260lbs...I stepped off the scale and stepped back on, it must be broken. 260lbs...shit.
It was the first time I’d weighed myself in probably a year. A year where I was working graveyard shifts – 6pm to 6am – eating fried food during a 2am “lunch” break – coming home after 12 hours and taking care of an 18 month old, getting about 3 hours of sleep when he napped – and then starting it all over again.
I had just gotten back from a trip to see some of my family back in the city we grew up in. I had met one of my younger brothers at the park for a pickup football game. I hadn’t seen him in a couple years and his once long hair was now completely shaved off.
“What’s up with that hair dude?” I said.
“What’s up with that fat fuckin’ gut bro?” He replied.
I was 24 years old – and I was seriously overweight and seriously not paying attention to it. I was living in the deep south, where 260lbs put me in the “normal 14 year old” category – but I was fat. I was fat as fuck. Up until that pickup football game though – nobody had ever said anything to me about. I wasn’t paying attention to it, I wasn’t working out, obviously. I needed someone to get in my face and say, “Dude, you’re a fat ass and you need to do something about it.”
That day when I saw 260 on the scale – was the first day of the rest of my life. I competed in a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament 13 months later – weighing in below the light heavyweight max at 198lbs.
Since that day – I have placed a huge emphasis in my life on fitness and diet. The weak-willed, sparrow-hearted milk bloods that seem to run things, especially here in America, would have labeled my brother’s comment as “fat shaming.” Call it whatever you want – but it worked.
This is what we need a whole lot more of in America. Our country’s rabid obsession with fat-acceptance, healthy-at-any-size bullshit, has to stop. It has been very successful – in the sense that Americans are apparently super ok with being morbidly obese. In the last 40 years, the average weight of a person in America has increased 24 pounds. More than 2/3 of the ENTIRE country is overweight or obese. If you say something about this – you are a bully.
I’ll take heat just for writing this – for simply laying out the facts. America is fat as fuck – and it’s only getting fatter. You think the First Lady force-feeding some 11 year olds shitty vegetables in a school cafeteria is gonna fix this problem? You’re insane. It wont – not as long as we continue to punish those who stand up and say something about the problem, while coddling the 250lb 10 year old and making sure he and his 400lb parents aren’t traumatized by the bad man who said they are fat. WAKE UP, YOU ARE FAT! You don’t like me saying that? That’s good. That means you have identified that being fat is something you shouldn’t be proud of – despite all the people on social media telling you otherwise.
When I see a child who is seriously overweight – I don’t see the child as the problem. This is obviously the byproduct of his parents – who I bet I could pick out of a crowd. Why do we not view this as the abusive behavior that it is? Read this little story and think about how you would react:
A father lights up his third cigarette during the morning commute. Smoke billows into the back-seat, clouding the view of his 3 year old, happily playing with a toy as cancer-causing toxins are slowly transported into his tiny lungs. The father hands the burning smoke to the child – “go ahead Mikey, take a drag. I don’t have time to stop and get you a pack this morning so you’ll just have to smoke mine.”
Outrageous, right? If you saw this happening, you’d probably call Child Services. It happens, every, single, day. Just replace the cigarette with French fries, cheeseburgers and soda. Lazy parents who would rather hit the drive-thru than cook something for their kids. Sure, my kids eat fast food. ONCE IN A WHILE. It’s not an everyday thing and believe me, if either of my children was overweight – it would never happen.
In today’s society, it’s ok to shame people for their behavior – as long as the behavior is one that meets the current “OK TO SHAME” list. Smoking, racism, people who write articles like this one, bullying etc. Society has deemed these behaviors as not acceptable – so why is eating to excess and being morbidly obese not on that list?
I read an article that said “…as long as the person understands it is not healthy to be overweight, and they still choose this lifestyle, we have no right to impose our values or choices on them.”
I disagree. Obesity costs us all – millions of dollars. Every single one of us pays for this shitty decision. Obesity is the biggest driver of healthcare costs in this country. The cost for this completely preventable “disease” ranges from an estimated $147-210 Billion each year. That’s billion…with a “B”.
According to the Better Policies for a Healthier America, obese adults spend 42 percent more on direct healthcare costs than adults who are at a healthy weight. Healthy At Any Size? Not a fucking chance. That goes for the “just a little extra around the waist” dad-bod crowd as well.
Moderately obese individuals are more than twice as likely to be prescribed RX drugs to manage their condition.
Costs for patients at emergency rooms with chest pains are 41 percent higher for severely obese patients.
These costs all add up and are then passed along to you when you pay for your health insurance. In 2001, just 15 years ago, health insurance spending represented 12.3% of a family income in the United States. Today that number is 27% and is expected to increase to more than 30 percent by 2019. We all pay for obesity in America.
Most people looked at me like I was crazy last year when I took a contractor job that didn’t offer benefits. “How much are you paying for private health insurance?”
I went all last year without insurance. I squat heavy and drink black coffee – and I didn’t go to the doctor once. I didn’t need to. I got one cold and battled it off in a couple days. I’m 35 years old. There is no reason I should be going to the doctor if I’m taking care of myself.
The time for acceptance is over. No more telling people it’s ok to be obese. No more accepting this garbage myth of “healthy at any size.” No more accepting fat kids as normal. Tell it like it is. America needs to be fat-shamed. America needs a younger brother to say “what’s up with that fat fuckin’ gut?”
Editor’s Note: You aren’t big boned. That’s fat choking your heart to death. You don’t have a slow metabolism. Your thyroid or “fill in the blank” medical condition is something you self-diagnosed on Web MD to feel better about not going to the gym. Eating healthy is not that expensive. If you think you can’t afford to eat healthy, shoot me an email, it can be done very cheaply. Your blown out knee in high school should not keep you from working out. The time for excuses is over. Go do something. I also want to be clear – there are plenty of athletes out there who don’t have a chiseled out six-pack (me included) or women who don’t have a perfectly flat-stomach or who have a little cellulite on their thighs – who are in amazing shape and are very healthy. This isn’t about looking like you are some photoshopped model. It’s about people getting off their asses and living a healthier lifestyle. If you are doing that – I salute you. I don’t care if you are 400, 200, 250, 150 – it doesn’t matter. You are doing something and you are the solution, not the problem.