Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fatties + Celebs = My Kind Of Everything

When I was younger, around the age of 10, I was chubby. Not yet a full fledged fatty, but chubby nonetheless. Because my mother did not want me to be so chubby she enrolled me in an expensive program called ShapeDown. (Yes, ShapeDown. I still don't know why it wasn't called ShapeUp because it makes a lot more sense to me to want to ShapeUp rather than to ShapeDown, but I don't make the rules).

Now, don't go ape-shit on my mother. She wasn't one of those mother's who would tell me I'm fat and comment on everything I ate. Yes, there was never anything that wasn't fat free in the house, but my mother has had her own battles with weight, so she gets it. Also, she signed me up at my request and blessing. At 10, I knew I was chubby and I noticed the difference between my skinny friends and me. I've always been aware of my weight.

The program was for both the fat children and our parents. The mothers/fathers would go meet with a counselor to discuss topics as what to put in your child's lunch, how to increase physical activity in your child...things like that. Us children would go meet with a counselor and basically talk about how much we hated being heavy.

The best part for me, and sadly a self-esteem booster, was the amount of children that were there with famous parents. I'm not going to name names, because that would be as bad as to giving you guys a list of people who were at an AA meeting, but trust me when I say, there were quite a few. And they were fat and their parents were movie stars and beautiful and all that jazz.

Needless to say, I really liked going. I loved hearing stories of tortured adolescent kids who were pressured far more than I was to keep up a certain image. And, of all things, I could relate to these kids. It's like one shares an automatic bond with a person that struggles with their weight. There was a bond that could not be broken between us, because we all struggled with the same issues, and that was nice. You couldn't keep me from NOT going to these meetings for they combined my love of famous people and talking about fatness...two loves that remain with me today.

Thinking about how, at that age, I was so eager to go to a place that would weigh me in every week and how NOT eager I am now to go to some sort of regular meetings makes me wonder about my own motivation. And, I have concluded that if famous fat people were at my local Weight Watchers meetings, I would go in a heart beat.

I'd even get there early.


Laura said...

Oh how I wish someone would have enrolled me in fat camp as a kid.


Anonymous said...

I would totally go to a WW meeting if famous fatties were there too. I would like it to be me Oprah (at her fattest), Val Kilmer (he got really big lately, Michael Moore, and Kevin Smith...good times!

Anonymous said...

I wonder which famous people would fit into the "types" of people at each WW meeting:

-Who would be the person whose weight will not budge and they're totally bitter about it?

-Who would be the annoying first-timer who just LOVES the Points system?

-Who would be the person who just will NOT shut up?

-And finally, who would be that one woman who needs to lose like 10 pounds and everyone hates her?

Anonymous said...

I want to go to Celebrity Weight Watchers!!!!! that's like celebrity fit club where you don't have to work out.


GoBetty said...

I would like you to drop some names.

Heather said...

They've had a TV show called The Biggest Loser, which if I remember correctly, had non-celebs. There is also the Celebrity Fit Club, which has the celebs. Now all they need to do is combine the 2 and have a weight loss competition where they pair up a celeb with a non celeb. Which celeb would you all like to paired up with? I'm picking Tony Stewart (NASCAR driver). I don't think he's really all that fat, but he does keep talking about how much weight he's gaining and I think he's kinda yummy (and I can think of interesting ways to burn calories).

Heather said...

Anonymous 10:45:

I am not famous, but I am definitely the person who does not shut up at the WW meetings!!! I am the one who has to throw out the scientific facts that I find fascinating (but that I'm sure bore others to tears).

Interestingly, I met someone who used WW as a way to GAIN weight. Apparently they had anorexia at some point in their life and they were able to gain enough weight to be healthy again by making sure that they ate their points everyday. I don't know if they went to official meetings or if they just got the basics from someone who had done WW. I would imagine, for fear of being sued, WW would probably not take anyone who was underweight into the program.

I have been on and off of the WW wagon so many times that I've lost count. I have decided to get back on since I need that weekly check in to keep me on the straight and narrow path.

I weigh myself every other day or so, but all that does it make me happy that I'm not gaining. It doesn't actually motivate me to LOSE. I guess I've been at my current weight long enough that I'm kind of comfortable with it. Having someone ELSE see my progress (or lack of) usually tends to make me stick to my guns a little better.

