Here we go again, yet another story about lazy, fat bastards. I’ll apologise for the language but I’m going to use it anyway because sometimes the ignorance of people and the media feeding out more fuel for hate just really annoys me and I want to use the term I hear most ‘normal’ people use when they talk about us weirdo fat people.
For anyone who’s not here in the UK or not heard of it, there’s been some news today that the powers that be in the EU have decreed that obesity CAN be considered as a disability in some instances. Unlike some ‘journalists’ who are spouting ignorant rubbish over this story I will refer you to some sources of more information about this issue:
What this really centres around isn’t allowing lazy, fat, pie eating morons to sit and indulge their food passions and claim disability benefits, but around encouraging employers to acknowledge that obesity CAN be a disability and as such provision should be made where possible to enable sufferers to remain in work just as they are obliged to do for any other disabled person. Let’s face it obese people who are not at work are a double scourge so keeping them at work is a good thing no?
Contrary to what some hateful people think, this does not mean the installation of pizza vending machines outside office doors, or lard fountains next to water coolers for the ‘normal’ people, but things like more substantial chairs which will not collapse at the weight of anyone over a normal weight (which let’s face it could be a person who is taller or more muscular than average).
Personally I don’t want to be termed disabled. If I had to have a label put on me I’d rather it was for my mental condition than my physical. What obesity does to me in my head is far more disabling than what it does to my body as most obese people would confirm.
I don’t care whether obesity is a disability or not, I just hate that this ruling and reporting of it has opened the flood gates to a torrent of fat bashers yet again. And guess what, people struggling with an eating disorder such as over eating, the root of obesity, do not need fat bashers making them feel miserable, bringing attention to them and making them feel so miserable that they head for their comfort blanket or self harming mechanism … food.
The level of ignorance is striking. I read this ignorant blog post* I couldn’t wait to get my hands on my laptop to comment and so left an awful typo laden comment from my phone (I can’t get to grips with that auto correct which invents words which do not exist). She states (this is the abridged version) that unless people are mentally affected by their obesity they should pull themselves together and lose weight complete with obligatory picture of cake tumbling from the sky.
This person purports to be a ‘freelance journalist’… oh dear, this makes me sad. As a commentator on anything which one does for a living shouldn’t one seek to understand what they are talking about first? Probably got her training at some Micky Mouse centre and clearly not very good at it or else someone would have employed her. Stereotyping am I? Making assumptions am I? Feel the burn, it is what she did to me and every other obesity sufferer out there.
Anyway back to my point, if she could have taken some brain cells for a walk and given them a bit of exercise she might have been able to ask herself if she would be mentally affected by carrying around an extra 10 stones or more? If she might be mentally affected by not being able to bath or clean herself. If she might be mentally affected by being sniggered at every time she left the house? If she might be mentally affected by people writing such nonsense suggesting she should pull herself together and stop being a lazy fat glutton. If she might be mentally affected by not being able to dress herself in the morning? If she might be mentally affected when she stepped into a gym to try to do something about it and idiots like her sniggered, pointed and giggled? If she might be mentally affected by going to bed every night wondering if this is the night the heart attack is going to come and leave the children motherless? And with all that going on feel totally disempowered to do anything about it, knowing better than any skinny person what needs to be done but not having the mental strength to get on the right road and make a difference, not knowing where to go for useful support, not money making scams like slimming clubs and ignorant GPs (I know they aren’t all ignorant thank goodness but many are), not understanding the underlying issues which have led you to this state because it didn’t happen over night or knowing that a life time of diets and exercise has not worked, all it has done is made you bigger and bigger.
Perhaps I misunderstood her post and she actually meant that of course ALL obese people are mentally affected by their condition and that they therefore ALL should be classed as disabled. Yeah, maybe that’s it, maybe her seemingly ignorant post was a veiled attempt at support. I doubt it. The fact that she chose to follow my blog which highlighted me to her post was maybe to draw out a response from me, fatty provoking, poking her skinny talon into my bulging waist line, was maybe to have a direct dig at a fatty, or maybe came as an after thought when she realised she really should do some research into what she was trying to talk about. I hope so, I really do.
