Monday, November 21, 2005


What purpose does my fat serve? In my life, in the lives of the people I know?

Sometimes I feel like I know the purpose my fat serves in the lives of my thin friends: I am like reassurance...they are not as bad as me. I am non threatening. I will never steal their boyfriend. They can eat in front of me. Most men will look at them before they look at me.

With my fat friends, I am also a form of insurance. As long as someone else is fat with them, it makes them feel better. I know that if I even really lost weight, Emily would do her damnedest to lose weight as well, because no one wants to be fat all alone. We are all somewhat jealous and resentful when a friend loses weight.

What I am really trying to understand is why I have wrapped this adipose sweater around myself. What purpose is it serving for me? I read somewhere a long time ago that FAT was like an actual physical barrier that one puts up to protect themself from the world that no one is supposed to get through. Why can't I just decide to eat well and exercise, and then just do it? I must be fat for some psychological reason...and I would really like to know what those reasons are.

I refuse to believe that I have done this to myself simply because I like eating too much while watching movies.


Anonymous said...

"Adipose sweater"! Amazing. I love you girls! You have an amazing writing style.

Tim said...

For a lot of people it's laziness. It takes a lot of hard work to lose weight and then keep it off. My fiance' lost 80+ pounds in a two year period through Weight Watchers and it's always a struggle. Everyday she thumbs through her points book to see what she can eat. But, it works! She's kept it off for over a year and has never looked, or felt, better. I know it's hard (I'm a big guy) but it can be accomplished by everyone. Just put down the fried chicken, and go for a 20 minute walk everyday and it will slowly melt away.

kill said...

Hi -

I just started reading fattymcblog about a week ago, but a lot of what you have said has hit the nail on the head for me.

I've been able to let go of pretty much every other destructive behavior in my life: drinking, smoking. But eating? MAN. Forget the sweater; it has me like an adipose boa constrictor.

I'm at the point where I just keep shoveling food in my mouth, all the while wondering what the damn pay-off is. Makes me feel really lost.

floradoragirl said...

I have gone up and down with my weight over the years.
I don't think most of us choose to be fat. I don't think it's your fault, either.
There may be certain medical reasons you are heavy.
Maybe, a quick visit to the doctor for a thyroid test, and maybe working closely with a dietician (I don't know if that is covered in the states)
Take baby steps.
I used to be a chain smoker. I wanted to quit for so many years but I was unable to butt out.
Eventually, I hit on a great reason why I wanted to quit, and I did. I haven't smoked a cigarette in 10 years.
From what I read on your post, it sounds like you need to find a motivation to lose the weight. It doesn't matter what it is, something that will help you reach your goals.
It's not easy to lose weight, but don't be too hard on yourself.
Take care, and don't beat yourself up! You have to start loving yourself enough to lose the weight.
Hugs, Jennie

Christi Nielsen said...

I hate to admit it, but I was one of those who used to like being with someone fat because I didn't worry about what I looked like. And now I'm the fat one. My step-mother tries to keep me fat by constantly putting candy in front of my face. She acts like she's just a sharing person, but she forgets that I hear her comments to others about not wanting to be the fat one in the family. I know exactly what she's doing. I can't hate her for it because I've done it in the past. Well - not the candy thing, but just the attitude in general.

kateysmith said...

I frequently wish my husband would throw out this diet/exercise thing he has started because it is making me misreable! I love yours and Emily's posts. They are wonderfully written and beautiful.

mainja said...

wow. this blog has really shifted gears. it used to be flippant and relatively light. suddenly it's introspective.

i like it when people can shift gears like that.


Amber said...

Oye... are you SURE that you didn't reach into my brain and pull those words out to write this entry? Holy hell... it sounds like I just read myself - my thoughts/feelings right here.

