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You’re Too FAT to Eat Here!

When you go into a fast food restaurant, you expect the person behind the counter to say something like "Welcome to Good Burger, Home of the Good Burger, Can I take your order?"… but that isn’t what I got.  She took my friend’s order as expected but when I stepped up in line, the cashier said these words – You shouldn’t eat here – you’re getting fat! I’m not making this up, people.

If your first thought was OMG, how rude! then you are in the same mind set I was when I heard the comment.  I couldn’t believe it.  An employee of a major fast food restaurant actually said I was TOO FAT to eat there.  I was a little embarrassed but laughed it off and ordered two double cheese burgers, a six piece order of chicken nuggets, and a large diet coke (totaling about $4).

After she filled my order, I took my tray and went to sit down with my much lighter friend and co-worker, Jason.  He was sitting in a booth {corporate groan from all fat people}.  Now if you aren’t large, you may not know that a booth is difficult because you cannot move the seat out from the table to allow for the additional required room.  At this particular establishment, some of the booths are not evenly spaced so while my lighter friend had almost 2 feet of space between him and the table, when I went to sit down my gut was laying on the table and my butt was pushing the chair back so hard, I swear I heard it cry.  Noticing my situation (likely because he was a bit more sensitive to it after hearing the comment from the cashier), Jason suggested we switch places… which I gladly excepted.

He got up, moved his tray to my side of the booth and I his, but as he sat down again to more than 2 feet of empty space between his stomach and the table, I realized this booth IS evenly spaced… As I squeeze into the both, pushing my gut under the table, the embarrassment of it all was really starting to sink in.  Even though this happened over 5 years ago, I can’t help but think about it every now and again.

The truth is, that cashier was right – I was (and still am) too fat to eat there.  If you read my Should Fat People Just Suck it Up post (worth reading again in my opinion), then you may have the impression that I want people to be more sensitive to us FAT folk; I do but not in the way you might be thinking.  I do want people to understand that many FAT people are food addicts and treat them as they would an alcoholic (you wouldn’t insist your AA friend drink a beer, don’t insist the FAT guy try your brownies).  But I don’t want people to feel like they shouldn’t hurt a FAT persons feelings by saying “Dude, are you sure about that second piece?

The truth is, I wish more people were like that cashier.  What appeared rude at first glance, was actually very thoughtful.  I went to lunch there often and she had noticed that I was gaining weight.  We weren’t friends – I do not know nor did I ever know her name – but she noticed I was gaining weight and said something about it.  My co-worker and close friend may not have noticed that I had packed on the poundage because he saw me everyday or maybe he did noticed but was to uncomfortable to say anything about it.  This woman saw me about once or twice a week; she noticed and she spoke up – like a good friend trying to grab you back from the cliffs edge – she spoke up.

The only thing worse than being ridiculed for being fat – is being invisible for it.  Fat people are intentionally not noticed because of our weight; We get passed over for promotions in our work life, We are not invited to group functions in our social life, I’ve even been past over for volunteer opportunities in my church life… Being 300lbs and pointed at may be uncomfortable – but being 300lbs and being ignored is unbearable.  She noticed me.  And she said something to help me even though it was tough for me to hear.  And five years later – despite the fact that I will most likely never run into that cashier again – I hope I’m making her proud.

Don’t Eat Christmas Dinner Until You Read This!

This time of year is so focused on food that its hard not to think about what you eat, your weight, and in my case, my addiction to food.  But as soon as we think about losing weight, we think diet, then holiday food and finally, “Maybe after the holidays”.  I know because I’ve said that many times myself.  If you are a food addict like I am, an overeater – then “waiting until after the holidays” is like an alcoholic saying, “I will quit, really! Just after this last beer” – ok, maybe more like “Just after this last pub crawl”.

Most diets talk about ‘surviving’ the holidays with tips like ‘eat in moderation’ and ‘try healthy alternatives” but for a food addict, that’s just not a good idea – it triggers a binge.  The more I learn about food addiction, the more I see how little we all understand about it.  Not everyone that overeats is an addict, just as not everyone that gets drunk is an alcoholic, so it can be difficult to know that someone has the problem.  But Americans tend to have addictive personalities, we indulge ourselves as gluttons in more than a few areas – so if you see someone that is extremely overweight – just know they may have a problem.  Why is that important? I’m glad you asked.

TOP 5 THINGS YOU SKINNY PEOPLE SHOULD
NEVER DO AT A HOLIDAY DINNER WITH FAT PEOPLE:

First, let me say I still believe Everybody is FAT – but for those few exceptions out there, this list if for you.

