I was watching something on TV this morning, before I came to work, and they were (once again) going on-and-on about 'Fat People'. It really pissed me off (how unusual these days for something to do that to me :) ).
Don't get me wrong, I understand how it's not healthy to be morbidly obese (although further on down this page you will find a contradiction to that whole 'theory') and believe me, as a fat person I know it's not nice to look in the mirror and see a heffer staring back at you, but I am sick-to-death of people judging every single fat person they see, calling them a drain on the NHS, and being downright nasty about them. They don't look at the slim, attractive people and judge them as drains on anything and believe me, I have far more slim, healthy people in my circles who have taken up far more of the NHS services, than I have overweight ones.
I, myself, have been overweight for most of my life. As a kid I was told it was "puppy-fat" that would disappear when I became a teenager - It didn't. Back when I was a child we didn't have ''fast-food' outlets, and numerous other 'junk food' mediums. Yes, there were crisps, chocolate bars (which used to be far bigger than they are now) and fizzy drinks, and on occasion I did eat some of these (not often though as my parents did not have the money for such 'treats'). In fact I was bought up eating properly - my Mum grew most of our veg and she cooked 'proper' food for us to eat. Oddly, there wasn't the same level of obesity back then as there is now (probably because we were all out playing from dawn-to-dust) and I do think 'society' has a role to play. There are also many, many other factors.
I'm going to use women as examples, because I am one (allegedly) however, I am sure exactly the same principals can also be applied to the males out there.
As I've said above, I was brought up eating well. Every morning I was sent out with breakfast - either a bowl of cereals or boiled egg with soldiers, a glass of fruit juice (squeezed that morning, not from a carton) and a cup of tea - all of this without sugar. Lunchtime (if I was at school) was a sandwich (either cheese or ham) and a couple of pieces of fruit (during holidays I never went home for lunch so would go all day without food). Dinner was meat and veg in different guises (although on a thursday in the summer we would have a mixed grill, in the winter a bowl of stew with some dumplings) and Mondays we had cold meat (from what was left over from our Sunday roast) and chips (yes, we really did have a 'routine). My days when not at school were spent outside, playing, as were mky evenings after school. We had local woods to us and from the age of 4 little groups of us would head up to them, spending our day building dens, climbing trees and all the things so many kids these days no longer know how to do. Yet, there I was, still a chubster (I did visit a doctor in my early 20's to see if there was any reason for it - I kept a food/exercise diary which he went through with a fine tooth comb, telling me there was no way I should be overweight with what I was consuming, finishing with the words "you're obviously just meant to be a 'big old bird' (those were his exact words)". This didn't help me much when I was putting on more weight than was good for me. At the time I was still walking everywhere, living in an apartment with 90 stairs from the ground floor to my front door; there was no lift/elevator in the building, and I had to climb these several times a day. The dog was walked for at least 3 miles each day - yet still I couldn't shift the weight which was piling on; there was no medical reason for it either. These days I can understand a little more as I don't tend to eat quite as well and do use the car more than I should, but even then my intake is only just over my outtake. Yet still, they judge. I'm sure you will find 99% of overweight people are also living very active lives.
People look at us 'fatties' as being lazy, slovenly people who do nothing all day. In my case that could not be further from the truth. I am on-the-go in my job for a minimum of 10 hours a day, 6 days a week (often 7 days). I'm not sitting at home watching daytime TV, gorging on junk food and takeaways (I can't afford to) yet when people look at me, I can tell that's what they are thinking I do - everyone judges and it makes me sick.
The whole being a drain on the NHS is another fallacy. In my 48 years on this planet, my whole medical history fits onto just ONE page of my doctors computer screen (that's including all my childhood immunisations as well). I just don't go to the doctors. In fact I've been more times in the past 3 years than in the previous decade. One of those was to have a lump checked, one was for my chickenpox earlier this year (and then I had to be forced to go) the other for a medical check-up that you get offered when you reach a certain age. That check-up includes blood tests, sugar tests, cholesterol tests, all things which in someone my size should be way off the charts - each and every one of them was spot on where it should be. The nurse actually told me my body is perfectly in tune with itself and that I have the "inner workings of a 20 year old olympic athlete" (obviously I ate her!!) So, you could be a size 8 gym bunny, health freak, and you could look at me and think "fat bitch, what a drain on the NHS and society she is" when in fact, I am most likely fitter and healthier than you.
