Change for a Year

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So a Fat Guy Walks Into a Health Club (complete with pictures!)

Let’s start off this post with what not to do:

  • Do not stop exercising and sit on your ass for two years.
  • Do not then eat McDonald’s and chocolate chip brownies every night until you balloon up a size where you literally look like, well, an inflated balloon.
  • Do not then decide, fuck you world, I’m gonna bring the sexy back, and you’re going to crush it at the gym on day one.

To illustrate the importance of this point, I’ve drawn a little diagram of what happens when a fat guy walks into a health club and goes from zero to crushing those sissy weight machines in 30 seconds.


Basically, I woke up the next morning and, literally, could not move my arms. This may seem comical to you, but then I had to go to the bathroom. It took me twelve minutes and 36 seconds just to straighten my arm without my bicep ripping into two pieces.

Now, you may think, okay, lesson learned, but you would be wrong. For all my smarts, I can be an ignorant sonofabitch.

See, years ago I got into running. I even ran (well, a lot of walking) a half marathon. So I saw that treadmill and thought, “C’mon, I know you’re out of shape, but let’s see how bad.” After all, you need to get a baseline right.

The next 3 minutes and 30 seconds went like this.

  • One minute of walking
  • Two minutes of running at 5.0 — not even remotely fast
  • 30 seconds of realizing I’d tightened up every muscle in my lower body

With just 120 seconds of slow jogging, my calves felt like tight little baseballs, I got half a shin splint and my legs felt they were going to seize like an on old engine without any oil. Here I thought it’d be my thumping heart slowing me down, but damn! It’s truly amazing what an extra 70 pounds and years of inactivity can do to a person. Three and a half years ago I ran 10 miles straight, now I can barely go a block. You know those old, “Where does it hurt diagrams?” you fill in with a red pencil. Yeah, after some more weight lifting I filled in one of those for reference:


But at least I have my baseline now. I looked through an old fitness book, found some in-depth fitness articles online, and then did some mathematical calculations with pencil and paper to get a scientific consensus for my fitness baseline.

The results: complete fat ass.


  1. I just started jogging again this week after some ballooning of my own. I know this is serious stuff, but I am laughing my ass off reading your story. Anyway, good luck.

  2. hilarious. i love your description, jeff. you’ll make it, keep us posted

  3. Your illistrations are awesome! I think you are the male version of me. Your gym treadmill experiences are similar to mine…only I have actually fallen off the treadmill when too engrossed in the gym television.

  4. Whoa, there, Big Guy! Don’t let that ’88 Days’ deadline make you insane. Slow and steady.

  5. Hey jeff what’s your progress now? Have you stuck with it?

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