Good Morning Obesity,
I woke up today accepting a harsh reality.
I am a fat man. You are the part of me that represents how I got so fat and how unlikely it is that I will ever be thin. If you have it your way, I shall die enveloped in blubber. Let’s not kid ourselves. This is my most likely fate.
So I am writing to make peace.
I am suffering. I’m scared. Obesity, you are killing me. Do you know that? And you killed my father, and nana, and are about to do away with my mother and brother. They are alive today and dead tomorrow. In the blink of an eye, you will take them. Their hearts are giving out.
Do you remember the day dad died? I see him lying there. The legs he had yesterday are stubs on this day. He was 6′ 5″ yesterday. Today he is half that. He smells like death. It’s nauseating. But look, he is finally thin. The infection that killed him took away his appetite. How about that.
Diabetes ravaged his body for years but he never complied with any kind of treatment. And death took him, with a lot of help from you. I watched his last breath expire and his eyes go blank. At that moment, I swore to lose weight and avoid a similar fate. You had other plans. It’s been 15 years and I am fatter than ever – and much closer to joining dad.
I was so angry at him for the slow suicide that turned out to be his life. Now, I am following him into that dark place. I’m so afraid! I don’t want to die. People are counting on me to stay healthy. I don’t want to live like this anymore. But you do. And you are part of me.
Obesity: You are stronger than my will to live.
I know this is no joke. I’ve lost the battle with you. So I’ve decided to suffer with dignity. You are a burden I must bear. How am I to bear you? I’ve always complained brooded and swore I would defeat you. Alas, I am not strong enough and, therefore, have little choice.
It kills me to admit this – that I am powerless over you; that I cannot control what goes into my own mouth, even as I know it is ending me. When you take over, I step aside. I might as well go out shopping for coffins while you devour the pantry using my hands and mouth. That’s how it feels. I just go on autopilot and stuff food into my face when you hijack me.
Today I will suffer obesity with dignity
Being fat is not a choice for me. I am. Even if I make perfect health choices, I am two years away from my ideal weight. I cannot choose to be thin today. Today, I live as an obese man and I will suffer. But I won’t add to the suffering by punishing myself. I will suffer respectfully. You are part of me, Obesity, and I accept.
You have broken me.
I am learning to understand why you do what you do. Life has been hard. We’ve suffered abuse and neglect and sheer terror in childhood. Wild instability. But the food was there. Modeled so well by those around us, you helped me escape into a private world of pleasure. You smothered my pain. But now I am ready to accept that pain, and all the pain you have piled on. I get it now. I must humble myself and stop complaining.
So let’s walk through this day together. I won’t complain. I’ll stop wishing I were thin. I’ll do everything I planned on doing today and refuse to use you as an excuse. I shall bear this burden.
Today I will fully inhabit this body. I’ll struggle up the stairs, bump into corners, sweat like a pig, and endure self-criticism. I’ll keep my pants pulled up, constantly adjust my shirt, and accept back pain as part of the deal. I’ll notice others looking at me with pity and humbly walk by.
I just want to take care of myself. And now I realize that I cannot choose to do that. Is it that I just don’t care about living a long life? Can you help me understand, to really get it? I never thought I’d end up this way.
But here we are, Obesity. Me and you. Let the suffering continue, this time in peace.