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.

28 comments

  1. Miragi · January 3, 2009

    Sometimes it does take a literal verbal slap in the face like that. Mine’s never come from a stranger….closer to home, and probably less to the actual point, but nonetheless it’s a wake up call. Once you get over the initial shock and embarrassment and even hurt, it definitely gives u something 2 think about.

    Great post.

    Congrats on the 18lbs lost! Here’s to those poundies STAYING lost! 🙂

    Happy New Year!

    • dsackr · January 3, 2009

      Thanks! I actually have a post on another blog about the verbal slap – http://sackrider.org/category/mythoughts/i-slaped-santa.html I think its worth reading if you don’t mind me tootin’ my own horn.

      I haven’t updated the stats today but I have officially lost 20lbs! Thanks again for commenting – see you online!

      • Miragi · January 3, 2009

        I tried 2 read the Santa Slapping article, but it said I was forbidden by the powers vested in 403. Bummer.

        CONGRATS! On the 20lbs! That rocks! It’s so exciting to watch the pounds drop away, I know!! Here’s to an easy run on the next 20!!

        See u in Twitterland!

        • dsackr · January 3, 2009

          Miragi – I’m not sure what went wrong with that link – but if you get a chance, try it again and let me know (http://sackrider.org/category/mythoughts/i-slaped-santa.html)

          • laura · January 3, 2009

            Great job! You should be so proud of your self. It was a strange way for a wake call but you heard the phone ringing and you have answered it. So in the long run it does not matter who, or how you got to the point that you were going to lose the weight.
            Me well IM still over weight from having my child 16 years ago. I ate to cover the pain that my child father left not only me but his child. We saw each other for a few year after the child because of gainning weight he wanted nothing to do with me. The last time I saw him was was pushin 190 on 5’2 frame so basicly he said was to fat and ugly for him that was my wake call. I have not lost much weight like you but Im watching what I put in me.

          • dsackr · January 3, 2009

            Laura – Thanks for the words of encouragement!

            Its sad to know that a guy would leave his girl and their child over weight gain – your best revenge would be to get back that smokin’ hot body you once had! Do it slowly – lose a 1lb a week – its not a lot and it might feel to slow – but think of it this way – 16 years you have been carrying extra weight – by the end of 2009 you can be 52lbs lighter than you are now!

  2. Russ · January 3, 2009

    Really enjoy reading your blog! I think we are in a very similar boat; I’ve been at least working out again the last couple months and started with the whole nutrition data recording and running through gyminee. (Don’t call it a resolution!)

    It’s nice to have someone along the same lines that you can have for some inspiration now and again.

    Looking forward to reading and compiling stats along side you.

    • dsackr · January 3, 2009

      Russ – thanks for the comment! I’m going to continue to share more of my resources online to help people like us to stay motivated everyday. Do you have a Nintendo Wii? I use it with the Wii Fit to track my weight – its amazing how a daily scale check can be a great motivator and the Wii will keep your stats for you which I find very convenient.

      I also just got the Nike+ Running system (Nike+ shoes, Nike+ IPod plug-in, and an IPod Nano) – I’m using that to track my cardo workouts. I’m thinking about the body bug to track my resistance training – but to be honest, its all getting a bit expensive!

      I’m also using http://myfitnesspal.com/ to track my food. That one is free and you will always find it linked in my sidebar.

  3. Cindy · January 3, 2009

    What a great story. I’m so impressed that you were able to take what could have been a truly terrible experience and turn it into inspiration. Good job!

    • dsackr · January 3, 2009

      Thanks Cindy… I’ve always been thick skinned… (insert fat joke here)

  4. John Thomas · January 3, 2009

    You should have punched her in the mouth and said,” You’re too stupid and rude to work here.” Don’t laugh off asshole behavior from strangers. Straighten them out so someone else doesn’t have to put up with their crap. Usually a punch or a slap in the mouth will do it. They will remember to keep their yap shut next time they want to voice an uninvited comment. For instance today, I held the door open for a guy and his kid. They both walked past me into the store without saying a word of acknowledgement. I grabbed the guy by the back of his collar and pulled him back outside and said, ” Try a little manners, Pal. I’m not the doorman here. You’re setting a bad example for the kid.” He straightened out his shirt and said, “Sorry, Dude.” See, he learned something important today that his parents failed to impress upon him, and so did the kid. Don’t be rude or selfish toward strangers. We all have to get along somehow, but we don’t have to eat each other’s crap.

    • dsackr · January 3, 2009

      what’s the difference from what this cashier did from what you did with the guy that didn’t say thanks for opening the door for him? He had no manners and you pointed that out (although I disagree with grabbing the guy, I don’t have any issue with saying something to him) – I had no self control and this lady verbally ‘grabbed me by the back of my collar’ and said “try a little self control, Pal”… I think if we were more concerned about people than we were about peoples feelings – we would call each other out for things like this and although it might be a little uncomfortable, the world would be a better place.

      • anonymouse · January 3, 2009

        well said.

  5. Jason · January 3, 2009

    As I started reading it, I couldn’t believe what this person was saying to you, but I see the point you took from it. They may not have been trying to be an idiot, just letting you know. There are not enough people in our own circles that are considerate enough to do that. I gained weight over quite a few years and no one every really said anything. People tend to let it happen rather that have a potentially awkward conversation. We need honest people around us.

