“5 Things I Miss About Weighing More Than 300 Pounds”
WHAT! A CROCK OF…YOU KNOW!
Earlier last week my sister-in-law sent me a “recommended read” in the form of Kelly Coffey’s “5 Things I Miss About Weighing More Than 300 Pounds.” I must say the title grabbed my attention fairly quickly…but not as quickly as the article started to infuriate me.
As I have shared on this site many-a-times, I am a fat boy by nature so, judging by the article’s title, I was naturally intrigued to see what she’d have to say. But, that intrigue quickly become anger and disgust the more I got into the article.
Before we continue, it is of upmost importance to note that, having struggled with weight my entire life, I am very understanding and empathetic to the struggle genetically overweight indviduals go through on a day to day basis…remember I am one of them.
Now, no matter how empathetic I may be, I DO NOT TOLERATE NONSENSE, SELF-PITY, SELF-DOUBT, OR ENABLING EXCUSES!
Well, it just so happens all four run rampant in Kelly’s article and, when I find any of the afore mentioned offenses anywhere, I sniff them out and try to eliminate them as quickly as possible because any single one of them is powerful enough to hinder any personal empowerment or betterment…ESPECIALLY in those of us already struggling to find it!
So, below, at the risk of possibly turning away some of my readers, I have broken down Kelly Coffey’s article into its “5 Things” with the full excerpt in the toggle box, a quote from the excerpt, and my comments/opinions on the excerpt below the quote.
In 2003 I lost more than half my body weight. In 2007 I started a wildly successful personal training career. Today I’m fit enough to run (though I usually choose not to), and thin enough to comfortably wiggle my butt into size 6 jeans (though I usually wear super-stretchy workout clothes).
You might think that when I reflect on my 300-pound self that it would be with disdain or pity. Hell no. The longer I’m thin, though, the more I miss the gifts of living in a body so big that people often turned away. It may sound strange to some, but here are five things I miss about my old, obese self:
“The longer I’m thin, though, the more I miss the gifts of living in a body so big that people often turned away.”
Please note that, as Kelly Coffey does not even touch on the health issues and risks associate with being overweight, or obese, nor will I. So, assuming that we are talking about 300 lbs. of mostly fat on an average 5’-6” human being, trust me, my friends, when I say being 300 lbs. brings absolutely no “gifts” with it.
EXCERPT: 1. POWER
Being fat gave me natural physical strength. As a thin person, I have to go out of my way to be strong. Despite daily strength training I’m nowhere near as powerful as I used to be. Once upon a time I could confidently lift a couch into and out of a moving truck (a U-Haul, not a truck in motion — being fat never did give me super powers). Today, I labor under the weight of heavy things. I miss the natural, organic strength that I used to take for granted, the sheer power born of moving under the weight of my own fat day after day.
“Despite daily strength training I’m nowhere near as powerful as I used to be. Once upon a time I could confidently lift a couch into and out of a moving truck”
Let me start by saying, “Are you f-ing kidding me…?!”
You really think an obese-300-pound person is more powerful than an in-shape person of the same height and age…?
First and foremost there is a general misunderstanding of physics which needs to be addressed…which coincidently also proves why this statement is 100% wrong.
Power is the amount of energy/per unit time, and energy is used to do work.
What does this mean?
Well this means time and energy play into someone’s “Power.”
So, if a person is to lift, or push, a couch into a truck to measure that person’s power we’d need to see how long it took that person to push the couch into the truck.
Okay, so assuming the out-of-shape obese person has enough stamina to do the task once they may do it in less time than their in-shape doppelgänger. BUT WHAT IF THEY HAVE TO GET TWO COUCHES INTO THE TRUCK…or three, or four…who would have more power then?
Or what if the task is as simple as getting your laundry basket up a flight of stairs…? Who do you think would do that work in less time? Who’d have more “Power” then?
Life’s not about 30-second tasks or lifting a couch once every 5 years…it’s about lifting that couch everyday!
