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Offending The Fat. I Mean, Obese

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I’ve been reading a lot of stories lately about obesity and how the rest of the world is picking on fat people. Poor babies!

Look, I understand that in some instances obesity can’t be helped. I also don’t believe that the majority of obese people fit into the category of “it can’t be helped.” I just don’t get it. I mean, I’m not very active. I eat bullshit snack foods all the time; it’s called the munchies. I don’t exercise very much. Ok, I play golf, so I don’t really exercise at all. I even have an electric bicycle. Even with all these things going against me, I’m still only a few pounds overweight! How the hell do you get to the stage they call obese?

When I looked up obesity on Wikipedia, it told me that this “disease” is very rare in wild animals and pretty common in domesticated animals. The reason? Domestic animals tend to be overfed and under-exercised. In other words, if obesity is a problem, try eating less and exercising more. Sounds pretty simple to me.

A couple of weeks ago at BC, I read an article about fat people having trouble getting hired. The way I read the article and the comments that went along with it, the writer got on his tilt because his mother told him that fat people couldn’t get hired for good jobs. Of course, the discussion that followed brought up smoking and every other thing that employers should be using as hiring criteria, but really didn’t discuss the problem of hiring the obese and the associated costs.

Today I opened the editorial section of my paper, like I do every day, and read a letter from someone whining because their feelings were hurt over a picture in the paper last week showing two therapists sitting in one oversized wheelchair. The person that wrote the article whined because it sent a negative message. What was the message, you ask? According to the letter to the editor, the message is that two normal-sized people can fit in the same space as one fat person. Somehow the person that wrote that letter doesn’t realize that I don’t need a picture to figure out that two of me can fit where one of her can fit. I usually get the picture when he/she walks by my table at Quizno’s and blocks out the sun for a minute or two.

Why is calling attention to the obvious politically incorrect? Why is saying things like, “You should have to pay for two seats on the airplane if your ass takes up two seats,” a bad thing? I’ve noticed those wide-load wheelchairs at the airport too. You know what that means to me? It means that some poor sorry bastard (possibly me) is gonna get cheated out of half his seat on the plane because someone else needs two and a half seats.

I’d bet that if they just showed a picture of that wheelchair without anyone in it, none of us would have known that the thing was designed for someone with an ass two axe handles wide. Maybe they should have just put a really, really big person in it instead. Then all the fat folks wouldn’t be offended by it. I’d think they’d be more offended by the normal-sized wheelchair, saying things like, “Why do they make these chairs so small?” or “Don’t they know that us ‘normal’-sized people can’t fit in those child seats?”

Maybe it’s not the big seat that’s really offensive. Maybe it’s the little seats that are offensive. Think about it for a minute. If medical supply companies knew the size of Americans, they’d naturally make bigger chairs to accommodate all the fat asses in this country.

The person whining in the paper asks, “Would you similarly insult a gay-lesbian group in a photo?” Maybe they were really trying to! Maybe the two therapists shown in the picture were lesbians? But they were skinny lesbians!

I’m here to say that from now on, PC is forever BS! No more PC BS. Ever! We’re gonna call fat people fat, lazy people lazy, stupid people stupid. We’re gonna include religious whackos and secular shitheads in this group too. When we do this, there will be no return name-calling, no playing the race card or the PC card anymore. The PC card has been removed from the deck and has been burned at the stake.

I usually try to be a nice guy. I’ve tried to learn that thing they call tact over the years. I’m getting better at it, but it still really kicks my ass sometimes. I mean, I’ve never made a comment to anyone in front of me at Burger King who ordered two Whoppers and a diet coke. I’ve never made a comment when I heard one woman ask another, “Does this make me look fat?” I have made a comment if I’ve been asked myself (yes it hurt), but never to anyone I didn’t know. I yell through my car window at idiot drivers. Sometimes I even roll the window down. But, for the most part, I try to behave. It’s just sometimes I get so tired of listening to anyone other than me whine, it just drives me crazy! I’m here to tell you, I have some comments to make, too.

About Andy Marsh

  • Dawn

    Italian women can be very scary. I can’t argue with that.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    my mothers maiden name….you know the character Paulie on the Sopranos? Gualtieri!

  • Eric Olsen

    everyone is right: people shouldn’t be mean and judgmental, there are a wide array of body-types, there are genetic and environmental factors that affect weight gain, a lot of people are lazy and eat a bunch of shit, the intentions of PC are above reproach but the ramifications are often stultifying, the older I get the happier I am an ectomorph, staying as thin as I want to be gets harder as I get older, I exercise every day and vigorously 5 days a week, I eat reasonably well.

