No Justice for Fat Guys

They eat cake for breakfast. Every day. And they’re skinny.

Photo by Henry Be on Unsplash

My office is a little alcove between the kitchen and the dining room, and it has a lot of shelves. It’s the perfect little place for Shaunta’s in laws, Carole and George, to keep their own little pantry.

I don’t know that there’s a proper adjective to describe their diets. I love them, but they’re like the living incarnation of every joke I’ve heard about white people loving bland food; of not knowing seasoning if it leaped up and bit them in the tongue.

While Carole is a little bit more adventurous when it comes to trying foreign and exotic foods like homemade pizza and tacos — after she asks and is reminded on how to eat them — I don’t think George has eaten any vegetable that isn’t iceberg lettuce or corn on this side of the Vietnam war. His favorite cuisine is cafeteria food.

That’s fine. It’s a little sad, maybe, but it’s fine. But the kicker is that both of them, more than anything, love sweets. Chocolate. Jelly beans. Cookies. Ritz crackers. Cake.

They eat so much cake.

Their breakfast every morning is usually one of the many Little Debbie pre-packaged cakes that you can buy from the dollar store, or else one of the pastries made in-house at the grocery store. For Christmas (because I literally did not know what else to get them), I went to the Dollar Tree and got them about $30 worth of Little Debbies. They liked them just fine, though I’m curious how long they lasted.

The rational part of me realizes that this is slightly unhealthy and definitely not a reasonable way to eat, but it pales in comparison to the raging green jealousy monster that I barely manage to keep beneath the surface.

They eat cake.

Every single day.

And they’re skinny!

I barely look at junk food, and I gain weight. I can eat nothing, eat healthy, eat junk, and it’s all the same. I hover between 500 and 520 pounds, and nothing that I’ve done in the last two years has gotten me out of the yo-yo cycling around those numbers.

When they’re stuck on that mental loop, Carole and George will proudly tell everyone how George weighs exactly 200 pounds. Carole weighs even less.

What satanic deity do I have to sell my soul to, in order to eat cake for breakfast every day and weigh 200 pounds? Because I swear, I’ll sign on the dotted line.

Or kiss, whatever it takes.

There is some part of my body that’s crying out for sense, for some kind of practical justice.

My diet’s not perfect. My diet’s not great, or anything. But I don’t eat cake every day! It feels like the universe could throw me a bone or something. It feels like there should be some hard and fast rules for this weight loss thing. Like, if you don’t eat cake everyday, don’t over eat too often, and eat some green and leafy shit every now and again, it’ll start to drop from your body.

But it doesn’t. It just…doesn’t work that way. And it’s frustrating as all fuck.

This feeling’s impractical. And unproductive. But it’s there. It’s a monster eating me up from the inside. (Unfortunately, through some transitive metaphor of energy conservation, the part of me that eats me up still weighs me down.)

Okay, moving on from that convoluted mess.

It’s not so much that I want to eat cake everyday. It’s that I want the freedom to not have to worry about what I have to eat, to not have the reciprocal waves of guilt and shame when I inevitably do eat crap; like a bowl of ice cream or a grip of french fries must be proof that I hate myself, because I know I’ll never get skinny eating that.

I want the food and the shame decoupled. And I don’t know how that’s going to happen, or if it ever will.

I’m going to try tracking my food again, using MyFitnessPal.

I’m planning on saving up to get a FitBit— to track how much I’m moving now, and work toward doing better. If I keep earning well on Medium, a gym membership — or Crossfit, maybe, if we move to Pittsburgh where there’s likely to be a Crossfit box, is an idea. Something to be moving more that isn’t going to kill my body.

I don’t know. Something’s got to change, and not in the direction of me eating cake every day.