Posts filed under ‘Fat bias’

By BMI, I am too fat to live

Me in the Florida Keys

I am morbidly obese.

That’s right, according to my BMI, I should drop dead any second now.

And according to most websites, I should “seek medical help immediately.” I’m guessing they are alluding to weight-lose surgery or the like, because really, what else are they going to do? The most that would probably happen would be that I get a talking to and told to lose weight immediately or I will die fat and alone and a cat lady and soon, or whatever they are saying now and days to get people to lose weight.

For those of you wondering, my BMI is 42. Yeah, “normal weight” BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. So I am almost double a normal weight. I would need to lose more than half of myself to get down to what I am told I need to be. Is it just me, or is that a lot?

To further illustrate this fact, there is an old gallery on Flickr that Kate Harding put together called ‘Illustrated BMI Catergories,” that while old, will further illustrate the fact that BMI is a broken, arcane system and should be updated or just done away with altogether.

Why did I bother to bring up BMI? Just thought you should know the next time you say to me, “You aren’t that fat,” etc., according to BMI, I am the walking dead.


May 25, 2011 at 12:14 am 15 comments

In my formative fat years …

Me as a teenager

I always hear fatties talking about how they were picked on as children, ridiculed as teenagers, and had all-around bad experiences being young and fat. Perhaps I am the exception, but I wasn’t. There are one or two times that I can point out as someone being mean to my face about my weight in my youth. Two times. And while this might be the case, I was not happy-go-lucky. Most of my hate came from within my family. Between my father and I, well, we pretty much had it covered.

I always hated my weight when I was younger. I really started packing on the pounds in middle school, and then it went up from there.

I remember vividly in high school, after I hit about 180 pounds, vowing to myself that I would kill myself if I ever hit 200 pounds. Now, this didn’t happen as I weigh much more than 200 pounds now and am still alive, but that illustrates how I was feeling at the time. Like if I didn’t stop gaining weight, then I wasn’t worth the air.

I wouldn’t allow myself to wear anything without sleeves. Be it dresses or tank tops, it must have sleeves. Why would I do that to myself? I lived in Georgia! It’s too hot not to wear a tank top. My standard wardrobe consisted of big t-shirts and tapered-leg jeans. Hot, right?

Not that I had many other options. Shopping was always a nightmare. Lane Bryant was skewed way too old and lots of places didn’t even carry my size at all. There was no Juniors Plus section. No Torrid. There wasn’t really any place to go at that period in my life. It would have been nice to have options during my formative years. Perhaps having something that actually fit and was cute would have given me more self-confidence, or maybe not, we shall never know.

Sometimes I would stand in front of the mirror after getting ready, and notice something that I thought was the end of the world, muffin top. I would start to outgrow my pants or I would just try to squeeze into a smaller size. When this would happen, I would either react by changing, going as it, or slapping my belly as hard as I could. I guess I thought that it would make my stomach disappear. It never worked though.

Throughout these years, I would wear my pants too tight. Either I didn’t want to admit to myself that they were too tight and go up the next size, or I figured that is what I deserved. It always seemed like they were too big or too small, and I guess I thought too small looked better. Years of this torture on my stomach resulted in a dark ring around my belly. It has mostly faded now, but the hint of it is still there. Scars from childhood I guess.

As most fat teens, I never thought that I ever had a chance with boys. Why would they like me? Looking back, I’m pretty sure I’ve could have scored a date or two. Hindsight, right?

I never really had any fat friends. ALL of my friends were skinnier. You always see “the fat friend” in movies and on TV, but that’s the role I played in my real life. This didn’t help the clothes situation either. They would also want to go to places that I could fit into. 5-7-9 anyone?  How about 16-18-20? This also gave me a complex about letting people borrow my clothes. I never wanted anyone to know how large my clothes actually were. Looking back, I can’t help but shake my head at how ridiculous that sounds.

I was never a big dieter. I hated my weight, but I didn’t really do anything about it. My mother and grandmother dieted a lot and it never seemed to work for them, so I guess I figured, why would it work for me? Sometimes I would get on these kicks where I decided to write down my weight every day. I would try to work out using some of my mom’s tapes, like “Richard Simmon’s Sweatin’ to the Oldies” or Cher’s workout video, a couple of times and then see what happened. Problem being that it would never last more than a week.

I actually did play sports and was active. I played outside all the time, was on the soccer team and in marching band, but I was still fat.

My grandmother still battles with her weight today. She is a “I’m not going to do X until I lose weight,” keeping the skinny jeans, try every diet out there kind of person. She would give my mom weight-loss books and then tell her to give it to me when she was finished. She never really came right out and said anything but it was just slight things like that that would get under my nerves so bad. And still do until this day.