As a kid I was told "Never judge a book by it's cover". Those are such wise words I wish more people paid heed to. I've told you some of my story, why/how I am a fatty, yet that doesn't count for all of it, for everyone else out there. You/we have no idea what someone else may be going through. It's weird to me really, for someone suffering anorexia will have all the medical help available thrown at them, yet an obese person is told to "diet". What if they have been through the same (or worse) as the person who is anorexic, yet instead of starving themselves to look better (or even as self punishment) they have chosen to eat more? The anorexic isn't told to go away and eat something, so why is the overweight person sent away being told to join a health or slimming club? How about those people who cut themselves? Both of these (anorexia and obesity) are forms of self-harm also, yet again, the fat person will be told to do something about it, whereas the person cutting themselves will be offered help to stop them, the anorexic also being helped along the way. The alcoholic, the drug addict, the list is endless, all of whom will have help thrown at them, while the fatty, once again is told to join a slimming club. Why should they be treated differently? Aren't they also suffering from some kind of mental illness, addiction or self loathing? Don't get me wrong on that, I'm not saying they are all unhappy and hate themselves - some of the happiest people I know, are also the fattest people I know, however, I also know those same people are often smiling like the cheshire cat on the outside, while breaking apart on the inside. Then to be judged by their peers, to have themselves berated by others, just adds to their issues.
How do the "experts" know the person is fat just because they choose to eat the wrong things. How do they not know that woman they've just sent away with a leaflet on slimming clubs wasn't abused as a child and her way of dealing with what she were put through is to gorge. She may want to make herself unattractive to other's so that she is left alone. Did anyone think of that? How about the 14 year old who was raped by her boyfriends friend because he wanted (but couldn't have) her, years after she'd been bullied at junior school by girls who hated how the boys all paid attention to her - not because she was a stunner, or exceptionally thin, but because she had a great personality and knew how to interact with them on their level. How is she meant to feel? Suddenly she knows boys/men are looking at her objectively and she realises the only way to stop them is to deliberately make herself unattractive, in the hope then that only boys/men who are not shallow enough to look at the surface will want her (she'll believe, they then, want her for who she is and not how she looks). Say she meets that someone, starts to look after herself then because she has what she needs, and one night she says "not tonight, dear" and that someone who she believes in a 'good guy' because he took her on when she was visually repulsive to other's, isn't such a good guy, and he then forces her into giving him what he wants, sending her mind spiralling back to that day, 3 years ago when she was raped for the first time. How do you know that 'fat' person you have just judged isn't trying to escape from the world and all the predators in it, or hoping that one day someone will come along and love them for who they are, not how they look?
I know from personal experience that being overweight means you only attract certain "types". Those who have a bit of a fettish for fatties, those who see a single fatty as being desperate, therefore, they believe they can get her/him to do whatever they want and will use them for their own ends; those who are fat themselves so think choosing a fat woman is a good idea as at least you'll have something in common, and those who (in my case at least) see a single fat female with her own business and think they can get in with her so they can fleece a living from her - apparently being fat and single means we are also desperate to be loved!! It is very rare to find a guy who is interested in a fat woman based purely on who she is (and I'm sorry if you think that makes me as bad because I'm actually being judgemental with that statement, but that has been my experience, and the experience of every other single fat woman I know or have spoken to, so I have to base my thoughts on that on the majority - especially when I've yet to come across the minority).
I know it's not nice to see a fatty wandering down the street, their belly hanging over their leggings (or even worse in the summer, their shorts!!). It's not nice to stand behind them in a shop when they're in a vest top, their back fat overhanging, their flabby arms slapping about (yes, I am thinking of myself when I say these things although I never go sleeveless, always make sure my tops are longer than my bum so you don't see my overhang, and try to make sure my tops are loose enough for you not to see my back far - not everyone is like me though; some people really don't give a shit what you may think of them (I so admire those people)) but for a moment, rather that judge and feel disgusted, ask yourself what might have happened to the person you're berating or having negative thoughts about, and remember - no matter how bad you think they may look when you see them, each time they look in the mirror they'll be far more disgusted at what they see then you could ever possibly imagine.