What It’s Like To Be Fat
Posted by Heather
I am a chick. And fat. The first part most people don’t care about but the second part is socially frowned upon. Add the two together and you typically either garner sympathy, condemnation, or harassment. Unlike “large boobs”, “fat chick” rarely gets flirtatious remarks (I realize those remarks and compliments aren’t exactly quality communication). I’m not fishing for any of the above.
Say all you want, fat chicks are generally like the bane of society. I hear there are “chubby chasers” in the UK, but for the same reason a large-breasted girl usually doesn’t want a guy solely interested in her boobs, I wouldn’t want a guy solely interested in me because I’m fat.
That said, I recently learned of yet another fetish – feederism. I was watching Strange Sex one day and they featured a black man with a large, white woman. A very large white woman. I realize some men don’t mind “a little cushin’ for the pushin'” but this took it a step further.
He fed her, with the intent of making her larger.
Now if I found a man who liked me being fat but also liked me as a person, I could live with that. But to have a man want to feed me… Especially to want me to get fatter?! Absolutely not.
Granted, I am not keen on the idea of someone feeding me to begin with. So vegetables or cake – I wouldn’t be interested. But to think of someone trying to make me fatter and taking an active role in it? If that’s what you get your jollies from, so be it. It is far from the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard. As for me? I’m sorry but… That just grosses me out.
See, I am not one of the “BIG AND BEAUTIFUL” fat-pride girls. I’m a girl who has been on the chubby side since childhood and it has only gotten progressively worse as time has gone by. I didn’t always have the healthiest meals ever. I still don’t. I like sweets far more than I should. I was moderately active as a kid but not so much now. I’m not sitting around eating Ben & Jerry’s, perplexed why I my clothes don’t fit right.
You can judge me if you want because it is pretty much ingrained in most people, at least that is how it seems. I’m not suggesting you should be judgmental, but I know many people are and I accept that fact. Many people that pass harsh judgment on people, based solely on their size, seem to do so because “fat” seems to be a socially acceptable thing to harass someone over. Similar to the white man treating “colored” people as sub-human back in the day, or the Nazis hating Jewish people.
This is maybe an extreme comparison but it was socially acceptable to be racist at that time and now it is socially acceptable to be… a fattist? That sounds too much like “fattest”, which is definitely not considered acceptable. Apparently the correct term for this would be “weightist”, a person who engages in weight-based discrimination – weightism. Even my spell checker doesn’t like those words, but that’s what Google tells me.
I think part of the stigma associated with being fat is that, unlike race, it is viewed as something you can choose. The protected status classes are race, age, gender, disability and sexual orientation – because they are all things you supposedly can’t choose. I think through the years we have seen numerous people try to prove the opposite on each of those points, but that is for another time. Weight is its own issue.
You can choose whether or not to be fat!
Yes and no.
- YES, you can avoid steps to lose weight and you can take steps that cause weight gain, being/becoming fat either passively or aggressively.
- NO, you may be unable to avoid a genetic predisposition to being a larger person.
- YES, you should try to actively defy your genetic makeup (if you are predisposed to be heavy) by working harder to get and stay thin.
- NO, you cannot avoid certain physical conditions that may contribute to or cause weight gain.
- YES, you can make and eat foods that are healthier and promote weight loss/management.
- NO, you may have circumstances or financial issues that discourage healthier eating. (Referring to the many health foods or healthier foods that cost a good amount more than unhealthy ones.)
- YES, you can make adult decisions to take control of your health.
- NO, you may have had an upbringing that gave you a difficult starting point (like starting late in a race).
That is the… har, har… thick and thin of it.
It is also worth making note that it is not easy being fat. Whether it is due to lack of knowledge about nutrition, addiction to food, genetics, depression, or laziness – it isn’t easy. This is, again, where many harsh criticisms come in.
If you don’t like being fat, why don’t you do something about it?
Oddly enough, this statement usually seems to be said by people who are more offended at you being fat than you are bothered by your own weight. Why? I don’t know. Maybe they love being healthy but secretly hate not having chocolate cake or donuts or whatever insert-stereotypical-fat-person-snack-here whenever they want.
As they always say, “You didn’t get this way overnight so you can’t change it overnight either.” Great sentiment. But other people seem to think that it ought to work that way if you’re so fat that society deems you an eyesore. (Which, to some, is anyone bigger than a bean pole.)
Contrary to popular belief, you can actually be fat (to an extent) and healthy. It works both ways: you can be thin and unhealthy or be fat and in better shape than someone thinner. But even if I could hypothetically hike a mountain and was with a thin friend that couldn’t, people generally wouldn’t think less of the thin person for being out of shape. They’d probably just be more impressed to see a fat person hiking up a mountain.
Point being, no one takes background into consideration. Let’s turn the tables a minute. I have a nephew who is skinny. He is overly skinny. He has muscle on him but people still sometimes mistake him for being anorexic. Granted, I think people pass less judgment because a) he’s thin [that’s all that matters, right?] and b) he’s a he. Regardless, I know people often think the worst.
He has tried to gain weight. Not once, multiple times. He wants to pack on a few pounds to convert them to muscle or just to not make people think he “needs to eat more”.
Make no mistake, this isn’t about him trying to stay thin. He could eat a huge meal and not gain a pound. He could have a cheesecake all to himself and not suffer (visibly) for it.
