Why is it that people try to be politically correct ad nauseam about other people’s differences, but when it comes to weight, its open season on fat people. People feel they can say anything they want, no matter how painful to a fat person because they have convinced themselves they are doing it for the other person’s well-being. The reality is, they aren’t helping anyone, and are only causing people of weight pain and discouragement.
I have been overweight or most of my life. I come from a long line of overweight people. My Dad is overweight, his mom struggled with weight control as well as her siblings. Her parents were overweight, and that was as far back as I can trace it. Four generations.
Because I am overweight, people have automatically assumed that I am overweight because I have an eating disorder. I have always maintained that I am not a glutton, and don’t in fact, eat more than most people. The problem, in my view, is that my body does not metabolize food like most people, so I tend to not lose weight. People shake their heads and act like I’m in denial and patronize me as they roll their eyes, and those are my friends!
It is difficult enough being overweight when I have to ask for a seat belt extension on a plane or to barely fit into an airline seat, or having to shop in a big and tall store to find something that will fit me; but it is extra painful to have people assume I am a glutton when it’s not the case.
I have tried dieting ever since Junior High School, and watched my weight yo-yo up and down. In college I was put on diet pills which enabled me to have great success for several years. Those pills are no longer on the market, and I watched my weight gradually rise, until the next diet pill came out. I tried more diets with only temporal results. The weight failures are bad enough, but then to have people tell me what I did wrong and give me their useless two cents worth makes me want to barf. It’s amazing that everyone is an expert on what I’m doing wrong and how I should be living my life.
The truth of the matter is, I don’t hate myself because I’m overweight. I like who I am, and my self-image is not based on my weight. Its based on what I do and how I treat people, as well as my relationships with others. The reason I want to lose weight is because I’m tired of having to shop in Big men stores and having to ladle myself into seats in movie theaters and planes, and because of the complications to my health being caused by the weight. I am at the point where insurance companies don’t want to extend coverage to me, and rates for health or life insurance are exorbitant. I don’t really care what other people think about my weight. I also don’t think they have the right to comment or give advice just because they are thinner than I am as if that is some kind of accomplishment.
At the time of this writing, I am three weeks away from having Gastric Sleeve surgery, where they will remove the majority of my stomach, and I will lose weight. Having undergone numerous tests, it has been determined that my weight problem is genetic and not the result of an eating disorder, but then again, I knew that. Its sort of miraculous that I’m having this surgery at all. My insurance company, the only one that would insure me, told me they categorically will not cover this surgery even if it’s a life threatening situation. I can not afford the surgery because I’m not a rich man. A close friend of mine who saw the health complications I am dealing with, wrote letters to people who know me, and managed to raise all the money I needed to pay for the surgery. I was taken back in shock because I honestly didn’t think anyone cared. Maybe they cared, but not enough to donate money to help. I am quite aware that people who gave money for my surgery have saved my life. I will be given a list of who gave what, so I can thank the people who contributed; but I also plan to use it in another way: the people who gave, I will be happy to share whatever they want to know.I’ll also be happy to listen to whatever they have to say. The people who didn’t contribute, but just wanted to force their advice on me, … I plan on suggesting to them where they can stick their advice. Talk is cheap. The ones that did something are the ones that matter.