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Can we talk about this “You’re an Inspiration… Fatty” bullshit for a moment?

Can we talk about this “You’re an Inspiration… Fatty” bullshit for a moment?

Read this, now read this.

Okay, got all that? What we have here is “fit” people bullying “not fit” people (air quotes because the idea of fitness is rarely what you think it is). That really is it. The tone of every single one of these is “Oh, look at you, you fatty, actually trying to do something… that’s adorable!” Gosh, why don’t out of shape people go to the gym more? Could it be because fit people shame and degrade them at every turn? Maybe? Calling someone “Fatty” over and over again is not something a friendly person does, it’s what a bully does. If not to insult or degrade, then why use the insulting term? Why start off in a way that’s going to make it sound like an insult, which it is, if you want someone to feel good? Not only that, but loading up on the stereotypes that you just assume someone conforms to…. fuck off forever and die by the hands of an angry mob of china dolls. When you praise an overweight person for running and explain that each step is paying off another chocolate bar, I have to ask, do you praise a black person for speaking so well? I mean, you have the most worthless piece of shit imaginable, and the only thing they can do to make themselves feel better it to point out that someone else isn’t in peak physical condition. Sometimes they try to pretend they’re putting a positive spin on it, but that’s just so much more bullshit and you know it.

That got off to a nasty start, but I know bullying when I see it and when I see it, the red mist comes a rushin’ in and all I can do is be mean.

Let’s talk about my personal journey for a second, okay? I used to be in super good shape, and the gods weren’t just kind when they sculpted my features. Quite frankly, they were showing off at that point. I was lithe and sexy and your girlfriend wanted to do me so hard it hurt a little when she looked at me. Your boyfriend wanted me too, don’t pretend my hotness didn’t transcend gender or preference. I was looked on by straight men as someone who could turn them, alright?

And then something happened in my early to middle 20s. Let’s call it depression because that’s an easy enough single-word concept for people to get right about now. So I drank a lot of pop to stave off the darkness, and eat a lot of food to fill up the emptiness inside. The only emotions I had were “tired” or “horny” or “angry” and I was just lucky they were socially acceptable for a man to feel. After a while, someone I loved left me because she couldn’t take watching me destroy myself anymore. There were other reasons, but I’m not going to expose my whole being to you right now. Point is, I decided I needed to do something and came up with a multi-stage rocket to take out London plan to get back to my idea of humanity.

Now here is the important part – Your idea of why a person should get fit is not my idea. In fact, unless you know me really well, you probably have no idea how my mind works or what it’s given reasons for things are.

I don’t much give a fuck about my body image. It’s a sack of meat to carry around my brain, and as such isn’t that important to me. My body image issues are things I know are ultimately cosmetic. Looking good isn’t an issue for me. If nothing else, I’m a white American male. Men aren’t “chubby”, we’re “Cuddly” and we aren’t “skinny” either, we get to be “Lithe” and when we start to go gray at the temples that shit is “Distinguished” because we go from “Fuckable” to “Fuckable for different reasons” in this world. That’s not everyone’s experience, but we’re talking about my personal journey.

So body image is out. Do I want to be able to “Do more stuff without getting winded” or some such thing? No. I’m actually fairly active. I work in retail, I walk for 8 hours a day. That was stage 2: Get a job, move around. Nailed it, I’m still on the floor, but now I’m management. I have mild asthma, so I get winded no matter what, but I always tried to run anyway because that’s what you do when you’re young. I still run sometimes, but I make sure to take it a little easier.

Do I want to be stronger? More manly? Physically able to defend myself? Some other bit of patriarchal bullshit? No. I was killing it when I was fit. I learned like, a dozen martial arts, some of them involving swords, knives and sticks. I know three different forms of sword fighting (Kendo, Fencing, Broadsword) I can do Boxing, Judo, Karate Kung-Fu, Greco-Roman Wrestling, and so on and so on. Worse yet, because I was a small kid, most the things I know work even if you’re out of shape or don’t have much muscle mass. I know where it hurts, and I know how to hit there, because when you’re little you just want the fight over as soon as possible. And I’ve been carrying a knife of some kind all the time since I was 18, along with a pocket handkerchief, eye drops and a time telling device (it sounds less weird if you lump it together as a group). So what I’m saying is, basically, the only reason I haven’t killed you is because I don’t want you dead yet.

So why did I buy the dumbbells? Why did I walk at a brisk pace through the park all last summer? Why am I doing these stupid exercises? I am trying to stay alive! Not health wise. Me, my father, my grandfather, his father before him and so on since Ask and Embla have all been far healthier than any three horses. Despite the rotund Nero Wolfe like appearance, my heart pounds in an easy, regular beat that neither work nor drugs has ever been able to get out of rhythm. My lungs are strong and healthy, my liver and kidneys are awesome, and my bowels could make the most delicious sausage you ever ate. Remember, the gods weren’t proud of their work, they were smug.

