On Being Fat in a Thin People's World.

I'm jes a long, tall , er, short, wide Texan!

The USA are world leaders in obesity I beieve
The USA are world leaders in obesity I beieve

Be kind to us, we're nearly human, too!

On Being Fat in a Thin Man’s World.

Despite the title, this hub is about some of the problems all ample people (to say the most!), not just the author, face on a daily basis when they become overweight or even - perish the word - a beast, er, obese.

But a word on my situation first so you see I possess the credentials to even be proselytizing on this sensitive subject.

I am, indeedy, large. For the first 10 years of life a thin, poorly lad couldn’t gain a pound despite his parents trying. But then we moved to the seaside and this sickly little creature bloomed - and bloomed.

Not that I became fat, but I was a burly chap all my life, weighing a round, er, around 14 to 15 stone in England and 196 to 210 pounds everywhere else where less mysterious measures were found. At 6 feet high, this wasn’t too bad.

This was great until time had its weigh, er, way, and I was suddenly in my 60’s whereupon I started to add lard around the waist and breasts (Ugh…man-boobs!).

Now its 18 stone, or about 250 pounds - but I have been in a diet since 2003 so we can expect the situation to ease soon.

Please be kind…it can happen to you!

It’s nasty to be this heavy. There is a closet full of lovely clothes that no longer can be worn.

I have found I buy one pair of jeans (42 at the moment) which last for a year or so before I buy another.

The trouble is, even tough Levis will “grow” with you, lying to you daily as you finally get them zipped. Then you go to buy another pair of 42’s and find these is a mysterious gap twixt stud and stud-hole, and there’s no way they will ever do up!

“Shite,” you wheeze fatly as you return them and get 46 this time, which take a year then do the same thing.

“They are obviously shrinking in the wash,” the portly tell themselves as they tuck into a bacon sandwich.

It’s not just trousers, guys and gals. The shirts button efficiently at the collar and for the first two descending buttons then…heck, “these have shrunk too” you gasp.

Well, at least your shoes still fit. And bless the fashion gurus for elastic topped pants.

Then there’s the diseases: Fatty heart, arterial sclerosis, arthritis and gout, hypertension, diabetes, poor circulation, weird skin growths like warts, and a lot more I’m trying to forget.

Desperately you buy exercise bikes, walkers, totter out to the nearest field or lane and try to walk it off. Ha! What is it? I 12 -mile-run to burn off a banana!

You stagger home and inhale a compensatory bacon sandwich, or two and a glass of milk.

Then there is the opposite sex. If you are married or otherwise paired-off, you find your svelte partner - who drinks, smokes, eats two bacon sandwiches to your one while staying at 110 pounds, beginning to have the expression usually reserved for those gazing at rhinos in the San Diego Zoo.

“Might be time to loose a couple of pounds,” they throw-off jocularly, trying to be kind.

“Why, do you think I’m obese or something,” you snarl.

“No, darling, darling, darling,” they quip, meanwhile dashing for cover. Not that you could ever catch them anyway.

That’s another big problem. Actually being able to do the things life often requires of you.

Like bending down and, especially, getting down on your hands and knees to rescue the pet gerbil from the cat….and then getting up again with the cat attached to your ear and the ungrateful gerbil hiding in your slipper…crunch! Durn it, never did like that gerbil much anyway.

When you get heavy, gravity become the enemy: especially when you decide it’s the day to do what this poor slab, er, slob did the other way and FALL DOWN! Do you remember those happy days when a fall was nothing; you’d bounce back up and do it again just for kicks? In fact, my party-piece when I was a drunk was purposely falling backwards from bar-stools and hitting the floor with a great crash. I’m sure everyone used to just love me.

But when the large fall, they do it magnificently, breaking bones, the concrete pavement and writhing about like stranded whales until someone calls the paramedics.

Well, it wasn’t quite that bad, my fall was partially broken by a thick stand of blackberries; unluckily, there was a chunk of concrete concealed inside by the clever blackberry for just this emergency.

This scraped and cut my leg all the way from the ankle to the thigh while the more mature of the blackberry fronds punctured my hide in as many places as they could reach.