    Conclusions: everyone (who is capable) should exercise vigorously and eat reasonably well – if they did, the country would look a lot different than it does now, though we would still have all different shapes and sizes and there still wouldn’t be anyone who is perfect.

    I have to admit I would enjoy roaming the land, kicking fucking cheeseburgers and fries out of people’s hands and forcing them to exercise viciously on the spot. Yes, there would be some casualties, but you have to break a few eggs …

    Oh, and I should add: if you are active, eat well and are still overweight, then that’s just the way it is – don’t worry about it. But if are not active, and don’t have a reasonable medical excuse for it, then shame on you.

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    For shame, Mr. Marsh! And tsk tsk tsk! ;-)

    Seriously, I do understand where you’re coming from. People are, like, sooooo sensitive these days. It seems like just about every real or imagined slight is grounds for controversy, condemnation and, in some cases, even litigation. But this is not necessarily a Bad Thing as it is indicative of a society that is becoming more compassionate and civilized.

    Sensitivity used to be defined as looking about the room for people of certain ethic extractions before telling ethnic jokes, now it is defined as not telling any sort of ethnic jokes at all.

    Now, don’t worry, the First Amendment is still in force and people aren’t being arrested for telling ethnic jokes. However, they do face the consequences of social and/or commercial rebuke.

    People who tell ethnic jokes often find that their friends are having a much better time when they’re not around. If the media makes such jokes it faces the possibility of losing ratings shares or even organized boycotts.

    This is the beauty of freedom and capitalism in action. Some may think that freedom of speech coarsens a society — and it some ways it might seem so — but ultimately it has made us more polite and considerate of others.

    The reason why people seem more sensitive these days is because our standards of behavior, especially with regard to human relations, have become more refined, not less so.

    And so it will go with those suffering from obesity. Obese people will exercise their right to free speech and let the public know when they are offended, businesses that wish to improve their bottom lines will make accommodations for larger customers and society will eventually raise its own awareness of obesity (which is actually happening right now), thus leading to numerous private ventures and public services that will be helpful to the unfortunate people who struggle with the problems of excessive weight.

  • My Opinion, That’s All

    I believe that this has nothing to do with weight at all. It has everything to do with thinness. Even at size 5, I still weigh 145 pounds. By that standard, I would be overweight, but clothing-wise, I would be thin. But that was in high school. I have had children now and I’m a little heavier and a little wider, but still proportionate. Health and weight matters not in this society. It’s THINNESS. As long as you can pour yourself into a size 2, who gives a damn if you’re suffering from malnutrition, mineral deficiencies and hair loss? As long as you’re thin.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    MOTA – I think I’m like a size 14/16…been a lot of years since I tried any ladies clothing…wait…I’ve NEVER tried on any ladies clothing…never mind…I don’t know what size I am.

  • Nancy

    Well, your height probably factors into it. Lessee…you said you’re about 210; if you’re average height (for a guy), then you MIGHT be able to squeeze into a 16, but chances are you’re a little chunkier around the shoulders & tum than you realized, so for comfort & movability, I’d recommend you go for a 20 or so, so you can have an inch or so of give to sit down. ;)

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    you’re probably right…it was quite a while ago…

    is 6′ average?

  • Nancy

    6 foot, well, I’d recommend you try a 20 Tall; 6′ is a little on the longish side for women’s clothes; a regular 20 would definitely be too short for comfort or modesty.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    If I’m gonna wear womens clothes is modesty something I need to concern myself with?

    Tell you what…it’s a whole lot easier to just go get those 550′s sized 34/34…this is starting to sound like issues to me…no wonder you women have so many! Kidding! Kidding!

  • Nancy

    No, actually, that IS an issue: men’s clothing sizes are standardized; women’s are not. A size 8 by one manufacturer is not the same size as a size 8 by another, believe it or not. Depending on the maker, you can wear a size 10, a 14, or a 16. That’s why women spend so much time always trying on clothes when they go shopping, while men can just pick up something from the shelf & get it confident it will fit without having to try it on in the store.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I never could quite figure that stuff out…but I’ve always noticed it.

    and why does it cost more to dry clean a pair of ladies slacks than a pair of mens slacks? Or shirts and blouses…always seemed kinda strange to me…although, I don’t do much dry cleaning…I mean, come on…no one dry cleans jeans and t-shirts…well almost no one….

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    There is a vast difference between those whose few extra pounds are a threat to their ability to look good in certain clothing styles or to qualify for a career in high fashion modeling and those whose excess weight is a threat to their health and, in some cases, even their lives.

