Jan 2, 2012


Several weeks ago, I started working out in preparation for the Tough Mudder event in May. I figured, while I was at it, I may as well go whole-hog and get actually healthy. I had never in my life particularly cared about what went into my body, and certainly never thought about the long-term consequences of my nutritious habits. So if I was going to get fit, I may as well actually get fit.

The obvious first step to my healthifying: I needed to put on some weight. At this time, I weighed 129 pounds. 130 is the bottom of the healthy body weight range for my height. I had been grossly underweight for as long as I could remember. (However, it should be noted that I was born at 10 pounds, 4 ounces, which is kind of disgustingly huge; thus, the mean value theorem dictates that at some point in time, I was a healthy body weight.) If I put on some muscle weight, great; but I needed some fat-pounds, too, because I was sorely lacking.

In my internet-research-studies, I discovered a program called GOMAD, or Gallon of Milk a Day. Under GOMAD, shockingly enough, you drink a gallon of milk a day. This is apparently a pretty good program recommended for some underweight people who are starting training. The weight that you put on from GOMAD is also sustainable, because it "teaches" you how to eat more, allowing you to keep your weight after you've stopped the program. I wasn't 100% done researching the topic, but I figured I would get a head-start, and if it turned out that it wasn't for me, then I surely wouldn't die from what I'd had by then.

I found out about this program at about 2:00 in the afternoon. I had already missed two meals' worth of opportunities to drink milk. So I had to hustle. I made a beeline for my campus's dining hall, and got to work.

Next problem. I find milk rather unappealing. I just don't enjoy drinking milk. I eat my cereal dry. Fortunately, my school's dining hall also happened to have an endless supply of chocolate syrup. So my GOMAD was more accurately going to be GOCMAD: Gallon of Chocolate Milk a Day.

After some inquiry of the dining hall staff, I learned that one of our paper cups could hold 12 fluid ounces. After some subsequent inquiry of Wolfram Alpha, I learned that one gallon was equal to 128 fluid ounces. So I was going to need roughly 11 cups of chocolate milk throughout the day. No matter how I sliced that, that was HUGE.

Imagine this.
Now imagine eleven of it.
Now imagine that every day.
In my first sitting, I got through three cups, and was feeling full to bursting, not to mention a little grossed out. I figured I'd come back later for the rest of today's gallon.

Dinner was my second sitting. I got through two more cups, bringing me to almost halfway through for the day. I was ready to call it a day. I wish there were more to the story of my actual drinking, but that's about it - I drank 60 fluid ounces of chocolate milk that day, and it was really gross, and so I stopped.

Back to the wonderful world of Wolfram Alpha, I checked out the nutrition facts for the chocolate milk I had drunk that day. (This was, mind you, in addition to my three meals.) That day, in chocolate milk alone, I had consumed 1440 calories (which, mind you, is as much as some people will eat in an entire day); I had had  122% the recommended daily value of saturated fat; 119% the RDV of protein; 225% the RDV of calcium; 229% the RDV of Vitamin D105% the RDV of Vitamin B12; 183% the RDV of phosphorous; and 304% the RDV of riboflavin, whatever that is. And those are just the ones over 100% - almost everything else was above 50% at least. All in all, I had consumed over 4 pound of chocolate milk that day, which was over 3% of my body weight. I weighed myself again - I was now over 132 pounds, a whopping 3 pounds more than I had weighed not even a day ago.

And I had planned on doing double this. Every day.


  1. The 3 pounds is probably (it definitely is) water weight, (by which I mean general liquid weight) which is both gained and lost easily.