Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Feeling so small in such a large body.. welcome to being a fat guy.

Its easy to look at a fat person and not consider why they may be that way because everyone knows that if you're fat you are completely lazy and most certainly love being that way. Hopefully you can hear the sarcasm in that leading sentence because having a problem with controlling weight is much more than being lazy, in fact I would bet that most fat people are not lazy at all. I can think of many reasons that a person might be looked at as different, Race, Gender a Handicap the list is not short and none of those are acceptable reasons to discriminate or belittle a person. Now it amazes me how that when a person is fat its somehow perfectly fine to belittle them for it and its something that I've spent my entire life on the receiving end of.

In high school when you graduate you get a nifty little year book, everyone signs them and wishes each other well on their journey after school ends and in the end of the book there is a spot for "most popular" teachers pet" etc etc. Well let me tell ya it was an amazing feeling to open up the year book and see that you made it into one of these little nominations and for what? Yep, you guessed it, "Most Lazy" well wasn't that nice of whoever decided to give the fat kid a jab on the way out. Typically these little tributes have a male and a female recipient and yep, you guessed it, the heavy girl from my graduating class had the honors of being most lazy for the female population of our school. To this day I am not sure who the wonderful person who decided that adding "most lazy"to that honorable list was an awesome idea but I'll tell you this, My year book hit the trash 5 minutes after I cracked it open because of that without a single signature inside, it was the perfect period to end the sentence that was my high school experience, just awesome, and that pun was indeed intended.

It is socially acceptable to belittle a fat person for being fat and much of the time no matter how hard we work to get healthy it feels like shoveling shit against the tide because of the negativity coming at you constantly for simply being what you are working so hard to try not to be. Something that is sort of interesting about being a fat person is that you are so physically big but inside you feel so small, You hear all of the fat jokes, nothing fits you correctly and you are twice as big as a lot of "normal" folks and yet feeling small and unnecessary is the norm much of the time and I'll bet that a lot of people don't even realize or just don't care how that feels. 

Even when you've concurred the demons, walked through hell and back getting yourself healthier that can still not be enough to be viewed as "normal" in the eyes of some people. I have never shared this story with anyone, in fact I just shared it with my wife last night and its something that happened more than 2 years ago, I never shared mostly because I felt smaller and more insignificant than almost ever in my life in that moment. 

If you read or have read this blog you know there was a point in my life where I was at the gym for hours at a time daily, I felt unstoppable and for the first time in my life felt as if I fit in with all of the "normal" sized people in this world even though I was still not at my ideal weight. A sign went up at the desk of the gym (which will remain unnamed) that sign said "Help Wanted" it was for a front desk/clean machines etc position and by a sign I mean a 2 foot by 4 foot banner sign on a stand at the front desk. A week went by and the sign was still there, a former contestant from the show The biggest loser worked at this gym and I figured that someone else who had lost 230 pounds may be a welcome addition to the staff, especially since He and I were close to the same size at this point.  A few more days go by and I thought about how amazing it would be to work at a gym since I had done so much for my health in the last few years. I decided to completely change how I would have done things as a fat guy (which would be to convince myself no way in hell would they want me to work there and NOT apply for a position) and as hard as it was for me, I applied for the job. 

A short time goes by so I decide to ask at the desk (the co manager of the gym) if they had hired anyone, "Nope, we're still hiring" I asked to talk to the manager so that I can check if they had taken a look at the application yet. Manager comes out, asks how she can help me, I asked about the application and she makes a face like she is recalling something then replies, "I remember seeing it, I'll have a look at it and let you know". At this point I am thinking "How does she know whose application to look at? she doesn't know my name" So I asked if she needed my name, which she says "oh yeah" So I say "Tony" because I was flustered and she begins to walk away so I then say "won't you need my last name?"  I tell her my last name and she walks away, never writing it down and rolling her eyes at me as if I was destroying her day by asking her if they had considered my app yet. A couple days go by and I see the same manager while I am there working out one afternoon so decide to walk to the desk and ask her if she had time to have a look at my application telling her I am excited for the opportunity, all she says is "We've done our hiring already", turned and walked away.

