Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Love Letter to My Fat

Chalk it up to the pandemic (a YEAR now), quarantine, winter (it’s -9 this morning…yes, you read that right), or a complete lack of my favorite foods—carbs—because I’m 8 months into yet ANOTHER diet. Or, as diet gurus like to say nowadays, “WOE” or “way of eating.” WOE is accurate, too, as in woe is me. Whatever the cause, my patience is, as Monty Python famously said, “wafer thin.” And I realize that often, this blog is a way for me to articulate and examine my own frustrations, so…I wanna talk about FAT. AGAIN.

In America at least, we’re obsessed with weight. In fact, weight has almost become a habitual conversation starter. Eavesdrop on any discussion, watch TV for an hour, go to the doctor FOR ANYTHING, and there it is—she’s gained weight…he’s lost weight…she looks better thinner/fatter…have you SEEN how much she’s gained/lost…her face looks puffy…his face is too thin…that shirt makes her/him look too fat/thin, please step on the scale IMMEDIATELY.

We don’t care, or at least not as MUCH, about a person’s soul, needs, accomplishments (unless they’re weight related), compassion, back-stabbiness, decoupage skillz, or their ability to ID sharp-shinned hawks at 350 yards. We care about their weight gain/loss ratio. Their "before" and "after." And of course, women are disproportionately targeted for fat comments and shaming, but that’s another can of vipers, and you DON’T want to get me started…

I’m someone who was thin and wispy until my child-bearing years. Then, by INTELLIGENT DESIGN, I packed on reserves: If I had to survive an Arctic blizzard, by the thunder gods I’d be able to keep my offspring warm until spring. And if the mister missed his wildebeest and couldn’t bring home the bacon, I’d still be able to nurse the babies, thanks to my body’s voluminous fat warehouse. Or, if a mastodon mashed the mister, I’d have that healthy, baby-factory bod the other men would club each other for, et voilà, I’d get my genes passed on.

Which Adele is happier? kinder? most compassionate?

I’m laughing a little, but I’m also noticing that the people who MAKE all these remarks—who JUDGE others by their kilos and stones—are almost always THIN, and effortlessly so. Or, they’ve worked their arses off to ACHIEVE thinness and now have the right to judge every poor fat slob who hasn’t, kind of like the way people who inherit money bitch about poor folks needing to “pull themselves up” by their fictitious bootstraps. Forget that weight is usually an amalgam of any number of 1734 contributing factors—genetics, hormones, unrelenting stress, insecurity, psychology, sexual abuse, occupation, co-conditions, illness, medications, other traumas, social and familial conditioning, weather, olfactory memories, cell memory, barometric pressure, natural Girl Scout Cookie resistance, past life experience…you name it.

Also, I DO NOT want you or anyone else feeling sorry for me. I'm avoiding carbs to keep my triglycerides and blood sugar down, and I've lost like 5 lbs, which, for you skinny people, is like not eating that ONE Dorito. I know it's hard for thin people to believe, but I LIKE my body. In fact, my lumpy, bumpy body has seen me through periods of unromantic hippie poverty, a 30+-year marriage, the births/nurturing of three of the world’s best humans, a 25-year career, and a solo tour of Ireland that yanked me out of my comfy sedentary life and forced me into moving my two feet back and forth ad infinitum as a means of propulsion (I didn’t lose a lb, BTW—probably my Celtic genes hugging that fat like a bag of Twinkies, in case of famine).

You can SAVE your “IT’S SIMPLE MATH,” too: Calories burned ≠/> calories consumed. If humans were a product of simple math and logic, we humans wouldn’t be in ANY of the messes we’re in.

So next time you see a weather man, game show host, old high school friend, person who used to check you out at Hy-Vee, or really, ANYONE, and the first thing you can think to say has something to do with weight, you are a weight-shaming bigot, and I’m gonna stuff all 15 Scottish shortbread cookies (imported from Scotland, not the cheap imitations, because butter) that I carry in my pockets, right in my BIG FAT MAW and make you watch me chew. Very politely.

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