    Congrats on your 20 lbs, keep it up!

    • dsackr · January 3, 2009

      I couldn’t believe it either – and to be honest – I didn’t take it then as well as I do now – I just think we should care more about people than we do about people’s feelings – the world would be a better place if we did – even though it would be awkward as we talk about things like this.

  6. nonrevking · January 3, 2009

    Bro, I’m with John Thomas. I don’t care what her point/concern was, it was flat out RUDE. If we all said things like that all day, this place would be a terrible world. Sure, there’s a time/place to say something, but usually those are obvious moments. I would have said something to her and management.

    As far as the door opening, I’ve had that happen numerous times and feel the same way as John Thomas. I want to stop the person and ask them where their manners are today?!?!

    Side story – a friend of mine is a flight attendant and had father and son in first class. The flight attendant greeted them with “Good Afternoon” and asked the son what he would like to drink. The son said, “JUICE!” His father corrected him by saying, “And what’s the magic word son?” Son said, “Please.”

    The flight attendant then asked the father what he would like to drink. The father said, “I’ll have a rum & coke.”

    The Flight Attendant said, “And the OPERATIVE WORD Sir???” 🙂

    Now that was appropriate.

    • Jason · January 3, 2009

      I agree with telling people that you’ve held a door for that they should say thank you, but not with grabbing them by the collar. That’s inappropriate and thoughtless, more so than what they did. Someone may think they are tough, but you never know how tough the person you’re grabbing is. Also, there was a kid present, no need to cause a scene or scare a child.

    • dsackr · January 3, 2009

      Thanks for taking the time to comment! Maybe it wasn’t the most appropriate time to say something – but if she hadn’t – I wouldn’t have this great post! 🙂

    • Dad · January 3, 2009

      I laughed out loud hilariously at Dale’s post “You’re Too FAT to Eat Here!
      ” It was very funny, partly because I can relate so much; especially the “sitting in a booth” comments.

      But seriously, The truth is, I DO NOT wish more people were like that cashier. What appeared rude at first glance, was actually very RUDE. We gain opportunity to speak into people’s lives because we first deposit love and care and friendship and true concern for them. A person that doesn’t even know my name is nothing but RUDE and out of line for making comments (true or not) like that.

      Just like John Thomas, I think it’s rude for people not to acknowledge an act of kindness or politeness. I would NOT however, grab, punch, slap, or detain them. I would (and often do), make comments like “You’re Welcome”, which sometimes gets a response of “Thank You”, and sometimes not.

      When people do bad things, and something good comes out of the circumstance, it doesn’t make what they did right.

      Keep up the blogging, it makes for good reading! You have a natural talent for this.

      Being old school like I am, I always want to end my comments with “Dad” or “Dale” or whoever I am to the person I’m commenting to; but in reading all the replys, I guess that’s not appropriate! Maybe because the comment starts out with “nonrevking says:” (or whoever). It’s just like phone conversations never end in “Good Bye” anymore…you just hang up…sometimes that confuses us older people!

      • dsackr · January 3, 2009

        I think it comes down to intent – I believe the cashier was actually speaking out of concern. She had seen me come into that fast food joint a couple of times a week for months and she had noticed I was rapidly gaining weight.

        I think we spend a lot of time caring about peoples feelings instead of caring about people. I truly wish more people were able to show a genuine interest in other people’s well being as I feel she was doing when she made the comment. I’m not advocating blatant crudeness with malicious intent.

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  10. Louise · January 3, 2009

    I remember those days of tight fitting booths and my gut hitting the table and the stares before i lost weight.People can be cruel sometimes with just their looks sometimes.But it is not their life or their business what makes them think their disposition is so great,i dislike people like that even today.I like real friends who like you for you,not what you look like or your moneys worth !!

  11. John Thomas · January 3, 2009

    So yesterday I was going into the coffee shop on my way to work. This homeless looking guy stands in front of the door and says, “Hey can you give a dollar?” I looked him over quick and he seemed like he had all his arms and legs. He was probably younger than me by a few years. I’m 34. He was dirty and in need of a pressure wash when it gets a little warmer. But, I told him, “Nope.” I’m sick of these guys always asking people for money outside of stores and on the sidewalk, at traffic lights. I tried to walk around him to get into the coffee shop. So, he says, “Hey can you give me something, then, there Chief?” I said, “OK. I’ll give you some advice. Get a can of shoe polish, a rag, and a brush and make yourself some money.” His eyes got big and he said to me, ” Fuck You, Man.” And I said, ” Hey, don’t talk like that.” And I added, ” My Mom wouldn’t like you talking to her son like that.” So he said, ‘ Well, fuck your mom.” I really hate that kind of talk. I took half a step back and snapkicked him in the nuts. He barked out a, “AAARGH,” and dropped to the sidewalk, fully blocking the doorway. Now, I couldn’t a cup of coffee and a muffin without dragging him away from the door and he was filthy dirty. So, I skipped it and went to work without. I probably saved about 500 calories by skipping the coffee with the half and half, plus the bran muffin.

  12. Eli · January 3, 2009

    I WISH some of my friends had told me I didn’t need any more taco bell! Great blog, I really enjoy reading it.

    • dsackr · January 3, 2009

      Thanks Eli! I’ve added your blog to my blogroll…