That entire thing went down in front of two or three staff members at the gym and a few gym members on both occasions so to say that I felt about an inch tall goes without saying because it was obvious that they had not "done their hiring" and I was being rejected without actually reading the app or interviewing me based on something other than what was written on my application. That hiring sign stayed there for more than 2 months after all of that happened and going to the gym never felt the same for me, especially watching as multiple people were hired throughout those months. Its hard to go into a place to workout, feel unstoppable and positive when you feel an inch tall because obviously no matter how much work went in, you're still looked at as completely different. Its too bad that the "no way in hell would they want me to work there and NOT apply for a position" as it turns out may have been a better option for me in the end because the whole experience sure did impact me

I stopped going to that gym eventually because of that experience, I can recall things like this happening throughout my entire life where being made to feel tiny inside this larger than average body was the norm and I'll bet I am not the only person who can say that. Fat people are not lazy, fat people are not different than you, fat people are not unaware that they are fat so reminding us with cruelty or obvious discrimination because of our bodily stature is not something others should find necessary.

I started writing this blog back in 2008 and it helped me to drop 230 pounds, I have gained some back (roughly 100 of that 230) I need to get back on course like many others that have issues with weight. Something that I ask anyone who may find themselves this far into this post is cut us fatties a break once in a while. We're trying, it sucks to be this over weight and we are full aware that we are large so there is no need to remind us with  stares, whispers, giggles or pointing. We don't point and laugh at Drug addicts, Smokers, Alcoholics or anybody else struggling with things that we know nothing about and we expect the same courtesy.

As Ever
Me

7 comments:

  1. So sorry you had to go thru this. It sucks that the manager made the decision based on your outside projection. hard to figure out a better way.. except to maybe have taken your before and after pics, drop them on her desk..

    I know that you'll find a way to get back to where you were. You were doing it for all the right reasons: you were doing it for you. Find those reasons, and take it one day at a time.

    I'm also at a 'restart' spot. I too have not gained all the lost weight back.. but enough that I'm not happy. So, I'm taking it one day, one meal... sometimes, one sip of water at a time.

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  2. Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing!! That gym doesn't know what they're missing out on, in my opinion...

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  3. Wow! I'm sitting here at work in tears! I can so relate to the feelings of smallness in an oversized body! Thank you for being brave enough to share your feelings and experiences on your journey! I've followed you since day one and I think I may have commented once or twice way back at the beginning, but I couldn't resist adding a comment to this post! I remember one of your first posts on a forum (5xx pounds of me), I can't remember the exact number but I remember how I felt when I read that post. I was about 380 at that time and was losing right along with you but I stopped at about 75 and quickly gained it back. Reading your feelings and thoughts during your triumphs and challenges has helped me to be more honest with myself and work on the mental aspect of this rather than just the diet and exercise part.

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  5. First off let me just thank you.. i found your blog back in oct and YOU have totally inspired me to take my life back and lose the weight. Seeing you.. we could ALMOST be twins.. i honestly cannot thank you enough for putting yourself out there like you have with your blog.. I followed suit and started up my own and even have quoted you off some of my pages.. Anyways i to have dealt with dumb people like the gym manager.. I know that small feeling you refer to, we can only push past them and be happy with ourselves and hope they find happiness in life somewhere.. Again thank you for doing your blog.. i come back to it everytime i am feeling down and it totally lights that fire right back under my ass just like it did today!

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  6. All of us who have 'been here' can relate. I am sorry they were too short sighted to see how amazing you would have been at that gym, and for their members. Their loss, and I hope someday you can do what you love and are passionate about in your own way. Hang in there, we're all hanging in there as well as we can.

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  7. It doesn't matter whether it's hundreds of pounds to lose or 50 or 20 - you have perfectly described what it feels like to be working hard and have someone dismissive of you.

    You can do this, I know you can. I remember when you used to post your food - in fact every time I see Newman's Own Light Honey Mustard Dressing I think of you!

    Focus my man, focus.

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