Why are you so goddamn fat?

23 Oct

Lots of interesting activity today concerning Stella Boonshoft’s picture of herself in her underwear that she posted on her blog and was then subsequently republished by another blogger.  She runs a blog that is part of a Fat Acceptance movement, which is essentially asking the wider culture to accept fat bodies as beautiful and valuable.


Fair enough.  My first reaction on seeing her picture was Eww gross!  I do not find fat to be beautiful at all.  I don’t personally like how it looks all squishy and soft and the thought of touching that soft warm squishiness makes me yuck! so hard.  That’s just me, I know.  But as soon as the yuck factor is over, my next thought is why?  Why do you look like this?  Do you like it?  Do you think it’s beautiful?  Do you enjoy being fat?  Why are you so fat?

Some people just are.  No question.  Fat babies, fat toddlers, fat kids, fat teenagers, fat adults – it’s just one continuum of being fat.  It’s just how they were made.  But one only has to flip through historical photographs to see that being fat was an anomaly in the past.  Most people, historically, were quite slender and fit and not because they were starving.  It’s not until the 70s and 80s that fat explodes.  Suddenly fat people are everywhere!  Not anomalies.  More like average.

Why is this?  I am not fat.  I have three children and I gained a shit ton of weight with each pregnancy but I also lost it, too.  And no, it didn’t just fall off with breastfeeding and chasing the kids.  It came off because I watched what I ate and got some exercise.  Right now I weigh 4 pounds more than I did as a college freshman.  After 12 years of marriage, I still fit in my wedding dress.  Easily.  And it’s not because I am a “naturally thin” person.  Naturally thin, my ass.

I love food.  I’m an excellent cook and bread and cookie maker and I love to eat.  But I know that I cannot indulge my every culinary whim without turning into a giant ball of lard, which appears to be the case for, oh, PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE!  I’m thin because I care.  I care about how I look.  I like my clavicles and my cheekbones and my long slim legs.  I like feeling great.  I like being able to run up stairs and dash for the bus and play tag with the kids.  I like admiring glances and the occasional wolf whistle.  It’s nice to be thought of as desirable.  I like my husband’s arms locked around my waist.  I like being able to walk into a store and find something that fits.  Usually on sale, too because the smaller sizes aren’t in much demand any more.

I care about all those things, so when a plate of brownies comes by, I can say no and not feel tortured.  I don’t like the saying “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” because FUCKING CHEESECAKE!  Lots of things taste better than skinny feels, but that doesn’t mean skinny feels bad.  You have to choose.  On the whole, I prefer to be thin than eat whatever the hell I want.  And I have the self-control to do so.

Fat people who like being fat clearly have no problems and should carry on being who they are while giving a resounding fuck you to the haters.  But fat people who don’t like being fat confuse me.  What are they lacking?  Self-control?  Do they just not care enough?  It’s not knowledge.  Any clueless moron knows that an apple is going to be a more sensible snack than an entire bag of chips, but they eat the chips anyway.  Why is this?

And I find the whole concept of a “food desert” to be complete bullshit, too.  I can walk into almost any convenience shop and find something of value to eat.  A can of tuna.  Peanuts.  Sunflower seeds.  Low fat milk.  Water.  Whole wheat bread.  No one HAS to eat three hotdogs and a bag of Doritos and wash it down with two liters of soda.

My theory is that people, and women in particular are saturated by a culture that tells them it’s okay not to give a fuck.  It’s the special snowflake syndrome, in physical form.  You’re such a special, unique snowflake and the rules don’t apply to you and you are so precious you should just do whatever the fuck you want at all times and go ahead and indulge your every desire because you are so special and you deserve it!

Well, you don’t get what you deserve.  You get what you negotiate, and if you’re going to spend every day negotiating way too much food into your mouth, guess what?  The rules DO apply.  You will get fat.  If you like your body fat, then yay for you!  Fabulous, and carry on.  If you don’t, then ask yourself “WHY am I so goddamn fat” and then negotiate a better deal.

Your body.  Your choice.

14 Responses to “Why are you so goddamn fat?”

  1. Joseph February 11, 2013 at 21:41 #

    Hey, I have been loving your articles as of late.

    And just wanted to comment, that this past month, me and the gf (who, bless her soul, I got lucky when I caught her… nothing like coming home to a nice dinner, and my laundry done, and all with a smile) had a major rework on what we eat and exercising.

    I use a calorie counter daily to watch what I take in (to lose weight), and im amazed at the shit ton of calories most processed stuff like honey buns, sodas, etc, have!

