We were at a beach one summer, and I had a bathing suit on. My wife looked at me and said: ‘Boy, you are skinny, aren’t you?’ I said: ‘Honey, I’d like to remind you that it was minor defects like this that kept me from getting a better wife.’—Lou Holtz
[one_half padding=”4px 10px 0 4px”]For the first forty years of my life, I was thin, at times disturbingly so. It wasn’t that I wanted to be thin, nor that I was trying to be thin. Quite the opposite, actually. I would have loved to have had enough mass to actually develop muscles and such, but that never happened. I delighted in over-eating to excess at buffets but never could gain weight. At 30 I was still able to wear the same pair of Levi’s 501 jeans that I bought when I was 18. Now, for women, that kind of tale isn’t unusual, but for men it’s practically unheard of. I had no muscle mass. If I ate too much and was bloated, I looked like Bloom County’s Bill the Cat (well, maybe not as orange). There wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it, no matter how hard I tried, and believe me, I tried.
Then, I hit 40. Boom. Like flipping a switch, I started gaining weight and suddenly staying off the 200-pound mark became an issue. Actually, with my body frame and size, I didn’t need to be above 170, and even that was frighteningly larger than I’d ever been. I started having to buy larger clothes, replace suits, and spend money that I really hadn’t planned on spending. What, when, and how I ate suddenly became an issue, as did the amount of exercise and stress. My health changed. I was sick more often. I had to watch my blood sugar. High blood pressure, which runs in our family anyway, was suddenly a much more important issue. That skinny teenager is gone and is never going to come back. Instead, like almost every other American and a large number of people around the world, I have to fight with obesity.
Fuck. I like fried chicken, chicken fried steak smothered in pepper gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans cooked with bacon grease, cornbread dripping with butter and corn on the cob far too much to have a weight issue. And don’t even get me started on the importance of chocolate, especially this time of year when the fashion shows are one right after the other and I’m not getting nearly enough sleep. I’ve been able to eat as much as I want whenever I want my entire life. What the hell does my body think it’s doing gaining all this weight all of a sudden? I don’t have time for an interpersonal rebellion like this. Pass the pie. Not, not a piece of pie, give me the whole damn pie. And more coffee, damnit. I have work to do. This is just a temporary, thing.[/one_half]
[one_half_last padding=”4px 4px 0 10px”]No, it’s not. I’m well past 40 now and the problem isn’t going away. What I’ve come to realize, though, is that much of society’s view of what’s “skinny,” and our subsequent jealous loathing of that condition, is based almost entirely upon the skewed perspective born of one basic fact: we’re all too fucking fat. What’s more, is that we know we’re fat, we know it’s killing us, and we just don’t fucking care. We’ve thrown caution to the wind and ordered another triple burger with quadruple cheese, bacon, and onion rings. And should anyone actually challenge our obesity, we fight back with something stupid like, “You’re fat shaming me. I can’t help it, I was born large.”
Bullshit. Even if you were a ten-pound baby you were not born obese. Obesity, for the vast majority of Americans, is something we have chosen for ourselves and then proceeded to surround ourselves with a variety of excuses for our slovenliness. Let’s be clear: there’s a difference between being overweight and being obese. There can be many contributors to being overweight, including, but not limited to, water retention, bone mass, and muscle buildup. Being obese comes down to just one thing, though: FAT. The National Institues of Health calculate obesity according to Body Mass Index. If yours is over 30, you’re overweight. If it’s over 40, you’re obese. Want to see what yours is? Click here and don’t fucking lie. This morning, mine is 24.3, which is on the upper end of normal for my height. I need to be careful and exercise more.
Sure, there are people who are too skinny and that’s a problem, but shaming thin people just because they’re not so incredibly fucking fat like you just emphasises that your brain is as fat as your body. Well over two of three Americans are overweight or obese and Indiana is currently ranked number eight as one of the ten most obese states in the country. Try and justify it any way you want, we’re not healthy. Obesity is the third most common cause of death on this planet and it is totally preventable. Even our kids, our babies, are too fucking fat and it’s our fault. Put down the fucking fork. Park a few extra spaces from the door. Walk. Exercise. And stop making fucking excuses. You’re fat. You can either change or die. Your call.[/one_half_last]