Wow! Thanks for making me feel not-so-alone. You girls are great and I LOVE this site - truly. I cannot wait for the next update(s)!

m. said...

having been on both sides (fat & not), I know what you mean. When I'm normal weight I feel confortable around fat girls, mostly because for a second I can stop comparing my thigs to everyone else's and also because I can eat w/o feeling any guilt. On the other hand when I was fatter, I liked it less when I was hanging out with fat girls. I dunno why, probably because it made me nervous (as in "this is your future!").
I don't think that you chose to be fat, it probably just slowly happened and now it's too demoralizing to start anything.
From my experience, you don't just "decide" to eat well and exercise, I've been working on it for about five years. And I never "just did it", I still don't. The way I see it now, if the good days outnumber the bad ones, I'm good. I've given up on finding psychological reasons. I think it's just because deep down I'm lazy, self-pitying and I give up easily. So I have to fight these things everyday. It's a lot easier now, when I only have to lose 5-10 ponds, than when I had to *start* losing, and it was a lot more weight than that.
At the time I was thinking, "well I look like crap anyway, might as well have fun". And then I gained even more. So I think I gained a lot more than I had to
only because I figured that I had nothing to lose. I used to wonder why the hell I hated myself so much, but I now think that there's no deep down psychological answer (for me). I do get depressed easily and I eat for comfort. So, that's it! I'll probably have to pay attention to this for the rest of my life, like an alcoholic. I don't think I'll ever be "safe".

Anonymous said...

Fat can express your rebellion against someone who is trying to control you, ie make you thin. It asserts your presence, your physical existence in space. It creates an excuse not to have sex. It takes the blame for whatever may be "wrong" with you, thereby relieving you of the job of fixing it. And it takes other beauty pressures off; why bother to put on makeup, hunt for stylish clothes, and choose an organic salad dressing when I'll still be ugly, right? Personally it helps me feel safe from rapists/muggers, even though I know that's a lie.

I've given this a lot of thought, actually.

Anonymous said...

I am a doctor. I am a fat woman. I come from a family of fat women. I don't believe my weight is any more under my conscious control than my periods are. I think there is more genetics and biology at work here than we know. No matter what I diet myself down to or eat myself up to, I always wind up around 250. I think there is a biologic set point. I concentrate on being fit. I can't be thin and I got tired of berating myself. I walk. I dance. I enjoy life. I have never lacked for partners.
Please don't be too hard on yourself. You may not be in charge.

Anonymous said...

The "you're not in control" line is always wheeled out in these kind of discussions. It's self-indulgent bull, transferring all responsibility from yourself to some imaginery abstract external factor. If it's a "medical reason" then I wonder why the number of "sufferers" keeps rising every year? Where was the "300lb disease" twenty, thirty, a hundred years ago?

I don't dislike fat people. I'm not thin or in shape myself, but this is all down to me, and choices which I made. I prefer fat women as a rule, but I can't stand it when they whine about their "situation" as though anyone but themselves are accountable for it. It's staggeringly simple, you make your own choices and life, and you pay the price.

floradoragirl37 said...

I would like to differ with the person above me.
I have thyroid disease. Thyroid disease slows your metabolism to a snails crawl. I am also a vegetarian, and am active. I have to watch EVERY bite that goes into my mouth, for fear I will gain weight. I also take medication for a condition I have. One of the side effects of that medication is weight gain.
There are many different reasons why people struggle with their weight. I don't believe that we are all meant to be the same weight, just as we aren't all mean to be six foot two or blonde and blue eyed. Genetics definitely plays a part in what size your body will be.
I believe that we have to some level some control over our weight, but for some it is much more difficult to lose weight than others.

Anonymous said...

OK. Let's be honest here. There's a 99% chance that you have control over your weight. This means that you can change it if you want. Realize this and the fact that it is "your fault" becomes good, rather than bad news. The trouble is getting past the guilt, but, really are you beholden to anyone other than yourself?

Mindy said...

Ok, first off, I want to say that no one chooses to be fat! No matter how it came about, no one says "hey lets see how fat I can get!" I do think that everyone has some kind of control over it. I mean, If you want to lose weight, you can do it, and it won't be easy and it will take time. I also think that people can become fat subconciously. My dad use to constantly watch what I ate when I was little. If I ate everything on my plate, I was over doing it, and if I didn't finish my plate, then I was wasting food. He always made my eating a big issue, therefore, I think that had a huge effect on my weight issues today!!! But I don't go around saying that I'm fat b/c of my dad! I just think that is what triggered it, but no one can fix it, but me!!!

Sheila said...