    Whats funny is that recently (after losing 14 lbs and still going down) I decided to check to see what my caloric needs would be if I maintained the weight, and it came out to 2043. Then I looked at our healthy meals (being around 350-450 calories, all fresh fruit, veggies, whole grains, lean meats) and realized that if I ate like this every day, it would be near IMPOSSIBLE for me to go over my calories to gain weight again! I would have to have 5-6 full meals just to go over! Imagine how stuffed I would be!

    This is why I believe that back then, most people were skinny cause it was impossible for them to exceed their calorie goals. They ate healthy out of necessity, and never had to worry about gaining weight. But now? Now when a simple honey bun is about 800 calories, and a snickers bar is 300…. you can easily hit 3000 in one day, and never have to feel full doing it.

    It still boggles my mind now


  2. yaser April 19, 2013 at 00:20 #

    “Low fat milk”

    Actually, low fat products will make you fat.


  3. Nicole August 25, 2013 at 17:45 #

    Just found your blog…and I mostly like it. You are one harsh woman, but I love that you stand up for what you believe in. I don’t agree with everything you have to say, but you make interesting, informed points, and I strongly agree with your parenting style. My partner and I raise our daughter much the same way, and we do this in rural Newfoundland, where most kids eat Kraft Dinner with cut-up wieners on top every second day for supper, and where are a kid who actually eats her spinach salad is somewhat of a curiosity. She gets very limited tv time, we don’t have cable, we read to her every day, and we spend a good portion of each day outside. We try not to yell at her, she never, ever gets smacked, and we discipline with respect. She’s never had a tantrum, and she uses reason to dissolve her own bad moods, and she’s only three-and-a-half. We’re raising who we consider to be the coolest kid ever, and she’s this way because we put the effort in. But…as most other parents around here consider us to be “hippies” at best, I try not to step on any toes, and I remain quiet in voicing my opinions. So kudos to you.

    I’ve been in a committed, very happy relationship for seven years. My honey and I split the housework and the parenting, and that’s what works for us. But he gets fed the best food I can cook him, and I do the damn dishes, too. He does the garbage and the toilet and the kitty litter, and any other gross things, and provides our girl with the best father I’ve ever seen. And when he graduates university, and becomes a teacher, I’m staying at home and raising more of my babies.

    So, onto me – the only person I can’t seem to take care of. I read all your “fat” posts, and was prepared to be sad and insulted. I’m 203 lbs. But I wasn’t insulted, and only a little sad.

    Because you’re right. Why am I so goddamn fat? I love my life, I love and care for my family, and I need to love and care for myself. It’s a choice, and it’s usually easier to grab that chocolate bar. I’m active – we walk every day, I can hike through the woods for hours, I can bike to the next town over (slowly, and with breaks, but I do it) and love swimming and hate being indoors for too long. But I couldn’t run to save my life, and I can’t chase my daughter around in the yard for more than a few minutes. I leave the playing around outside mostly to her Dad. So how can I continue to try and set healthy examples for her and feed her properly when I can’t do it myself. She’s going to ask when she’s older.

    I don’t eat terrible – I’m a vegetarian and we don’t eat any processed foods. We don’t keep sweets in the house often, and we don’t buy soda often. But if I’m around sweets, I can’t resist, and I eat a ton, and I mean a ton, of cheese. I’m a cheese fiend, even though I hate myself every time I over indulge. So to sum up this very long comment, you rock. You left me feeling motivated and challenged to change things.

    Keep on speaking your mind. It’s refreshing. And if you have any advice on helping me get the pounds off, then please share. I lost 30 lbs two years ago, but then never kept it up. You gave me the chutzpah to start again.


  4. Trisha Provence September 24, 2013 at 01:33 #

    THIS (!!!) –> ‘I don’t like the saying “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” because FUCKING CHEESECAKE!’ —– I Loved this. Aaaand, I like that you said this, “Fat people who like being fat clearly have no problems and should carry on being who they are while giving a resounding fuck you to the haters.” Because there should be no reason to judge another’s decision on who to be, what size, etc. To each their own size. 🙂


  5. Beth Farthen October 13, 2014 at 07:31 #

    not everyone who is fat eats like a pig. i eat on average 700-1000 cals/day. today i ate 1/2 a grilled chicken breast and 3 eggs. i would say i show enormous self control. most people would find that borderline anorexic. yet if i eat any more i gain weight, about a pound per day. my BMI says i am obese. it is not so simple for everone, to just east less and exercise. consider yourself lucky.


  6. Helljoe October 13, 2014 at 14:24 #

    That literally and mathematically is not possible to eat only 700-1000 calories a day and not lose fat. It’s not possible

    There is a reason dieting and exercise regimens clearly state to never reduce calorie intake to below 1200 unless you are under the direct supervision of a doctor, because at that point your body, at rest, is burning more calories regardless if you are laying in bed, not moving, for the entire day. There is no way a 700 to 1000 calorie diet can even sustain your energy needs and thus your body will burn fat to offset the deficient.

