Final Impressions

size matters

Written by James Combs

I’m going to treat my friends to unlimited doughnuts because the fatter they get, the skinnier I’ll look. For many years, I thought this was the ultimate diet plan.

That’s sort of a joke. And I told that because I’m addressing fat people this month. Before I get started, let me preface this by saying I’m one of you. Yes, I know what it’s like to pull out a sticky note at Subway and pretend that second sandwich you’re ordering isn’t really for you. I know what it’s like to always want a second cheeseburger, a second slice of pie, or a second anything.

With that said, I have to get something off my chest—and it’s more than 100 pounds of unwanted fat. It’s time that those of us in the fat fraternity start taking necessary steps to downsize our super-size bodies. I’m not asking you to seek what society deems as the perfect body; I’m asking you to make a lifestyle change so you can achieve a healthier and happier you.

I’ve used the same excuses to justify my obesity as you have. It’s my genetic destiny. I’m just big boned. Fast food is easier and more convenient. We all know deep inside those excuses are hogwash. We’re big because of what—and how much—we choose to put in our mouths. And then we fail to work it off. It’s that simple. Unlike chocolate cake, those words are hard to swallow, but they’re words we must digest.

I know being obese means we have a lot on our plates. First, we’re more likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes, and God knows what else. Second, we’re the last frontier in tolerable prejudices. Unlike age, race, religion, and sex, federal and state laws do not make it illegal to discriminate against obese people.

Should we expect people to treat us decently? Of course. Should we expect those same people to embrace obesity as the new norm? Absolutely not. And neither should we. After all, we are blessed with options. The first—and most important—option is to look in the mirror and admit we have a problem rather than pretend we’re victims of some unfixable health issue. Once we scrap the victim role, we can take responsibility for our own health. While few of us accept our current bodies, we can build a body we choose to accept. And we don’t have to go at it alone. There is plenty of help out there for the overweight and obese.

After months of pounding the pavement, pumping iron, and skipping happy hour, we’ll feel more confident about our appearance and just feel better, period. We can lose the “plump and proud” façade because we’ve transformed into a person for whom the “f” word no longer applies.

So, the next time someone asks me why I’m fat, I will no longer say it runs in my family.

I’ll be honest and say it’s because nobody in my family runs.

About the author

James Combs

Akers Media Group's James Combs has been a staff writer for several local publications since August 2000. He has had the privilege of interviewing some of Lake County’s many fascinating residents—from innovative business owners to heroic war veterans—and bringing their stories to life. A resident of Lake County since 1986, James recently embarked on a journey to lead a healthier lifestyle. He has lost 60 pounds and walks nearly five miles a day. In his spare time, he enjoys target shooting, skeet shooting and watching his beloved Kentucky Wildcats!

Leave a Comment