EXCERPT: 2. COMFORT
At bedtime I lie down in a sea of pillows. My husband laughs at me, but I need all those pillows because I spent most of my life in a large, soft body. When I’m lying on my side, the feeling of knee bone on knee bone is enough to keep me up all night; I hug a pillow to compensate for the generous expanse of tummy my arm used to rest on. I haven’t slept on my stomach in over a decade because I lost the nice, round belly that softened the space between my spine and the bed. Also, I could write a whole post about how awful it feels to sit on a hard surface with a bony butt. Tail bones and hard seats: never the two should meet.
“I haven’t slept on my stomach in over a decade because I lost the nice, round belly that softened the space between my spine and the bed….Tail bones and hard seats: never the two should meet“
What about the “comfort” of being able to tie your shoes “comfortably?”
What about the “comfort” of knowing you’ll fit “comfortably” (or at all for that matter) into one airplane seat? Or into the roller coaster ride your kid wants to go on with you? Do you think what tragically happened to that woman who was flung from a roller coaster ride because she was too big for the latch to keep her safe was okay?!…I guess so because at least she might have been “comfortable!”
I was only 240 lbs. at my max weight and I found absolutely no “comfort” in having to adjust my XXL T-Shirts every time I sat down because they were cuffing my gut. Nor did I feel any “comfort” in the fact that I would break into a full-fledged sweat merely from eating! Nor did I feel “comfort” losing my breath every time my toddler wanted to play…
“COMFORT!” You have to be kidding me!
As a matter of fact, my “bony butt” is hurting and falling asleep as I am writing this post, but guess what?!
I CAN BUY A MORE “COMFORTABLE” CHAIR WITHOUT THE FEAR OF NOT BEING ABLE TO FIT IN IT!!!
And as for the bed, I too used to love sleeping on my stomach too and can no longer do so since I lost weight. The loss in stomach cushion after dropping 75 pounds has made my lower back arch inward in such a way that I get lower back pains…BUT NOT SLEEPING ON YOUR STOMACH IS A SMALL PRICE TO PAY FOR BEING “COMFORTABLE” THE OTHER 16 OR SO HOURS OF EACH AND EVERY DAY!
EXCERPT: 3. PERSPECTIVE
When I was fat I understood that most weight changes are fleeting and insignificant. At 300 pounds, I wore clothes forgiving enough to accommodate ten pounds lost or gained, so I didn’t think much of it. Sadly, going from a size 6 to an 8 makes me nuts in a way that going from a size 26 to a 28 just never did. I miss the freedom I once had from noticing and obsessing over Every. Single. Pound.
“Obsessing over Every. Single. Pound.”
“Obsessing over Every. Single. Pound,” is something natural weight-packers have to do for the rest of their lives…
….OR THEY CAN JUST CHANGE THEIR LIFESTYLE.
I know this first hand because I AM A FATTY. If I stop working out and simply look at food the wrong way I pack on the weight! But I changed my lifestyle and “Obessing over Every. Single. Pound” is a thing of the past.
This is actually why I started this website – to stop calorie counting by changing one’s lifestyle (not one’s diet!).
EXCERPT: 3. PERSPECTIVE CONTINUED
As an obese woman I experienced the world every day in a body that was judged, undervalued, demonized, mocked, feared, despised, and avoided. Those awful experiences gave me more empathy, more character, more personality, and a broader, richer and more inclusive perspective than lifelong thinness ever could have (back off, deep and interesting lifelong-skinny women — I’m speaking for myself here). I also have a much more meaningful appreciation for my health and the body I have today, and I sure as hell will never take it for granted. Not to mention the deep respect I automatically have for every person I meet who doesn’t fit the (white, straight, middle-class, able-bodied) mold.
“As an obese woman I experienced the world every day in a body that was judged, undervalued, demonized, mocked, feared, despised, and avoided. Those awful experiences gave me more empathy, more character, more personality, and a broader, richer and more inclusive perspective than lifelong thinness ever could have…”
I was the “fat” twin my entire life. As a matter of fact, the way people told me and my twin brother apart throughout grade school was by remembering that, “Roly has rolls and Cele is as skinny as a celery stick.”
I heard it all from both family and friends growing up. From “fat boy” to being told I needed a bra…in the fourth grade!. Yeah, the insults hurt, and they were unacceptable, but if it weren’t for them I may not have come to my personal breaking – the point I decided to take matters into my own hands. So, I can agree with this section of this post…don’t be mean to people…instead lets encourage them to find happiness.
