Tuesday, September 21, 2010

File Allocation Table? Or Just Plain FAT File?




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Another guest post by Dana


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I guess they're right ...


Wearing white after Labor Day is a fashion faux pas



Confession ...

I've lost 100 pounds ... twice. Once when I was in my early 20's, and then again 20 years later. Both times I've gained every pound of it back.

Losing weight has never been difficult for me - I've always been successful - but keeping it off? That's an entirely different story.

Now in my mid 40's, the impact of carrying around 100 extra pounds is magnified by age. A knee that was injured - and operated on - 6 years ago now causes me a great deal of pain and limits my activities. My body aches, creeks and cracks every morning as I put 250+ pounds of pressure on a skeletal structure meant to carry much less.

The emotional impact of the extra 100 pounds is equally painful. I try to walk with my head held high, but avoid glancing in mirrors or at my reflection in windows at all costs.

Sure, I get cat-calls - the ones intended to humiliate, not flatter. I have to gauge my ability to get through tight spaces so that I can avoid the embarrassment of knocking things over as my too large body attempts to squeeze through a too small space.

I don't have a difficult time finding someone willing to have sex with me ... as long as I can ignore the fact that they don't usually want to be seen in public with me. Seems "curves" are attractive in the bedroom, but somehow lose their appeal once you leave the house.

Of course, I have a great personality. Like most fat people I'm funny and I can draw male (and female) attention with my brash sexual innuendos. What skinny people don't know is that both of these are defense mechanisms finely honed by fat men and women everywhere.

I've been thin. I've reaped the benefits of a society set up to punish fat people for the unforgivable crime of eating too much, and reward thin people for ... well ... not eating too much.

When I was thin, I heard the fat jokes out loud, instead of overhearing the whispering as I walked by. Men would hold doors open for me rather than just letting them swing shut in my face. I always wondered how those same people would treat me as my fat self.

As improbable as it sounds, I am far more invisible to the world when I am fat than when I'm thin.

That said, this isn't a pity post. I know there is no secret to weight loss. It's a simple formula of eating fewer calories and exercising more - consistently. I may not like myself, but I don't feel sorry for myself. I am the way that I am because of the choices I make.

This post is a reminder - a reminder that fat people are no less deserving of your respect, courtesy and adoration. Unless you are willing to make fun of Jews, blacks, amputees, balding men, people in wheel chairs and anyone from West Virginia, you shouldn't make fun of the fatties.

... or we might just sit on you ...

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28 comments:

Lynette said...

Oh can we? I would love to sit on a few people....hey wait...don't go there.
But your right, the larger you are the more invisible you become.

Karen said...

I have lost over 100 pounds also and gained back about 30 of those. I also should lose a heck of a lot more. BUT I am so much more comfortable and happy and ME with the extra weight. I have always been large, but I have never had self esteem issues or negative experiences due to that fact. Sure, I don't like my thighs when I wear a bathing suit, but who does? I am sorry for your experiences. But I have never felt invisible and people always hold doors open for me.

Do you think it is the way the fat person presents or perceives his/herself or truly the way society reacts? Sure there will always be haters and negative people out there, but I has never been experience. And I honestly believe that is simply because I don't let it be my experience.

Love this post! It is something my friends and I talk about all the time!

Evil Twin's Wife said...

Don't think it's just heavy people who are singled out. Here are some actual comments people have made - to my face - and often more than once:

"Are you anorexic?"

"Why, you're no bigger than a popcorn fart."

"Do you ever eat?"

"You must diet and exercise continuously to be that small." (No, it's just my metabolism).

"You have REALLY SKINNY legs." (Really? I hadn't noticed).

"You should eat a sandwich or something."

Now, I would never, in a million years, make a comment to a heavy person, like "Damn, step away from the cheeseburgers!" But, it's A-OK to ask demoralizing questions to a thin person.

Matt-Man said...

Been there many times in my life. This time I ain't puttin' back on...probably. Cheers Dana!!

Lola said...

When I was in Junior High my Mom and I went on a diet plan together. I lost about 90 pounds and was the thinnest I've ever been. Back then I just didn't feel myself being thinner. Right now I'm in weight loss mode and I've lost about 60 pounds. This time it's different. I think it's my attitude. I'm loving the more stylish clothes and the compliments, and getting a hot girlfriend doesn't hurt either.

I recently read a book by Stacey Ballis, "Good Enough To Eat" for a book review on my blog. Yes, it's chick-lit, and I'm no longer a chick-lit virgin, but I actually enjoyed the book. I could easily relate to the main character. My review will post on Thursday. It's about a woman who loses half her weight, then loses her husband to a woman twice her size, then goes on a personal journey.

Raquel's World said...

Wow- I just posted a couple days ago about my "fat". So glad to know I'm not alone. This topic seems to be on everyones mind lately. Weird since people usually start worrying about fat at the start of swimsuit season. here we are..we made it past swimsuit season and fat is on our minds. Go figure.

Dana said...

Lynette, that invisibility factor is the strangest thing ...

Karen, I think there are a lot of factors. I do believe that if you don't walk with your head tall (fat OR thin) you become an easier target. I also think (generally) there is a social acceptance that fat is funny and that fat people are lazy and bring on taunting themselves. I mean seriously! If we didn't like being made fun of we'd stop stuffing our face with ice cream, right? I also believe there is a socioeconomic factor involved and the higher you are on the socioeconomic ladder, the more acceptable it is to be heavier.

