I’m a big guy. I’m probably big enough that people may occasionally do a double take when they first see me. I say probably because as I stated in an earlier post I don’t always see myself in those terms. This is not something I’m proud of and is a considerable factor in my decision and determination to shed the excess weight that I’ve been carrying around all these years. Because I am so big, I seem to engender concern in people (many of whom are perfect strangers) so much that some of them are compelled to share with me all manner of ways in which I could lose weight.
This, admittedly, is preferable to the ones who just feel the need to point out the fact that I’m large. This is usually done by older persons (man or woman-doesn’t matter, rudeness knows no gender) who have lived beyond the expiration of their social decorum. I never know quite what to say.
Older person: “Well, you’re a big one, aren’t ya?”
Me: “Yep, It’s nice to see your visual acuity hasn’t diminished with your ability to be appropriate.”
Me: “Here’s your table. Could I get you started with an appetizer?”
Older person: “Well, they’re obviously good. I imagine you’ve had a lot of them.”
Me: “They sure are. I’ll be sure to tell the cook to put a rush on it. Don’t you go dying on me before I can get it out here.”
Older person: “Did you save us any food?”
Me: “Absolutely, I always leave a few arsenic laced morsels for my special customers.”
Now, it should be pointed out that these are actual statements I have actually heard from actual people at my restaurants. My words were all internalized and replaced with polite diplomatic responses because I’m a human being and I still have the capacity not to intentionally slight a perfect stranger because I’m too old to care.
Thursday was an especially annoying day for me. I had three different occasions where people came up to me and told me how I should go about losing weight. (It is imperative that I add this disclaimer that I am not including my cousin in this group. She messaged me and asked if she could share somethings with me about my weight loss journey. To which I replied that it would be okay, because I know her and I know that she cares for me). The first occasion was early morning at the gym. I was working out when some person I had never met before (obviously an EGO) came up to me and told me that I was doing it all wrong. He then proceeded to tell me what I should be doing. I have no idea what he said because I didn’t want to listen to him. He may very well have had good ideas but because he handled it so poorly I immediately tuned him out. I asked him if he was a trainer and he said no and that he just really liked to exercise. I told him I heard they were hiring trainers and that he should go apply as I slipped my earbuds back in (the international sign of This Conversation is Done.)
The second was a regular customer at my diner. Perhaps they thought that because we see each other occasionally and I serve them coffee that they are somehow now in a position to tell me how to diet. Far be it from me to reject advice from a skinny person (they’re obviously doing something right), I probably will pass on any advice from someone who has been admitted to the hospital for malnutrition 3 times in the past 18 months. You see I don’t just want to be skinny, I want to be healthy. Thanks, but it’s a hard pass.
The third and most egregious offender was from the most vocal of weight loss experts: the Former Fatty! No one knows more about weight loss than someone who has lost it. And no one is more eager to tell you their story than that same person. This particular FF was a 50 year old man who claimed to have lost 186 pounds in his life. I joked that I’ve easily lost that much if you total it all together but with 186 pounds he also lost his sense of humor.
He was a bit caustic and he began to lay into me how I could lose weight. His solution: Squeeze two lemons into a glass with three fingers of water. Drink that every morning when I wake up and every night before bed. Then walk or run one hour and thirty minutes every morning. Now he had decent ideas but I don’t care mostly because the acidity from all of those lemons he consumes has leaked into his personality. His most passionate reason for losing weight he claimed was because his wife didn’t want to have to call 911 in the middle of the night. A truly compelling reason if ever there was one. However, it lost some of its luster when he stepped outside for a smoke for the third time of his 45 minute visit.
What I’m trying to say is that I know I’m fat. I’m trying to do something about it. But if you want to give me advice (or anyone for that matter) first let me know that you care and then I’ll care about what you know. So if you see a fatty walking down the street and the urge swells within you to give them advice (even compassionately) just hold on to it. Say a quick prayer that they will either become aware of their situation or if they are already aware then pray that they will have the strength to continue the journey and the fortitude not to strangle the next person who points out the fact that they’re fat.