Skinny Like A Fool

by Bill Brenner on August 22, 2015

At dinner with friends one night, a conversation about weight control got started. It reminded me of how hard I used to work to stay thin, and how dangerous some of my methods were.


–In my late teens, I got the bright idea that I could party and drink all I wanted on the weekends with no danger of weight gain if I starved myself during the week, often living on one cheese sandwich a day. As a little treat to make it bearable, I chain smoked in the storage room next to my bedroom.

–My senior year in high school I wanted to drop a lot of weight fast. So for two weeks straight, I ate nothing but Raisin Bran from a mug two times a day and nothing else. I also ran laps around the basement for two hours a day. It worked so well that I adopted it as my post binge regimen every few weeks. It lasted into my early 20s.

–In my late 20s, after years of vicious binge eating sent my weight to nearly 300 pounds, I lost more than a hundred pounds through some healthy means and some fairly stupid tactics, like fasting for half of Tuesday and most of Wednesday. On Wednesdays, I would also triple my workout time on the elliptical cross-training machine at the gym. All this so I would be happy with the number on the scale come Thursday morning, my weekly weigh-in time. Thursday through Saturday, I would eat like a pig, then severely pull back on the eating by Sunday. Call it the 3-4 program (binge three days, starve four days, repeat).

–In my early-to-mid 30s, some of my most vicious binge eating happened. For a while, though, I kept the weight down my walking 3.5 miles every day, no matter the weather. I also never ate dinner, but would eat like a pig earlier in the day. This was while I was working a night job, which allowed me to get away with the dinner-skipping part. That worked great for a couple years, but then the dam broke and I binged my way to a 65-pound weight gain by the end.

Today I put almost everything I eat on a little scale and I avoid flour and sugar. I don’t exercise as much as I should, I’m not idle, either.

I don’t always get it perfect. I’m also nowhere close to skinny.

But I’m a lot healthier — and probably a little smarter — than I used to be.


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

colleen miles January 24, 2012 at 6:09 am

plus your free hopefly of that pscological prison.

colleen miles January 24, 2012 at 6:11 am

that is hopefully and psychological

jonee August 24, 2015 at 7:43 am

I never understood and still don’t understand why our bodies haven’t kept up with the ages and know instinctively to shun sugar, fat, etc. Rather, it craves cake and candy over veggies and the supposedly healthy stuff. WHY!!!!!!!!

Cee November 3, 2016 at 5:47 pm

So I feel your PAIN… but ok no…I’m you with a different outcome…

Sonia Jackson March 23, 2017 at 2:34 pm

Night jobs take away most of the energy. No matter how much i eat i don’t gain weight neither do i feel energetic through out the day….

Jayne May 29, 2017 at 3:52 am

Thanks for sharing these details which remind me of my odd early dieting techniques, like eating melba toast and drinking Tab at lunch in high school. Various fasts. My most recent success was with a big bowl of green soup for lunch, meat and veg for dinner, no wheat, fruit except bananas as much as desired, and at least 7 hours per week of walking.

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