Monday, January 11, 2016

I was never an overweight kid growing up. I was actually quite small. Not blessed with the genes of a taller father. I was 5’6″ from fourteen on to the rest of my life. But never overweight.

I also wasn’t particularly athletic. I played baseball like almost every kid in my small town and spent a couple seasons on the bench for the football team in eighth and ninth grade.

As a junior in high school, I found a job working at Skinner’s Sugar House. It seemed like a great idea at the time, but daily access to home-made fudge, freshly roasted cashews, candy, and ice cream was perilous for my diet.

In May of 2000, by chance, I got interested in and started training submission grappling and mixed martial arts at Reality Self-Defense (now Lauzon MMA) in Bridgewater, MA (now Easton, MA). It was a great work out and something I thoroughly enjoyed. Submission grappling was at the time a fairly knew sport and I liked it because it focused on technique over size and strength.

However, in the fall of 2000, I left for college. College is not good for your diet either and by junior year of college the bad diet and excessive drinking pushed my weight up to over two hundred pounds. I did make it back it back to Bridgewater to train, but it was enough to offset my bad habits.

I graduated college, moved in with my fiancee and took a job working in IT. I continued to train, but was basically just happy being a ‘fat kid’. Then my fiancee dumped me. I was now an overweight kid who was single, but it was the motivation I may have needed to change.

Depressed for a while, I took my newly acquired free time of being single and jumped into training as much as I could. I was at the gym all the time. I also started to eat healthy. I immersed myself in training submission grappling, boxing, and mixed martial arts. I set a goal of fighting.

I told myself that if I could get down to the welterweight division (170 lbs.), I would take a fight and I did. I made my mixed martial arts debut for Untamed in Brockton, MA. I actually won that fight despite being outsized by a strong athlete. I was really just a fat kid still, but not as fat.

I then made the goal of fighting at weight that was more appropriate and would require me to continue losing weight. I kept in the gym and kept eating healthy. A year after my first fight, I fought for Untamed again, this time in the featherweight division (145 lbs.). It was the leanest I had every been in my life. I unfortunately lost that fight against a solid fighter from Team Strikezone, Chris Simmons, who retired with a 7-4 record.

I wasn’t particularly fond of posing for pictures during my fattest times, but this gallery includes one from my fatter days, along with pictures of my two fights.

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Losing this fight did not deter me from training, but it did make me realize that I was not built to be a fighter. I wanted to tested myself and wanted the experience of fighting, but I enjoyed training more so than training for a fight.

There was no secret formula to losing weight for me. I found an activity that I thoroughly enjoyed and was a good work out. I made a decision to eat healthy and I set a goal.

To this day, I continue to train mixed martial arts, boxing, and submission grappling at Lauzon MMA. I don’t continue to eat as healthy as I should. I wish that I could say that I am still a ripped up featherweight, but I’m not. However, I will never again be that two hundred-plus pound kid.

About the Author

Chris Palmquist is the Chief Operating Officer of Mixed Martial Arts LLC, which owns and operates and