I read an article in the newspaper over the weekend, and it’s one of those pieces that makes my blood boil a little bit more every time I read it. The woman who wrote it couldn’t have made her contempt for people like me any clearer.
This is what she said, in response to the latest Government initiative against obesity.
A few years ago, after an hour working out in the gym, I headed off for my favourite treat. Standing in line for my double-helping bacon sandwich oozing with melted butter and brown sauce, I felt a tap on my shoulder.
It was Ronnie, one of the trainers at my gym. He said: ‘Before you stuff that in your mouth, look at the size of the backsides of people ahead of you in that queue.’
Cruel, perhaps, but honest. Because as a personal trainer he knows the basic fact about fatties.
They’re overweight because they eat too much and exercise too little.
Yet experts all talk about an ‘obesity’ epidemic as if people who fill their faces suffer from some illness over which they have no control. And now our nanny state is stepping in with its latest ‘cure’.
Yesterday, we learned it is determined to force food manufacturers to make burgers and pizza portions smaller, reduce the size of crisp packets and lower the fat and sugar content of unhealthy foods.
What infantilising nonsense. It’s going to put up the cost of food for all of us as manufacturers comply. And it’s going to do nothing to stop people guzzling. It’s greed that makes you fat. Not ignorance about the dangers of junk food.
Like all normal-sized people, I have to work hard to stay trim. Everyone knows endless burgers and crisps, washed down with litres of fizzy drink, are bad for you. But fatties lack the willpower to stop eating.
Reduce the burger size and the Billy Bunters after instant gratification will just order two, with extra chips.
We are among the lardiest in Europe. Two-thirds of adults and one-third of 11-year-olds are overweight, leading to heart attacks, strokes, cancer and diabetes.
But this initiative suggests the fatties waddling about our streets are the Government’s fault — they’re all victims, as though those giant sausage rolls automatically fly off the hot plate and into their open mouths.
Or they’re obese because they’re poor, and everyone else is to blame for cramming them full of junk food and takeaways.
Until we hold families and individuals, parents and children, accountable, waistlines will continue to strain at their belts. We don’t need more laws to ram home the harsh truth about gluttony — just common sense and strength of character.
Now, I’m not easily offended…sticks and stones and all that. But in these few short paragraphs, not only has she referred to me as a fatty and a Billy Bunter, she’s suggested that I waddle around being greedy and stupid, with no strength of character. In my opinion, for what it’s worth, she’s a skinny fuckwit who doesn’t have the first idea what she’s talking about. How dare she judge me.
In some respects, I don’t disagree with the spirit of what she’s saying, right? I happen to share her view that it’s not the government’s responsibility to save me from myself. But there’s a way to get a point across, and taking a cheap shot at fat people is not cool.
I might be fat, but I’m not stupid, as it happens. I’m a high-functioning individual who’s carved out a great career and held down some pretty demanding jobs over the last twenty years whilst raising a family single-handedly and putting myself through university. I’d like to think that speaks to strength of character.
I don’t lay the blame for the size of my arse at anyone else’s door, or act like a victim. I own every decision I’ve ever made no matter how dodgy. The fact that I can be completely in control of my food plan at 9.45pm but then find myself screeching into the supermarket car park at 9.55pm in my slippers because I all of a sudden can’t contemplate getting through the night without a tub of Haagen Dazs might not be normal, but it doesn’t make me a bad person.
It makes me flawed. And you know what, even the brightest diamonds have flaws. And if they don’t, then they’re fake. We all have flaws, and I’m sorry but she doesn’t get to judge me for being fat.
Personal Trainers do know about diet and nutrition. So do 99% of fat girls. I’ve never met a fat girl who didn’t know that if she ate less and exercised more she’d be living in Skinny Town and feeling fabulous. Most of us have what borders on encyclopaedic knowledge of calories, or points, or whatever unit of fat currency. This woman’s missing the point completely if she thinks that’s not the case.
I wish I knew how to ‘just get a fucking grip’ and not be the way I am. I’ve spent the the last thirty odd years trying to mend my broken thinking and there have been stretches of time, months on end even, where I’ve managed to wrestle my head into compliance and act like a normal person instead of a gluttonous dimwit whose life has no meaning unless it’s filled with sausage rolls.
There have equally been swathes of time where I’ve lost every shred of control, and my Asshole voice has led me back to the dark side without challenge.
What upset me the most was her patronising and dismissive tone of voice. If it was that fucking easy, wouldn’t we all be living in Skinny Town looking fabulous?
I might be fat and flawed but you know what, even with my double arse I’d rather be who I am than a skinny, superior and unbelievably judgemental moron who wouldn’t recognise empathy if it came with a neon fucking sign.
I’m a bit miffed. Can you tell..?