    My fourth child was born only one year after my third. The day before I delivered, I weighed a little over 200 pounds and, 2 months postpartum, I weighed 160 pounds.

    Now, I’m only 5’3″ and have a slight build, so I was “fat.” And for real, too, not just suffering self-consciousness from seeing thin models and actresses on the television and in magazines.

    I did not care for the discomfort caused by my thighs rubbing together when I walked, so I lost 50 pounds in about 9 months.

    All I did was eat less and exercise more, but some people I know don’t believe that and presume that I have bulimia or anorexia nervosa. On one occasion, a concerned relative actually followed me into a ladies room to see if I went in there to “purge” the meal I had just eaten.

    I blame that dynamic on this sort of attitude/ assertion:

    Health and weight matters not in this society. It’s THINNESS. As long as you can pour yourself into a size 2, who gives a damn if you’re suffering from malnutrition, mineral deficiencies and hair loss? As long as you’re thin.

    Thinness and the ability to “pour” oneself into a size 2 really only matter to models and actresses whose careers hinge upon their looks and those people who want to be that thin but are not, and/or cannot be due to their natural bone structure — and who allow their self-image and esteem to be dictated to them by their perceptions of media standards of beauty.

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    Women’s slacks and blouses are more ornate and varied and often have more tailoring and details than men’s pants and shirts. Therefore, women’s clothes require more time to press, thus they are more expensive to have dry-cleaned.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Works for me, like I said…no need to dry clean jeans and t-shirts. Although I do wear nicer stuff to work and on the golf course..still wash and wear though. Only thing ever gets dry cleaned for me is the few suits I own.

    one more thing…that word…postpartem…brings back 20 year old frightening memories for me! Women can be really really scary about a month or so after the baby is born…

  • Nancy

    I’m with you; I own nothing that isn’t wash & wear (or wash WHILE wearing), and that doesn’t acquire wrinkles if it’s housed on the chair instead of properly hung up in the closet!

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Actually, I have this really nice valet in my bedroom…it’s made by a company called totalgym 1500. Told you I was lazy.

  • Nancy

    Mine is a “Gazelle Plus”

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Andy,

    I do not go in for all the PC bullshit. Stupid is stupid, retarded is retarted, fat is fat, flat is flat, etc. etc.

    But there is such a thing as manners and fundamental decency. You ought not say things that reduces a person’s image of himself in his own eyes (unless his image is so bloated it needs reducing badly), or lessen another person’s honor.

    I don’t have to call a 300 lb. person sitting across from me a fat pig, even though that may be the image I have of him. One can go further with the examples and come up with a code of decent civil behavior.

    But I’ve also learned that the person who persists in making offensive remarks runs the risk of getting his nose broken or his teeth knocked out by the offended person. And often, a broken nose or several lost teeth is a remarkable education in civility.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Ruvy – you’re absolutely right. I’m not one to usually run my mouth in public…say things that are hurtful to people I don’t know. Mom taught me how to act in public. I don’t always follow what she taught me, but she did teach me. I will say things to people that piss me off enough…like the guy in the 10 items or less line at the grocery store with 30 items and a thing around his neck that had the letters WWJD on it. I did tell him that Jesus wouldn’t get in the express line with that many items. Of course, it didn’t get me anything but a scowl, but it made me feel better. That’s why I wrote this and posted it as opposed to thinking it and saying it out loud and risking the chance of a severe ass whooping! People that read it know that I’m in Virginia Beach, but this a decent sized city and I wouldn’t be that easy to find…plus I run pretty fast…for an old guy.

  • Nancy

    Well, no, to a degree you’re right: a lot of obesity is caused by overeating, and a lot of it can be ‘cured’ by increasing exercise & decreasing caloric intake. BUT – as medical experts are discovering (what most of us with weight problems already knew long ago, as usual) the problem is keeping it off. Once on, it’s difficult to divest, and unfairly, obscenely easy to regain, PLUS usually a 5% increase, leading to a dangerous round game which inevitably spirals upwards.

  • http://suspiria.org Vic

    I believe that there is a percentage of the population that suffers from either thyroid problems or perhaps depression, and that this can account for some of the obese in the population.

    But if anyone tries to tell me that 2 OUT OF 3 people in the U.S. have some sort of medical reason for being obese I’m gonna tell them they are full of it.

    For the most part people just want to be able to eat whatever they want, in whatever quantity they please without doing any physical activity. Then they get fat and wonder what the hell happened, and start with the rationalizations.

    Personally I would boil it down to ignorance of the facts of basic nutrition, but that can’t be enough to explain it, because at some tipping point one would think that folks would take a look in the mirror and say “Hey, waitaminute… what’s going on here?”

