I am really tired of hearing fat people complain about body shaming. You, as a fat person, have done the ultimate shame to your body. You ruined it. You were given the ultimate tool for adventure, comfort, and transportation that the earth provides and you made it damn near worthless.
I'm sure some sensitive fatty is going to read this and say, "How dare you! You don't know my life. You don't know how healthy or unhealthy I really am." Well, let me just say this. I do know because I am a fat person. I have spent the majority of my life overweight. There was a 5-year period when I was in the Marine Corps that I wasn’t fat. Guess what? That was the only time in my life that I was happy with my body. Even then my fellow Marines would poke fun at me for not being as tone as they were or for not being able to do as many pull-ups as they could do. Did it bother me? Sure. Did it push me to work harder? You bet it did. Maybe you need to be shamed. Maybe you need to quit living in denial, and realize that you would be a healthier and happier person if you didn't let your body go to waste.
Let’s look at some numbers. There are over 320 million American Citizens. Over 110 million are obese. Not overweight but obese. Only 3-4 % have thyroid issues which mean that only 12-13 million have a legitimate excuse for their obesity. Taking that into consideration, 97-98 million people are fat because they choose to be.
Choice is an interesting word for me to use. If someone were to ask me if one day I just decided that I was going to be fat, I would of course say that was ridiculous. Overtime though, I did make the choices that brought me to this point. I ate like shit. I watched TV or drank alcohol instead of going outside for exercise or activities. If you were to ask me, “Mitch, tomorrow would you rather be fat or in shape?” I bet my answer, my choice, wouldn’t be much different than the other 110 million fatties in America. “I want to be in shape!”, I would exclaim.
Unfortunately, I am lazy, and shameless. You see, there isn’t a bully, a doctor, or a youtube comment that has shamed me enough to make a change. There haven’t been enough uncomfortable airplane or bus seating arrangements that have made me think, “God, I need to make a change”. I am lazy, fat, and for quite some time, I have been comfortable with this.
I needed shame. I needed to experience something to put me in check, and maybe, this year I have begun to feel that much needed shame.
Where to start? There is, of course, my current trip to Costa Rica. Costa Rica has been full of shame. Not intentionally, and not by people. Not directly anyway. The thing about being a fat American and visiting another country is that you soon realize that fat is the American way. Things here in Costa Rica aren’t made for fat people. Whether it is sitting in a chair that I spill over, or not relaxing in a hammock due to the fear of it collapsing under my weight, there are a lot of things here that remind me that I am not the size I am supposed to be. Places for relaxation shamed my body.
I tried surfing. I snowboard occasionally and while my being out of shape has certainly made snowboarding more difficult it has never prevented me from staying up on the board and making my way down the mountain. Surfing, while I won’t say is impossible for a fat person, is probably one of the most humbling thing I have ever done as a fatty. First of all, it takes place at the beach which means your shirt is coming off. I swear, if my life was a reality show there would be a no-topless clause in the contract. As it is, this isn’t a show, and I have no contracts so the shirt comes off. Unlike snowboarding, you don’t start by standing on the surf board. You have to push yourself up. I couldn’t do it. Surfing shamed my body.
I went to Six Flags earlier this year. It had been about 9 years since I had gone to an amusement park. I had gained some weight since then, and this time I had a slight suspicion that there would be an uncomfortable moment where I wouldn’t fit in the harness for the roller-coaster. The first three rides went without incident. Then I got on a free-fall ride and when the attendant pushed the harness down there was a slight “uh-oh” moment and the harness didn’t quite reach. I scooted back a little, improved my posture, and sucked it all in…CLICK. Crisis averted. Then came Batman. The Dark Knight has always been one of my favorite super heroes, so I was pumped for this ride. I sat down, next to a girl I was with, and the attendant pushed down. His eyes widened like he had just seen a ghost. He pushed down again, and that’s when I noticed that it wasn’t even close. The look on his face made me think that maybe this wasn’t the first time that this had happened, and that the previous fatty didn’t handle the situation so well. He stammered “I-I’m sorry, Sir. It’s not going to latch.” I cheerfully replied, “It’s okay, buddy. I figured it was going to happen on more than just one ride.” That was true. I did think it was possible. I just hoped that it wouldn’t happen. I really hoped that it wouldn’t happen on my favorite super heroes ride, but it did. I couldn’t ride Batman. Batman shamed my body.
I think the one thing that could have made an impact just never happened. Women never stopped having sex with me. If I’m happy with being lazy and gluttonous, and enough women still find me charming enough to grin and bear it, then why should I make a change? Ultimately, what has stuck with me wasn’t a woman that rejected me, but one that welcomed me with open arms. I hesitate to mention this publicly because I don’t want to seem braggadocios. Quite the opposite, actually, it was very humbling. I had sex with a woman. It was good sex. She had an orgasm, and then after, as she laid next to me she said, “wow, you fuck good for a fat guy”. I just said, “uh, thanks” as I didn’t really know how to reply. I think she had a moment of realization in that maybe what she said wasn’t as complimentary as she intended, and she said, “I mean, you fuck good for any size. Not just a fat guy. I was just surprised.” Eh, it didn’t really help. The point was made, and it stuck with me. She liked me, a lot. I liked her. I couldn’t ever get that thought out of my head though. Regardless of how charming I was. Regardless of how smart and engaging I was in conversation. Regardless of how well I performed sexually. No matter what, I was a “fat guy”. Sex Shamed my body.
So now what? I don’t know. I’m 35 years old. It’s certainly not too late for me to make a change, and as I stated earlier, if given the choice of being fat tomorrow or in-shape, I would choose in-shape every time. It can’t happen tomorrow though. It takes time, discipline, and commitment. Time is something that I have plenty of, but it is the discipline and commitment that have always been shortcomings of mine. I would like to tell you to subscribe and follow along for weekly updates, but I can’t promise that. I have become this way because I am this way. Change is hard. I think it would be worth it. Despite looking like I only enjoy drinking beer and sitting on the couch, there are so many things in this life that I still want to enjoy and partake in that would be not only more enjoyable, but for some of them, only possible if I do lose weight.
I guess we’ll see what happens. Now that getting in shape is something that I am saying in writing that I would like to do ,I hope that I can actually make the changes to accomplish it. If not, well, that would be a real shame.