EXCERPT: 4. FRIENDSHIPS
Starting and maintaining friendships was easier when I was fat. Women rarely saw me as a rival and were less self-conscious than they are around me today. My larger body made it easier for my peers to let their guard down and be themselves. Because I felt less-than when I was fat, I was way more forgiving and accommodating, and I often edited myself for maximum social appeal.
Friendships today are more likely to feel peppered with insecurities. Confident and candid, strong and outspoken, today I present the real me, and, at times, ruffle the feathers of the sort of people I spent my early life catering to. The friendships that remain require real, sometimes uncomfortable heart-to-heart discussions, and true open-mindedness; they can be exhausting. When I’ve had a long, hard day, I miss the easy, comparatively effortless friendships of yesteryear.
“When I’ve had a long, hard day, I miss the easy, comparatively effortless friendships of yesteryear.”
This one’s quite simple really – if you find yourself missing the “… the easy, comparatively effortless friendships of yesteryear” then you need to find new friends….
….THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BEING BIG OR BEING THE SEXIST SKINNY PERSON IN THE WORLD!
EXCERPT: 5. PRESENCE
Finally, there’s the weird disconnect between the size of me in my mind and the size of me — of my physical body — in the world. The “me” in my brain is big. My voice is big. My feelings are big. My attitude is big. Ten years ago, all that bigness was reflected in my body — fat, round, impossible to miss. Now, my personality and my body feel mismatched, like my mind is walking around in shoes several sizes too small. I miss feeling like a cohesive whole. I miss inhabiting the grander space I once did.
“Finally, there’s the weird disconnect between the size of me in my mind and the size of me — of my physical body — in the world.”
This is all about self-image, and, believe it or not, I can see where she is coming from with this.
I too experienced the discount between my mental self-image and the realty of the physical me. Though my disconnect was opposite to the one she had, it was a strong disconnect nonetheless (i.e., I was much bigger in real life than I was in my mind).
And, it wasn’t until I came to terms with the new me that I was able to change my life.
Yeah, every time I looked in the mirror or at family photos I wanted to go on a diet and start losing weight…but out of sight, out of mind, right?
So, I bought bigger clothes, stopped posing in family pictures, didn’t jump in the pool as much, and so on and so forth. I did anything and everything to live the lie – to live the mental image of myself as opposed to coming to terms with the reality of me in the physical world.
I lived this lie for about 4 years until one day I said, “Enough! This is me, I am no longer the 170 lbs. happy-go-lucky person. I am the new 240 lbs. happy-go-lucky person…who wants to be 170 lbs. again.” And so I made it happen!
The point here, in case it’s not as clear as I’d like it to be, is to BE HAPPY WITH YOURSELF!
And, if you’re not, then do everything in your power to BE HAPPY WITH YOURSELF!
The longer I’m thin, the more in love I fall with the fat body I once had, and with the woman I was before I lost my weight. I’m the luckiest person I know, in large part because my personality and perspective were developed in the context of being a fat woman.
Today, I get to work with women and men of all sizes and all abilities. I love them — each and every one of them, inside and out — and I love helping them, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, to fall in love with their own perfectly imperfect bodies.
Nothing much to say hear other than YOU SHOULD FALL IN LOVE WITH WHO YOU ARE each and everyday…and if you can’t, or don’t, love yourself than change into the person you can love because, as the immortal Phife Dog said, “if you ain’t yourself, you’ll end up by your freakin’ self”…or something along those lines.
WHY DID I FEEL I HAD TO WRITE THIS?
Why did I feel the need to write this post?
It is simple really, though I support and encourage people of all shapes and sizes to be 100% truly happy with themselves, I CAN NOT SIT AROUND while people talk about the pros of being over weight, obese, or out of shape without sharing all the life-altering and threatening cons!
No one, no matter how big you once were or are, should talk about the positives of being obese without also talking about the health risks and life-threatening complications that come along with it…it is one thing to be happy with yourself but it is completely something else to promote health hazards!!!!