    But no, they just rationalize away… “I’m only a couple of pounds overweight”, “Hey, you only live once”, “Eating right and exercising only adds 5 years to your life”, etc., etc.

    I read recently that public schools are going to start educating kids starting in kindergarten about HIV/Aids… How about they ditch that and start to seriously educate kids about nutrition and fitness? The percentage of people in the U.S. who have HIV is approximately 0.3% while the percentage of Americans who are obese is over 60%, so maybe someone can explain the math of THAT one to me.

    Vic

  • Kim

    I travel frequently (both domestically and internationally), and while I do not have any personal animosity against large people, I believe that people who do not fit in an aeroplane seat should pay for two. Juse like you cannot send something in a flat-rate FedEx envelope if your stuff does not fit.

    Often someone, either the poor person sitting next to the big person or a flight attendant, has to point out the fact that the big person does not fit in the seat. This is totally avoidable, but the sad thing is that most fat people are either in denial or just cheap and seldom voluntarily reserve and pay for the space they need in advance. Flying on commercialy airlines is hardly a private endeavour, and being confronted for occupying space that you did not pay for is inevitable.

    Also, those of you who are big, please do not victimise yourselves – those of us who have to make such complaints also feel very awkward and risk something. What if there is no other seat available and we ended up sitting together for the next 8 hours? Would the big person be as civil towards me as s/he would have been had I not made such complaint?

    After all, what they are doing is like buying an econony car like Geo Metro or Corolla and complain that their seats are too small and that people who fit in these cars without problem are making fat people feel bad. If you are big, you drive a large car and pay extra on gas and insurance. Same for air travel. Larger people should fly first or business class or pay for 2 seats.

  • http://www.greatermen.co.uk Hard Madge

    On the other hand, if you ARE large/fat/obese/mighty and are not particularly ashamed of it, you might want to check this site out…

    http://www.greatermen.co.uk

  • rachel

    Are Diet Blogs addicting? I’ve went to several, I don’t see alot of success. I see the same people losing over and over again. Endless banter about food and exercise regimes that don’t seem to work longterm. The names are telling, FatChick Perpetually on a Diet. Isnt’t this setting yourself up? Boring diaries of food intake, and Oops, I did again. I overate, but now I’m being good. I’m back on the wagon fat chicks, love me, help me, because I am never going to make a real change.

  • SlugBuster

    The REAL whiners are the OBESE people. I get sick of listening to them whine about discrimination. In my experience in the work force, especially in the software profession, most of the arrogant, egotistical, overbearing, beligerent jerks I have to contend with are the obese obnoxious slobs.

  • Shizik

    Stupid westeners with their stupid problems ;)

  • obese

    I’m considered obese by the BMI standards. I work out 6 days a week and control my calories. The weight does not budge. I do what skinny people do, it does not make a difference. All I can hope for is to not get fatter. Low thyroid and other medications made me gain steadily over a decade before the problem was identified. That is how one gets “obese”.

    I don’t give a darn about PC, but how about some compassion. You look at a large person. You don’t know why they are that way. It may be a severe medical condition. It may be an emotional issue (there’s a reason it’s called comfort food). Please don’t think that just because they have more fat stores than you, they are lazy or apathetic.

  • Angela

    You know what i love about blogs? That people like Andy and others get to hide behind a computer and say what they want about whomever and make there little comments and observations about the obese people in the world. I bet if we were to meet or see him, or follow him around we could have alot to say. If more people would pay attention to there own problems, and work on themselves, this world would be a much happier place to live. The fact that he had to BLOG about this issue, to me says alot….get a life buddy.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Feeling picked on Angela??? Poor baby, go on a diet!

  • http://canadiancinephile.com/ Jordan Richardson

    Wow, Andy, you’re a classy guy.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I’ve never claimed to have any!

  • Angela

    Andy thank you for your kind words….I am so hurt by your comment……..NOT!!! You have a nice day, and keep on blogging, because the world really wants to hear from you. Like I said work on yourself buddy, and the world will be a better place. I have to go eat something…bye-bye.

  • Marcia L. Neil

    You can choose a pituitary condition rather than a thyroid condition to stay slim.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    It amazes me that only in America is this the problem that it is…I’ve spent plenty of time in a lot of other countries and only in America do I see these medical problems. Must be all the chemicals in our food supply!

    What a crock!

  • http://www.intersportswire.com alessandro

    I have a question. And I think it is relevant to a guy like me.

    Will we have to rename “Fat Albert?”

