Saturday, February 21, 2009

Life in the Fat Lane

Eight years... the amount of time in my life when I was not fat. Alright, before I go any further, let's get something out of the way. "Fat" may seem like a politically-incorrect word. But, consider the other options: obese, thick, pudgy, tubby, heavy, stout, plump, metabolically-challenged, overweight, rotund, abdominous, plump buxom, chub-o-lub, hulking, round,
potbelliedblubberychubby... eh... yes, you get the picture. That's why I prefer the label "fat."

Believe or not, there are many advantages to being fat. Of course, it is obvious that there are many disadvantages to being fat. For those of you who have never ventured into the "fat lane," I'd love to share with you some of my thoughts and experiences.

Disadvantage: The Doctor's Visit
Most doctors have a built-in stereotype that everything wrong with a fat person is because of the extra baggage. Not to brag, but even though I am fat, I am quite healthy. Perfect blood pressure, low heart rate, great stats. But still, every time I visit the doctor for every type of malady, it is because I am fat. A broken finger - "Well, Ms. Dobson, I believe your fat got in the way of you being able to see the door that smashed your finger. And, the fat fingers on your other hand most likely malfunctioned as they tried to stop the door from closing slowly. Lose some weight!" Bronchitis - "The fat around your lungs caused a heaviness which slowed the proper release of mucus from your lungs. Lose some weight!"

Advantage: No Need for Designer Clothing
Since I am not in the size-range of designer clothes, I do not need to be bothered with shopping at Dillards, Macy's, and all of the prestigious boutiques that specialize in overpriced, designer clothing. A great money saver for our family!

Disadvantage: Airplane Seats
*Gasp*! Been on an airplane lately? Who designed the seats? Obviously a person with no hips, standing less than 5'3". Lift up the arm rest? Oh my gosh! A flight attendant is there like a hawk, chirping, "That is not safe, ma'am, you need to keep the arm rest down at all times!" She also sees my hips creeping over into the next seat, and I just wait for her to tell me that I have to pay for an extra seat. So far, that hasn't happened. Yet. So, I suffer through and arrive at my destination with two large bruises on each hip.

Advantage: Bring On the Nuclear Disaster
While my thin friends will be starving, I will be able to live off my fat reserves for awhile...quite awhile, in fact.

Disadvantage: Going to the Gym
Our family has been members of the local YMCA since 1999. At first, I went five or six days per week. I did lose some weight and became a "fit-fat" person. Many at the gym, especially during the "January rush," thought that I was one of those New-Year's-resolution members who would be there for a month and then all of a sudden disappear. Not a chance - I'd been there for years! I got more snubs and more unsolicited advice than I can even share in this paragraph. Oh well, those people didn't last more than a few months... and I did! Ha! Justice is sweet!

Advantage: I Love Winter!
While those with no extra meat on their bones struggle to keep warm in the winter, I stay toasty and cozy. An added plus indeed! Just don't get me started about July and August....

Disadvantage: Grocery Shopping
Each week, I shop for five people. That means a grocery cart full of food - all types of food. You know the drill. I have a husband, myself, my father, a teenager, and a pre-teen to shop for. Yet, people look at me as though I am purchasing all of that food for myself. Yes, another myth of the fat person: we eat so much more than a "normal" person. Perhaps we do, to an extent. Consider this theory - many fat people, like myself, have been on every diet known to humankind. Going off and on diets screws with your metabolism. Then, it doesn't take much for extra weight to creep back on. But, I digress. Back to the shopping experience. Placing all of the items on the belt, you can see the eyes of the person behind you checking everything you purchase. God forbid if there is a carton of ice cream! Or Oreos! Oh no, not spaghetti - carbs! Look out!

Advantage: To Thine Own Self Be True
Being fat, I know who I am. When I make a friend, I know that they like me for me, regardless of what package I am in. Always remember, you never judge a book by its cover. Sometimes the best-looking cover has an awesome book inside; sometimes the cover is just a guise. Look inside - you may find a true gem!