Working Out When Fat – 10 Things You Need to Know

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How to start from Obese and Get to Healthy

Exactly how much give does spandex have?


Yup. I did it. I said the F word.



OH! I said it again. Fat. FAT FAT FAT!


There is a movement against the use of this word, claiming that the mere use of the word is shaming. However, I am here to tell you: I was fat. Like, Orca fat. Morbidly obese, is the medical term for it. It was the ‘morbid’ part that got to me, and so, I did what any human interested in continuing to live would do: I decided to start exercising, I was nearly 300 pounds. I wore a size 26 in womens and hadn’t seen my toes in who knows how long. But, I am here to tell you that it can be done. I am now a comfortable 170 pounds and have some knowledge that I wish someone had shared with me when I started. These pointers are valid for people who are 30 pounds overweight as well as 200 pounds overweight. The basics are the same.



  1. No one is looking at you. No, seriously. I know you’re worried about walking into the gym. I know you think that everyone is going to stop what they’re doing and stare at you. They’re not. Honestly, the gym is probably the most self-centered place on the planet. Everyone is way too worried about what they’re doing to care at all about how hard you’re breathing on the treadmill. And speaking of that…
  2. Yes, things will jiggle. There is no getting around this. Fat is a jiggly substance. Exercising involves moving. Movement + Fat = Jigglefest. You need to get over it. And if that starts to make you feel insecure and makes you not want to exercise, please refer to item number 1. But, while we’re on the subject of jiggling…
  3. Don’t skimp on workout clothes. It’s about more than just looking good. Those with more to love have certain needs that other less proportionate folk do not. The unfortunate truth of the matter is that jiggling can actually hurt. There are specialty shops for people of larger size that offer clothing that is designed to minimize the jiggle. Minimal jiggle means maximum comfort and maximum asskicking. Minimal jiggle means you’re more likely to keep going. So, while we’re on the subject of workout clothes…working out to lose fat
  4. Order the right size. This seems obvious, but SO MANY people get this wrong. (And that includes the non-tubby lubbies at the gym.) If you’re a size XXL, BUY a size XXL. Don’t buy a size smaller just because you can crowbar your way into those puppies. Why? Spandex is a great thing. It is form fitting and it holds us together in wonderful ways, but it is not a miracle worker. It is just a humble fabric. And if a fabric is stretched too thin, well, it becomes transparent. Since spandex is practically suction cupped to your backside, wearing a size too small is practically begging the person next to you to look at your underwear. Showing off your tighty whities to the entire gym would suck. And speaking of sucking…
  5. You’re going to be sucking a LOT of wind. And that is okay. You might only be able to do ten minutes the first day and you might sound like you’re doing your best sea lion impression. It’s alright, because slowly but surely, the sound will diminish. The speed will increase. You’re going to get stronger. Unfortunately though…Getting from Fat to Fit
  6. None of it happens overnight. It took you years to get fat, it will take you a long time to get un-fat. This isn’t a “one and done” lifestyle, my friend. This is the long ball you’re playing, and that means showing up day after day, whether you’re seeing immediate results or not. And I’m sorry to say, but…
  7. There will be days where you feel like quitting. I’m going to be real right now: There will be several days where you feel like quitting. Hell, there will be moments while actually at the gym during a workout that you want to quit. You are going to have to put on your big boy or big girl panties and suck it up, buttercup. You’ll be amazed at how many excuses you can come up with for why you can’t workout one day. Life will happen and you’ll interpret it as a sign from the heavens that you aren’t supposed to exercise that day. I’ll be honest: I STILL have days like that. Do what I do on those days, and put on your workout clothes and go out the door before your brain has time to process what your body is doing. Your body is going to be doing a lot of stuff it isn’t used to, but whether you believe it or not, it really wants to do it. Your body was made to do this stuff, which is why…You can get from obese to slim
  8. Your brain is the hardest part of your body to train. Like I said, your body wants to be active. It is designed to take the pressure, take the work, take the strain. We were meant to use these awesome tools that we have. One of the hardest things to get used to doing is training your mind to realize that you’re okay. You might be on your tenth rep on the squat machine, or you might be in a pose during hot yoga that is stressing you out, or you might be walking your third mile, and your mind will jump in and tell you that you can’t keep going. Your mind will lie to you. So, how to handle it? Handle it the way you handle all the haters: Tell it to back the hell off. But, just so you don’t hurt yourself doing it…
  9. Start small. Sure, tell your brain to shut the hell up when it tells you that you can’t keep going, but also don’t overwhelm your body by trying to do too much too soon. As cheesy as this sounds, listen to your body but ignore the excuses from your brain. Don’t start an exercise program that has you in the gym for two hours a day six days a week. Not only will you burn out quickly and quit, but you’re also VERY likely to hurt yourself. And if you hurt yourself, you’ll be out of commission and then once again not exercising. And that might seem attractive at times, because…
  10. Exercising is hard. But, so is being fat. Slowly, the fat will give way to muscle and the doubts will give way to confidence. It won’t happen overnight, and it will involve some fall backs, but it isn’t about how many times you fall, it is about how many times you get back up. You’re worth it. You’re worth getting back up. You’re worth feeling healthy and happy. Being fit is hard and being fat is hard, so it is time to choose which hard you’re going to live with.


*PS Have your favorite tunes or find a few favorite PodCasts to listen to while you workout.  You’ll excape from your worries, enjoy your workout more, and find yourself more motivated and eager to get back to working out and escaping.  

Get Yourself a SlimClip Case (you can forget about finding an armband that will fit, and armbands suck compared to using a SlimClip Case anyway) and some quality fitness headphones like Jaybird, Yurbuds, or Beats Powerbeats headphones.