**Warning: Weight Loss / Dieting / Eating Habit Related**
Over time it’s been mentioned, by quite a few people I spend time with, that I don’t actually eat very much; it’s clear from their surprise, ‘…for a fat bird’ is probably the silent/unspoken conclusion to that sentence. And no, I probably don’t, maybe not in comparison to my very skinny mate Callum - who has a crazy sweet tooth, he can eat ice cream by the gallon and also eats packet after packet of pork scratchings washed down with lots of booze, or to my average weight brother - who probably eats 6-8 packets of crisps a day, drinks lots of fizzy pop and is the fussiest eater I know, or even to my (until recent months) chubby sister who simply just loves her grub. They may not be choosing the healthiest options but I’ve never policed them because they have the right to autonomy and who the hell am I to judge anyway? the answer: nobody.
It’s not as cut and dried as people seem to think it should be or is because there are a whole bunch of factors in what makes someone particularly fat or thin, sometimes it’s about metabolism, sometimes it’s about what it is they’re actually consuming, the amount they intake or lack of/lots of exercise, genetic predisposition, the result of a health condition, and sometimes, those other times, I’m sure it’s about something else altogether.
I just hate when people assume someone is fat because they eat lots of junk food, are gluttonous or lazy, aren’t educated enough about nutrition or diet, hate sports or exercise, blah blah blah, all that bull, the labels and assumptions; people are so judgmental, they don’t even seek the facts before they condemn. Why is being skinny more socially acceptable, even if you’re potentially still unhealthy?
Don’t let that person or those kids in the street, who directed some nasty commentary your way, get to you too much. I used to, but now I don’t, I dislike them intensely at the time but afterwards, when I put it in perspective, I feel sorry for them, I accept that they are part of a society that breeds hatred. Ask yourself this: will companies benefit more or less from a society with balanced self-esteem? Personally I think they wouldn’t because then we’d cease being such profitable consumers; we wouldn’t buy into their marketing as often as so many of us do, myself included. It’s fundamentally wrong for people to embarrass, shame and hurt you - but consider this: they essentially saw it as ‘calling you out’, they wanted to make an example of you, seeking the reassurance that keeping you in your place maintains their elevated status, they are reminding themselves and society that they ‘fit in’ they are acceptable and you aren’t. They are protecting that ideal, they are protecting the faith they benefit from, because in some cases the fight against ‘fat’ can be the leveler someone needs; maybe they have low self-esteem in a lot of other areas of their life, perhaps they don’t have a lot of money, they’re badly educated, they’ve made some bad choices/mistakes… who knows, but they’re the good guy when it comes to the issue of weight - they’re getting it right, sure they may smoke forty a day, have the clap, be in a min wage dead-end job they hate, but thank goodness for small mercies, they’re not fat.
Don’t you just hate, when people say, in regards to your weight/weight loss, that they just worry/care about your health? I always feel cowed by it, I feel bad knowing they’re worrying about me, that I might be causing them undue pain or concern, but then I snap out of it and want them to step the fuck off for the following reasons. Maybe they don’t realise it but that ultimately suggests you’re more unhealthy than them and/or that they check all the boxes so they have enough time to ignore their own health issues and worry about yours, it also implies that you need some sort of intervention, someone to goad you or guilt you into changing your ways, the same way an addict might be treated.
Here’s my inner debate: Where do we draw the line? the line between [acts of interference, driven by caring for and genuinely wanting the best for someone] and [allowing an individual to freely make their own choices and do as they please even at the potential detriment to their health / lifespan] - begging the base question, when can others intervene in your life?
The problem with interference is it can be back-handed, for instance, I decide I fancy a wee cake and want to happily enjoy it but my buzz is killed by a member of my family as they point out that it’s fatting and a repeated intake of similar foodstuffs could lead to diabetes, heart disease, etc. etc. Is that right or wrong? Say it’s really upset me and made me unhappy that they wouldn’t let me alone to enjoy my treat, perhaps I rarely eat cakes and sweet things and they are ‘preaching to the converted’ because I’m already fat are they automatically entitled to stop me from enjoying that cake anyway? If yes, ergo, they are basically allowed to make me unhappy so I will be a level of ‘healthy’ that is to their liking? Put another way, is the ‘cruel to be kind’ stance really the way to go or do you resolutely leave an individual alone to do as they choose, even if that could result in them developing an associated disease or condition? Of this, I’m still uncertain but I won’t stop searching for answers even if it comes down to matter of opinion.
In conclusion, I look to my past and see a trail of ‘bad experiences’ peppered along the way but I have no regrets; for example, I’m strangely glad I got bullied at school because I think in many ways I’m better off for it. Now those experiences are neither negative nor positive they are solely truth, they are a vital part of who I’ve become, it just so happens I’ve also become fat. I know I’m fat and I accept that, there’s nothing at all wrong with it. Though ultimately I don’t really enjoy being fat, I find it to be unfairly hard work and therefore it’s distracting, especially as (similarly as occurs with pregnant women), people appear to see an invisible sign above our heads (akin to those seen on the back of trucks or lorries) asking, ‘how do you think I’m doing? please, give me feedback’; purely driven by appearance, others are encouraged to give their opinions too freely. Therefore, I find myself straining against the prescribed normatives, attempting to broaden perspectives thereby allowing others to adapt their thinking, and as a result, I spend a lot of time feeling no doubt much like sisyphus pushing that bloody great big boulder up a big ol’ hill; I have other priorities I’d prefer to focus on now. I’m on a journey and this is where I’m at right now but (like Doctor Sam Beckett) I find myself leaping from place to place, striving to find my home in a world full of possibilities; who knows where I’ll end up next.