No, the only problem I have is that when my parents had the party, they forgot to invite a couple of fairies. As a result, one spurned fairy brought dyslexia, the other brought ADD, and the third fairy (who hadn’t been invited to my sister’s party either and was getting pissed by now) gifted me with depression. It put the good looks, the brains, the charm, and the ability to shoot fire from my finger tips into something of a tailspin.

Now, the only thing my doctor was willing to prescribe, since my depression was the “sit quietly in the corner in a dull gray fog” variety and not the actual self-harming variety was exercise. That was all well and good when I was in a dull fog, because you might as well have told me all I had to do was fly to the moon under my own power and I would never be sad again. However, when I had gone through Stages 1-3 I actually started having enough energy to be suicidal. So I said “Oh shit! I’d best put in a 4b or something and buy some motha fuckin dumbbells or some shit.” because I’m still not comfortable enough around people to exercise in front of them. I have that planned for Stage 7, but I’m not enthusiastic about it. Of course, I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of “Go shopping for groceries all by yourself” which was Stage 1, but now that I’ve done it for a couple of years I like it.

So if you see me, one fine spring day, marching down a path with a dumbbell in each hand pumping away with a determined look in my eye… keep your fucking thoughts to yourself. Your input is neither required, nor desired. I am not doing this to get thin, I don’t need encouragement, I’m working this one out on my own. I know I don’t look that fat now, but we’re in Stage 5 and by Stage 5 I should look like I look now. I’ve lost 5 pant sizes since stage 1, even though I weigh EXACTLY the same. Also, these dumbbells are heavy and if I hit you with one, you will cry.

I am doing this to fight off depression, and having this part of my personal journey pointed out to me by someone who has absolutely ZERO idea what it took to just get here feels like bullying. I dealt with a lot of bullies growing up, and I found that putting their face into the ground and making them cry for their mother was an easy way to not get bothered anymore. Remember, I’m carrying heavy metal weights and I am armed with a good sharp knife. Nod, smile, give a thumbs up if you must acknowledge the fact that we have passed each other, but basically leave me the fuck alone. I’m not in a good place, and you probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking “Will I sound helpful here, or will I sound like a condescending asshole” and as such you are always the later.

I am not your inspiration, I’m not even my inspiration, I am just a pile of meat trying to convince it’s brain that there are better things out there than self destruction. I don’t want your encouragement, I’m doing that on my own. I don’t want your advice, I looked this shit up and I know what I’m doing. I really don’t want you trying to offer helpful criticism of my method of working out. I am walking with weights because that is what I have decided to do today. Trying to tell me there are better ways to work out, without understanding my goal (and you didn’t even know that Stage 1 was “Go to the grocery store and buy groceries by yourself” so shut up) feels like you just stopped a stranger to tell them they’re wrong for not doing what you’re doing. I don’t wish to sound mean, or nasty, but there is literally no nice way to put this… I will fucking cut you. I would fucking cut you if you approached me and told me my hair was too long or that my Poly lifestyle was against the made-up laws of the god you made up yesterday and I will tear into you if you try and explain that I’m working on my own shit in a manner that isn’t approved of by you or whatever guru you’re following this week.

Worse yet, I might not cut you. I might just tear into you verbally, and I’ve got 30 fucking years of old books, filled with acidic comments and flowery language that can make you feel about two inches high. I’m not well, I haven’t been well and I’m probably not going to be well for some time. And as for trying to “Encourage” some other “Fatty” as you jog though your life, god help you if you decide to “Encourage” someone like me who is only at Stage 2. I was extremely nasty at Stage 2, it would be embarrassing to see one you genetic lottery winners with a face full of gravel while some “Fatty” explains through what I would be willing to swear in court was “Merely an interpretive dance” that there is a hell of a lot of “Muscle” that you can’t see under all that “Fat” and a fair few of us had to learn how to fight because some asshole like you picked us as the thing you’d stand on to make yourself feel taller for that day.

AND! If you are one of those people, like me, who is fighting the good fight, trying to get over your own brain chemistry and an addiction that science told me this week was more powerful than cocaine or heroin, all I can say to you is fight on. Don’t let the bastards win! Even someone like me who physically won the genetic lottery can fall from grace. It happens, and each of these Stages was super hard. Stage One was practically paralyzing the first time. Stage Two was incredibly hard and I thought I’d gotten done with Stage 3 four, fucking, times, before I actually was ready to move onto Stage 4. You will slip, you will fall, or at least you will if you’re anything like me. I slipped up, fell down, gave up and tried again. Just try. Fuck what Yoda said, you fucking TRY all you can.

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March 15, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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