'Norwich has too many fat people'? That hurts, Rachel
PUBLISHED: 12:01 06 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:30 11 September 2018
EDP employee Jamie Brown says Rachel Moore's claim yesterday that Norwich has too many fat people, whether true or not, was very hurtful to read
Ouch – that hurt, I have to be honest as an EDP employee who is one of Norwich’s too many fat people, I read this article and winced.
It pointed out lots of things I knew, it said things that were obviously correct and factual but it said it in such a way that it cut me deep.
I wasn’t the only one.
You see I think all of the facts Rachel used in this article are correct and I really don’t think that many of us beefcakes (as we love to be called) would deny that being over weight is generally understood to be unhealthy and that obesity is putting pressure on the NHS – pun unintended.
The thing that stood out here is that Rachel gave voice to the feeling that people have when they see someone, who, like me is overweight.
What hurt the most is that this article, like many others before, carried the feeling of revulsion, judgement and frustration that some obviously have when they see an overweight person. It came across in a way that jarred. The words cut and stung.
Like everyone on the planet I am self aware.
I know my waistline is too big.
I know that I risk health complications that cost the tax payer money.
I know this because like many overweight people, the facts are on my mind all of the time… every second of every day.
At every meal, every time I go to the beach, every time I go to the gym or a run I know I am too big.
I also know something else – some people don’t like the way I am, the way I look, and that also plays on my mind… all of the time.
Obesity isn’t something that I chose.
I was actually a bit of a fitty once,
I had a six pack and went to the gym twice a day.
I played competitive sports,
I was even a team captain. But I got older, and injured and life got in the way.
I started working 12 hour days. I had kids. Exercise was harder to do and seemed less important.
I made excuses not to exercise and I fell in love with grub.
Good lord – food is amazing, I love it.
I made excuses for the growing waistline, the too tight jeans were replaced without thought, the lift was taken instead of the stairs and then one day – bam… I realised I had gotten chubby… really chubby. In fact, I got fat. I’ll say it – I went from fitty to fatty.
During my excuses and ‘busy life’ I had quietly gained four stone.
I decided things had to change, so I joined a gym.
Then I stopped going to the gym.
Then I joined the gym again – rinse and repeat.
Seriously, you skinny guys only have ‘cheap’ gym membership because people like me join, pay and never go.
Be careful what you wish for - lose the fatties and you might just find your membership to your gym goes up 25%...
You see, at the same time, I became aware/admitted I was fat, I also became aware of something else.
A thought crept into my mind - ‘normal’ people don’t like how I look.
When I put on a track suit and go to the gym, or go for a plod (run) or try swimming, people judge me, they hate to see me.
I disgust people.
That though is crippling.
That thought literally kills people.
What the article above did in a way was validate that thought. It confirmed what I had dreaded, that I was somehow unacceptable and unwelcome and it stung. The facts were right, the feeling was honest and it hurts.
But here is the thing,
A thought isn’t real, it is a concept, an idea. The thought in your head ‘that I am revolting’ is just the same as the thought in my head ‘that everyone hates the way I look’. It is destructive to both of us. Yours might mean you may never get to know a wonderful fat person out there – mine might mean that I never change.
Like some, I want to change, I want to be thinner. I want to eat less and exercise more and I desperately want to get in the pool without making Japanese whaling jokes to cover up how vulnerable I feel. For that I need to change so, Norwich. I’ll make you a deal.
I’ll change and stop worrying about what you all think if you promise to change too.