Fat Talk

Before I tell you Step Two of the big plan — How to Lose 100 Pounds — I have some thoughts. Thoughts and questions.

First of all, I’ll be totally frank and in my frankness probably pathetic. It bothers me when I spend a little time and effort writing something here, especially when it is something that for whatever reason is important to me, and no one responds to it. I actually let through two spam comments on the post below because 1) no one else responded, and 2) the spam comments were (unintentionally) hilariously in tune with the obnoxious sarcasm I was going for there.

But, so, yeah. No actual, non-spamming people had anything to say about my glib and sarcastic how-to post on gaining 100 pounds. I assume this is because no one actually wants to gain 100 pounds and therefore the message was of no use to anyone.

But is there something else? Is fat still socially taboo enough that we aren’t supposed to talk about it? Too personal? Too loaded? Too disgusting?

Was the glib sarcasm too offensive? Not in keeping with a topic that is personal and emotional?

Was the attempt at humor too pathetically transparent? The real, underlying content too sad and depressing? Believe me, I thought it was a bit depressing too, for fuck’s sake.

Maybe since the subject was important to me I should have been more thoughtful in how I wrote about it.

But as I’ve mentioned here now and again over the past year, I’ve been on a health and fitness and weight loss mission. Just this week I reached my weight loss goal, having lost over 100 pounds. I’m back at my regular weight now after about five years spent gaining and keeping those 100 pounds.

I couldn’t come here and tell you about reaching that goal, though, without also telling you how fat I had been. You can’t exactly lose 100 pounds unless you have 100 extra pounds lying around somewhere, you know? The thought that I did have that excess, the knowledge that I had gone out and gotten it somehow during the mess and turmoil and sludge of those graduate school years, well. The thought was paralyzingly awful.

There would be no acknowledging of the success without also simultaneously acknowledging where I had started. Believe me, I did not want to do that. During the time that I gained weight and kept it on, I was in complete and total denial — I had no idea how much I weighed and whenever I accidentally chanced to look in the mirror I never really saw a fat person looking back at me. How could I acknowledge it here?

Same way I always deal with uncomfortable situations: clumsy humor! Obnoxious attitude! Bitchiness!

But yeah, that happened. I left the state of Oregon about 100 pounds fatter than I’d been when I arrived there, and for a long time I thought I was just going to stay that way. The people I met when I moved here had never seen me at my normal, healthy weight and size. To them, I was just a person who was 100 pounds overweight — was it time to just accept the identity of an obese person? To accept I would always be fat, always a little bit sweaty and uncomfortable?

You know of course that I did not do that. I suppose I could have but at some point I decided it was time to say “fuck this bullshit” and turn it around.

Next installment, hopefully less snarky: How to Lose 100 Pounds.

13 thoughts on “Fat Talk

  1. Danimal June 17, 2010 / 4:13 pm

    I thought it was very funny and could relate based on my own successful 40-pound gain program, but just didn’t have much to add.

  2. pseudostoops June 17, 2010 / 4:43 pm

    Well now I feel bad, because I was going to comment saying how impressed I was by the last post, and how I thought it was really powerful and well-done, but then I wondered if you might think I was being silly because it was so clearly meant to be funny, too, and who was I to take it so seriously? And also, as a person who has not been there, would it come across as patronizing for me to say I thought it was powerful? Issues about blog comments: we all have them, apparently.

    (But I’ll say now what I should have said yesterday: I found it remarkable.)

  3. Katie June 17, 2010 / 6:34 pm

    I was going to say something snarky on your last post like, “I’ll keep this bookmarked for future reference!” but didn’t want it to come across the wrong way. So I said nothing instead, but that shouldn’t discount the fact that it was great. Can’t wait to read about how you LOST an astounding 100 pounds!

  4. Kate June 17, 2010 / 6:43 pm

    I guess I just had to go and guilt trip everyone into commenting! heh. Hope it didn’t come across that way too much.

    Anyway, thanks for your thoughts, all.

    It’s funny what a weighty (sorry) subject it is — I kept worrying that I had offended people who had gained weight or were already overweight or were trying to lose weight — like, I was able to make fun of it because I had lost what I gained. Sometimes I worry that I use humor too much, and maybe there are some things I should take more seriously. We all must be over-thinking things!

    But tomorrow I hope I’ll get the next installment in. Maybe with some humiliating before and after pictures? My friend B. keeps telling me she found this old pic of me on her camera and “when [I’m] ready” she’ll show me. DREAD, I tell you.

  5. Ashley June 17, 2010 / 9:08 pm

    I am leaving a comment.

  6. Ashley June 17, 2010 / 9:12 pm

    No really though I enjoyed the last post. As a person who has gone up up up (mostly in Eugene, bluh) and is slowly going down again I think what you have done is amazing and inspiring. I appreciated the last post, I just don’t leave many comments on anything (it’s my way).

  7. mel June 17, 2010 / 10:45 pm

    i too enjoyed read & enjoyed your last post but wasn’t sure how to respond & was kinda waiting for the follow up losing it post to reflect on both before saying anything. so i am commenting now but only to say I HATE WHEN PEOPLE SAY “BESPECKELED” WHEN THEY MEAN “BESPECTACLED.” i always think “but he’s not SPOTTED, he just wears glasses!”

  8. TimT June 18, 2010 / 6:11 pm

    I was too busy chuckling to be distracted by crankiness. It’s always the funniest posts that are hard to comment on.

    I actually thought the first comment was bona-fide though now I reread it seems like you’re right, it was spam.

    Spam: good for fattening up the comments section!

  9. TimT June 18, 2010 / 6:13 pm

    Here in the Antipodes I’m going on a get-fat kick, having recently baked one of these (with chocolate sauce). Why didn’t you Americans tell me it was going to be so delicious?

  10. MC Etcher June 19, 2010 / 12:41 pm

    I wonder if it’s easier to be in weight denial in a cooler climate, where it’s easier to wear bulky clothes. Oregon is a lot cooler than Alabama…

  11. Kate June 19, 2010 / 6:44 pm

    Thanks for your thoughts everybody! I’m glad people could identify and didn’t find it too obnoxious.

    Ashley – I am not a frequent commenter either, so I hear you!

    Mel – I have actually never seen anyone do that, but it’s kind of a hilarious mistake!

    Tim – That cake is a great start on your way to a weight-gain mission! You know what goes well with it? Ice cream and French fries!

    MC – I bet you’re right. Alabama weather still sucks, but I am dealing with it much better without the blubber. In Oregon, a person can hide under a raincoat 9 months a year.

  12. melanie June 26, 2010 / 7:43 am

    it was hard to read, but not offensive. just icky, because i can completely relate, and who WANTS to be able to relate?! i mean to all of it: the denial, the avoidance of reflective surfaces, the deep shame of online plus shopping, the dread of social situations in which someone pulls out a camera, feeling invisible, the hopeless resignation… i remember being really offended once when a coworker who i thought was fat told me conspirationally about a sale on the plus sizes at target. i just refused to let anyone know that i thought of myself that way, in spite of the fact that internally i was consumed with self-loathing. it’s painful to acknowledge all the sadness i carried around and all the turmoil that sadness caused. i am so happy, though, to finally have this perspective, and you have played a bigger part in that than you probably know. thank you.

  13. Kate June 28, 2010 / 8:01 pm

    Melanie – Oh man I just want to hug you. Me too, on all of that.

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