It has absolutely nothing to do with him working out a lot or eating only salad. It’s because he is genetically predisposed to be that way. It is hard for him to gain weight, just as it’s hard for me to lose it. He does get a lot of physical activity at work but that doesn’t make a difference because he’s always been that way. I have always been chubby and prone to gaining weight.
Quit eating meals of potato chips and chocolate and exercise a little, fatty!
Yes, because that’s all I ever eat. Wait, I’m not as keen on potato chips as the average bear. Chocolate cake… mmmmm. Or we could quote Homer Simpson, one of the most stereotypical fat people ever imagined, “Mmmmm, donuuuuuts…” We fat people only ever eat food that is unhealthy. And when we do, we eat it by the truckload. If we do have vegetables, they are deep fried and dipped in butter.
When I went to the fair this year, I saw two booths I had never seen before. One was basically deep fried anything (Oreos, cheesecake, pickles, you name it).
And the other was something I had previously thought about as “I wonder how long it’ll be before someone does this…” The answer is, apparently not very long at all.
And no, I didn’t eat at either place.
Most people seeing a skinny person sampling deep fried butter might find it pretty disgusting on the grounds that it just doesn’t sound appealing. But to see a fat person ordering deep fried butter would generally get more of an eye roll and a “Figures, fatty!” sort of insult (even if not said aloud, I’m sure people would be thinking it).
Oh, if you are wondering – they were not selling entire sticks of butter that had been battered and deep fried. They were selling it in small spheres, smaller than a golf ball, that were two bites at the most, if not one.
Not only is the general mindset that fat people only like junk food, but also that we dislike healthy food. If a fat person is caught eating a salad, I’m sure there are many people who assume that person’s on a diet, not just because fat people may actually like salad.
I don’t think like this! I feel bad when I see someone being picked on for their weight (or any other reason).
I understand that not every thin, or thinner person holds some sort of grudge against people for being fat, or fatter than they are. Some people take it to a ridiculous extreme and call anyone fat who isn’t a bean pole. I realize a lot of people aren’t like this. I still think the majority do think like this though, even if they won’t come out and say it.
It’s similar to being ugly, and many people automatically associate “fat” with “ugly” by default. Fat people face more prejudices (in work, school, social life, etc, etc). It’s been shown that attractive people can make around $230,000 more in their lifetime than unattractive. Attractive – at its definition – could mean a variety of things. Really though, we know it all comes down to appearances.
Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder but most beholders have a similar perspective.
Quit complaining and do something about it!
I had been wanting to write this article for some time, but had no clear outline. Nothing particular I wanted to say, just thought it would make a good topic. Recently, that changed. I have had back problems for some time (likely due to a car accident some years back). I have also had knee problems periodically since childhood due to a health condition I have. Recently, my knees and back began hurting at the same time.
If you’ve never had back pain, just know that it can feel debilitating. For me, it feels like a nerve is pinched (I’m referring to pain in my spine, not regular sore muscles). It hurts in my back and down into my leg. Sitting normally, at its worst, it feels as if I am somehow stretching a muscle that is on the verge of tearing, even though I know that can’t be true.
When my knees started hurting, it hurt most when I would go up and down the stairs. I was actually trying to take the stairs in an effort to burn those few extra calories and strengthen my leg muscles. I quickly had to stop because of the pain when I would step.
I went to see a chiropractor, as I had previously done, to try to get rid of my back pain at least. The chiropractor I used to see helped a lot. The chiropractor I see now doesn’t help much at all. Still hoping (and with no backup plan for relief), I had gone anyway. It didn’t do anything for me.
On the way home I cried, frustrated by the pain I was in. My back pain made it difficult to sit, stand, bend, twist, walk, or do pretty much anything other than lay down. Walking and sitting, with my legs hurting, made them feel worn out – even if I hadn’t done much. Even laying down was painful at times, but it was the most pain relief I could accomplish.
My frustration came to a head when I thought to myself, how can I exercise if I can’t even walk?
At that moment, it felt as though my entire body was working against me. My weight exacerbated the pain I felt and the combination of both made everything feel like a struggle. I felt weak and almost helpless. I want badly to lose weight, but feel trapped by certain circumstances, on top of the back and knee pain.
I haven’t had someone pick on me over my weight/appearance in almost 10 years now. Although I remember it, and it was hurtful at the time, I don’t feel it was one of those life-changing events. It was something I generally sort of accepted and expected as a part of life for a fat person.
I choose to use the word “fat” because I don’t believe in sugar-coating (har, har) things. “Thick”, “voluptuous”, “more to love”, “BBW”, “a few extra pounds” – they all mean pretty much the same thing so why not call it what it is? I’d actually rather call myself “fat” than “obese”. “Obese” sounds like more of an insult, despite being equally true.
If you are fat, I encourage you not to take pride in it but to try to lose weight. Eat better. Take walks. And forget what anyone else thinks. Make gradual changes to your diet. Eat more fruits and vegetables. You know the drill as well as I do. The easiest way to start isto gradually increase your ratio of fresh fruits/vegetables to meats, starches, and junk/processed foods.
If you aren’t fat, if you think fat people are just lazy pigs that do nothing but sit around and eat all day, that’s fine. It’s not right, but you’re entitled to your opinion. We all are.
The people that annoy me aren’t fat, thin, black, white, ugly, pretty, or any of that. In my opinion, some of the worst people are the ones who think they are better than everyone else.