwise you can leave an open bag of m&m’s on the counter for months without touching them if you’re in even moderate mental condition

    and change the way you shop. if you don’t habit-buy the crap, you won’t habit-eat the crap.

  7. Comment by Jenny | 02.27.2009 | 8:56 am

    SO TRUE! If it’s there it wants to be eaten no matter how disgusting the combination. I don’t think I’ll be trying yours. Besides it will get in the way of my biggest loser bet!

  8. Comment by MikeonhisBike | 02.27.2009 | 9:09 am

    This holds true at my house too. I do some heavy duty grazing without even being hungry at all when I’m at home. I do a heck of a lot better when I’m chained to my desk at work all day.


  9. Comment by Jeff | 02.27.2009 | 9:13 am

    I think part of the problem is that you have so much food at your house.

    I get fat not from being at home, but from being at work and having the vending machine calling me from downstairs. (Recent price hikes, however has made the machine’s siren song far less tempting.)

  10. Comment by cheapie | 02.27.2009 | 9:32 am

    hey….had a chance to use the golden ticket at chipotle yet?

  11. Comment by tomingeorgia | 02.27.2009 | 10:04 am

    I feel you Elden…Funny, I can ride 400 miles in a week…no telling how many calories burned that is…and not only not lose weight but gain 5 pounds…and I’ve finally quit lying to myself that it’s just muscle weight gain..lol

  12. Comment by MOCougFan | 02.27.2009 | 10:08 am

    Cheetos…. nuff said.

  13. Comment by Boz | 02.27.2009 | 10:12 am

    Being out of work, I do all the meal planning and cooking at the Casa Del Boz. Of course while cooking, one has to sample. To adjust seasonings, one must taste. When baking, the dough must be tasted and tested before and after coming out of the oven. What’s really being tested, though, is the seams of my pants, the elastic of the waist bands of my underwear, the zippers of my jackets (one just failed), and the slimming ability of my wardrobe’s dark colors. Idle hands, after all, are the devil’s workshop.

  14. Comment by WheelDancer | 02.27.2009 | 10:14 am

    I credit my additional girth to the social nature of certain foods. For example, every time we bake cookies they seem to evaporate but what is really happening is that the cookies that have been eaten get so lonely they just have to have company. Being a real softie at heart, I comply and provide the company they seek. This of course makes the remaining cookies to become increasingly lonely with only one solution available. Turns out that multiple foods suffer from this loneliness complex…

  15. Comment by Dobovedo | 02.27.2009 | 10:50 am

    tomingeorgia: There are any number of reasons why you gain weight during/shortly after a 400 mile week. And you are right – “building muscle” isn’t one of them. However, “net calories gained” isn’t one of them either. Your body shuts down processes to take up the demand for the increased activity. Your metabolism adjusts to what it perceives as a threat to the system. It says “holy crap! if this keeps up, we’re in trouble!” and responds. If you follow up a 400 mile week with a much shorter and easy miles week, you’ll probably find that the weight comes back off just as rapidly. Once you stop going to the restroom every half an hour! I charted my weight and miles daily for about a half a year and with no exceptions, the weight goes up or down in direct proportion to the miles ridden, on about a 3-4 day lag.

    Of course, you may actually gain “real” weight if you really go out of your way to chow down on as much fatty, fried foods as you can find and drink pitchers of beer while riding those 400 miles. In which case.. you’re my hero! (see?… it wasn’t all serious)

  16. Comment by Rider 3 | 02.27.2009 | 10:59 am

    Our team is discussing ordering skinsuits, which strikes fear in the likes of a cyclist dramatically larger than Fatty.

    Rider 3

    Team Two Wheel Blog

  17. Comment by BurkeInTheOzarks | 02.27.2009 | 11:00 am

    I, too, “could happily eat nothing but cold cereal and Mexican food for the rest of my days”, although my cereal choices have improved quite a bit from the “good old days”. I no longer crave sugar like I used to (cutting out sweet tea and all soft drinks did wonders for that) so my cereals of choice are more along the lines of Grape Nuts and Kashi GoLean Crunch.

    But Mexican food, yummy!

  18. Comment by TomE | 02.27.2009 | 11:04 am

    Darn it Fatty…I was doing SO good this moring (I work from home). No snacks until I read your post. I just had a chocolate chip cookie and a handful of Butter Snap pretzels!

  19. Comment by oilcanracer | 02.27.2009 | 11:15 am

    elden i have the same eating habits as you. i eat while i am preparing food also……the only thing is i have the reverse problem in that i keep losing weight.

    no really, i can’t keep weight on even on a 4-6,000 calorie day. its a problem if i get below a certain weight then get sick, cause i will lose even more weight by not eating while sick.
    currently 150lbs and 5′10″. that shows i have been working hard to stay at this weight. i will be down 10 pounds by race season and struggling.

    my sorry point is just keep trying. to find balance, not trying to eat silly.

  20. Comment by Clydesteve | 02.27.2009 | 11:37 am

    oilcanracer – go away

    Elden – I know just what you mean, especially this last week. I let my guard down after the holidays.

