Zach Zupancic

Zach Zupancic

Senior Designer, SolidWorks addict, AutoCAD zealot, Cyclist, Shade Tree Mechanic, & moderately tall. 

Fatties and fat guy dreams.

As I mentioned in my last post, and probably many times over, I was an obese kid. There are very few moments in time that I can look back and know how tall I was, or how much I weighed. When I was 13 I was taller than my mom, whom is 5'8," and whilst I was 16 I nearly matched my dad at 6'3." I didn’t really stop getting taller until I was around 20, where I rested at 6'6" on bad days and 6'7" on good days. Even though I have always been the tallest of my class, there was something else that I tipped the scales in; and that happened to be weight.

When I was in the sixth grade or so, I can remember standing next to the water fountain at Saint Peter’s Catholic School and hearing someone talk about pant size; they were wearing 24s, I think, and I was wearing 30s. At the same school in 8th grade, I remember weighing around 200lbs. Throughout most of high school I maintained a weight of around 220, and finally hit the big 250 mark during the summer months that lead to my first year at cal poly. My weight fluctuated around 240-260 range up until around 3rd year, and then I took another jump in weight to around 280 during my 4th year. To let you in on how the weight kept building, I’ll give you a sample of what I had for nearly every breakfast during the summer months. I started the morning with 2 large bowls of cereal, about 5 cups worth, after the cereal I washed it down with 2 Nathans hot dogs with mustard and Jewish rye bread. For you calorie counters out there that totals to about 1900 calories. Because of this and the lack of exercise my weight never dropped, that is of course unless I weighed myself before I went to sleep and then after I woke up.

The weight slowly climbed up through the summer months of 2007. That is until a co-worker and I made a $100 bet to see who could lose more weight in 60 days. We went to the doctor’s office and got our official weigh in. I was a proud, albeit sad, member of the 300 club; exact weight 308lbs. The number by itself is mind staggering to say the least, but let’s use the worthless concept of BMI to illustrate where I stood. 22 years old, 6'7" tall, and weighed 308 pounds; I had a BMI of 34.7. Just to let you know, it states that anything over 30 means you are obese. In the pant size department, it was also saddening, I wore a size 42x33; and I was starting to fill those out as well…

This didn’t phase me at first, after all I was planning on beating my co-worker so the more fat I had on my body the better right? So, just like every other fatty out there I too was in denial. The first thing I did was to remove the car from my daily life and start cycling the 1.5 miles to work, and started to finally eat well. After a bit of time I started to see results, small but they were there. However, the bet was never fulfilled as my co-worker fled the country, but it didn’t stop me on my idea of dropping some pounds. Actually it kinda did, stopped cycling, but kept up on the eating habits.

I started to work at guitar center around September of 2007 and due to the running around and moving of boxes I started to lose some weight naturally. Yep, just by moving I lost weight. I left Guitar Center and started to work at Teldata, in San Diego. After I got myself settled in, I started to bring my bicycle so as to get a work out during lunch. Since the bicycle that I as using was about 10cm too small for me I started looking for a bicycle that actually fit. Shortly after I started an obsession with cycling, and right about the same time I re-found my dad's 1974 Dawes Galaxy. I started to restore and fix the bike so that I could ride it regularly. With a much more comfortable bike to ride I started going longer distances for lunch. I found one 5 miles away from the office called Sipz Vegetarian Cafe. The time it took me to get there, eat, and get back was exactly one hour; perfect. Around June of 2008 the fixed gear cult hit me in the feet. So I started looking around for possible bicycles to de-gear. I was lucky enough to be told about an abandoned bicycle next to a dumpster by the girlfriend at the time, and promptly rescued it… Took about a week of collecting parts and installing, and it became my weapon on choice. Heavy as a truck, but hey why would I want something to be light if I am trying to get a workout?

I started to make cycling my favorite mode of transportation, 10 miles a day during the work week, and 30-40 mile cycling along the beach on either a Sunday or Saturday. This ended up being about 80-100 miles every week for about 6 months straight. By eating well, and working out everyday I was able to reach numbers that I thought impossible. In November of 2008, 1 year after the initial weigh in of 308lbs I weighed 207lbs.

I lost 100lbs in a year.

My pant sized dropped from a 42 to a 34 (36 by H&M standards, but 34 everywhere else), my shirt size went from an XL to an American Apparel medium, and my BMI dropped from a 34.7 to a 23.3 (which is normal weight). This weight fluctuated around the 210 mark all though the holiday season, but started to falter shortly there after.

I left Teldata in December 2008, for a company a mile from my house called Pursuit Dynamics. The concept of cycling was still strong for the first couple of months, and then like the weight; it faltered. With the massive drama surrounding what was going on going on from October to June; my mind and physical well being took a beating. In June 2009 my weighed in at 230 [25.9 BMI]. Some of the clothes that I had bought during my skinnier times were too snug to be worn as much as they were. My Iliac crests, the upper part of the pelvis bone that look like a wing, which used to protrude like a champ, had now faded away to minor protrusions. My tummy was a bit more bulbous. Luckily, my cabayo legs were able to retain enough definition to still wear short shorts.

After that initial burst of terror of becoming overweight again came full in the face, I started to really look into what I eat. Due to that, and very minor exercising, I have been able to get my weight down to 215 [24.2 BMI]. So while I am in a normal weight in accordance to the BMI, I don’t feel any better about it. I recently made a bet with my dad about losing weight. He wanted to lose 10 lbs in a week and a half... which is ridiculous, but at least he is going to try. I, on the other hand, have a much more reasonable goal. I FINALLY want to break 200 pounds by the end of September. That means that I have to lose at least 16 pounds in 30 days. While that is no easy task I am still confident.

Well this, like the last post, has been quite long. Congrats if you stuck it out until the end. I’ll keep up on the weigh-ins as time progresses.

-Fat-topus out.