Assumed: Being fat sucks

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Too often in posts, I find myself having to spend a few paragraphs remaking some point I’ve made before, in the name of completeness, when I’d really rather a “save-get,” as we called them in the early days of electronic front-end systems for newspapers. (You could save a character string once, and get it back with one key as many times as you wanted.)

So I decided to put together a series of posts of my basic assumptions, which I can then just put in a link for, rather than saying it all over again. And this is the first one:

Being fat sucks.

I’d think it states the obvious, but I encounter too many people who want to explain away their fatitude as something other than just not pleasant.

Understand, for this is really important: I’m not saying overweight people are bad, morally wrong, aesthetically offensive, or anything remotely close. Opinions like those arise, and they are offensive.

What I am saying is that I have been fat, really fat (365 pounds at my heaviest, in October 1991, at the end of at least 25 years of overweight, and it sucked. I cannot remember a day when I thought being fat was a good thing.

Sure, some of that was related to fashionistas and other bullies, but even if I could have reformed or removed every one of — and that was and is impossible — begin fat would still have sucked.

I was excluded, or excluded myself, from many events because I couldn’t keep up. Other times, I held back my friends from the pace they would have maintained if not for me. Growing faint of breath from walking a block or a flight of stairs, joint pain, “extra” perspiration, struggling to reach all body parts in the shower, having the crotches wear out of pants before anything else — untold indignities come with each extra pound.

There’s also the energy that goes into maintaining such heft. Apart from sumo wrestlers, maybe, very few people think in those terms, but to maintain almost any outsized status requires constant care, and it is so with obesity, too. I rarely passed few hours without some thought of what I was eating, or what I was going to eat next. Which itch would I scratch? Where would I get the stuff? Would people notice what I was doing? Would I notice people when I was doing it? (This came up during parties and cookouts, especially.)

My observation is that while ED advocates rail against the very real injustices of weight stigma, they seem never to address the part of the experience that has nothing to do with what others think, say, or do.

Having been fat for decades, and now non-fat for decades, I’m sure that a) weight loss is possible for most people, perhaps not to sveltitude but certainly within range, and b) just about anyone would prefer it. It’s hard for me to conceive it any other way.


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