What does it feel like to gain weight, and what is it like to be fat?

I’ve been working on a visual novel in my spare time, but I find it a tricky to write about the characters being fat. I want to try and describe what they’re feeling physically while carrying around extra weight, and describe how they notice their weight gain, but since I’ve always been slim I struggle to relate to the characters and I want the descriptions to be accurate. For example if I write something like “As Judy walked up the stairs, she could feel her soft stomach rub against the front of her shorts” I don’t actually know if that’s something an overweight person would experience.

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If the clothes are ill-fitting, such as from a recent gain, then yeah, Judy would feel all kinds of chub rub.

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I see, so then you wouldn’t experience any chub rub if the clothes are probably fitted? Also what does chub rub feel like exactly? I know of the term, but I don’t l know what it’s actually like so it’s hard to empathize

Chub rub specifically refers to irritation caused by your thighs constantly rubbing together, resulting in an itchy, chafing sensation, very similar to a heat rash. A person gaining weight in their legs, in short their thighs getting thicker, would notice a growing amount of chub rub as time passed. Eventually, they’d adopt a waddle as a matter of course.

Someone whose considerably more belly heavy, on the other hand, might be able to get larger before experiencing a lot of chub rub or adopting a waddle. The first thing they’d probably notice is their formerly slim belly begin to ooze and overhang their pants. In time, they may even need to begin tucking their belly into their pants in order to avoid having an exposed stomach for the world to see.

A lot of this will depend on the character you’re writing, as well. Is Judy fairly active, or very sedentary? To set up the scene, let’s say Judy starts at already chubby 160 lbs, and has porked up 225 lbs. She knows she’s put on a good amount of weight, as she’s been outgrowing and replacing her entire wardrobe (and, if we’re honest, all she has to do is look in a mirror). She heads into work one day, and the elevator is broken.

Active Judy takes the stairs, and by the end is lightly sweating and slightly out of breath, but that’s it. Sedentary Judy, on the other hand, is a total wreck by the end, possibly requiring a break part way up the stairs, depending on how many there are. Her muscles are just not equipped to deal with such a level of activity, let alone the additional weight on top of it.

I suppose that makes a good place to start, then. What is the broad strokes of Judy’s story? Starting weight, ending weight if applicable, weight when she notices her gain, etc.

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Yeah I knew that chub rub involved thighs rubbing together, but the comparison to it being similar to a heat rash is very helpful for helping me imagine what it’s like thank you for that!

Hmm I see, that makes sense. I’ve read stuff like that before but thinking about it, it seems logical that someone who gained weight would take steps to hide it.

Very good points and definitely helps me consider how I should describe my characters and whether or not they live active lifestyles or sedentary ones.

As for this, well I just wrote that Judy example up to try and explain my question. I don’t think I’m going to have a character named Judy in my story but who knows maybe I should add her now :laughing:. I’m still in the rough draft and planning phase and I haven’t found an exact setting that I want to stick to yet, which is why I haven’t created a specific project topic yet. Currently the story is that the main character will be part of a TV show cast, either an action show or a sitcom, but focuses on their lives outside of the show. Using “Judy” as an example for the protagonist, I would have her start off around 100lbs, then end up around 220lbs. I’m thinking the weight will be noticed every 20lbs. I’m hoping to not just make this fan-servicey, but I want to also have a positive message that people can succeed at any size :smiley:

And my biggest thing is that I’m looking for is help with both technical writing like the tips you just gave me, as well as inspiration because if I can understand the experience of what it’s like to be physically fat and possibly hear some IRL descriptions or stories (although I understand if people may not want to talk about that), then that would help me come up with scenes and ideas

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One thing that may help you is to look at references of people at the weight you’re describing (ideally with your intended body type) to get a sense of what rubs against what and just how squishy they are. Would Judy feel her belly against her shorts in that way? Well, if she’s only 150, probably not; she needs to be big enough for a belly hang.

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A few more things to note would be:

  • Changes in face. An underrated part of weight gain is how visible it is in your cheeks and neck even if you manage to conceal your body in baggy clothes. You might notice weight gain in a weird place with not a lot of room to distribute fat first, t’was my and my gf’s experience.
  • RL weight gain is slow and it’s typical for the gainer to forget that their arm fat didn’t jiggle like that a few weeks ago, or that a certain pair of jeans weren’t already too tight. But, the seeds of doubt are planted.
  • Getting familiar with the vocabulary and shared experiences of gainers is helpful and has been documented by user @janedoe so check out those posts, too
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As an actual fat person, not great.

You feel self-conscious about yourself due to judgement from others, and you often feel physically unwell, mostly things like knee and ankle pain.

I got stronger and lost a bit of weight, but too much extra weight is legitimately a burden on you, both physically and mentally.

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I have started walking differently and my pants are starting to constrain me uncomfortably when sitting down. Jogging/yoga/training pants are great for mitigating this, but if your character wears jeans, they will notice stuff there first.

