We’re becoming a world of fat people. By 2035 it’s estimated that more than half of us will be overweight or even obese.
This is already creating the perfect storm of excuses for everyone in love with condemning how others live their lives.
You know the type. The goody two-shoes. The moral fanatics. The holier-than-thous. The people that gets invited to a BBQ and bring an undressed salad.
Because nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.
And nothing feels better than that sweet, sweet delusion that it’s up to you to judge and dictate how others live their life.
Ban sugary drinks! Force stores to move the candy isle as far away from the cash registers as possible! Increase the tax on processed foods! Make sure everyone knows how bad it is to be fat!
We’ll all be thin and blissful once the right policies are in place and everyone accepts being fat is both dumb and shameful.
For the greater good.
What do we need to do to shut these people up?
I’ve been fat for most of my life. And not a day has gone by that I was unaware of this fact. From being bullied at school to going to the doctor as an adult, for something completely unrelated to my big belly but still having to sit through a lecture about my weight.
More than anything, I can see my reflection in the mirror. I know every inch of my body and how it looks. I see the folds and creases. Yes, I’ve noticed how much smaller my penis looks when I’ve gained weight, or how much bigger it seems once I’ve shed enough pounds (still could’ve been bigger).
This is my life. Not my whole life, but a part of it.
Even great looking people wants to look better.
Not even perfect tens wake up one day and says, ”Gosh darn it, I’ve had enough! Let’s relax a bit with this perfect hair, teeth, body and ass situation.”
Leave some for the rest of us, won’t you?
All kidding aside, both you and I got a gym membership to look better. Sure, a fuzzy perception of something called health might have been a part of it. But health is so strongly associated with looking good, that there’s hardly a difference.
Beautiful people don’t get sick; they indulge in the fountain of youth and laugh death in the face.
Ugly people, on the other hand.
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame probably got covid-19 almost two centuries before it even existed.
Confusing beauty with health is as old as time. And it makes the already unfair playing field that much more unfair.
Strike that. Fairness has nothing to do with it. Neither has luck. It is what it is, more like it. Nature versus nurture – with probably thousands of small but significant variables in both camps to make for a potent cocktail. And we’re all drinking it.
I’m fat, and I sure as hell know why.
I’ve loved food since I was a toddler. And I’ve always been an expert at not overexerting myself.
I’m fat because the thrill of eating the best ingredients cooked in the best possible ways, kind of always beat even sex (don’t tell my wife).
Why this is, only a fool would claim to have the complete and final answer for.
Some people go their whole lives never looking at food as anything more than fuel, staying thin without having to think about it.
I’m also fat because I choose to be. Because the alternative seems worse to me. Because starving myself for months at end just to immediately regain all weight lost once I can’t take a life of boredom anymore. Because after decades of trying to fit in, I’ve decided to stop trying.
Life as I know it, is too tasty.
The thing is, I (mostly) get away with it. Because I workout, and it shows. Over the last decade I’ve managed to build some mass that isn’t fat, as well as some feats of strength that regular folks can’t comprehend (but world champion powerlifters would laugh at).
I’ve been told I’m not one of those lazy bastards that won’t even try. Those people who just sit on their asses, stuffing their faces – getting fatter by the hour. I’ve been told I’m not like them, and I guess that’s supposed to be a compliment.
It’s okay to pass judgement on them, since they are morally inferior to us. Or so the reasoning seem to go.
Like they don’t have their own struggles and demons. Like they aren’t victims of circumstances, just like you and I.
Like me going to the gym four or five times a week, makes me less sad when I think of what could’ve been, when the mirror hits me with the greatest hits of a middle aged man’s jiggly tummy, clearly visible no matter how dressed I am or how much I suck it in.
The ultimate issue people take with obesity, is that it’s so clearly visible compared to whatever else goes on inside the body and mind.
Being fat in public is an unwelcome reminder to others that life can be ugly.
My BMI is just under 40, which means I’m almost categorized as class 3 obese (formerly know as morbid obesity).
That’s the worst class, the final boss.
I’m sure I’ll get there one day. I’m not a quitter.
Heart disease and type 2 diabetes is in my future, but at the moment I suffer only the usual suspects. My joints hurt a lot (especially my knees); I snore and my sleep quality is low; walking up hills is a bummer, walking down again makes my knees ache even more; I get heartburn so bad that I sometimes puke; my blood pressure has anger issues; when people shiver because it is cold, I ask for a towel to wipe the sweat away; and I hate looking myself in the mirror.
Still won’t eat an undressed salad, though.
Oh yeah, I drink too much, too. At least according to any public health fanboy.
I’m a burden on civilized society.
If you are fat, you are too.
Lots of people want to help people like me. They call it caring, and say it’s out of kindness.
Maybe it is, in the same way an abusive father locks his daughter in the house, to protect her from boys.
Caring and kindness are dangerous drugs. And there’s not much people driven by it won’t do or say, consequences be damned. There’s too many overweight individuals in the world today. They need to be shown the error of their ways – they need to exercise more and be put on diets, along with a full redesign of society as we know it. Because both shaming and social planning always works as intended, at least it will this time.
I’m ranting, sort of. But I do believe that caring and kindness makes the world a worse place, day by day, for millions of fatsos like me.
Because almost everyone thinks a silver bullet exist, and that it’s worth sacrificing other people’s sense of agency in search of it. Since it’s just caring and kindness trying to solve the problems of us pot-bellied people.
Does this make me a part of the fat acceptance movement?
I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member, as Groucho Marx put it.
It’s great that obese people try to fight the social stigma of obesity, it truly is. But yeah, I’ve seen too much dumb shit from that side of the fence too.
All other things being equal, you’ll most likely die much younger if you’re severely overweight. Eating tasty shit from sunrise to sunset, is not an activity you do to score health points. It’s just not.
If I could choose to become thin in an instant, regardless of lifestyle, I would. Almost anyone would. (I say ”almost” because there’s always that one fool …)
Since I can’t, I choose to believe that things will change, if we just let them. They always do, if you haven’t noticed. Poor countries become richer. Advances in medicine and technology continue to improve our lives and life expectancy. And reports that claim more than half of the world’s population will be overweight by 2035, are just academic prophecies used as fuel for kind and caring people (not to mention fascists of all sorts, that view all forms of physical weaknesses, including being fat, as a cancer on society that needs to be eradicated).
As soon as time comes for this prophecy to be fulfilled, people won’t remember what it said anyway.
No matter how it goes, we’ll find new things to shame and judge each other for.
It’s the most human of things.
But don’t look to me for that. I’m busy having dinner.
And it’s delicious.
You’re free to join me if you leave all guilt and shame at the door. Just make sure to bring a good bottle or two of white Burgundy. It pairs so beautifully with dishes full of butter.
We can talk about lifting heavy shit at the gym, and how amazing life is when you focus on the things you love.