  21. Comment by Clydesteve | 02.27.2009 | 11:38 am

    oilcanracer – I didn’t mean to sound rude. I meant: Go away! ;-)

  22. Comment by NW | 02.27.2009 | 11:48 am

    A cake shake sounds good about now. This will be my weekend treat. Jeethanks Fatty!

  23. Comment by Jeff | 02.27.2009 | 12:07 pm

    You’re completely onto something with the cake shake… that sounds like the most fantastic human invention of the past century. I applaud you until my hands become raw.

    Can they survive the ride? http://www.cyclingfusion.com

  24. Comment by MFTWOO | 02.27.2009 | 12:55 pm

    You should try cream cheese and jelly on a tortilla also.

  25. Comment by wing-nut | 02.27.2009 | 1:08 pm

    Ain’t being a guy so cool? I once lived on peanutbutter and butter sandwiches for a few days, just to see if I could.

    If you are serious about loosing weight and want to challenge your food discipline try this cabbage diet that some of my co-workers tried a couple of weeks ago. http://www.cabbage-soup-diet.com/eating-plan.html

    Caveats: Don’t hang around if you are the only one not on the diet.

    Do try to include everyone in the exercise.

    The gaseous experience would put many college guys or colonoscopy clinics to shame.

  26. Comment by run-girl-run | 02.27.2009 | 1:23 pm

    I work at home and consume some of my more interesting and caloric combinations of food – usually before noon. Not sure why, just seems like morning “snacks” (like strawberry ice cream sprinkled with chocolate chips) shouldn’t count… like they’re breakfast (which is the most important meal of the day).

    My weekly mileage is at a consistently higher level than it has been in a long time and instead of feeling slim and trim, my jeans are skrinking (hmmm). I’ve recently realized that gone are the days that I could eat whatever I want because I’m a runner… the eating and aging (dammit) are starting to work against me. So, I either need to add another 20 miles to my week (you know, instead of sleep), cut back on my snacking, or just be happy one size larger….

    Gotta go sopping for new jeans!

  27. Comment by Clydesdale | 02.27.2009 | 1:36 pm

    Salt & Vinegar chips…UGH!
    Cake shakes…UGH!
    Wendy’s twisted oreo Frosty…Ugh!
    Chicken wings…UGH!
    Dairy Queen, well, everything @ Dairy Queen…Ugh!
    Holiday season?…UGH!
    Super bowl party?…UGH!
    March Madness?…UGH!

    I feel you Fatty…

    I’ll post my weight in support.
    DEC. 1/ 2008 – 243 lbs.
    Feb. 27/ 2009 – 215lbs.
    You can do it Fatty, we’ve all seen it!

    20 lbs. to go… unless I start grazing again….

  28. Comment by Anonymous | 02.27.2009 | 2:15 pm

    I feel your pain, believe me I do…

  29. Comment by Mike Roadie | 02.27.2009 | 3:19 pm

    Junk food and sweets LIVE to be eaten……we are just doing them a civic duty by complying with their wishes.

    You are a good person, Elden. The calorie gods respect you!


  30. Comment by bikesgonewild | 02.27.2009 | 3:49 pm

    …re:- “Peanut butter and mozzerrella cheeze on a tortilla, heated in microwave for 25 seconds. Actually, very tasty.”

    …ya know, that’s just plain foolish if you don’t add a little red or green salsa to that, right ???…therein lies “the kick”…

    …just sayin’…

  31. Comment by justrun | 02.27.2009 | 5:57 pm

    “…I could happily eat nothing but cold cereal and Mexican food for the rest of my days…”

    Yes! The line that got me hooked in the first place!

  32. Comment by Kathleen | 02.27.2009 | 6:42 pm

    No more tortillas in the house…that’s my weight loss tip. Worked for me.

  33. Comment by SurvivorFan | 02.27.2009 | 6:54 pm

    Off topic, but does anyone know anything about Tyson, the “professional cyclist” on this season of Survivor?

  34. Comment by PatriotGirl | 02.27.2009 | 10:10 pm

    Hey…can’t wait to try those CakeShakes!

  35. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 02.28.2009 | 1:02 am

    My grazing instinct kicks in at home too (murder for the weight when I was a student) but also, and more acutely, when I’m driving. And that’s bad now that I’m working 30 miles from home. All I can do to alleviate it is to get this new job organised quickly so I don’t have to carry big piles of stuff home every day and then start pedalling 2 or 3 days a week.

  36. Comment by fat snacker | 02.28.2009 | 7:57 am

    My favorite “fat snack” is a peanut butter and chocolate chip sandwich. Soooo good!

  37. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » It’s My Birthday. It’s Not Too Late to Buy Me a Present. | 06.18.2009 | 8:14 am

    [...] now, I’m off to go make myself a cake. And then make a giant cake shake out of [...]

  38. Comment by cyclegoddess | 07.3.2009 | 7:07 am

    I feel for you guys..jealous!! I used to be a mexiacn food and cake shake girl, until I got hit with massive food allergy/immune system breakdown. No more grain or sugar-ever! or corn so NO tortillas.
    I eat( as I am grazer) non stop carrots and green apples cut into slices. Hot protein shakes( instead of hot choc, no choc for me) and cookies( made with honey and quinoa).
    Eat like this and you HAVE to eat, or fade away.
    Trade you?
    Eat some for MEEEEEE!!!


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