Paul James is a turd.

Paul James is an Australian personal trainer and former underwear model who intentionally gained 40kg in five months “so that he could better understand his obese clients.” Seriously.

James ate piles of junk food and did no exercise for five months to achieve his bizarre goal of 120kg. When I say piles of food, I mean piles. Three litres of chocolate milk, crisps and bacon for breakfast. A whole chicken and chips before bed. No exercise at all.

In a testament to the set-point theory (that is, your body likes to keep your weight relatively stable), despite this ridiculous diet, James had difficulty gaining weight at first.

But gain he did, and after keeping the weight on for three months, he has been working hard to lose it all. The Herald Sun has just reported that he’s almost back to his original weight of 80kg. What a fuckin’ surprise.

PJ said the biggest change he made was switching to a healthy diet, and he also follows a regular exercise regime.

“I didn’t do anything drastic because I wanted to show that anyone could make the changes that I made,” he said.


A man who was not fat works incredibly hard to force his body to become fat. Then said man works out like a demon to get his body back to his starting point.

That’s no fucking insight in that. Fat people don’t drink three litres of chocolate milk for breakfast. We don’t eat chickens before bed. Most of us eat a reasonable diet and exercise. Most of us have spent years changing our diet and exercising in a vain attempt to lose weight. Most of us have failed to lose weight, but then we never started with the physique of an underwear model.

“I achieved what I wanted to. I got a greater understanding and appreciation for anyone trying to lose weight and I am really proud of going the extra mile to relate to my clients.”

In the meantime, he’s also gotten a lot of international press that has cemented what so many people think of fat people: we’re gluttonous, lazy slobs. But no matter, at least he achieved his goals…

Like I said, Paul James is a turd.

Sources: The London Telegraph, the Herald Sun


19 Responses to “Paul James is a turd.”

  1. 1 CurveSmart 17 December, 2009 at 11:24 am

    He’s a steamer alright. There is a serious disconnect between fitness industry types and actual health. They are so fixated on weight loss that it is ridiculous. I keep telling the PTs I come across that I don’t want to talk about food, I am there to get fit and the first thing that comes out of their mouth the next time I see them is food talk. WTF?

    To which I usually say, “I am the client, keep it up and I’ll take my business elsewhere”. PTs are a dime a dozen.

    And I’d like to see this futknuckle when he hits 50 and see how easily he gets the weight off then!

  2. 2 Quinlan 17 December, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    He would have got a more accurate understanding if he had maintained the highest weight for more than 5 years.

  3. 3 living400lbs 17 December, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Sounds to me he’s willfully ignorant. Research shows that maintaining an artificially high weight is difficult-to-impossible, same as maintaining an artificially low weight.

    (More info at )

    • 4 Frances 17 December, 2009 at 3:08 pm

      Willfully ignorant is right. This is much less about “understanding his clients” than it is about him getting a lot of media attention. He’s made a fucking movie about his weight gain and wants to find a distributor, for christ’s sake.

  4. 5 Matt 17 December, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Sounds to me like he wanted to find out how difficult it is to lose weight, and he did. Why didn’t you include some parts that show he actually did deal with some things folks like us do:

    “The most difficult period was the first three months of trying to lose the weight, when he was doing everything right and nothing was changing.”

    “PJ said the biggest change he made was switching to a healthy diet, and he also follows a regular exercise regime.”

    “It was hard to stay motivated when I wasn’t seeing any results but once the weight started going it became easy.”

    So, a guy that was in shape added 50% to his body weight, all of which was fat. He then tried to lose it by doing what he tells clients to do: eat healty and excercise. It didn’t work at first, but he stuck with it and eventually the results came, he just had to have the will power.

    I know it’s annoying that to lose weight all we have to do is eat healthier (including fewer calories), excercise more, and stick to it. It’s annoying because I’ve never had the will power to stick to it, either, but it’s pretty douche-y to attack a guy that IS able, even after putting on a bunch of weight.

    For all of human history (except the last thiry years or so), the vast majority of our species wasn’t fat because we ate less and moved more. Everytime someone blathers on that is isn’t really that easy, I am reminded that all of human history rebuts their argument. It’s will power, and we all know it.

    • 6 Frances 17 December, 2009 at 10:10 pm

      It’s pretty douche-y for him to lump all fat people into this ‘gluttonous, lazy slobs’ category and then hold up his experiment as ‘proof’ than we can lose weight.

