More on obesity

Sorry to those who could not get to the website today.  It was a bit of a pain being retweeted several times and then finding that the database was down and I had to wait for the hosting provider.
Continuing on my obesity series, since it is a topic I know rather a lot about, today I want to talk about the yo-yo mindset, for curious thin people and confused fat people alike. Here are some quotes and questions that I have been asked in the past, by personal trainer friends and people who have never had a weight problem, who cannot understand the mind of a person who apparently ‘does not care.’

“Why are you so fat?  I would fancy you if you were not so fat.”
“Why is someone as pretty as you so fat?”
“How can people let themselves get like that?”
“How come you are faster/stronger/so active when you are so fat?”
“Aren’t you embarrassed to let anyone see you like that?”
“Why don’t you just eat less, then you can eat what you like?”
“Don’t you care about clothes?”
“Nobody will want you looking like that.”
“Eww look at how fat she is! She’s a gannet!”

These are genuine statements made to me at different points in my life.  Let us take these one at a time before we go further.
“Why are you so fat?  I would fancy you if you were not so fat.”
This was said by a very cute millionaire friend of mine, who I lost all respect for the minute he said this, and ended up dating his much richer friend before telling him to get stuffed.  He was concerned that his posh boy friends would think less of him.  You will be gratified to learn that he ended up with an enormous single parent of two kids.
My response to this one was.  “Strangely enough, dating you was not at the forefront of my mind for the last 23 years, and it is not what concerns me when we converse. I work with food for twenty hours a day, and frankly my weight is an advantage given my line of work.”
“Why is someone as pretty as you so fat?”
I was not particularly fat at the time, and this lady was very concerned about her weight.  She was very dull as a result. I remarked that I had other things to do than worry about social conformity.
“How can people let themselves get like that?”
This is a good one, and was said by a well known raw foodist personal trainer, who has never had a weight problem.  I explained to him at the time, that one’s self perception is relative, and outlined a scene from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where I refused to go out until the last day of my holiday, and discovered that I was, in fact, the thinnest person on the beach, whereupon I enjoyed an impromptu run.  This should speak for itself as a reason.
“How come you are faster/stronger/so active when you are so fat?”
This has come up several times, and has come from everyone from my PE teacher at school, to hospital consultants who cannot believe test results.
Fat does not actually prevent you from leading a busy or active life, in fact you will find many fat people are far busier than you are. Stress is a killer, in more ways than one.
“Aren’t you embarrassed to let anyone see you like that?”
This one really burns into your brain, doesn’t it?  Every time you think about going out, this pops up as a reason not to.  The person who says this to you really hates you.  Get away from them right now.
“Why don’t you just eat less, then you can eat what you like?”
This comes from someone with a fundamental misunderstanding of what causes obesity.  Just smile and move on.
“Don’t you care about clothes?”
Yes, yes, we do care about clothes.  The first thing any fat person does on losing weight is buy inappropriate clothing they were never able to wear when they were big.  We love clothes.  On other people, so we can actually see them whilst we enjoy a good curry.
“Nobody will want you looking like that.”
I think you would be very surprised at the massive number of men, in particular, who really dig big chicks, so this one is absolutely laughable. They are usually much nicer than trophy hunters, too, so this one is a double edged sword.
“Eww look at how fat she is! She’s a gannet!”
This is the sort of thing stupid people say, in the same way as they point at unsuspecting cats and saw awwwwwwwww. Again, step away from the moron.
Having said all this, here is some insight into the mental process, starting with a fat person at their thinnest:

“I am actually starting to feel jealous of fat people.  They look happier than I am, and they eat whatever they like.”
“I am fed up with random people who hit on me, even though they have no idea who I am. They talk so much rubbish”
“Life is no better when thin, and in many ways it is worse because I am now also under pressure to look good.”
“I am not very happy, and I would like to be invisible.”
“I have nothing in common with these new friends, they seem a bit superficial and self-obsessed.”
“I feel a bit depressed and do not want to go out anymore.”
“Who cares? I am invisible anyway.”
“What’s the point?”

Ok, so this covers more of an emotional eating problem, rather than someone who has simply put on weight over time without thinking about it, but I think it is helpful for overall perspective on why someone would allow the problem to get ‘out of control.’ People have differing priorities, and either size has its advantages.
There have been times when I have been conscious of putting on weight almost deliberately, particularly in long term family situations, because I no longer wish to speak.  The healthy thing to do would be get as far away as possible and not avoid the rest of the world, but for various reasons this has not always been possible.
I have also noticed in the last decade or so, that I start buying the biggest size in the shop long before I start overeating.  This last time was a case in point.  One of the first things I did, when broken-hearted and trying to talk myself out of my irrational affection for Wolfe, was absent-mindedly buy the largest pair of trousers I could find, and I was about eight sizes smaller at the time.  It is quite freaky when you catch yourself doing it.  ‘My emotional state/libido must be suppressed, therefore I must eat more.  I am obviously running wild, therefore I must stay in.’  What a puritanical glutton I am!  Perhaps I should find an evil streak and find a more assertive outlet for angst.
So, to conclude, I hope that this is more useful to you than the average blame game scenario you are usually presented with on this particular topic.  You are still better off without a weight problem if you can go about conquering your particular demons, but it is not the end of the world, and you are not a monster if you happen to have one.  If you choose carefully, you can indulge your love of food and your love of vanity/good health.  Vanity is a very positive sin, in fact, which you must indulge to keep yourself reasonably healthy.  Apart from that, do not allow yourself to slip into the cushion of your not at all alarming appearance as a result of your weight problem, because the fear of living your life is the real killer.
 

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