Living While Fat: Angry Edition
This article is part of a series on the radical act of living while fat.
I started to write a long article about exercise tips for fat fatties just now. I got a thousand words in and quit, because I became so frothing mad I couldn’t see straight and seeing is essential to my writing process. Maybe I’ll get back to it later.
I wrote about finding a good doctor who won’t shame you. Then I wrote about finding a safe gym that won’t be a likely place of harassment. Then I wrote about finding a good personal trainer who will work with your goals and not pressure you to restrict calories unless you want to and won’t push you until you puke or scream at you to do ten more situps to the point of hurting yourself.
Then I got mad.
You know what? Fuck that. FUCK IT. Why am I forced to conform myself to the world? Why am I the one hunting through hours and hours of listings and spending thousands of wasted dollars to discover I can’t trust the trainer, or gym, or fucking DOCTOR to be non-shaming and supportive of me?
I always tell people not to give up. To keep trying and keep looking. That shit gets real old, and I know that as well as you do. I’ve been told I will always be in pain forever. I’ve been told I’m literally lying about my diet and exercise because of my weight. I’ve had friends told their broken fucking ankle hurts because they’re fat. I’ve walked into stores and been rudely stared at until I walked right back out of them. 90% of stores don’t have clothes that fit me. Airline seats are not only unaccommodating, but the people around me give me shit glares because I dare to exist (my fat might TOUCH THEM AAHHH. Like they don’t bump into my fat ass when there’s ten miles around me? I’m invisible because I’m big and they don’t give a fuck to give me space.) I’ve had people comment on my eating habits or health without knowing fuck all about me. I’ve been the fattest chick in yoga class a LOT, and probably some asshole went home crying because of my sad fucking life.
Every TV ad. Every magazine. Every internet spam. Every single day I am confronted with the fact that I am not okay by you, the rest of people. My beliefs, my lifestyle, my sexuality, my fucking BODY is not okay by you (well not you.) I cannot go anywhere without this message being beamed to me from the radio, the doctor’s office waiting room, the diet talk around tables everywhere.
The world is filled with messages that tell me to hate myself, and some days I dutifully comply. I buy into the message because it’s so fucking pervasive. There’s not a day or sometimes even an hour that goes by that I’m not told I’m too fat, too freckled, too slutty, too weird, too nice, too whatever to be acceptable as-is. The fact is that I make people uncomfortable. We do, us fatties. We make people afraid and they feel weird because of all the dissonance about their own self-hatred so out it comes, vomited all over me.
Nah dude, nah. Don’t I know that being fat is unhealthy? Who the fuck nominated you, random asshole on the street, the arbiter of my health levels? What business is it of yours?
I shouldn’t have to fucking LOOK for a doctor that will treat me like a human being. They should just all be that way. I should find that the world is as welcoming for me as it is for thincishetwhiteprettynormativemale people. We all should. The world accommodates to one kind of person, and fuck that. We all should feel welcome here, not just those of us who fit in a size 8 or have two legs or are white or what the fuck ever magic thing. I don’t want to write articles about being alive and fat at the same time. I want to write articles about video games and sewing and good Keurig cups.
I don’t want to be angry anymore, because what lies right under my anger is a vast well of self-hatred and shame that comes from being simply me, in my own skin. There’s nothing more fundamental than the appearance and workings of my body. My heart beats, my lungs breathe (well sort of), my legs walk (and I’m grateful for that), I eat food and drink water. I am here in the world, as-is. I am so tired of feeling shame because I can’t or won’t change that for you. I don’t owe you my compliance.
For now I still search. I interview health professionals and exercise facilities. I comb the pages of internet deals for clothing. I try to hide or minimize my fatty fat body because people look at it weird. I try to beat the shame back. I try to just breathe.
I’m still pretty fucking angry.