Possibly of some use -- a shrink told me this in a different context, but I found it actually worked really well when I applied it to eating more than I needed to: your body is trying to help you. It's trying to give you something, or protect you from something, or accomplish something with the eating... what you need to do is figure out what your body is trying to do, at which point you can then figure out how to accomplish that same goal in a better way. I'm not going to tell you the pounds melted off when I realized what mine was; it was still hard work, and I still went to bed hungry and not very happy about it. But it was doable, once I got out of my way -- and I've kept the weight off so far.

Anonymous said...

I'm sympathizing with Christi Nielsen here.

I have been trying, very hard, to lose weight, and have had some success, but have plateaued in the 180s for a while (despite frequent gym sessions and healthy eating).

My husband doesn't encourage my efforts. Not, I think, because he's trying to keep me fat - he's always said he thinks I'm lovely at whatever weight I was, and I look better and feel better now and he knows it - but because of the time it takes. I spend about six to eight hours a week in the gym, and also have to spend more time planning meals, etc, than I did when I wasn't trying to lose.

Weight loss is not rocket science, but it does take a lot of time and not everybody has that time, the way we live now. I work fulltime and once I've been to the gym, I might not get home until nine pm. That leaves about two hours in the day to spend with my husband (and do stuff that needs to be done). If we had kids I couldn't imagine being able to do it, and I totally understand that he'd like me to be home more. I'd like to be home more too.

So less of this about "people are just lazy". OK, if you don't work and have money to spend, you might not have an excuse not to exercise and eat healthily. But very few of us actually live that way. It's a commitment, and one I'm not sure I can keep up much longer, because the other calls on my time may be more important.

january said...

I've had these same thoughts myself. I think, for me, that fat is my excuse to not "be all I can be". Okay, that sounds so cheesy. But really, it's my excuse to not achieve everything I think I could achieve. I'm not an astounding professional success because I'm fat - or, I let myself think that what I've accomplished is pretty damn good considering the fat. That kind of thing. It ain't right, but it is what it is.

bronwyn said...

It seems Tims conveniently forgetting that it takes absolutely no work at all for perhaps 20% of the population (?) to be thin & to stay that way: they can eat as much as they'd like, & not exercise at all, & they'll always be thin.

So much obesity research is aimed at reducing the appetite - instead of increasing the metabolism!

Of the fat people reading this: do you actually overeat on a regular basis?

- so many people who have never been fat just assume that fat people overeat. I'm a fat woman. I don't overeat. I only eat when I'm hungry. I very rarely in my whole life have eaten until I was uncomfortably full.

- I think the above is true for most fat people.

cm said...

how do you explain that this obesity "disease" is most present in the usa? what about the genetic make-up of other continents? and how about the fact that the obesity percentage keeps increasing? genes don't change that fast...
it's not about when you eat, it's also about what you eat, so it doesn't mean anything if you eat "only when you're hungry" if you don't eat well. And I don't think 20% eat what/when they want, it's probably more around 5%. And if you're not one the lucky ones, though! Most people who are thin watch what they eat to a certain extent.

Anonymous said...

I am not what one would call "obese" but I have great difficulty maintaining and/or losing weight. I am a vegetarian, and I rarely if ever overeat, I never eat fast food, I use fresh, wholesome ingredients in my food, yet I still struggle to maintain my size.
It just isn't as easy as "put the donut down and go for a walk". That is a cop out and a way for people who don't understand to make us feel like it's our fault.
If it were that simple, than there would be very few fat people around. Those simplistic answers often put the blame on us, despite the fact that many of us try to become something we're not.
I believe comments like that are spun from pure ignorance.

cm said...

I didn't say genes didn't play a part. But you can (unless you have a documented disease such as a thyroid disorder) control some of that to a certain extent, i.e. you can prevernt yourself from being morbidly obese. I myself come from a family of fat people, and I'll probably never be as skinny as I want, but that doesn't mean I have to resign myself to being obese. I know very well that I gain weight faster than other people, so I just have to deal with that. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. But I'm
not going to say I don't have control over it and it's all my genes' fault.
And I still don't think that for most people it's a genetic disease. Only because genes take more than a generation to mutate and Americans were not as fat 50 years ago. And the rest of the world is not as fat as Americans, but they're catching up. So I have a hard time believing that European and Asian genes have started to mutate as soon as their diets have changed.

Regina said...

