My paternal grandmother was tall, and large. A stately figure.My father had five sisters, and in general they too were stately women. The maternal contributions to my gene pool are very similar. I was noticeably taller than the average child in elementary school, and am fairly certain I weighed 100 pounds by the time I was in the third grade. I could write a book, hell, a series of books about painful and shameful memories related to my size.
I am 53 years old, 5'9" and weigh somewhere in the 300 pound range. I am fat.
This is what being fat means in my life at this place in time:
- I am at an increased risk for health issues like high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes and joint damage
- I have difficulty finding clothing that fits me and suits my taste and sense of personal style
- There are often problems in stores and restaurants with aisle width and chair size
- Were I to decide to take a trip by commercial air, I would probably have to buy two tickets
- I encounter subtle and overt discrimination on a regular basis
This is what being fat does not mean in my life at this place in time:
- It does not diminish my intelligence
- Being fat does not decrease or desensitize my emotions, opinions or beliefs
- I have a full and satisfying life, complete with friends, socialization, and an exceptional marriage
- Being fat does not change who I am, it is a part of who I am
We all are defined by who we are in relation to society and whatever standards and norms have been established at a particular time. The census even helps pigeonhole us. Race. Age. Income. Education. Nationality. Religion. Family size. Sexual preference. Many of the definitions and pigeonholes are unfair, hurtful, demeaning, discriminatory and biased.
I am me, warts and all, as the saying goes. I don't want you to look past, ignore, accommodate, try to change or make excuses for anything that contributes to me being who I am. If you can do me that one courtesy, and extend it to others as well, we will all be much more capable of experiencing this life on a deeper and more meaningful level.
That is all I have to say at this time on being fat.