By Cathy Schutt
Junior Jim Murray knows the meaning of Mardi Gras: “Fat Tuesday.”
About a month ago, Murray set a new goal: to gain weight. “I’m tired of being skinny,” he said.
Murray trailed the inspiration for his new ambition all the way back to his first grade teacher, who told him he could do whatever he wanted to do with his life.
“‘If you want to be the president, you can be the president. If you want to be an astronaut, you can be an astronaut,’” he remembered her saying. “However, she didn’t take into consideration that maybe my goal was to be fat.”
Murray said he wants to prove that his teacher’s words were true by setting a life goal and accomplishing it.
But why is it his goal is to become fat?
“I’m sick of being skinny, and I want to give being fat a try,” Murray joked.
In spite of having an “incredibly fast metabolism,” Murray is doing what he can to gain weight.
Rather than following a standard 2,000-calorie diet, he now consumes around 3,500 calories per day. He checks the calorie count on all food items before eating them. He also lifts weights one to two times per day without doing cardio exercises.
“When you stop working out, your muscle becomes fat,” he explained. “So, a good way to get fat is to work out and then stop working out … and then eat a bunch of food.”
He added that foods like cheeseburgers, spaghetti and pasta have been beneficial in helping him gain weight, as they contain lots of calories.
However, Murray discovered that the secret to gaining weight is not to only eat junk food, but to consume nutritious foods as well.
“You have to eat relatively healthily in order to eat a large amount of calories,” he said. “If you eat just fried food, you get sick.”
Despite this necessity to eat healthy food, Murray is not avoiding fast food altogether. Although he continues to eat Sodexo meals in the campus dining hall, he also frequents local eateries like McDonald’s, Culver’s, Chipotle and Buffalo Wild Wings. He said he consumes about six meals per day, plus he snacks on protein bars and shakes in between meals.
“The bad thing about this diet is that you’re full all the time,” he commented.
Murray said the amount of weight he gains depends more on how often he eats than on how much he eats in one sitting.
“If you’re constantly eating, you don’t have to eat huge meals,” he said. “It’s just easier on the body.”
Although Murray’s waist may be getting wider, his money supply is shrinking. So far, he has invested about $75 into his endeavor to gain weight.
Murray recently switched his major from Youth Ministry to Christian Education and Business. He is the leader of the on-campus ministry Party With Jesus (known to the Facebook world as Fiesta Con Jesús), which brings students together for a time of worship every Monday night at 9 in the Warming House.
As of March 16, Murray has put on 10 pounds and claims he has not felt sick yet. He hopes to eventually gain 30 pounds.
“Mom’s going to be so proud,” he said with a grin.