The low-exercise and high-calorie American lifestyle causes weight gain. It's that simple. Not getting fat, in THIS culture, requires a hell of a commitment. I'm 39 and work out 6 days a week and curb calories. Fitness takes a LOT of time, attention, and discipline, and if you have issues or responsibilities (like marriage/children) that might get in the way, losing weight is often difficult, if not impossible. I'm single and have the time and focus to be thin. Let's have sympathy for ourselves: we are fighting an UPHILL battle as Americans who are trying to be healthy.

Dani said...

It is a gigantic cop out to say that oh, it isn't your fault you're fat! Most of the time, it is. Yes, there are genetic issues and diseases that can cause you to be fat. However, look at america. I just posted in MY blog about this. The number of people I see on a daily basis that are overweight is franky, overwhelming. It NEVER was like this, even 10 years ago. Being that I used to weigh 310 pounds at 5'6", I think I can atleast have a say in this. I finally admitted that being fat isn't healthy and that I wanted to be healthy and I needed help. I had surgery (not the gastric bypass) and it was the best decision of my life.

Anonymous said...

Dani, What surgery did you have? How did it affect your weight? What do you weigh now?

Gypsy said...

Here is something that we all seem to forget...I just saw this on my meds package...

The average food portion size in the US has grown in the last few years. American Medical Assoc. study 1977-1998 reported that people are getting much larger food and drink portions. Example over 50% of soft drinks has increased in the last 20 years! The average homemade burger grew from 5.7 ounces in 1977 to 8.4 in 1996! And the fact that most of our food is processed unless we take an active roll to eat fresh every day! Most other people in the world eat fresh ingrediants every day! Not the processed crap we seem to be eating as a nation!

All we can do is the best we know how to do, and try to be better as we grow. No use beating yourself up. You are not alone...I try to eat fresh, and healthy choices, and I have more weight than ever. I tell myself to get more active...but finding the time is hard! Hang in there. And thanks for your honesty!

Tim said...

To Bronwyn, you're saying that you only eat when you're hungry and you never eat till you're full? That's great but WHAT are you eating and are you getting any exercise? Also, if you're not eating much and spacing it out you may be messing up your metabolism more than you think which will make you even bigger. It's not only volume that you need to worry about. Let's be completely honest here, us Americans are fat and we can point fingers all we want at rare health disorders and such. We need to get more proactive.

Anonymous said...

All of a sudden, losing weight isn't as simple as one may can be difficult.... portions? spacing food out? maintaining metabolism? Tony Little? medication? surgery? getting in "the zone"? counting ww points?
emotional eating, eating disorders?
suddenly it just doesn't sound that simple, does it?
Losing weight is very difficult, and 90 percent of people who do lose weight, gain it all back and then some within a three year period.
Let's face it: we aren't all meant to be thin.
When we accept this simple fact, then maybe we will be able to help ourselves.

Sam said...

True, but we all aren't meant to be fat either. We get our genes from our ancestors and I guarantee, save for a few, they weren't the fatties we all are with our late night pizza cravings, giant sodas, and comfy home entertainment systems.

Dani said...

I feel like I am hijacking this blog cause I've answered this a couple times already, but I had a duodenal switch. It changed my life. I had it in february, and now I weigh about 200 pounds, and I am still losing. The best place to get info about the surgery is I eat what a nomal "thin" person eats, just making sure I get in enough protein to cover the malabsorbtion. I can answer any other questions via email if you want..

Anonymous2 said...

"The "you're not in control" line is always wheeled out in these kind of discussions. It's self-indulgent bull, transferring all responsibility from yourself to some imaginery abstract external factor. If it's a "medical reason" then I wonder why the number of "sufferers" keeps rising every year? Where was the "300lb disease" twenty, thirty, a hundred years ago? "

ANONYMOUS, you ignoramus. 300 years ago partially hydrogenated oils and acetylcholeresterase were NOT part of the standard American diet. Particularly as advertised. Mass media did not exist back then. The woman you quoted above was a doctor. You moron. Look up the phrase "toxic food environment" and then come back and post something intelligent. Rarely do I flame on blogs (especially this one; I revere this one), but I've just HAD it with ignorant people who post their opinions as facts.

And before you ask, I'm the one size 4 (Hollywood Fat to you) with a bunch of size 14 women in her family. You ass.