Me. Age 17. 178 pounds.

Fat is Spelled F-A-T.

Why skinny people just don’t understand.

That’s me at 17. I weighed 178 pounds, and my mom said I looked good.

I had just lost about 35 pounds (it would have been more if I cut my hair).

That me. Now. 340 pounds.

That’s me too. I’m 340 pounds in this photo. My mom no longer tells that I look good, but she remembers when I did.

As a fat man, I have slowly realized that skinny people just don’t understand what the process of losing weight entails.

As a fat man, I have spent a long time smiling and saying “Thanks!” at every suggestion I have gotten from someone who has never struggled with massive weight. With being obese. With being defined by the fact that seeing your toes is a memory.

As a fat man, I am not complaining about the support and help skinny people try and provide, but it has become exceedingly clear, that skinny people just don’t understand.

Just eat less. Exercise more.

I wish it was that easy.

But it is! every skinny person just said in their head.

Here is the truth about fat people. We don’t want to be fat.

So just lose it!

I wish it was that easy. The act of losing weight is fundamentally simple. There is no one that understands dieting and exercise better than a fat person. After all, we have tried every fucking diet on the market, and even some we made up.

But here is the secret. For most of us, our weight has nothing to do with health, and everything to do with our mind.

Get your mind right!

For some, the emotional connection to food is deep. It’s due to childhood trama or other horrible thing.

Remember that photo of me in my swimsuit? That lasted about three months. I started to get the interest of women, and got invited to more parties, and generally was accepted by the “beautiful people.” I freaked out and gained back a fair amount within three months of graduating high school.

It was the Freshman 15! You should have just worked out more!

I wish it was that simple. I have never liked food. I eat exceedingly fast. Not dude in prison fast, but fast. I eat randomly, and binge. Food is both a reward and a punishment. Well, really a punishment.

Not all fat people are fat because they tie emotions to food. Some have Thyroid issues or other medical reasons. I have an exacerbated narrowing of my spine. Walking is getting hard. My hands have lost most of their feeling. Makes working out kinda hard.

Yet, I still get several suggestions every day about how to lose weight.

Gluten is the enemy! Intermittent Fasting! 4 hour body! Bulletproof coffee!

I get offers to go on walking meetings. Yet by 7pm my hips hurt so bad I can barely sleep. Walking meetings? I’ll get about a block before I want to stab myself in the face.

I’m sorry. Maybe if you lose weight, it will be easier on your back. You know every pound lost is like 4 pounds of pressure lost!

Noticing a fat person’s weight loss is awesome. Cheering us on is great. But ask us how we feel, not focus on how we look.

Don’t provide suggestions, unless we ask. The truth is you probably have nearly zero to provide. We have read all the books. We have tried everything. We have failed a million times. You haven’t. That’s why you are skinny.

But I just mean well.

We know that it’s coming from a good place. But its not the macro advice that helps, but rather the micro. A friend that lost 75+ pounds gave me a suggestion around exercising tracking (using a Suunto watch to understand growth of exercise effectiveness over time). It’s not about working out daily, but rather working out effectively and tracking that you are doing better.

That’s what I said. It’s the little things.

There is a reason AA and other self-help groups require that the leader is someone who succeeded at the program. It’s because they understand the tiny things. Like how difficult it is to take a photo of myself. Ever. Wonder why there are lots of photos of my pets in my Instagram? Now you know.

Everyone is beautiful!

We hide behind beards and dresses and hats and sunglasses because we are unhappy with ourselves. Tell me I look good, and I know you are lying. Tell me you love how I look in my shirt, dress, whatever, and I might squint and force a smile. Tell me that we should accept all body types and whatever that Dove commercial said. I don’t look good. I know that. It’s not a sad thing; its a real thing. The image of myself in my mind is shattered every single time I look in the mirror. Which is why I have no mirrors in my house.

Skinny people. We love you. We love hanging out. We love going to the bar and working together. We love shopping with you, even if we don’t buy anything. We love that you look down on us for buying Twizzlers, not because they are candy, but because they suck compared to Red Vines.

But understand why we may sound so worn out when you give us advice, or even worse, when you sound so excited when we say we are going on a diet.

It’s not because we don’t love you; it’s because we do.

I love you too!

I know. Now please stop.

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