Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Welcome to the Gym, Fatass

When you see a person of the Fat persuasion walk into a gym, you assume s/he's in there for the sole purpose of melting that pesky adipose tissue off. But, you see, that's not always true.

I actually enjoy working out. Pumping up the music and amping up my heart rate is how I get my rocks off. Exercising is better than Crystal Meth. It's my anti-drug, K?

So imagine my extreme mortification when I go talk to Jim* the new gym salesguy for the first time. I went in there with some family members to start up a new membership. He asks us pointed questions, meant to clearly make us feel inadequate. Or is it overadequate?
He then asks pointedly "why haven't you hired personal trainers?" He let's us know that it's clear that we go to the gym for one reason only...yet aren't seeing results.
At the end of his jackass spiel he asks us "Fat enough?" (ya see, it's meant as "Fair enough?" but he said "FAT enough" instead cuz it works a dual purpose of ending the conversation and demeaning us. WaHOO!). Then he confirmed that I understood his little punchline, as I backed out of the room. No, I didn't need to warn the air traffic controllers about it either, although Jim was probably about to say something to that effect.
I smiled, mouth closed, fists clenched, trying not to punch the diminutive motherfucker in his smug nose and went on with my workout as usual.

Except this time, I wasn't having fun. I was worried that everyone was thinking how sad it was that I went to the gym and yet, was still so macabrely obese.

I was offended. Whats the difference between him and some schoolyard bully, picking on perceived weaknesses to benefit himself?
First Difference: a Schoolyard Bully would be crying to his mommy if he talked to me like that.
Second Difference: a Schoolyard Bully doesn't get paid commission.

Advantage: Jim the Asshole Sales Guy.

*Name changed.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Fatgrrrl's a Total Jock

People look at a fat person and assume a whole bunch of things. Agile, flexible, fast and sure-footed do not make that list of assumptions, Ever. Sometimes, in my overtly violent moments of jest, I say that I'm gonna kick someone in the head. This is usually a 'someone ' almost a foot taller than me, who deserves a kick in the head, so no need for shocked gasps. My friend, thin male, on 2 separated occasions has laughed and wondered how the hell I could manage to do that. Noting the height to kick ratio he'll openly question my ability to do such a thing. Funny. But, I've done it before. Surprised?


Years ago I was taking part in a fitness test for college and I had to run a 500 metre course in under x seconds (don't really recall how fast). Despite being 18 at the time, it had probably been about 4 years since I actually sprinted for anything, besides a free sample at the mall's food court. So, there I am, an awkwardly lardy teen standing at the start line alongside 3 other girls who at their most bloated would have been about 120lbs. No one would have guessed that I would have fared any better than a drunk hippo against 3 sleek cheetahs. I won that race, hands down. The next person didn't cross the line until 1 whole second after me. Only me and that other girl made it in time. Surprised?

I knew you would be.

I wonder how many other women of the voluptuous persuasion get frustrated by this bias. I may be large but does that mean I'm not capable of using my body as effectively as other people? I don't get out of breath nearly as fast as other people do. I tend to walk faster than many people and navigate the serpentine obstacles of human bodies that is Times Square quite effectively. I wouldn't be surprised if another fellow lard-ass had the same claim to fame. Sure, I recognize that my size limits me from playing 2 hours of hardcore street ball or from going head to head with Andre Agassi. That doesn't mean that I can't whoop the ass of the average judgmental idiot.

For all you watchers of Lost (and fans of Hurley), I'm sure you may recall a scene where Hurley was determined to catch "The French Woman", this wacked out looney who had been on the island for a long time. The other castaways...started following him and suddenly he found himself in a trap where a single step would have sent wooden spikes hurtling in his big fat tum-tum. While the others tried to quickly devise ways to disable the entire thing, Hurley said "look guys, I can get out of the way." Everyone else seemed quite skeptical. "No Really, I'm limber for a big guy." Then to everyone's horror, he rolls out of the way. Guess what? He was pretty limber after all.

Lesson learned: Don't underestimate the fat people. We are total jocks.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Nightlife

The one thing about being fat and young is that you want to go to a lot of cool and trendy places...but once you get there it's almost like you really shouldn't be there at all.
I went to a nice place the other night with a lot of nice-looking people but I didn't get a glance my way, not even once. It's bad being picked on for being different- fat, a minority, disabled, too skinny, whatever. But it's also bad being ignored because of your difference. Women were beautiful enough in the trendy bar cum restaurant so maybe no one should have paid any mind to me, but it still made me feel, for lack of a better vocabulary, bad.