Number 1 – Never talk about your own weight issues

Its hard enough being 50, 60, or 100lbs overweight – but having to listen to someone who has never been 20lbs overweight, talking about losing that ‘last 5 pounds’ is unbearable.  It often triggers an eating binge for overeaters.  Lets be honest here – you may really need to lose those 5lbs – and maybe that piece of pie wasn’t the best idea for you – but saying out loud infront of a food addict is kinda like saying to a crackhead – “I really shouldn’t, but I just gotta try this new crack”.

The only thing worse than listening to you talk about how much you have to lose, is listening to you talk about how you NEVER gain weight.  Seriously, would you tell an alcoholic that you can drink all the rum and coke you want?  I can just imagine that conversation – “Hi, my name is John and I’m an alcoholic” – “Hi John, my name is Cindy and I drink like a fish without getting drunk!  Isn’t that terrible?”

Number 2 – Never insist a fat person try some particular food

If they said no to your sausage stuffing when you offered it, they may be trying to avoid overeating, or maybe they are just dieting in general – but saying no the first time is difficult – saying no while you insist we ‘try it’ is impossible.  We don’t ‘try’ stuff – we eat it, and a lot of it.  It won’t be ‘just a little piece’ – it will be three pieces.  Maybe we’ve already eaten way over our daily allowance and are trying to stop the bleeding – If we say no – drop it!

Number 3 – Never play 20 questions with a fat person’s diet

If we want to talk about it, we will.  If you noticed we lost a few pounds, great! Feel free to say so, but then drop it.  Talking about food and how much we aren’t eating can be a trigger.  A friend of mine is color blind and every time someone new finds out, the first thing they ask is “what color is this”.  I may have even done that myself when I found out.  My point is, its cruel to ask such a thing – and when you hear me say I’m on a diet, I’ve lost weight, or I’m a food addict, asking me to describe my daily food intake is similar.  Evening the pat on the back for losing weight can be a trigger for some of us.  We immediately wrestle with thoughts like “you are doing so good, you deserve a piece of pie!”

Number 4 – Never tell us ‘what’s working for you’ if you have never been as fat as us

This is slightly different than Number 1 in that here you are trying to offer advice.  I love to hear how someone lost their weight – as long as their weight loss is 100lbs.  If you just lost 3lbs and in your 5lbs struggle to reach your ideal weight, shut up!  I know that’s blunt, be seriously, Shut UP!  You have no clue what it takes to lose the amount of weight we have ahead of us – but I can tell you it sure doesn’t include listening to you talk about how you ‘did it’.

Number 5 – Never tell us to drink more water

We already know.  Its not like you are giving us new information that is going to change our lives forever.  No fat person in the history of fat people has ever said “OMG, you are so right – I am going to drink more water from now on” and then went on to lose 100lbs because you suggested it.  What do you really think will occur when you say it?  Maybe the fat person you know has been locked in up a room for their entire life, and has never had an interest in losing weight or watching their diet until now – and you actually are the first person to suggest they should drink more water… that could happen, right??? Ah.. NO!  Did I mention, we know already?

Its difficult to admit to your friends that you are trying to lose weight; even more so that you have an addiction.  These are just a few of the things that make holiday dinners difficult – what bothers you the most during dinner?  Feel free to leave your own list in a comment!

The absolute worst food day ever

Let me put it this way – you wouldn’t ask a recovering drug addict to sort your medicine cabinet, or put an alcoholic in charge of buying the beer… But NOBODY has any issues with asking the food-a-holic to clean out the fridge and buy the groceries…  This day did not go well for my diet – I cheated with skittles two nights ago, I had ice cream last night, and today was a disaster… So… I QUIT… AGAIN.

ARRRGGGHHHHH!!!! I know that I can’t quit but I am a food-a-holic and today I put myself in an impossible situation. I was good all last week eating pre-made meals from a frozen dinner diet plan that Stephanie was on a month or so ago. She quit when she got pregnant and so we had a week and a half of meals just frozen in the fridge. So… all the left over food from Thanksgiving that I would have eaten last week went bad.

Tomorrow is trash pickup, so today I cleaned out all the bad food… which put me in the bad situation – No, I didn’t eat 13 day old turkey – but since Stephanie is pregnant, she can’t eat most of the food that we normally eat and there were a lot things that will go bad in the next week because no one is eating them…

I’m sure you can see where this is going… I cheated today in spades. I didn’t keep a journal, I didn’t count calories, I just didn’t care. Today was a dark day.  (this is the part where you are supportive, but without condoning my actions).