    I’m sorry, I don’t mean to call you out, but I do not believe you. Unless you are in a literal hibernation, just being awake and functioning for the day requires at minimum (for a skinny female adult) 1398 calories. Any less and your body is forced to get it’s energy from fat and/or muscle reserves.


  7. Beth Farthen October 13, 2014 at 20:36 #

    It’s very possible and it sucks. Believe me it baffles my Dr too. But after many tests, blood work, etc my diagnosis is this – extremely slow metabolism. Just like there are people who can eat and eat and eat and NOT gain weight, the opposite also applies. And no, I’m not sedentary. I workout on average 1 hr/daily.


  8. Jack Strawb October 14, 2014 at 13:22 #

    My theory is that people, and women in particular are saturated by a culture that tells them it’s okay not to give a fuck. It’s the special snowflake syndrome, in physical form. You’re such a special, unique snowflake and the rules don’t apply to you and you are so precious you should just do whatever the fuck you want at all times and go ahead and indulge your every desire because you are so special and you deserve it!

    You’re definitely on to something. I occasionally visit Slate.com to pick on Amanda Marcotte or blow holes in Amanda Hess’s latest nonsense, and a while back I browsed one of the advice columns. I remember clearly a woman writing in to say the spark had gone out of her marriage. She mentioned a couple of pregnancies and not having time to exercise what with the kids, and this and that, and by the end of her letter it was reasonably clear that she was of average height but weighed around 180 lbs. I was puzzled by the lack of self-awareness and assumed that the comments section was going to straighten her out.

    And it didn’t. I scrolled first past dozens and then just for the hell of it past hundreds then hundreds more comments, none of which mentioned the elephant in the room, that she had clearly eaten herself out of her marriage. She had mentioned her racquetball-playing husband was still trim, still around his college weight. And there was the stray comment suggesting the two of them exercise together, and the occasional comment about couples therapy, but not one word about how fat she had gotten in the sense of that being the proximate cause of her husband no longer wanting to have sex, or that being huge might be sapping her libido.

    I decided to comment on the obvious, and wrote a straightforward paragraph on how every single man of my acquaintance tended to find a fit woman with a pretty face going 5’-5” and 130 attractive, while one or none would find that woman at 180 still attractive. I said, as neutrally as I could, that this is simply not how bodies work. That people cannot will attraction, and that her husband’s affection and appreciation for her was hugely unlikely to be convertible into sexual attraction.

    The response was immediate and, if it had been verbal, deafening. I was a miserable piece of shit, I was shallow, men like me were ruining the world, if her husband really loved her her weight would not matter, and on and on and on.

    It was all nonsense, of course. In your paragraph, above, you’re surely on to something. Someone is telling these women that it doesn’t matter how they look, that their significant others should find them attractive, apparently no matter what. And I maintain that bodies do not work that way. That when men (and women) talk honestly, an extra ten pounds matters, and an extra twenty pounds matters a lot. There’s something about taut skin, a shapely outline, the tilt of a high, round breast, a long slender leg, a tight rump, that fills a man with desire; pouched, saggy flesh, a gut, a fat chin, jowls… simply do not. Aging gives us time to adjust, and when we love we can bring that into middle age, then old age. We have time and opportunity to forgive each other the vagaries of the flesh. But that’s not what happened here.

    Despite the endless stream of fit women they see and all the pressure they talk about to look good, something has become completely disconnected for many, even most women, to the point where we can’t really talk about it. So–thanks for talking about it.
    It may have to do with all the encouragement to will self-esteem, without any direction to do estimable things. These women may have concluded that because, out of air, they can love themselves without regard for whether they are lovable, everyone else should love them, too. Is that part of it?


  9. Jack Strawb March 24, 2015 at 10:41 #

    It’s simply not possible to eat 700 calories a day and have the physical energy to do anything of note. Moving from the bed to the couch to the fridge to the couch, and that’s about it, and you would be feeding on your own body to do that.

    Bodies need fuel. 700 calories isn’t enough fuel to have a useful life, never mind putting on weight if one exceeds that figure. Pretty much everyone would become extremely sick in short order on 700 calories a day.

    You’re simply misinformed.


  10. Jack Strawb March 24, 2015 at 10:43 #

    No, you don’t. Working out for an hour would use up most of the calories you claim to be eating, leaving something like 10 calories per hour the rest of the day on which to survive. You would not be able to power your essential functions. Sorry. You’re still (wildly) misinformed.


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