Eating While Fat

[CN: CICO and diet talk, calorie counting, disordered eating, depression]

Eating in public is more than just eating, if you are a fat person. It's Eating While Fat.

Eating While Fat means carefully scrutinizing each choice from the party buffet, knowing that others are watching you, hating that it matters, but knowing it does. Are you choosing the celery sticks because you like them (I do), or because you know what people will be smirking if you grab the cookies? Because obviously, you are a terrible, lazy, terrible person if you pick the cookies.

Eating While Fat means then scurrying away from the buffet or the table. Because you don't want to get that "helpful" remark about being mindful about your food, not snacking directly from the plate, etc. Other people can hang around the food/kitchen/buffet because that's where the conversation and socializing is. But not you, because you are Eating While Fat, and standing next to buffets and mindlessly chomping away is obviously how you got that way.

Eating While Fat means then enduring the inevitable person who wants to "congratulate" you for eating celery, or ordering a salad, or skipping dessert, or whatever it was you did that society says will magically make you thin. Because obviously you are on a diet. It couldn't be that you eat that way all the time. If you did, you wouldn't be fat, right?

Eating While Fat means wondering if you correct the person commenting on your food choices, or just murmur a "thank you" and hoping the conversation will go away. Because, obviously, they were being nice. And you should enjoy the "positive" reinforcement. (But maybe correcting them will help another fat person? Or maybe they will simply snigger more at "Fatty in Denial." You smile and say nothing.)

Eating While Fat means enduring diet talk if you are seen writing down your food, usually with added more congratulations or commiseration about diets. It doesn't matter that your food diary is for allergies. Or IBS. Or sodium. Or the million other reasons you might have for keeping track of your food. Because obviously the only reason fatties have for tracking food is trying to become less fat.

Eating While Fat also means listening to people "helpfully" suggest you check the calorie count on your phone, because here's this great app, see, and it helped me lose TEN WHOLE POUNDS, blah blah blah. It means wondering if you tell them that yeah, you ALREADY know the calories in almost everything. Because you have spent years of your life trying not to be fat, dieting and still gaining weight, exercising and still gaining weight, putting off everything from getting married to visiting the doctor until you are less-fat. You don't say anything. Because obviously you have never dieted; if you had, you'd be thin.

Eating While Fat is wishing you could just ignore it. But you can't.

Eating While Fat is battling anxiety. Because you start dreading these looks and comments even before you get to the party, or dinner, or outing. It means trying not to lapse into diet-think, because you know where that downwards spiral leads: a full-blown depressive episode, because dieting still doesn't work. You will still be fat, but with the added effect of feeling like a failure. Again.

(But maybe this time, things would be different? The prospect of not having to deal with all this fat hatred flashes before your eyes. You are filled with sick yearning and adrenaline. Your mind starts to slide to the bad place. Maybemaybemaybe this time you could get thin if you just counted calories/exercised more/stopped eating carbs/used all the same methods which have never achieved that result before?)

You take a deep breath, and try to wrestle your thoughts back to reality. Because your sanity depends, in part, on the mental exercise of flipping the bird at the world and daring to be happy while fat.

Because what should be truly obvious is this: Eating While Fat is just eating. Maybe the world could take note of that.

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