Tara said...

I hope these programs have improved since I was a kid. It sounds like yours wasn't as bad as mine, but then you are much younger than I am.
I was sent to a children's hospital when I was 10 to lose weight. This was a hundred years ago (well maybe 30). I was a full fledged fat kid, 210lbs at ten years old, and I was the smallest kid there. Funny thing is, I don't ever remember any of the girls in my program having a problem with being heavy. We were mostly Black, and they were from the city (not me). But they just knew they were he sexiest, smartest most wonderful girls on the planet. From a grown up point of view I think this was pretty healthy, except that they made me their target, so I didn't like them at all. Now that I think about it they were little sluts-not so healthy I guess.
No celebs though, that would have made life interesting.


Anonymous said...

So, let me get this straight: you girls are basically rich fat jews from beverly hills?

mikey loves fat women said...

I really know absolutely zero about these things and should just shut up, but... ahhhh, the big "but":-) ... well, I'm not sure. I mean, I am completely imagining how horrible it would be to go to one of these things with your parents, and so I can completely understand how, if I were forced to attend I'd try to make the best of it. And, being ten, I'd imagine the best of it would be to hang out with a movie star's fat kid there.

Which is the problem, because I think (don't know for sure, but think) even then I'd have felt a little crummy about my feelings, would've felt bad for using this or these kids to bolster my name-dropping skills and self-esteem. And as I see you aren't naming names, I am pretty sure I'm not all alone.

I hate the idea that children should be embarrassed into losing weight; I completely understand a desire to teach a child manners but that's teaching and isn't related to weight and anyway is totally different. I have a feeling these "stars" (and a lot, but I'm sure not all, of the non-stars) enrolled their kids in this program to curb their own embarrassment and shame. Which is a pretty cruddy thing to do to a kid, especially your own.
So I guess I'll be fighting the tide on this one. That's cool; I'm cool with being different.

AnaBell said...

When I attended meetings there was a combo woman: she didn't shut up *and* just loved the point system, she tought has herself as the know-it-all in terms of WW. The problem was that she started the same day I did. I just wanted to kick her. And that lasted for a grand total of 8 weeks. Then I stopped going to meetings. I bet she is still talking non stop.

Anonymous said...

My mom put me in fat camp when I was nine. I was only about 10 lbs overweight . Anyhow, I hated it and was miserable. I think it's different if one consents but I'm wary of sticking kids under 13 in such places.

buffpuff said...

I think enrolling children in fat camps and the like is tantamount to child abuse. But then I would.

jen said...

You forgot the guy that signs up because his wife forces him to and instantly drops 10 pounds. When discussing challenges, he says that it's easy for him and he doesn't see why his wife is not following the program as well as he is and that every time he sees her with a snack, he says, "How many Points is that?" I hate that guy.

I would like to be matched up with Kathy Najamy (know that's spelled wrong) -- the woman who was Olive on "Veronica's Closet." She's funny and cute and we could swap clothes.

bloomie said...

OMG, Jew from LI over here and I SO went to one of those meetings as a kid. It was in this rich, skinny, bitch's basement and we would have group talks about our weight and food and what have you. I'd kind of forgotten about it till I heard you talk about your experience, I don't really remember the details.

Oh and Jen, last I heard Kathy Najimy lost a ton of weight and after all of her years of saying she wouldn't marry while her gay friends couldn't, totally sold out and married her skinny ass.

We didn't have celeb kids in our meetings but we did have varied levels of popularity displayed in the basement. And it was very sort of Breakfast Club-esque where you talk about all these personal things, but the next day at school you pretend you don't know them. Kids are fucked up!

But unlike you I did not look forward to this in the least. Not in the LEAST!

bloomie said...

Oops. Don't know what happened, but that paragraph about Kathy was supposed to be at the end of my post and not randomly, smack dab in the middle. Sorry.

drstaceyny said...

Oh, even I'd go!

PastaQueen said...

I saw Kathy Najimy on the finale of that game show marathon show this summer which she won. She's still fat, just not *as* fat as she's been. It was cool because Ricky Lake was hosting, who's also weighed various amounts and still isn't "thin." So they seemed to have a bit of comradery about it and even threw a joke or two around about it.