I’ve lost over 110 pounds as I’ve battled obesity on my own, I’ve been fortunate to come across support on this blog, support from my GP, support from my wonderful PT, support from my amazing counsellor and from my beautiful, faithful children and my patient and kind partner and from my friends who have taken this opportunity to find out about obesity, to ask questions and listen rather than give advice and judge, but it all started with me and it will all end with me. Anyone who has followed my journey knows it has been hard, not in the decisions and choices I’ve made about my food and exercise, that’s been easy but in the mental demons I have had to face and fight and put behind me. Demons I didn’t even know I had. This has been one journey of many throughout my life to beat obesity and I know now I never will beat it, it is an integral part of who I am, it’s in my make up, physical or mental and I will have to fight it forever to stay on top of it and thank God I have the strength to do so and the means to access the things I need to continue this fight. At any time I could relapse, I know that and it scares me but I’m doing good now, I’m getting there, wherever that is. Idiots like the person who wrote that article and then taunted me by following my blog set me back. I shouldn’t let them but they do.
Reading the things I’ve read today including that post have made me want to stuff my face, they’ve upset me because I know that even after 110lbs I am still obese and that people will still be judging me tomorrow when I go about my business, people will be including me as the fat bastard at work when they discuss this ‘news’ tonight over dinner and with idiot posts like the one above they will be holding those ignorant thoughts in their minds and when they see me on the street tomorrow, or on the bus, or on the train, or in a coffee shop they will be judging me to be a lazy, fat bastard who needs to get a grip.
They won’t know that I’ve lost 110lbs in 8 months, they won’t know that I work myself with my trainer to the point of exhaustion and tears, they won’t know that I feasted on a healthy home made Graonla that morning before I left for work and have a healthy green salad packed for my lunch and that I will resist all offers and temptation of christmas treats in the office and that I will drop off boxes of chocolates gifted to me by appreciative students to the battered wives shelter on the way home, that I have a healthy carrot and corinader soup ready for my dinner when I get in before I go and brave the looks of other swimmers to do 50 laps before I sit to work on my business and to mark a heap of assignments before I do my tai chi before I settle down in bed with my pint of water. They won’t know that and because of articles like hers they will just see me as one of those fatties who needs to get a grip and stop trying to get extra money by making out I’m disabled.
More that that I am made sad knowing that there are many, many people like me out there who aren’t so firmly on the route to recovery as I am, who will be made to falter, withdraw and head back to binge eating to make themselves feel better, there will be people who haven’t yet found the strength to get onto the route to recovery who will be less inclined to do so now as they mask the shame of having the limelight firmly switched back onto them with a couple of family packs of chocolate.
You’re an alcoholic, pull yourself together. You’re a drug addict, pull yourself together. You’re a gambler, pull yourself together. You’re an anorexic, pull yourself together. You’re a bulimic, pull yourself together. You’re a self harmer, pull yourself together. You’re depressed, pull yourself together. We don’t say these things for good reason and yet when we tell an obese person to stop eating so much and exercise more it is exactly the same as saying any of those things to any of those other people who struggle with control issues and addictions. Being cruel is never kind, deluding yourself that you are remotely near kindness if you say that to an obese person is sad, you are a nasty, ignorant, judgmental fool. If you want to help us fat bastards, go and research obesity and make a proper journalistic attempt at writing a balanced article.
Yes I’m disabled, I battle an invisible illness in my head daily and I live with the knowledge that it can resurface at any time, it affects everything I do.
Yes I was disabled when I was at my fattest, I couldn’t take care of my own needs, I had to call my daughter to put my bra on and panicked at the thought of my daughter leaving home and having to rely on my son to do it for me, panicked even more on the days when she would leave the house before I’d got dressed and sit crying on my bed, feeling so much self loathing because I couldn’t put my bra on. I’d wonder how this had happened to me, how had I gone from a size 10 twenty something to a near 50 heap of fat?
It didn’t make me want to lose weight, it made me want to feed my self loathing with a few more cakes. Yes I was disabled and I always will be. Do I want a label slapping on me? No. Did I ever? No. It was enough and is enough to cope daily with the label of fat lazy greedy bastard that I don’t want either. So take your narrow ill informed opinions and shove ’em where the sun don’t shine because all you do is harm and damage. If you really want to help read the hundreds of blogs like mine out there which give real insight into the workings of an obese person. You know what? You find some incredibly intelligent, talented, good people who are caught in a hellish trap that I hope you will never get caught in through any addiction you may have or develop in your life time.
*Edit: the author of the post did contact me to say she had not meant to cause offence and is sensitive to the issues and had changed her post to reflect this. This comment is in the comments section of this post. I didn’t get a chance to read it and thank her on the post before it was apparently deleted. I am glad that it made her think twice about how she puts her views across and sorry if I offended her but sometimes that taste of your own medicine is quite bitter. Of course it was her opinion and we are all entitled to those but having made one person rethink how they can affect people who are struggling with this awful problem is a good thing, sometimes we have to step out of the shadows and put forth our contrary opinion or things never change.