i was overweight, but I'm working on it.

I've been feeling uninspired the last few days. It took the re-reading of CowboyNeal's beautiful words in sensitivity and fat people, and prole's words in I'm not anorexic, but I'm working on it to remind me that even completely experiential stuff has a place on Everything. I find purely Getting to Know You nodes trite, so I will attempt to relate this to you, the reader. Let me know if I fail.

Eating disorders are incredibly common in the United States. Both kinds, your anorexic/bulemics and your "mmm...I think I'll have another muffin"s stem from insecurity and low self-esteem And, in both cases, the results of those eating habits will affect the person with the syndrome for years after they improve their self image and regain security in their lives.

In my case, genetics just begged me to get fat, and when the events of my life took a turn for the less than charming, I happily complied. I have a metabolism to laugh at, and most of my interests are fairly sedentary. That, combined with horrible eating habits, led me to be very overweight at the age of only 11. The details of my life turning upside down have litte to do with this topic, so I will avoid discussing them here. Suffice it to say, they changed my existence (in the end, for the better), and left me with very litte solid in my life. So what did I do? I ate. Feeling down? Have some tuna. Rough day at school? Have a cookie. Nothing better to do? Why not get pizza? I would hazard to guess that by 8th grade, I was around 5' 6" or 7", and likely around 200 pounds. This made my transition into high school juuuuust fun. But, thanks to my using comedy as a defence mechanism, my being overweight quickly fell away as one of the defining problems in my life. I made friends, etc, etc. Thanks to making healthier life choices, I'm now much closer to what I should weigh. I'm a large man (stupid shoulders), and by no stretch of the imagination am I thin. Every time I read those government reports on what we're supposed to weigh, I laugh my ample ass off.

We all have our crutches and weaknesses. Overweight people, regardless of whether they can help it or not, are still people deserving of respect. In fact, most of them fill me with admiration. I have been lucky enough to have supportive people surrounding me most of my life. I'm in the state of health I am because of a lack on my part. My brother was in a similar situation as I, became a vegetarian, and now looks like he could play the scarecrow in Wizard of Oz. So I'm not treated differently because of it, and I know if I buckle down and follow through with healthy lifestyle choices, I can make a difference. Most of my fellow "large boned" friends are not so lucky. They have to put up with a world which is much more understanding to anorexics and bulemics. "Oh, of course she didn't eat," the world thinks "everyone wants to look like a model." But what of those who simply have a different way of dealing with stress? Revulsion and ridicule. I'm not trying to marginalize the experience of those with undereating problems. But it's fairly obvious that the public at large is more accepting of that kind of an eating disorder than the opposite. Even while Americans themselves are statistically increasing in mass. (heh...that's a great node : I was fat before it was trendy) This kind of hipocracy makes the reception that overweight people get even harder to swallow. (ha ha)

For those folks who want to read more from this standpoint, I suggest you check out one of my favorite columnists at Salon, Steven A. Shaw. His article Fat Guys Kick Ass is the best single condensation of fat people attitude I've ever read.

So hug your token fat person today. You'll be glad you did. (And remember, we're bigger than you. So none of that Poppin' Fresh stuff, or we'll be wiping your appropriately proportioned corpse off of our meaty hands. :)