Do you hate fat people or is it just an easy thing to make fun of?
Somebody posted this question on my Formspring, which tagged it as “offensive or rude”, and subsequently deleted it.
I thought I should still address it, as I am sure many of this woman’s cronies have wondered the same. I know it was asked by a woman belonging to the “fan-dom” of a certain actor/musician and band. It is not the first time they have asked me loaded questions in order to have fodder on which to feed their dislike of me. I know it’s not somebody who actually knows me, or the question would never have been asked. Over a year ago, I made general comments about the median size of said fans. I have even made public mea culpas, and still they persist, now with this question.
Well, these ladies are obviously bored, and I have plenty to say so...I’ll play.
Do I inherently hate fat people? No.
Is it an easy thing to make fun of? Well, in the case of a specific group of people I felt was antagonizing me: yes. Granted, it was a low blow, but no less true for that. Unfortunately, I did not care enough about these people to put effort into Rostandian insults, so I went for the obvious.
While BB and I were in Colombia, he said he was amazed that he only saw 2 people the entire time, who could be considered obese. We visited 2 major, highly populated cities: Medellin (pop. 2.4 million) and Pereira (approx. 500,000 people), not to mention numerous other smaller towns. In Colombia the streets are teeming with people, at any time of day or night. We saw a lot of people, but only 2 people who were grossly overweight. Only two people of a size that would not be seen as out of place in the US.
Go pretty much anywhere else in the world and you’ll encounter a similar phenomenon...although that is beginning to change as other countries adopt an American-style diet. The average American diet is disgusting--- most of what they eat doesn’t even resemble real food.
It’s all about fast and convenient, which often means highly processed, sugar/salt and fat-saturated foods. My idea of a “fast and convenient” meal is dumping out a bag of organic greens onto a plate and drizzling it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. What’s yours?
I’m living below what’s considered the poverty line in the U.S. and I am getting by without food stamps, so finances are not (always) an excuse for poor diet. I know government assistance programs don’t make it easy, either--- in some cases you’re almost almost forced to make unhealthy food choices. I have a friend who often bemoans the fact that he can’t buy his favorite VISO drink (sweetened with real sugar and enhanced with vitamins) but would be allowed to buy Cheetos and RedBull with his Oregon Trail card, were he so inclined. However, it’s not impossible to buy and eat nutritious food on a budget.
Some would say it’s easier to eat well and inexpensively in a place like Portland, with its granola-hippie bent and emphasis on local, organically farmed produce. However, eating healthily is not as expensive as one might think. Most Americans are just too lazy--- it seems a lot easier to go get BigMacs and Happy Meals at the drive-through than it is to make a big pot of lentils and rice (which would be cheaper, healthier, AND feed a small family for a few days).
A Canadian acquaintance of mine once commented on the American obesity problem “They’ll say it’s a ‘glandular condition’, but isn’t it odd that this glandular condition exclusively affects Americans?”
I don’t really buy the “I have a health condition” excuse. You don’t end up 50-100 lbs overweight over-night. And, statistically speaking, I have a hard time believing that a group of several hundred women, from different parts of the U.S., from varied backgrounds/age groups, with the same rare “glandular condition”, would all end up in one room at the same time. I mean, really...what are the odds?
It’s not a prejudice against size I have...if anything, it’s a prejudice against prolonged self-pity and inaction.
As I observed before, one doesn’t just wake up 50+lbs over-weight one day.
Given my background with Reiki and other forms of energy work, I believe that weight is armor--- just a physical manifestation, a symptom with an emotional or spiritual cause. It’s a form of protection and a way of hiding, from oneself and others.
During my adult life, I’ve fluctuated between a size 2 and a size 12 (I think--- the Colombian booty is an x-factor where pant-size is concerned). I have never “gone on a diet”, I don’t eat as healthily as I feel I should, and I certainly don’t get as much exercise as I should. I am older than I look and past the point where I can just rely on a youthful metabolism to keep me thin. I have a hearty appetite, yet I’m the most slender I’ve been in my adult life.
It’s not magic. It’s a matter of being self-aware and at peace, or at least working on the things I need to work on.
Sure, it’s also a matter of making healthy choices: drinking water instead of soda, eating foods that aren’t processed or high in sugar and trans-fats, cutting out HFCS, chewing food slowly and mindfully, getting a little bit of exercise...
But I truly believe the most important component is the mental/emotional. The heaviest I’ve been has always been when I was trying to hide from the world, whether it was after a date-rape, after my father died, after I was attacked by a burglar/stalker or while dealing with an ovarian cyst the size of my head. I put on a protective layer of padding until I was ready to reclaim my strength and drop the protective armor--- which I quickly did once I did the emotional work.
My general comments from over a year ago are still bothering you, so I think it’s pretty safe to say you think you’re fat and you’re unhappy about it. Sure, you can take it personally, play the victim and get mad at the world... but the truth is, even if you magically woke up a size 2 tomorrow that would not resolve the issue, the true root of the problem.
While it’s true that sometimes obesity has a genetic component, it’s largely a result of a sedentary lifestyle coupled with unhealthy eating habits, and emotional factors (like emotional over-eating).
On the small chance that it is a health issue in your case--- what are you doing about it? What did you do when you “suddenly” gained an extra 25 lbs, an extra 50lbs?
Which leads me to the more likely culprit, and that is the emotional component.
I know some big beautiful ladies who make me feel like an inadequate specimen of womanhood; they ooze confidence and sex appeal from every pore and carry themselves with strength and grace. They are shining examples of what it is to be comfortable in your own skin.
Any lover or friend worth having in your life is not going to care about your dress-size--- they’ll just want to see you happy and healthy. You’re better off shedding the excess emotional baggage than you are focusing solely on weight-loss.
Basically, what I’m saying is: get over it.
Do something. Do the internal work. It’s difficult, it’s painful, and nobody wants to do it, but it’s absolutely worth it! Sure it would be easier if you had a job/better job/nicer house/more time...whatever...it’s never going to be a perfect time or a convenient time.
Or...you can just go back to sitting in front of the computer with a pint of Häagen-Dazs and bitch about how a stranger across the country singled you out of several thousand other women she’s never met, and called you fat.
Infamous CoatCheck Girl