      A lot of fat people do eat healthily and exercise and it makes no difference to their weight. Our bodies are infinitely more complex than the “energy in, energy out” principle. There are plenty of skinny people that eat terribly and never exercise – thus failing the energy in, energy out idea – but because their bodies fit the ideal, they are never questioned. If they can exist, it stands to reason that fat people who eat well and move often can remain fat.

      So what will Paul James do for those people? How will this experiment help them? All he has done is live the stereotypical fat life and then lose it by changing his diet.

      Many, many fat people have shown considerable willpower trying diet after diet, eating better, eating less and exercising more in a vain attempt to lose weight. Yet fat people still exist. Perhaps we need to rethink our ideal. Ideal should not always equate to thin. We need to encourage intuitive eating and a love of movement, as opposed to movement in order to lose weight). We need to encourage self-love no matter what size we end up.

  5. 9 Hatlover 17 December, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Pfft. Here’s the thing, Mr Turdypants Personal Trainer, I’m actually quite fat. I did kind of eat like you once, when I had a bit of a binge eating problem, mostly because I moved out of home and no longer had my parents restricting my food so I went a bit nuts with the eating an entire large pizza and 1.25L Coke thing. Interestingly, I gained only 6.5kg over that entire year. Then when I managed to get back to a more moderate intake of a variety of nutritious foods, I lost that 6.5kg and stayed there. Then I went a bit batty dieting and exercising insanely intensely, and I only lost about 5kg and one dress size. Then, I finally came to my senses and discovered HAES. I regained about 5kg and again STAYED THERE.

    OMG everyone’s metabolism and set point is different! Who would have thought! Someone flush this turd down the toilet.

  6. 10 sleepydumpling 17 December, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Willfully ignorant is perfect. He still has no damn clue as to what it’s like to be a regular fat person.

  7. 11 Bianca 18 December, 2009 at 1:37 am

    “We don’t eat chickens before bed”

    Word. Chocolate ice cream covered in caramel sauce, sprinkles and whipped cream is more our style. If you’re going to try and be a fatty, at least do it right. 😛

  8. 13 cc 18 December, 2009 at 5:57 am


  9. 14 wriggles 18 December, 2009 at 6:43 am

    So Matt what did he do about his healthy diet induced depression? How did he overcome his compulsive eating disorder, induced by the same?

    I could mention other things, but I’m sure that getting around these things would give me enough ‘willpower’.

  10. 15 jaed 18 December, 2009 at 7:12 am

    Sounds to me like he wanted to find out how difficult it is to lose weight, and he did.

    Well, no. What he found out is how difficult it is to gain weight, how the weight doesn’t stay on, and how the debilitating things you have to do to gain a lot of weight eventually can’t be sustained and you go back to your natural body shape.

    Similarly, fat people who have practiced longterm self-starvation in order to lose weight are aware of how difficult it is, how the weight doesn’t stay off, and how the debilitating things you have to do to lose a lot of weight eventually can’t be sustained and you go back to your natural body shape.

    He could derive some lessons from his experience, but it sounds like he and you have both derived precisely the wrong lesson.

  11. 16 Twistie 18 December, 2009 at 8:47 am

    (looks up from guzzling 3 liters of chocolate milk)

    Wait a minute, you mean that gorging yourself deliberately on junk food is not healthy living????? My God, I had no idea!!!!! Now that I have been shown the light, I shall virtuously eat half a green bean for dinner and lose half my body weight overnight!

    I think we’re pretty much agreed that ‘willfully ignorant’ sums it up nicely.

  12. 17 d 22 December, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    you guys are all so bitter! when i read about PJ’s struggle to lose weight in the first 2 months of resuming training, i found this a huge relief. i’ve been training for the last 5 weeks with not a huge difference. so sure, call me naive to think i could decrease body fat after only a few weeks. but now i have the motivation to keep at it while my body gets used to the exercise and not to expect change straight away.

    • 18 Frances 23 December, 2009 at 9:16 am

      I usually come across as bitter when someone else comes across as a turd. Alas, ’tis how god made me.

      I’m impatient and I like quick results too, so I’m not judging you for expecting a change after 5 weeks of training. But a good personal trainer would be able to set realistic goals for you without having to resort to absurd stunts like this this which only serve to further malign fat people.

  13. 19 jayjaygeebee 13 May, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    i used to be a trainer and forced myself to gain a lot of weight to “bulk up”, found it super difficult to get back to my original skinny weight, and always end up back at my bulk up weight. seems like he went through the same thing. the piece i saw on him suggested that the only reason he even got back to his original skinny weight was because of the fact the he had a camera crew on him, without it he said he’d have just stayed at his new fat weight.

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