We Are All Fatists

It’s crazy to think we are all weightless beings dragging around meat suits. Right?

Like here we are just roaming about superficially judging ourselves and others for their bodies.

And sure, we all have our reasons.

The other day, I posted this status to my Facebook, “How many of you are willing to admit you are fatist, even though you are ashamedly aware of it?”

I got five “likes” and one very sincere response.

The sincere response was from a friend of mine who lives in the mountains.  She lives an active lifestyle just out of pure necessity.  Here was her very honest, and candid response through our dialog.

” I suppose the day I lose all my excess fat maybe I’ll have a leg to stand on… Ha.  ”

To which I responded, ” I think it is sort of like racism, we ignore it until it is in our face. There are certain movements that are “body acceptance and appreciation” oriented and yet media is saturated by the idyllic bodies of 18 year olds. Funny that other cultures find obesity to be beautiful and a sign of wealth and virility; where as our society is pretty much disgusted by people who are not height/weight proportionate, despite the reasons, like hypothyroid, diabetes, and metabolic issues. Being “heavy” in this society is seen as a symptom of sickness, which plays in the mental health of the person with the weight. It is a lot of psychological fuckery.

And here is where she really shares her observations not only of other humans, but of herself.

Well overweight and obese are different to me. Overweight is pretty normal. I’m overweight, probably always will be. Obese makes me wonder how that happened. I wonder if it’s a psychical or physiological disorder. Or a mental disorder? Or laziness? Or were they raised to believe that their eating habits were normal and just fine, when clearly they are not?
I judge very fat and obese people, but only in one circumstance, really. Even though it’s only one circumstance, it’s not ok for me to judge. But I do, and here it is:
Someone walks in the door of the restaurant I am waiting tables at. A very large person. So large, perhaps, that their bottom hangs off either side of the chair struggling to withstand the weight of this person. This person orders a Coke from me, their friendly waitress. Strike 1. What are you doing? You’re making a terrible choice. “Of course!” I say with as much enthusiasm as a fucking Coke commercial. Maybe they’ve ordered a Diet. Even worse. Ouch.
You’re killing yourself. Can’t you see? I come back a few minutes later with a syrupy, dark, fizzy, delicious sodapop and place it down in front of the menu they are perusing. “Do you know what you’d like for lunch today?” I ask, knowing along which lines the answer will be.
“Yes,” this person says, “I’ll have the Bleu cheese burger and onion rings.”
Now, this Bleu cheese burger is a monstrous burger topped with Bleu cheese, bacon, onions and mushrooms. It’s delicious- and probably a thousand shitty calories with those damn delicious onion rings. See, I find myself in judgement mode for just a second here. “You’re making bad choices!!!!!!” Is what I want to yell! But of course, maybe that’s not it. Maybe this person doesn’t know why this food is no good. Plenty of places in America think that a burger is a good wholesome meal. “EAT MORE BEEF” was an actual billboard I used to drive by in Missouri when I lived there. Like somehow it’s the sweet nectar of life. Or maybe, this person struggles with their weight and decided that for one day, they were going to eat exactly what they pleased without guilt. Who am I to ruin that experience for them?
Who the fuck knows why this person is fat or if they care if they’re fat. But to answer your question, yes. I suppose I am a fatist, if that one moment when a grossly oversized and overcaloried meal is ordered out of the mouth of a fat person and I have a moment of weakness in which I forget to only love and never judge, for I have never walked in their shoes There. I admit it.

This is a great example of the thought process we all go through in any sort of judgment that we have toward anyone; even ourselves.

We see what we see, how we see it. And we know what we know, because we learned it or heard it.  Ideas and ideals can stick like glue, especially if those impressions were made in our youth.

Impressed with her answer I sent her this ; “thank you for your honesty, it’s really refreshing to hear someone be introspective about it… because it is just that one second, ya know? But just as quick as it happens we try to distract ourselves from that moment. I think you are averaged sized, not overweight. You are height weight porportionate… you have curves but gentle ones. Unless you are trying to look like a weight lifter or a body builder, you look totally appropriate for you.”

The comment was removed, but she later noted how it took her longer to write the description of her feelings and think about it, than it her initial judgments.

Let’s break this down a little…

We all judge, even though we don’t want or mean to.

We are all hypercritical of ourselves. Slightly more lenient on those we don’t despise.

Despite our natural inclination toward or against competitive nature, we are immersed in a subconsciously competitive world.   A world which has no clear definition in its causation toward it’s competition; where we no longer forage for food or kill out of necessity.

We are inundated with images of some one else’s ideals for perfection, and we’ve bought what we’ve been sold.

All of this has been a long time coming.

If we choose to dig deeper into our individual reasons for fatism, we will see our own trauma.

Sure, it would be nice to have the ideal body of a perky and pert 18 year old posing on the cover of Rolling Stone or Fitness; but let us be real.  We All don’t have high fashion photographers and filters; trainers, and eating disorders.

Some of us just have stress and hormonal issues, some of us are dealing with loss; self control and dysmorphia .  Some of us never knew what it was to be thin, other are dealing with guilt.  Some of us have had children, or sympathy weight…  Our insides are tired and worn, our outsides give clues to the story.

Our meat suits define us in some way.  They physically relate our internal states of being.  How we feel inside is reflected back to our external perception in every conceivable way.

When a person looks like they have given up; there is a strong chance they probably have… but this place is no place for us to judge the whys and how.  It is our job to see the weightless spirit that exists within that skin, and to encourage it to keep going.

It is our job to have the curiosity enough to ask and assist, especially in a place where every one is trying to make an effort.  Be it the gym; the track, the trail, or just in general life.

Competition doesn’t mean pushing the other guy down.  True competition only exists with yourself anyway.

I am sure this is just the “tip of the iceberg” in future posts looking at the same issue.

I encourage you to look at your own “fatist” mentalities.  Really examine them and ask yourself their source.  Spend longer than a few seconds on this daunting task.  Ask yourself how it relates to your own body image and how you treat (or mistreat yourself.)

And next time you feel the judgment bug bite your ass, take a moment to ask where it’s roots really lie, and what you can do to confront it with compassion.

We are all hauling around meat suits as malleable as our mind and spirit.

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