Evil Twin's Wife, worse than being thing, you *are* from West Virginia! Yeah ... I know the taunting goes both ways. I've been guilty of it myself. That said, it's NOT the same.

Dana said...

Matt-Man, The focus is always on fat women, but I have no doubt fat men see many of the same behaviors.

Lola, CONGRATULATIONS! Actually, the physical side of this is motivating me to do something about the weight ... again ...

I don't want to be a 50 year old fat woman using the motorized carts at WalMart, and that is where I'm headed.

Raquel's World, well, we are nearing New Years Resolution time - maybe everyone is preparing for the annual "I'm going to live a healthy life style" proclamation!

Grant said...

When I lost weight and got in shape, my so-called friends started actually treating me as though I was more intelligent and as if my opinion carried more weight (har). It seems the assumption was that, since they were thin (despite drinking beer and eating healthy foods like chili cheese fries), they must be living a healthy lifestyle and exercising restraint, whereas my extra weight could only be because I was undisciplined and lazy. So when I lost the weight, that signaled to them that I had suddenly gotten my life in order.

Have you considered a heroin addiction as a means of losing weight?

Dana said...

Grant, so glad you are no longer an undisciplined and lazy pig, because now your comment has value!

I've been thinking more along the line of a crystal meth addition - or a tape worm - those needles are just too much for me ...

Real Live Lesbian said...

Grant, pass the heroin.

I'm with you, Dana. I'd never felt the effects of being overweight until I hit....well, the age I am now. And I don't want to be 50 and fat either.

I wish I hated ice cream and loved running. Or had ETW's and Cheeky Monkey's genes! But I don't.

A WW leader once told me that it was a blessing not to have that metabolism. Because I'd be like her and living on Snickers bars and Cokes. I'm much more likely to eat healthy because I am fat and trying to be healthier. Otherwise, I'd be a sugar junkie.

Slyde said...

i see what you're saying, but its hard not to make fun of other people when you are perfect like i am...

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I only LIVE in WV. I am NOT "from here". I was born and raised in the South, then lived in Kansas for a few years before becoming an implant to this hellhole.

Dana said...

Real Live Lesbian, ummmm ... I think that Weight Watchers leader was trying to brainwash you!

Slyde, and it's people like you who give us fatties something to strive towards ... kicking your ass ;)~

Evil Twin's Wife, you know what they say, "Once you go West By God you never go back!"

Gorilla Bananas said...

You're welcome to sit on me.

Charlene said...

Sometimes people accept their size and remain fat because they do not want to be noticed.

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

I lost a good 25 pounds a few years ago, then blew my back out...recently someone said 'marriage must be good, you are heavy again"

Made me cringe...Granted, I am a smaller frame than many, but all the weight sits in one place, right over my belt buckle...

Dana said...

Gorilla Bananas, uh-oh! Chubby chaser alert!!

Charlene, I know one of my reasons for returning to fat has to do with trust. I feel like (generally) I can trust those who befriend me in spite of my fat. When I'm thin I often wonder if those who show interest would offer the same attention if I were in my fat body.

Vinny "Bond" Marini, OUCH! Kind of like when my mom said to me last summer, "You look younger now that you plumped up again" ... yeah ...

Mike said...

PBS has a show (Nova?) about weight. It says your bodies metabolism is affected by your grandmothers access to food when she was pregnant with your mother. And your grandfathers access to food when he was around 11 years old. I can't remember if maternal or paternal made a difference.

I checked PBS and can't find the show.

Maggie said...

Part of the problem is that many people feel they have a right to comment on and criticize the bodies of (usually female) others no matter what size or shape they are. Some of this is masked as concern about health.

But what I really clicked on the comment link for was to take exception with the notion that some cat-calls are intended to flatter. Cat-calls are nothing more than a desperate cry for attention in the most annoying way possible. It's not flattery, ever.

k bare said...

i'm really just here to raise my hand too.
fattie here
and a damned hot fat chick at that

trust
yep
that's me. never really came across many people i could trust when i was thinner....

of course...then i get myself nutritionally together and everything else goes to hell.
oh well.
one day at a time.

Vivian78 said...

Wouldn't it be nice if eating chocolate made people lose pounds? If I ever invented/made chocolate like that I'd be richer than Bill Gates. Problem with pretty much all good food is that they're also bad for me hahaha

I remember my dad asking the doctor how to prevent heart disease and high cholestorol. Then the doctor said, "Don't eat anything that is yummy." That made me laugh so hard.

Dana said...

Mike, nothing better than being able to place blame on the deceased grandparents!

Maggie, exception noted ... although I do think there is a distinct difference in the intent of someone who "hollas" because they find you attractive and someone who "hollas" to belittle you, even though the end result is the same.

Dana said...

k bare, fat is definitely my choice of self-protection ...

Vivian78, I've pretty much resigned myself to participating in all things yummy and fun - which means I'll remain fat and go to hell!

wReggie said...

Great post Dana.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

oh, sigh...I am 5'5" and look great at 120# and am 25 over that now and even I don't like what I see but can't get motivated to exercise...I keep buying bigger belts but can't toss the too small ones yet...especially my pretty Brighton ones. I have one, silver links and Celtic knots with a dangly silver heart that used to dangle just over my 'sweet spot'...Ha, now I can't even get it to buckle! I keep saying I'll get in shape when I retire...will that be too late?

UBERMOUTH said...

Great post[but I did laugh,but I am tubby so I am allowed right?]

It's funny how on gets to an age where one worried less about age and more about the heart.

UBERMOUTH said...

* That should have read worries less about the bum...