For the Skinny-Fat People
I've always been tall and skinny but haven't always been in shape. Coming out of the Army I was 6'1" and a healthy 160lbs. I was 21 then.
By the time I was 28 I was 200lbs but with skinny arms and legs and a beer gut. I looked like a marshmallow on top of 2 Popsicle sticks. I've heard it referred to as "skinny-fat" and that seems accurate to me.
I started running, because it was something I did in the Army and unfortunately, Just getting up and running 2 miles is OK when you're 18, but not at 28 (especially being totally de-conditioned). I hurt my knees and ended up walking with a cane for a month.
So I started slow, limping 1/2 a mile with the cane. Then 1 mile, then I lost the cane and walked normally. Then I started jogging 1 mile and increasing distance by 1/4 mile every week or so.
At some point I was able to do my 2 miles, but couldn't seem to break an 8 minute mile or go any further, because either my lungs would quit (I have asthma) or my knees would hurt. I was going back to college at the time so the next fall semester I took weight training and swimming as electives.
By the next summer I was working out 5 days a week, running swimming and weights. The gut was gone and I was a healthy 175lb. I had developed good skeletal muscle with the weights and boosted my endurance with the swimming so I was now running 4 miles a day, 5 days a week.
I really got into running and eventually I was doing 6 miles a day and my weight was back to my post-Army weight.
Shortly thereafter I met a nice woman and moved away to live with her. She was a gym goer, so we went to the gym together and stayed in shape.
Within the last 5 years or so I really got into lifting heavy and reduced my cardio to 1 day a week and weights (bench, dead lift, squats, curls, overhead press etc.) 3 days a week. I also started eating more protein rich foods to help develop and maintain muscle mass.
I now weigh about 200lbs again, but this time it's all muscle. I get "you're muscular, do you work out?" from people instead of "You're really skinny", which is a pretty good ego boost.
My current goal is to hit a strong, steady 205-210 and keep lifting heavy. I just made the 1000lb (275lb bench press, 335lb squat, 405lb dead lift) club at age 43.
Just wanted to put it out there in hopes of inspiring people to get on a mission and push the limits of what their body can do. Whether you are fat, skinny, or skinny-fat, you can do it. Just set small goals, take your time and make a plan. Don't sweat the setbacks and always keep pushing forward and you will win. You only lose if you quit.