So you don’t fall when you are old - especially when you are old and obtuse, er, you know!

Because it’s all too common to really sustain life-threatening injuries as my father did many years ago. He slipped on the cellar stairs and broke his hip. While he was in hospital, he got pneumonia and died! And he was skinny as a rail. It made me so sad, I had envisioned crucifixion for him.

What really hurts is the way all the skinnies hate us and make it painfully obvious in newspapers, magazines and the telly.

All these awful programs showing the slim easing 800 pound men through enlarged doorways en route to the crematorium.

“What a blaze, what a blaze it really was, a blaze.”

Or sucking and carving great gouts off horrid yellow grease from some poor victim lying in the operating theatre. That’s the Theatre of the Absurd all right!

What an industry has grown up around us unhappy subjects.

Diet books, weight loss programs on TV, online clubs like Slimming World and Weighwatchers. Whole ranges of “sugar free” products in the Supers. But this nation (and the US) still gets fatter and fatter…

In fact, I think the largest people I have ever seen were in Texas at a McDonalds. It was like the “Waddlers Club,” pear-shaped women and 400 pound blokes. How they had sex escapes me. But they do as several 200-pound kids gnawing on triple big Macs evidenced.

When are they going to come out with the pill that really works? Ha! Never, you know better than that…kill the goose that is laying the golden egg? Stuff us and exploit us, that’s the maxim from the shady entrepreneurs to the NHS.

God, I’m depressed writing this, I’ll have a bacon sandwich, that’ll do the trick.


 

 

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Comments 32 comments

bell du jour profile image

bell du jour 4 years ago from Ireland

Hi Bob, your honesty is so refreshing and fair play to you for talking about it! My partner put on a few pounds when he lived alone (before we met) and he was a cuddly 36 inch waist when we met:-) ....Now he takes a 32 inch ( and no I don't starve him!) he does most of the cooking and he loves to eat healthily, when he lived alone he ate a lot of junk food. I think its habit more than anything that makes us put on weight, and once we break a bad habit out bodies change. You seem to be happy as you are :-) Great hub as usual Bob, voted up beautiful and interesting!

all the best

Bell


meloncauli profile image

meloncauli 4 years ago from UK

Really enjoyed reading your hub. I am a skinny ans slightly below my BMI. It must be my metabolism because I can't put weight on! My doctor is always moaning at me to eat more. Hope you enjoyed that bacon sandwich. My heart goes out to people who genuinely find it hard to lose weight. It's in the jeans...strike that.. genes sometimes too!"


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Belle. My regards to the 32 inch (Grrrrr!) I was that once.

I am not happy the way I am: the UK did it to me, I was OK in Mexico.

meloncauli: Nice comment. I also found out recently I have a slug in my thyroid...er, a sluggish thyroid, that's it! So I am taking levothyroxine for that and it may get my system going

Bob


Angie Jardine profile image

Angie Jardine 4 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

Sorry Bob, you can't blame the UK for weight gain ... it's age.

I was a skinny little wench until I hit 60 then the metabolism went tits up and now I daren't weigh myself. I'm not like the gals in your picture and I know I won't get like that but I'm mad as hell that I'm still too heavy ...

But on a lighter note ... this hub was very funny (I know that's no consolation) - voted up etc. More of this light-hearted stuff please!


Emeraldgreen21 profile image

Emeraldgreen21 4 years ago from South Africa

Thanks for a great hub. I'm on the large side, and losing weight (and keeping it off) is a constant struggle for me. I have to blame going to the UK for my weight gain as well. Their take aways are just so d*mn good, and it's so convenient too...oh well I can't blame just that. It's not like someone forced me to eat it all eh? Oh, I discovered bacon butties over there too...need I say more? ;-) I love your sense of humor about it all though. There's a saying in my mother tongue and it goes something along the lines of "If I wasn't laughing, I'd be crying." So, thanks for a humorous look at a not-so-humorous topic.


cathylynn99 profile image

cathylynn99 4 years ago from northeastern US

i diet and get back to where i was in younger days, then relax and bloat up again and i'm only 55. right now i'm kind of up there in pounds, trying to get the motivation to diet again.

bacon sandwich? i don't eat red meat. my problem is peanut butter. i need so little food really that if i eat whenever i'm hungry, i will gain.

good to put a light spin on this frustrating situation, bob.

and, yup, one must walk a mile to burn off the 100 calories in a slice of bread. better just not to eat the blasted thing.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Hi Bob. Are we twins by some unknown father?

