The Cruelty (And Ignorance) Of The Thin

Last night my husband called me a blimp.

Yep, he really said that. Not that I haven’t called myself that and much worse every time I looked in the mirror since the age of 11. But when someone else says it, especially someone who is supposed to love you, it really, really hurts. I’m not going to try to defend him by saying he was drunk (he was), and I had eaten all of his potato chips (I did). Of course I know that’s no excuse, and there’s no defense for something so cruel and hurtful. He was an asshole, pure and simple. But this blog is not about my marriage. It’s about the attitudes of thin people toward those who struggle with their weight. Let me correct that. I don’t mean ALL thin people, just most of those who have never had a problem with carb addiction, insulin resistance, and all the other factors that contribute to making many of us fat.

OK, skinny people (David), I have a few questions for you:

DO YOU THINK I WANT TO BE FAT?

DO YOU THINK THAT IT’S EASY TO LOSE WEIGHT?

DO YOU REALLY THINK THAT ALL OF THE OVERWEIGHT PEOPLE YOU SEE ARE JUST LAZY SLOBS WHO HAVE NO WILLPOWER?

DO YOU SECRETLY BELIEVE THAT ALL THIS TALK ABOUT INSULIN RESISTANCE, CARBOHYDRATE ADDICTION, ETC. IS JUST AN EXCUSE FOR ALL OF US BLIMPS TO MAKE PIGS OF OURSELVES WITHOUT GUILT?

DO YOU REALLY THINK YOU’RE SO MORALLY SUPERIOR TO US? (come on, you know you do)

Well, here’s what I have to say to all of you (cover your eyes if you’re sensitive):

BITE ME

I am not this

blimp

or this

pig

or this

hippo

Here’s what I am (not that I think anyone who really needs to hear it is actually reading this:

I am a person who started having weight issues at the age of 11. (Hormones, genes, growing up in an Italian/Polish neighborhood, whatever.) For much of my early adult life I was able to keep my weight low. How did I manage to do that? Well, how about a 3 pack a day nicotine habit? Who needs food when you can suck up that lovely, stimulating yet calming drug? (And yes, I’d love to have a cigarette right now, thank you.) And there was my brief but intense affair with cocaine. We won’t go into that. Plus, many of my jobs involved physical labor, which helped keep the weight under control. Of course, interspersed with the thin phases were the fat phases. In grad school I developed a habit of stopping at the convenience store after work and picking up a 1 lb bag of peanut M&M’s and polishing them off that evening. Every day.  I also developed a binge eating disorder. During a binge I can pack in the food to the point of pain and beyond, while going into a trance where I know in the back of my mind what I’m doing, but just can’t stop. Can anyone reading this relate to that? My husband can’t. He thinks it’s weakness and lack of willpower.

Over the years my weight yo-yo’d, as you can imagine.  I did all of the diets – cabbage soup, Atkins, South Beach, ultra low fat (my lips cracked and hair fell out on that one, but I lost weight), Fuhrman, The Zone, Esselstyn, Campell. And I fell off of every one of them. (Or, as you so compassionately put it, for 30 years I failed at every diet I tried. Thanks). My clothing size fluctuated from 6 to 16.   My self esteem fluctuated just as dramatically. So of course what I need to hear is that I’m a blimp, because that’s so empowering and inspirational.

Let’s discuss heredity and upbringing for a moment. Hey, thin people, were your parents fat? Was your grandmother obese and diabetic? Did she go blind when you were still a child, and lose both of her legs, yet still love her toast and graham crackers in between bouts of diabetic coma? Maybe she was just a weak-willed slob, huh?  Did your mother become diabetic as well, eventually losing her sight, suffering from agonizing neuropathy,  and developing Alzhiemer’s? Did you know that scientists/doctors are now referring to Alzhiemer’s as Type 3 diabetes? Did your mother suffer from diabetic gastroparesis? Undiagnosed? And then die of heart failure? Another weak-willed blimp, I suppose. Did your father suffer 2 heart attacks and die of congestive heart failure, yet still have his middle-of-the-night binges? One of my best memories of my father was the time he woke me in the middle of the night after coming home from a company clam bake. He had brought bags of clams home with him, and the 2 of us sat at the kitchen table scarfing down clams dipped in butter and loaves of bread.  I ate until I was sick, and then ate some more. It was my first real binge, I guess. And yet it remains a good memory. Like father, like daughter, I guess – blimps the both of us.

Now, shall we talk about menopause? Why bother, ’cause you’re never gonna get that one. Because unless you are actually a “woman of a certain age”, you are never going to understand. Doctors don’t. Even the enlightened guys (and the vast majority of them ARE guys) in the low carb/keto community don’t.  I didn’t until I actually got there. So why would I expect you to get it?  I guess as we get older, women just become more and more weak-willed and gluttonous, huh? Why can’t we just eat less and move more? It’s so simple. Must be something wrong with us.

OK, I’m done. Rant over. Not the hurt, of course, that doesn’t go away. I’ll get back on my “diet”, I’ll make more progress. And no doubt I’ll fall off again and you can be all smug and contemptuous and wonder out loud why I can’t stay on my diet. But in spite of you, I won’t give up.

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