Fat People Need Love Too

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Being overweight is a struggle in itself, and while I have never been obese or encountered the pros and cons of mampiedom, it’s a struggle that I’ve experienced enough to not feel comfortable in a bikini.

Not being happy with your body can fuel an inner loathing that can spiral completely out of control. Of course, it all depends on how you view yourself. When you look in the mirror, honestly, are you fat? If the answer is yes – we will come to you later. Now, if the answer is no – are you sure? Man or woman, if yuh looking pregnant from de side – fat. Fellas, if yuh could lift yuh belly – fat. Ladies, sit down with your legs crossed and lean forward, if yuh belly starts to touch your thighs – fat. Free your self from the denial – YUH FAT!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not hating. Fat people need love too. Fact. Self-love. The kind of love where you are honest enough with yourself that you need to do something about it… because believe me, if you can’t be honest with yourself, you can’t expect other people to be. If your partner is overweight, how does that dynamic really work? Take this scenario, for instance:

“Babes, do I look fat in these shorts? Be honest eh.”

“Of course not hun. You don’t look fat in those shorts!”

And he turns away with relief, after successfully evading another “fat” question. Truth is, he was honest. You’re not fat only in those shorts. You’re fat in everything.

I guess the same goes for cheating – does anyone really answer the “have you cheated” question with an enthusiastic “yes”? Difference is… being overweight has a much longer list of ramifications than cheating. Coronary Heart Disease, high blood pressure, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and more. Being overweight or obese also raises the risk of colon, breast, endometrial, and gallbladder cancers. This isn’t about looks. This is about health.

So to ask that question again, do fat people need love too? Yes. Love from someone in their life to sit them down, and say, “It has to stop”.

Let’s go back to the mirror. To those of you who answered, “yes”, so you admit that you’re toting a capital ‘B’ for big. Plus size. Vertically challenged. Curvaceous. Voluptuous. Call it what you like. Being happy with your size. Is it really happy? Or is it settling? You’re just convincing yourself that you’re happy with your body because that’s easier than doing something about it. You CANNOT be happy being that fat. You CANNOT. I know what it is to be obese. I carried a baby for nine months, so I know what it’s like to feel ‘heavy’ and unhappy, with all of the aches from all that weight.

Now before you position your fingers on the keyboard and direct your cursor to the comment box, let me clarify. Fat, as defined by the Oxford dictionary, is an adjective (of a person or animal) that means having a large amount of excess flesh; overweight is also defined as an adjective, meaning above a weight considered normal or desirable. The desirable part is what will make this article sweet for some and sour for others. Many people have a medical reason for being overweight. You’re excused. You can’t help it. There is nothing that you did to make this occur.

For those of us who have overeaten our way to four dress sizes too big or the inability to see our toes, we need to talk. I know it’s hard and daunting, but you’ve got to do it for you. I was reading a blog and the writer said that fat people definitely need love to motivate them to make a change. That being loved and accepted for being bigger will lead to a slimmer waistline. There’s truth in there, but is the risk worth the wait? Are you saying that once a fat person finds true love, weight will be lost? That’s like saying if you get in accident while talking on your cell phone, if you survive you won’t do it again.

Everyone deserves to be loved, but we must all love ourselves first. For if we can’t love ourselves, we cannot love others. So I am going to accept the responsibility of dishing out some tough love to those of you who are fat – whatever your definition of fat may be. This, by the way, includes me.

The largest size I wear, since having my son, is a healthy UK 12. Prior to my pregnancy I wore a UK Size 6. Back then I went to the gym maybe twice a week. Sometimes more. When I did, I went for it. Gave it my all. I walked a lot in my daily routine, and I watched what I ate. Then came the two lines (yes is d pregnancy test I talkin’ about). Looking like a hot air balloon. The boy. Two years later and I am three sizes bigger. My arms are fine. Great even. As are my legs. But my midsection? Yuck.

I am succumbing to the mediocrity that I once saw only in others. And I need to snap out of it. Why? Because I am different from the way I used to be. And it bothers me. And who will I blame when my rationality is dwindling? The boy.

How many mothers out there silently or openly admit that having children changed their bodies for the worst? We need to do something about it. We need to love ourselves again. So, I’m going to the gym three times a week. Being stricter with what I eat. Running a few times a week. Walking instead of taking taxis everywhere. And to the people who tell me, “but your belly’s not as big as mine”, I never quite know how to respond. Ok. I do. I want to tell you, “Lay off the effin Mc Donalds”. Ha.

And for those of us who go in the fat pile because we didn’t stop after the fourth slice or fourth beer? Yes you need love too. Me love. Don’t wait on the world or having one good person out there to love you for you. It’s selfish because you’re asking that person to lie when you ask the “fat” question, and you are also leading them into a long-term relationship where the ROI (return on investment) can be questioned. In other words, because of all the health risks you are exposing yourself to – you may not make it to forever.

Now the too skinny ones out there, you’ve got your delusions too, and that I will leave to the professionals.

To my fatties out there, don’t wait to see if someone will love you for you. Love yourself and start leading a healthier lifestyle today.

Eng out. Mmmmmm… KFC.


Check out the rest of this week’s issue (Issue 33: 22/11/10):


Michelle Eng Leang

Michelle Eng Leang is a Trini living in the UK. Married for almost ten years, she is a mother to a two-year-old-son. She eh really cater - and that's all you need to know. You want an honest opinion? With her, that's exactly what you are going to get. Check out her blog http://mamaengsthoughts.blogspot.com.

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