I wish they would invent bacon real flavored zero calorie sandwiches. Do you at least eat the tomato?

And laying in a hammock should burn up at least 1,000 kcals per hour. Yep, if I were supreme commander of the entire universe you bet your bippy it would happen.


stars439 profile image

stars439 4 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Great hub. I know what you're going threw. I am overweight too. A lot of people are. Food these days is so darn good. I could nibble on a house, and still be hungry. I had the perfect body, but I guess we all had one once. Don't be blue you look just great. Personally I like being a big man like Paul Bunyon, or Big John, Big Bad John as the song goes. He was that coal minner that held up beams like hercules to save the rest of the minners. He died. True , or fantasy, I think I will Google Big Bad John. He is in a country music song that our sweet Becky plays.

There is a good side to being big , and mighty, and wearing sports shirts. Don't worry about the Gerbals, the little thin guys can pick them up. My being silly again. GBY


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

My dear friends: I would have to write another article to answer your warm, understanding and humorous comments.

Bless you all and may we all have 6-packs by Christmas...yes, even the ladies!

Bob


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands

Hi :)

Dieting makes you fat, as does any experience which results in calorie-reduction on a large scale, because the body goes into famine mode.

I was very ill, after having my second son, and was unable to eat much, or to get much goodness from what I did eat.

Once my health improved ~ and after taking steroids ~ I put on weight ~ indeed, half my body weight again, in less than six months. That was quite a shock to the system!

And once one puts on weight, the body works to keep to the new size.

Dieting only works for a short time, and then the weight is put back on, along with a bit ~ or a lot ~ extra, to cope with the 'famine'.

I will say, though, that the 17 day diet seems pretty good, because it's not about starving oneself.


cathylynn99 profile image

cathylynn99 4 years ago from northeastern US

dieting makes you fat and the whole rationale behind it is an old wives tale. i used to weigh 200 lbs. i dieted by counting calories at 1200 per day. i have weighed between 130 and 150 for several years. the less you eat, the less you will weigh. period. the one caveat is to exercise to preserve muscle, because if you lose muscle mass along with the fat, you'll be losing high-calorie-burning tissue. also important for women not to eat less than 1200 calories and men not less than 1500 calories to make sure you get all the nutrients you need each day.


bell du jour profile image

bell du jour 4 years ago from Ireland

The best dieting tip I have ever received is to stop eating when your full! The problem is a lot of us eat to fill up an emotional hunger rather than a physical one, and when that happens it can feel like the emotional hunger is never sated......so we keep eating. Its a sad vicious circle and the only way to break it is to think of food as fuel only, not as a means to filling a hole in your heart, only love can do that.

Bell


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Good comment Cathylynne.

I am going to try that

Bob


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

So true, Belle.

Heck, I'm going to fall in love!

Bob


bell du jour profile image

bell du jour 4 years ago from Ireland

Hope you do Bob! ......plenty of ladies out there looking for an articulate gentleman such as you:-)

Bell


Nicole S profile image

Nicole S 4 years ago from Minnesota

Great honesty here. My husband and I are also working on losing weight actively. Eating healthy and exercising currently and hopefully we will see more positive changes. Keep with it :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

You never cease to amaze! Your use of words is obviously a trip...time and gravity will always have their weigh/way! A little extra weight and a little extra gravity can make changes no one wants to see (speaking for myself of course) and that my friend we cannot change. So we all have our crosses to bare or bear. I'm sure you're not obese...larger just means more to love!

You're not only thought provoking but quietly hilarious.

Voted all across and SHARING!