I am about 100 kilos going for 120. Sometimes I have bursts where I can eat whole pots of soup in one sitting and then some, which are nice.

If you wanna hide from the character how much they gained, have them slowly take off more and more clothes for weighing. Depending on how much they wear, they can miss a whole 10 kilos like that.

With masks nowadays, I get out of breath more easily than usual, which is something I actually need to work on, but it could be a nice “all of a sudden I am too tired to excercise” thing for a story. IRL, I would recommend slowing down at that point though.

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Thanks for referencing my posts. Glad that ppl find use in them

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I whole heartedly agree with this. You really don’t notice day by day or even week by week stuff (unless you are specifically looking for it). What is very noticeable is when you do something you haven’t done for a while, and find it is different to how you remember or are expecting.

Putting on clothing you don’t usually use, whether it’s that knackered old pair of jeans you only use when decorating, or the smart stuff you save for interviews or other fancy stuff - that’s when you have the “oh … shit/wow” moment, especially if you normally hang around in comfy (looser, stretchy) stuff.

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This is a bit tough to describe as every person gains differently due to either their genetics or lifestyle. As someone who has gained a bit I can sort of say a few things I have noted:

    1. Clothing was a big indicator for me, as I would notice my shirts starting to rise up when ever I reached for something above me and how my jeans would become tight depending what I am currently doing (such as going over gates and feeling the material around my pelvic region getting tight, or going up the the stairs and feeling the fabric from my seat being stretched while feeling tightness in the front). So for the clothing aspect you can go into some detail of how the clothing is starting not fit who ever you are describing, or if the material is being pushed to its limits due to a stubborn personality. Another way is to describe potential wear and tear; such as the button on the jeans or skirt has begun to cut into the material due to a growing waistline (or using a pin to help keep it button), or how the material at the thighs has been worn away much more due to the rubbing. Its just a matter of how the clothing fits with the body and if they are wearing it a particular reason. This can also be expanded upon depending how heavy a person is, if they need custom clothing or if once flattering clothing has shifted to plain useable clothing.
    1. The body itself is another thing I noted as certain things sort of changed due to the added weight; such as wooden chairs no longer feel hard to sit on or if your body or how swimming seems a bit different than before. This is perhaps the most troubling as the human body is unique in a variety of ways, allowing some people to experience different issues or changes (those with belly focused gains will have a tough time buttoning their clothing, while those with either an hourglass or breast focused gain will have an issue with certain clothing riding up, buttoning in that area, or even back pain if there is enough weight in the front to cause it). However this does allow for a variety of situations that could help to signify whether someone has gained due to certain motions or how their body interacts with their surroundings.
      For example; say Judy has gained 50 pounds and is annoyed with how now she is being ignored at the office, so much so that while brushing her teeth at night she is much more aggressive thanks to her being jealous of the other ladies in the office, so much so that it causes her belly fat to even shake due to the energy of her brushing. How she feels about this could range depending the direction of the character one is taking her, either curiosity, annoyance, anger, etc. since it is a bit jarring to have a portion of your body move on its own in a way.

I can’t think of everything at the moment, but this is stuff I have noticed overall. The key aspect of writing about is to have some imagination since there is no telling what the character will discover about their growing body. If it is tough, may I suggest looking at videos of overweight to heavily obese men and women performing exercises to see how their fat sort of lays on their body or how it shapes around it. Just remember that if you’re going for specific themes that the gain is able to reflect it (if you’re going realistic, then kissing a frog that suddenly makes you weigh 400 pounds doesn’t really fit well with the theme).
I warn you of this, if you are going to use numbers in your gains that the body should reflect it as best as you can. It would break the immersion if you say some weighs 180 pounds yet you’re describing their breasts being mountain size or their thighs being tree trunk thick, so be mindful of that.

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I can second this. I’ve seen a lot of weight gain stories that describe someone as literally as big as a house, getting stuck in doors, furniture collapsing under them, and they weigh…!

… 251 pounds.

You can just feel your mind screech to a halt with that one.

A useful resource I found a while back is a site which has a whole bunch of pictures of people at various heights and weights. I can’t remember what it’s called, I usually just do a google search and it comes up, but you can search via multiple parameters. Height, weight, gender, I believe age was one of them.

That said, it gets pretty wonky near the high end. Someone keeps posting the same models from Big Cuties, claiming they’re various different weights. But, if you’re just looking for something in the 180-400ish range, it might be a solid choice.

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Oh yeah I know that it’s called “Mybodygallery”

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It depends a lot on your size and bodytype as well but whenever I have an episode the first thing I notice is my skin turns to shit from a bad diet (gets very oily, acne etc). Also while it not strictly bound to gaining weight but being sedentary makes me feel very sloggish/cloudy in my head and have even less energy for stuff