There is nothing neutral about the act of eating when you’re fat.

Photo by William Clemente on Reshot

Sometimes I want to scream, but I wonder if anyone could ever hear it beneath all these layers of fat. I think about how in a perfect world I would not worry about money the way I do today, the way I do lately. And I wouldn’t worry about the basics of life like shelter, friendship, and oh yeah–food.

On the hierarchy of all addiction, battling food is so utterly unsexy. Not that a heroin or cocaine addiction is supposed to win you lovers, but let’s get real–people are often drawn to the tortured artist, dark and broody soul. As long as they’re you know, conventionally attractive.

But people with food addiction can be just as dark, brooding, and tortured. I promise. It’s just that it’s basically more acceptable and understandable to admit you have a drug addiction than admit you struggle so severely with food.

Like, who does that? Only overly fat and lazy people, right? People who are slow and dumb and more animal than human. People who don’t deserve love. They deserve every bit of mockery they get because obesity is a serious disease. It is an illness costing the country money. Costing the world money. And fat people are far too lazy to justify spending more money.

Did I mention that I wanted to scream?

The things I read online about obesity make me so angry because I know first hand how terrible it can be. But you know, it’s bad enough battling this ugly addiction. The truth is that no place is safe for us either. Not real life or the internet.

There is always someone who wants to make us see the light. Dole out some tough love. Like they don’t think we know we’re fat. Oh, gee! Thank you! Like we don’t know society see us as a waste of space and financial drain.

Oh good, last night I found another article about how terrible obesity is. Now even more people can read it and rail against the people who dare be fat and inappropriate. But like any other “cause,” as long as people focus on obesity in terms of the dollar amounts spent on healthcare, the campaign will be ineffective. When they talk about obesity, they’re talking about people. Oh, except they’re not because they’re only talking about the money. They’re talking about the loss of revenue and productivity and furthering the idea that obese people are lazy.

That’s why people are obese, right? Sheer laziness. A pure disregard for their wellbeing. Zero concern for how their behavior affects others. That’s the cute and simple story people tell themselves about obesity, anyway.

They assume we all guzzle down gallons of Coca-Cola. Tax the sugary beverages! And they think we live off donuts and cookies. Tax the sugary foods! They think we can’t make decisions for ourselves. Limit the choices of SNAP recipients to only healthy foods!

Healthy foods… healthy foods–what makes a healthy food? Better yet, what makes a cheap healthy food? Ask the question from 100 different dietitians and experts–get 100 different, conflicting answers.

I know this because I am an obese person who is very educated about food, health, and wellnes. Information overload is not an innocent factor when it comes to eating disorders and even obesity. No one wants to admit that when it comes to healthy eating, there are so many conflicting schools of thought.

It’s maddening and I get so angry, because people want to legislate the fat out of us. When I bring up the negative consequences of fat shaming, I am met with responses like, “Good! They should be ashamed! Maybe now they’ll get off their lazy asses and lose a little weight. Maybe they’ll quit living like a beached whale. Maybe they will put down the fork.”

Honestly? I think I hate judgemental people even more than I hate being fat. And I hate being fat.

Eating has become such a mind game that’s it’s easier to say screw it, and pretend that I don’t care and it doesn’t matter.

There are so many different concepts of what constitutes healthy eating that I end up feeling guilty for whatever I eat. I buy food, and then I waste it, because I’m afraid to eat it.

I get hung up on things like artificial sweeteners and hormones or antibiotics in meat. How I miss my vegan life but keto makes so much sense for lipedema and PCOS. I get hung up on my lack of balance and the fact that I feel genuine guilt when I eat anything at all.

The truth is whenever I eat, what I’m really longing for is to feed my soul. My soul is hungry. No, my soul is starving.

My fat body is more than my PCOS, my lipedema, and my dexascan that said I only have a basal metabolic rate of 650kcal. My fat body is more than laziness and poor food choices. My fatness is more than my lack of companionship and a healthy social life. My fatness is hungry, craving connection, and waiting to be filled.

My body is more than my guilt for eating a salad at Panera, and more than my guilt for wanting to eat at Panda Express. My body is more than the food I eat to overcompensate for the fact that I can’t go to a certain restaurant or get to a certain grocery store or share a meal with friends.

My fat body is more, which is precisely the problem and the reason so many people treat it like it’s less.

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