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

I know how you feel. I think where you live makes a difference. When we lived in California I had no trouble keeping my weight down. Warm, on the beach all the time, eating salads everyday. We moved back north, cold bitter weather, never outside, my mother-in-law's cooking. The weight started coming on and never stopped. I have a hub on my problems with weight gain and I also have hubs with the most calorie packed recipes. I have many health problems that should make me lose but still it's a struggle.

Enjoyed reading your hub.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

What a great tale about one of the world's biggest obsessions! The diet/weight loss Industry pulls in billions with sadly, mere ounces for results.

I, like so many have "found" those pounds that some around me have lost. I didn't know one has to be over 60 to acquire them with no effort!! The "find" was a shock and I can't give them away now. Looks like they're MINE to stay!

However, my dear man....I want to thank you from the bottom of my cholesterol-laden heart. The picture of the group of Chub-ettes has allowed me to look like Kate Moss!!!! You are a champ! Up & awesome.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Thank again ladies. Your comments are sooo inspirational and helps one grin and bear it all.

Bob


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

In centuries past, the desirable ladies were those who were prosperous and well fed. I prefer those who are graced with curves, not the bony model types. Of course, there can be too much of anything.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas

If there are huge numbers of obese people (adults and children) here, it is because we have a huge population as well. 210 million last count.

Many things no doubt contribute to the problem -- television, computers, video games, and yes, even pedaphiles. With so many dangers, it isn't safe for children to play outside unsupervised anymore, and so they stay in doing more sedentary activities.

Perhaps the most damaging thing is that corn syrup is in everything anymore -- even soda pop, which I hate, so I never drink it. But lots of people seem to make it their main food/drink. Corn syrup is used in hundreds of products, convenience foods, fast foods, etc. instead of sugar. You might think sugar is no better, but we've never fed sugar to hogs to fatten them up for market. Corn is a staple for that purpose. It fattens the hogs up and they stay that way. People who want to lose weight might check the ingredient list on their fav convenience foods . . .

Genes are a problem, but with thyroid disease becoming more and more prevalent, losing weight is becoming more difficult for lots of people. Sorry to pop your balloon, Bob, but the people I know taking your drug for thyroid inactivity are no better able to lose weight as a result of the meds. Of course when people hit the 40 mark, sometimes before, but for sure at 40, many of them report that it's impossible to lose weight even if they stop eating completely.

Glad you're shining a light on this subject, Bob. Not because it's a huge problem, but because those people with the misfortune to be directly affected (another words overweight or obese) are being victimized twice. I can't imagine anyone wants to be obese. It must be extremely inconvenient, but then it has become acceptable to make them the butt of jokes and to demean them for not having better discipline of their eating habits.

I think we need to be kinder to overweight people because being overweight is sufficient punishment in itself, it would seem to me. Most of them are still brilliant and kind and wonderful people, and that should trump physical condition any day of the week. Treating people badly only makes them want to eat more and makes it more difficult for them to get a handle on their weight, so really, people who think it's fun or expedient to criticize the overweight are actually making the situation worse. I call them corn syrup people because they help people keep the weight on by being mean to them.

Great hub! Voting you UP of course, as always . . .


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Ha! Will...thanks (I think)


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi AF:

Very kind and interesting comment. Although I am well overweight - obviously - I am more the wrestler or rugby player type than the "pear man!" Not being complacent, though.

Its only the ast 5 years...

Yes, I never drink sodas or eat crap (except bread, butter and cheese! not even bacon sandwiches often that was a joke) Neither do I drink alcohol except very occasionally (I cant).

How you doing this fair day (here anyway)?

Bob x


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Love your style Bob! Voting up and awesome was well deserved. After I read this excellent article I thought about how we all might feel if the scenario went something like this:

Doctor visit - Hello mzvocal, how are you today and how is your heart? Has it brought peace and comfort to another?

Let's weigh you now and see how many good deeds you've done.

Your blood pressure reads that you've been a little self-centerd I'm concerned about that. I'm giving you a prescription to help you be a better listener in the future.

Yes, we are fat, and we are thin on the outside, but we are all God's kids and as such, are equally beautiful.

