Nov 11, 2010

Is Being Fat OK?

I just read a blog by Steph in the City about a Marie Clare blogger who railed against fat people. If you want to read the original MC blog, Steph has a link to it.  This is going to be more of a commentary about obesity and society.

It's in the news all the time. The latest dither has been about airlines dealing with obese customers who take up way more space than their paid-for seat.  Then there was the fast food restaurant employee who sued his employer because he got fat while working there and eating the restaurant's food.  And then there was...  You get the idea.

I deal with obese patients all day long at work.  I have seen thousands and thousands of overweight and obese individuals, and I feel comfortable with the following statement:  99% of obese people are fat because they are lazy. That doesn't mean that these people aren't stellar employees, loving partners and parents, or pillars of their communities.  It means that they are fat because they didn't give any effort to their bodies.  Lazy.  It's hard to choose veggies over cheesecake.  It takes effort to stop relaxing at home and instead put on sneakers and go for a walk around your neighborhood.  It is take diligence and focus to read labels and say "no" to quick, easy fast food.  It takes heart.  It takes will power.  And most of all, it takes energy!  Energy that people are choosing to spend elsewhere and not on their health.

I know of which I speak.  I am overweight.  I am fat.  Not chubby, not pleasingly plump, not carrying a little extra junk in the trunk.  Fat.  I am fat because I am lazy.  I am not fat due to some extremely rare metabolic or endocrine disorder.  I am fat because I am lazy.  Every inch of fat on my ass first passed my lips as a food choice.  I choose to eat foods that aren't nutritious.  I am fat because I'm lazy.  I choose to slack off on exercise and going to the gym.  I'm not depressed.  I'm not struggling with "issues."  I am fat because I'm lazy.  I'm not so busy that I couldn't find time to care for my body.  Anyone who says they're too busy is full of shit because I have a house full of kids, two jobs, I'm a college student, and I volunteer at my kids' school, and I still could find the time and energy to take care of myself.  I am fat because I'm lazy.

That's a hard thing to hear sometimes... that we choose not to take care of ourselves.  It's not like you magically got fat overnight.  Health is something that you've deprioritized your whole life.  But you know better, you know what you should be doing, and you just don't do it.  That's lazy.  You'd rather do something else.  Or do nothing at all.

The MC blogger said something to the effect that she is grossed out by fat people.  You know what?  Me too.  That doesn't mean that I hate fat people.  Fat people are still people.  However, I work in close proximity to obese patients, and I can attest to this: when you are obese, you smell.  Some much more than others, but there is an inescapable odor that is produced when skin cells are shed into a confined space with little/no oxygen.  Basically, you're shedding skin cells into your fat rolls, and the natural skin bacteria are going to town, causing a stink.  It's not the same as BO from your armpits.  It's gross.  It's that "cheese" goo.  You know what I'm talking about.   It reeks!

So, to answer the title question of this blog, NO, being fat is not OK.  It's unhealthy.  Fat is not our natural state of being.  It's not OK to make fat a political issue.  It's not OK to be all sensitive about your weight.  It's not a birthmark or congenital abnormality that you were born with.  No one feels sorry for you.  It's not OK to consider "fat" a protected class of people like racial or ethnic minorities.  You are fat because of your choices.  Sorry, but that's a fact.  No one made you fat.  There's no one to blame but you.  Obesity is the current state of your body, and that's kind of great news.  It's not permanent.  It's not your identity.  If you are fat, only YOU can do something to change it.  It's possible.  It's not some pipe dream, so don't resign yourself for being obese.  Own your current state of being.  Truly own how you got yourself into this mess.  You can't fix a problem until you acknowledge it, so buck up, grow a spine, get some sound nutrition and exercise guidance, and just go for it!  So what if you have a few hiccups along the way?  You're taking care of yourself!  You're choosing YOU!  You're saying, "Fuck you, laziness!  I'm gonna win!"  It's a long, arduous process, so you have to decide: Am I willing to give up being lazy?  Am I willing to make the necessary changes to become healthy?

I'm right there with you.

1 comment:

Stephanie Faris said...

Well, obviously I said my part of this, but I have battled my weight all my life. It's not easy. I'd love to be able to eat whatever I want, whenever I want. But I want to be thin to be accepted by society.

With so much of our population being overweight and obese, I think it's becoming more "normal" than we'd like to think.