Being Fat on a Plane

I read this article today, and I have mixed feelings about it. I was the fat person on the plane who used to get looked at, ridiculed, and made to feel embarrassed. I lived this for nearly 20 years. It was tough. But I did it to myself. I never felt anyone had any responsibility to accept my fatness and the inconvenience I would cause them when I had to sit next to them. I would apologize and I would do everything I could to make them comfortable to the point of making myself uncomfortable instead. It is, after all, what gentlemen do.

Then, at the end of that article, the author writes the following:

Society’s body standards and ways in which they body shame individuals needs to come to an end – everyone is different and every body is different. Discriminating someone based on their weight or looks is something that is both disgusting and uncalled for.

I do agree that we should not body shame anyone. We should not discriminate against anyone for their weight. But weight is something that is within the control of nearly everyone on the planet. To state to the contrary is disingenuous, uninformed, and contributing to the obesity epidemic. By being so accepting of obesity is to make it okay, which in turn leads to people not wanting to change to a healthier lifestyle. Failure to do so results in increased health care costs, decreased quality of life, and early mortality.

I accept everyone as they are, but I don't accept that they are stuck being fat. Nobody is. I further reject forcing people to accept being inconvenienced for anyone else's comfort. That is just not right. We do not have the right to do as we please if we inconvenience others. I don't have the right to free speech by placing a sign in my neighbor's yard just as I had no right for my fat to encroach on a fellow passenger's seat.

I know this is a sticky subject, and when you're fat, it's very personal. I was that fat person, but I never felt the world owed me anything. There wasn't any expectation that I was "Normal" because I wasn't. I was morbidly obese, and that's not a natural state for humans to be in.

I will never call anyone else out for their weight. I don't do it, and I won't do it. I will help anyone who needs it, though, to lose weight, get healthy, and get fit. Everyone can do it; I'm living proof. I lost 110 lbs in one year without exercise; I just changed my diet. There are no excuses. Just make it happen.

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