Gee, I didn't mean to get all serious here. It just sorta all came out. :-)


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

hahahah Well, it's Easter Nice thoughts goodnight dear x


GDiBiase profile image

GDiBiase 4 years ago from Portland, ME

Hi diogenes,

This is quite a hub, I loved it and found it very funny and honest as well. We always seem to joke about it once we are Obeos, you know what I mean. I can relate to much of it. Although I was a smaller person until about 10 years ago. The older I have gotten the harder it has been. Trying to be healthy, exercising, we plod along.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime

Great reading!

On my wedding day, I weighed 105 pounds and ate as much of my choices as I wanted and still maintained a desirable weight for many years. Today, I eat half as much and seem to gain a pound every time I open my mouth. I do not eat nearly the sugar-, fat-, and starch- packed foods as I did in my youth. Now, I must make a conscious effort to keep the weight off, although I weigh more now than years back.

I have seen many skinny, rude people join the battle of the bulge as they aged. Sometimes experience is the best teacher.

There is no way I would allow anyone to cause me to feel low because of obesity. I love myself, and I do not mind people thinking whatever they want to think. they have a right to think, and I have a right to ignore them and manage very well to be happy in the process.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Bob, I applaud you for your honesty and openness here, also for all the PUNnies you sprinkled throughout the piece! Weigh/way was a favorite.

Alas, Mother Nature has decided we need additional padding in advanced age to counteract the natural loss of muscle tissue from aging. (Also, to make sure we don't freeze to death in the old folks home when the overweight nursing staff cranks the A/C down to 50F but refuses to bring patients more blankets!)

Up until a year and a half ago, for 10 years I'd lived in a walk-up flat on the third floor (fourth floor to you). My weight never wavered more than a pound all that time, despite spending many evenings with a wheelchair-bound friend who expected me to share the cookies, ice cream, chocolate and other high-calorie goodies she always had on hand. That was in addition to eating out with her at least 3 times a week.

After I moved out-of-state, though, I still ate pretty much the same amount, even less if I was in the middle of a writing marathon. Pretty soon, to my surprise, the scales started creeping up. It seemed like even looking at a cookie would add 5 lbs overnight. Being the analytical sort, it finally dawned the culprit was the fact that I now live in a 1-story duplex, and having to climb 3 flights of stairs at least twice a day at my former home had neutralized the extra calories I ate when hanging out with my friend (who despite being in a wheelchair never gains an ounce!).

Besides looking for a public building with stairs to run up and down, I've given up cheese and anything containing corn syrup (which is most everything in the market except fresh vegetables), and stick to fresh green salads with a splash of vinaigrette dressing and lean meat. I've mostly weaned myself off sugar, too (I refuse give up the 3 cubes in my morning cuppa!). I no longer buy cookies, ice cream, pie, cake, candy or candy bars. If it's not in the house, I can't be tempted. (Living alone makes it MUCH easier to keep temptation out of the house.)

Halving portions is another trick. Whatever is on your plate, take half away and only eat the remaining half - no seconds! - and eat it v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y. The brain has a time limit on how long one feels hungry - about 15-20 minutes - so no matter how much (or how little) you eat during that time, you'll feel "full" at the end of it.

And YES, the U.S. IS the most obese (and morbidly so) country in the world, thanks partly to the abundance of food available and partly to the fast food industry brainwashing us to expect super-sizing, which they started to increase profits, but has increased OUR waistlines.

Good luck on losing those extra pounds and never finding them again!


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

LOvely, thoughtful comment...almost as much info as in the hub!

Fatness, fitness, what crosses we have to bear in amodern world.

Bob


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Thanks to all who commentd on this hub.

Bob


Rebecca2904 profile image

Rebecca2904 4 years ago

This is such a lovely, honest hub! When I was reading it I couldn't help thinking of all the stories I read about Stephen Fry's weight loss (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-11940... ).

I think the best way to go when trying to lose a pound or two is just to take it one day at a time, don't set any massive goals for yourself - 'I'm going to lose 5 stone by Christmas' or anything like that, just small one day goals. 'I'm going to drink a litre of water today' 'I'm going to walk two miles today' 'I'm not going to eat any meat today'. I think things like that, that are healthy, fairly easy to achieve and will slowly set you on the road to a healthier lifestyle are the key.

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