I felt like the elephant in the room.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Cher Kicks off America's Weightloss soundtrack

New Weight Watchers commercials have come out on broadcast TV and with the heavily processed voice of Cher behind them, boy are those plumpers excited to lose weight!

We kick off the show with a very attractive young woman in a li'l black dress passing by a slim Black couple as the momentous words appear on the screen "Do you feel like the Fattest One in the room?" Oh shit, is she really the fattest one in the room? I mean, she's pretty hot and she's got this little black number on that doesn't exactly scream "I'M FAT!!!" So I actually didn't single her out as anything but pretty. I could easily have fell for the words "Do you feel like the Whitest One in the room?"

But now that the white text mentions it, she is fatter than those other two people. so Gawd she really should feel as embarassed as she emotes (it's called acting)! Way to contribute to body dysmorphia for a woman who for all intents and purposes should feel pretty nice walking around that party! The idea could be to make us far less attractive, less shapely women bristle with shame...cuz if she's the fattest one at the party, good thing I didn't show up. I don't want that egg on my face (but you know I'd slurp that egg down in a second if you season it right! I'm just that fat.)

The rest of the commercial seems to have a different tack filled with many overweight women rejoicing for one reason or another, pumping their fists in the air, jumping as high as their meaty thighs will allow them- My God, is it a Fatty revolution? - No, it's because they're happy that they've joined weight watchers and won't have to worry about body dysmorphia. So they're still fat and in the room, but don't Feel like the fattest one in the room. Or is it because they know they will no longer be a pathetic fat loser like the girl in the first scene, who was so unforgivably fat? It wasn't clear.

Bear in mind that this is a commercial urging us to join a weight loss group aka Weight Watchers so promoting body dysmorphic disorder is a great marketing ploy. On the other hand there is the implication that Weight Watchers will reduce your body dysmorphia, thus contrasting the initial trepidatious fat girl with the later shots of happy active, swimsuit-donning fatties. I guess I would have to join to find out.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

How to Lose a Guy in 20 pounds

Since May, I have gained 20 pounds. This, after maintaining approximately the same weight for like 8 years.

So I joined a gym. Good News: The gym's got good equipment, a weight room and free classes
Bad News: I am the fattest person in the gym

Let me tell you what. It's tough.

How to Lose a Guy in 20 pounds

Since May, I have gained 20 pounds. This, after maintaining approximately the same weight for like 8 years.

So I joined a gym. Good News: The gym's got good equipment, a weight room and free classes
Bad News: I am the fattest person in the gym

Let me tell you what. It's tough.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Corporate Fatty

Life is hard for Fatgrrrl, especially when she's trying to get herself a good, prestigious job.

The interview and hiring process is already damn tough enough, as you could tell by reading any number of studies on how fat people are perceived as sluggish, weakwilled idiots. (ever hear of that study where kids said they'd rather lose a limb than be fat? Mmmm dying self-esteem). Interviews are the epitome of the first impression, where you are judged solely on external factors. After all, these interviewers aren't spending a week getting to know each job candidate. So, an interviewee has to be the best she/he can be within the first 15 minutes of the interview.

Once Fatgrrrl strolls in to the posh Madison avenue corporate office, she sends off key nonverbal signals-

Hello sir, my body is unattractive and guaranteed to be offputting to all of your clients, leading them to believe that this company in turn is excessive by nature and unattractive. My lard content is a clear marker of my diminished self control and indicates that I will be a lazy and unprofessional worker who will probably take long lunch breaks to stuff myself with food. My suit is dowdy, ill-fitting and inappropriate for my age range because retailers don't deem me worthy enough to make suits in my size, reasoning that any successful company for which employees are required to wear suits would never hire me anyway. Please hire me!"

The frustrating aspect is that this quandry could be partially solved if there were, out there somewhere, people who taking plus size women's suiting seriously. And indeed, it should be taken seriously considering that we need to look better and try harder when we walk into that interview room. Yet, no one wants to tap this market. I am beseiged by inferior, frumpy suits with either outrageous colors which would only get me laughed out of the city or those suits with the tapered legs which are best left to senior citizen English teachers at their retirement parties.
I have an interview next week. I need this interview to go well. I can't find a suit. Do you see where I'm going with this?