My father was always on me about my weight. He would constantly talk about how I was too big and needed to lose it, how I shouldn’t be eating that, etc. This continued until right before my freshman year in high school. His constant berating had gotten to me and this one fight got to be too much. I locked myself in the bathroom and then we screamed at each other through the door. Through a face full of tears, I finally stood up to my father and told him to stop it. I’ve had to do it a few times since, but that was the first time I told him to not say those things to me anymore. Since then, I’ve has to use such lines as, “I’m happy how I am, please stop bringing it up,” etc.

Course, he was even harder on my mother. My mother was always bigger growing up, and still is. A couple of times, she has lost a bunch of weight, but has always gained it back.

My parents would get into the worst arguments. Screaming and yelling. My father was an alcoholic and he would blame his drinking on my mother’s weight. As he saw it, she gained weight after marriage and the pregnancy to punish him, and so he drank. My mother sought comfort in food because of my father’s drinking. And round and round they went.

Moral of the story to a young girl: Food is comforting and by eating food I was going against the man. Perhaps it isn’t so cut and dry, but it has definitely left me with some food issues. If I have had a bad day or I’m stressed, it is still an easy solution to turn to food.

I have never been the one to eat a whole pizza or eat a ton of candy all the time. I would definitely have food guilt when my friends and I would go to the food court at the mall. “If I order fries, then everyone will just think, ‘Look at that fattie with the fries. That’s why she is fat!'” And I would never order more than my friends did. If I was still hungry, I would suck it up until such time that I was alone and then I would eat freely. My one friend was rail thin and would eat a whole pizza. She ate constantly and never changed. I just didn’t understand it. Why couldn’t I be like that, too? Body envy as a child is normal I think, but metabolism envy? Maybe not.

I know you are probably expecting some moral to the story, some shining pearl of wisdom that will help you accept who you are, but sadly I don’t have one, but I am living proof that you can make things turn around — a teen fattie can become a big beautiful woman.

All I can say is that it’s a really long, hard battle to finally accept your body and who you are, but oh, is it worth it.

July 2, 2010 at 12:05 pm 2 comments

Shopping with a once-fat

Recently, I went shopping with a once-fat.

When I agreed to go, it didn’t cross my mind that shopping would be any different from how it normally was — oh, how I was wrong.

Perhaps a little background: My friend was always a big girl. Not big, big, but big enough to fit in the smaller sizes at Torrid (0-1). Since I fit a 2, I loved this. Since then though, she has lost a lot of weight and wears a regular-sized medium.

It can be hard going shopping with “regular”-sized friends. Shopping with different-sized friends means either (a) we split up and go to (usually) opposite sides of the store or (b) both go to each section together.

Let’s look at option (a): Now, maybe it’s just me, but I can’t stand splitting up. I mean, really, why go shopping together if you weren’t going to go shopping together. But, the other option isn’t good either.

Let’s look at option (b): I always feel like I’m boring my friend. Of course, she wouldn’t want to go to the “womens” section. I don’t even want to go there. It’s where ugly clothes go to die. It’s like friend abuse. I always try to hurry up when it’s my turn. (Not that it’s that hard because the “misses” section is always like 10 times bigger than the plus-size section.) It doesn’t matter if it’s the most understanding friend that actually helps pick out clothes — I always feel bad.

And when it’s the other friend’s turn, sometimes they don’t realize that I can’t fit into anything in the section (perhaps in the entire store). A fat can only look at so many accessories (socks, jewelry, hats, etc.) before I go insane!

You are probably thinking, “Why is she whining? Just go by yourself.” My answer to you: I can, but it’s not as fun. What if I think something that is actually ugly is the best thing ever and it’s on clearance and I can’t take it back when someone else, that can actually see how ugly it is, tells me so after I get it home? Who can tell me that the skirt isn’t too short but shows off my legs and makes my ass look great? Friends are the best shopping buddies.

Perhaps, I just feel a little sad. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy for my friend, but I can’t help but feel like we’ve lost a connection. We always bitched about the “plus-size” offerings, how most of the stores didn’t carry the sizes, how we get in trouble at Torrid by spending too much, etc. Now, I can mention it, but she can’t relate. She can shop wherever she wants. I fully realize that I am a bit jealous — not of the weight loss, but just that she has so many more shopping options now.

The shopping trip was still fun, but a lot different. I already miss the old times … when we were both fat.

January 17, 2010 at 3:27 am Leave a comment

Fat friends already know they are fat

Fat friends. We all have them. I am one.