    I mean, somehow Obese Albert doesn’t have the sense of comedic aloofness I seek in my cartoon heroes.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    alessandro…I think there’s some kind of retroactive PC thing and Fat Albert fits in that category…

    I haven’t purchased one of those Fatheads yet…I hear they’re a bit pricey!

  • JAMES BLANCHARD

    YOU GO DUDE!!! I couldn’t have put it better myself. I think that “political correctness” should only be inflicted on POLITICIANS!!! personally, I believe that FAT people should stop eating “fast food” and start shoveling “organic food” into their bellies! it’s bad enough that our children are raised on McDonald’s extremely fattening food (for lack of a better term). can ANYONE out there explain why our government officials felt that it was necessary to remove GYM CLASS from most of the public schools?
    When does a person graduate from “FLUFFY” to “OBESE” anyway? why don’t they have a special section on buses, trains, and airplanes for the fat asses? couldn’t they simply install benches or church pews in a special area for them? When a LARGE person buys a vehicle, does he/she have to custom order seat belts long enough to reach the other side of the vehicle in order to avoid getting a ticket?
    i think that our government should require EVERY student to take at least 2 hours of P.E. EVERY-SINGLE-DAY and require EVERY student to pass a HEALTHY EATING course before allowing them to graduate!!! does drinking a can of DIET COKE really make it okay for someone to have that extra piece of cake?
    EAT ORGANIC FOOD AND EXERCISE and before you know it… your FAT ASS will disappear! and you will be able to walk more than a city block without having to stop to catch your breath.

    have-a-loving-day!

  • Debra- med student

    To whom it may concern, l have a non-fuctioning thyroid, l’m not stupid, lhave honours in biology
    and geology. l’ve had surguries which made it
    difficult to lose weight.I accept people as they are, you are not christian, when you judge, you’ll be judged, when you condem, you’ll be condemed okay .

  • Not fat, just compassionate

    Andy’s logic is full of crap as when he admits, “I’m not very active. I eat bullshit snack foods all the time; it’s called the munchies. I don’t exercise very much. Ok, I play golf, so I don’t really exercise at all. I even have an electric bicycle. Even with all these things going against me, I’m still only a few pounds overweight! How the hell do you get to the stage they call obese?” To me, this is a great argument for the theory that genetics certainly are a factor in obesity. My feelings for lazy slobs like Andy are similar to those he harbors for obese people, except more disdainful. I have to run 30 miles a week and eat 1200 calories a day to maintain my 110-pound figure–would Andy like to have to do that? He’s lucky he was born with a good metabolism. The hilarious part is that he THINKS he’s a nice man. I’m not a bible thumper, but hey Andy, “judge not, lest ye be judged” and “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

  • Doug Hunter

    Nature v Nurture. It’s an interesting topic. The ability to use food efficiently and store the rest served many of us well back when we faced famine on a regular basis, now it’s a weakness. I’d suspect that about 80-90% of the population does not have the willpower to change their natural weight much. I used to smoke but was able to quit cold turkey but food can be so much more difficult. Food addiction is like nicotine addiction that never subsides. Additionally, you have to eat some to survive. I’d love to see smokers try and quit if they had to smoke 1 cigarette a day.

    I’m a bit overweight but not obese. I quit trying to diet because everytime you regain the wait you end up a pound of two heavier. Since I quit dieting my weight has remained steady.

    I’m fairly active at work and exercise and I know from my calorie counting days that I usually burn about 3000-3250 per day (I know it’s awesome!). As soon as I start a calorie restricted diet my natural metabolism drops down to about 2000-2200. That’s the problem, your body has a natural weight it wants to maintain, and it is very convincing when it wants something.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    You know, not for nothing here, but the second line of what I wote says I understand that sometimes it’s a medical thing. What amazes me is how this medical phenomenom seems to affect people in the U.S. more than anywhere else in the world…must be one of those things that make you go hmmmmm…..I know, it’s GWB’s fault…everything else is!

    And on another note, all your excuses for your size do absolutely nothing for me and people like me that have to sit next to you on an airplane!

  • Audrey

    I’m a veterinarian, know how hard it is to tell a dog owner that their dog is too fat and they’re slowly killing it, when they can’t fit in the chair in the waiting room? Takes all my tact. Maybe I should just be blunt, eh?

  • Jenn

    Yeah.. I’m obese.. But I’m really trying to lose weight if it helps. But whenever I eat it looks like I gained 50 pounds! People are always nice to me and say I’m thin.. I am getting tired of people lying.. May as well speak there minds. I’m sick of looking like a dumb ugly fatty! But the weird thing is.. One of my friends apparently weighs a lot more.. But she looks wayyyy thinner than me. Well I’m a fatty anyways.. Food makes me want to cry.. :/