Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Fat Man Walking

One more tidbit on my awesome husband - yesterday he said the most wonderful thing to me on my way out...

"Wow - you're looking slimmer, no?"



I caught the last bit of the Today Show before I was heading out the door this morning, and saw the piece about "Fat Man Walking".  This guy plans to walk across America in an attempt to lose weight, for what he calls "rehab for the fat guy". 

What stayed with me was his comment:

"If you want to disappear in America, gain 100 pounds."

From Steve's site:

Being fat is physically and emotionally painful.  It diminishes the quality of the good things in life and it will ultimately bring about an early demise.  So being overweight darkens every good thing that you achieve in your life and even prevents some things from happening at all. 

For the last 15 years I have been slowly gaining weight and it seems that whatever I do, it just spirals ever upward. Socially, being fat is hard to deal with because I feel that am looked down upon by people even when they are not doing so maliciously. It may be human nature. You know, "survival of the fittest". Also, I feel as though I am being taken advantage of by  companies and people that want fat people to buy their latest "miracle pill" or prepackaged food that will help me lose the weight.

I've touched on this before, but one of the things I hate most about being overweight is the way you're treated by people.  I read an article in Glamour Magazine (the last issue, whatever it was) that was equally disturbing. 

An average sized woman went into several different stores and noted how she was treated by the employees at each store.  Then, she donned "fat pads" and big clothes having the effect of being around 100 lbs overweight, and the difference in treatment stunned her.  People ignored her, were rude, and one woman even made a comment questioning why she'd even shop in a store that would NEVER carry her size.  (I wish they would have printed the name of that store...)

I've been overweight for the past 8 years, ever since Kayla was born.  I've lost 60 lbs, gained it and lost it a couple more times, and now that I've found a plan that really works, I've lost 50 so far, with about 30-40 to go.  I am fully aware of how differently I'm treated being overweight versus my athletic, slim self.  What ticks me off beyond all reason is that I am exactly the same person inside, heavy or not.  Now that I'm the "incredible shrinking woman" as my friend has said, I'm noticing a distinct difference in how I'm treated now versus 50 pounds ago.

Another thing that amazes me is the lack of understanding.  I claim full responsiblity for losing control of my weight, my health and my fitness, but I didn't plan to do this.  I never made the conscious decision to let my weight get out of control.  I never planned to have severe asthma, be on months of nasty steroids, and all the rest.  Now that I'm healthier, I'm actively doing something about it, just like Steve is, but there are a few points I'd like to make.

Fat people are not all generally lazy people.  Yes, some are, but there are also underlying medical conditions, medications, genetics, etc. that contribute to that.  These conditions can cause weight gain, which in turn causes more health problems, until it spirals out of control.  As in my case, many steroid asthma medications can cause wieght gain and increased appetite.  Arthritis treatments do as well.  Thyroid conditions and medicines also can cause weight gain.  Poorly controlled medical conditions also restrict the amount of exercise one can do, ie asthma, arthritis, thyroid conditions, and chronic pain.  Depression can lead to weight gain.  Some birth control medications have been known to contribute to weight gain and increase in appetite.  There are just so many reasons people get fat - its not all laziness or eating too much.

I know I've said this before, but its worth repeating - obesity is one of the last remaining conditions where the victim is blamed for the disease.  Shoot, we don't do that to alcoholics and drug addicts, why continue to blame fat people for their condition?  Alcoholics and addicts can stop using to treat their illness, its not like fat people can stop eating. 

The rant continues...

I can't imagine what goes through people's heads to make them treat overweight people so badly.  I'm sure the same thing that goes through people's heads when they're evil to homosexuals or those who are racist, or anyone who's different than them.  Maybe its ignorance (although that's becoming a poor excuse), maybe it is human nature as Steve says, but most of all, its not right.

(rant complete)

Anyway, be sure to check out Steve's Site if you get a chance - he's got a link for a yahoo group on there so you can post supportive messages.  You can also check his route and walk with him through your area - he loves visitors to break up the monotony.  I think its a wonderful brave thing he's doing - its ended up raising awareness as well as helping him out.  He's an inspiration. 


On a similar thread...I once went on one single date with a jerk who said that he was appalled by an "ugly chick" who hit on him, and then even more so by a "fat chick".  His response was "how dare they go out of their league like that - they should know better".  Because apparently in his book, there was some unwritten law that only good looking people can hit on each other, and ugly/fat/average people need to stay with their own. 

That sounds frighteningly like a racist talking about interracial marriage or something.

(SIDENOTE:  I recently heard of a dating website for "pretty people only".  Apparently you submit your pic to a panel of reviewers who then decide if you meet the "pretty people" requirement.  If not, you can't post your personals ad.  LOL  If anyone finds this site, we should get together and slam them with "average" people pics - maybe that'll skew the results a bit!)

Oh!  One more memory about that same jerk - he was also disgusted by a gay guy who was checking him out at the gym.  What is it with homophobic guys who think that EVERY gay man wants them?  Clue in - you guys are NOT what they're looking for.  They're much more selective than you think. 

Amazing how you can get totally turned off by a guy in less than half an hour.  What an idiot.  In light of my earlier rant, maybe I just answered my own question. 


Final thought (just because I'm a total brat)...remember when Bush said he'd fire whoever leaked the CIA identity?

Think Karl Rove'll get canned?  HAHAHAHAHA!  Now, when they're reminded of that promise, they call it "blatant partisan" politics.  I love it.


OK now I'm really done - boy, I'm on a tear today, huh!

Happy Tuesday!!


jmorancoyle said...

    Excelent rant! I agree. I'm fat and I really don't want to bothered with outwardly beautiful people who feel the way that man did. (I think his feelings actually have more to do with his own shortcomings and his flawed outlook of himself.) Now throwing Dr. Phil aside for now, it's what inside that counts.

emmapeeldallas said...

I linked here from Mrs. L and just want to say, I love your blog and your rants!  Please keep posting.


mikethedawg said...

Hey Kris! Just catching up and wanted to say hI! My thoughts are with you on your journey...still luv that Louie in all his awesomeness. Louie rocks.
As you know this weight thing is such a touchy subject for me as well...just know that you are beautiful either way you come. The people who don't see that...well, they are shallow and have bad manners. (psst..we don't need those kind of shallow people in our life.)
Hugs! And know that "your face is the most beautiful" - just a line from a little slip of paper I have on my computer at work that some thoughtful person gave to me a while back.