Do I need to be told that I’m fat? No, I think I know. Thanks though!

The Daily Mail recently wrote about the survey of 3,000 women for Tanita, in conjunction with National Obesity Week, that found that every woman has two friends she thinks are overweight. One problem with this survey is are the woman’s friends actually overweight or does she just think that they are? I don’t think that putting your body issues on others is really a good idea. You could just be creating body issues for them. Aren’t friends supposed to be supportive?

The survey said that they would never tell their friends that they think they are fat. Again, why would you need to talk about it? Unless the woman gained a large amount of weight in a short amount of time (and is not pregnant) and you think there is something wrong (i.e. she is sick or has had something traumatic happen) should you ever discuss her weight. A good rule — unless she brings it up, don’t mention it.

Instead of pointing it out and suggesting she do something to shed the excess pounds, they simply continue to compliment and flatter their plump friends.

When did women feel the need to be their friends trainer? If it’s really a big deal, why are you even friends? I don’t need to be complimented and flattered. If you don’t believe it, don’t say it. False flattery is worse than no flattery at all. Fatties don’t need handouts.

A fourth of the women choose to tell their friends, with horrible results…

12 per cent said their friend was “devastated” and a further 10 per cent said they “burst into tears” on hearing the advice.

What did they expect to happen?

Maybe something more like this: “Oh, thanks Shelley. I really didn’t know I was fat. Now that you brought it up, I’ll get right on losing that extra weight. I really haven’t been trying to do anything about it. I really don’t have to battle with my fat all the time. Thanks for understanding.”

A spokesman for the company, which provides precision weighing equipment, said: “This shows girlfriends talk to each other about their bodies, weight issues and dress size on a daily basis. However, whilst girls are comfortable talking about their own weight and criticising themselves, in truth, most girls would not be able to cope with a friend telling them they needed to slim down.”

Again, I don’t think it’s really my friends business. It’s my fat. My friends can bring up my weight whenever they want and I’m generally an open book but when they do bring it up, it’s not to tell me to lose weight. It might be to find out where I shop or something. And if they did tell me to lose weight, I would tell them that I like my fat and that would be the end of the discussion.

It’s my body. If I love my fat body, then that’s on me.

My friends respect me and my wishes. And if your friends don’t, you may need to ask yourself if they really are your friends.

November 3, 2009 at 10:12 pm 2 comments

Fatties don’t want to be judged at the doctor

Fat Doctor

A study found that people who are obese are choosing not to go to the doctor for “life-saving treatments” because they don’t want to be judged by doctors, medical staff, etc. for their weight.

Well, duh. Doctors are especially bad about this. Doctors always judge people about their size — even when you are going in for something completely different — like a pap-smear.

The only time that I want to talk about my weight is when my weight is actually causing or affecting my health and causing whatever ailment I am in for — other than that, I don’t want to hear about how my weight is causing my ear infection, OK?

When doctors start laying aside their prejudices about fat people, then — and only then — will fat people will seek treatment. Because, seriously, I am sick and tired of having a doctor — who is fatter than I am — stand there and give me a lecture on how fat I am.

May 28, 2009 at 5:00 pm 10 comments

Fat people are causing global warming


A new study shows that “fat cuases a billion tonnes of greenhouse gases a year.”

And to see how people are reacting, check out the comments on the LA times article (they are actually very intelligent answers):  Obesity a cause of global warming?

So now they are blaming us for global warming to? SERIOUSLY??????

This has really gotten out of hand. They will really figure out a way to blame anything on us — no one likes fat people lets target them … for everything.

April 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm 3 comments

Airlines at it again: New fat tax

United Logo

United Airlines announced a new policy on Wednesday, called “Passenger requiring extra space.”

This new policy’s title should change to “The fat ass tax.”

What it boils down to is that people that can’t buckle a seat belt using a one seat-belt extender or can’t put the seat’s armrests down when seated will have to pay for an additional seat. The other catch: If there isn’t an additional seat that they can sit you by, then you either have to upgrade to the bigger seats in business/first class/etc. or wait for another flight.

And when there is an extra seat, you’ll have to pay for that seat also.

Now, two things I would like to point out there. First, all fat people aren’t rich — if we were, we wouldn’t be flying coach to begin with. Second, with the way they are cramming flights these days and with less flights leaving, there are probably not going to be that many extra seats available. Having flown stand-by this year — I know what I’m talking about. It took me all day to catch two flights — and that was only waiting on one seat to become available.

What this basically boils down to is that if you MUST fly United Airlines and of are size, you might as well just drive.

Actually policy here.

I smell a boycott …

April 17, 2009 at 5:51 pm 2 comments

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