I heard someone earlier ranting about how often you see obese people in Walmart riding around on those electric mobility scooters, sometimes even having the audacity to be buying groceries despite being fat enough already, and it got me thinking.
It’s no surprise, is it, that the states with the highest obesity rates so closely track with the poorest states in the nation? I mean, it’s fairly obvious when you think about it, that poor people with shitty jobs (if any) and much less control over their own lives often have to settle for eating whatever’s cheapest and most convenient. Poor people don’t always have time to exercise regularly. For some reason, they can often be depressed, if you can believe that, so in addition to sapping much of their vim and vigor, it may lead them to binge on comfort foods for momentary pleasure, which makes them feel worse about themselves, and on and on it goes. Yet some people think the problem is that we don’t do enough to shame fat people. Because if you just constantly remind them they’re fat, you see, (something that frequently slips their mind) they’ll be motivated to lose weight. I suspect this is the brainchild of those gifted psychologists who think that calling depressed people whiners and losers will cheer them up.
I used to work in a shipping warehouse with a female truck driver who was, to put it clinically, morbidly obese. She was also very pleasant and friendly, and despite the fact that my farouche nature makes it so that I would be just peachy, thanksmuch, if we could do away with small talk and vapid pleasantries, her cheerfulness was infectious enough that I didn’t mind reciprocating her hellos and good mornings.
Having come in for criticism all my life for my aforementioned farouche nature, I would have expected that my coworkers would have been even more kindly disposed toward Janet and her attempts to warmly engage everybody she saw. I would have also been wrong. Most of them grunted in response to her greetings, contemptuously refusing to even turn in her direction. They looked for excuses to blame her for being late arriving, even though we all knew full well that unpredictability in this business was the norm. I guess her excessive weight was slowing the truck down or something. She used to make a little noise when exerting herself lifting, something between a gasp and a wheeze, and this was cause for no end of mirth among those who nudged each other and waited eagerly to hear it so they could snort and snicker and sarcastically imitate it sotto voce. She had to have been aware of all this, but to her credit, she never gave the bastards the satisfaction of seeing it bother her.
Too aloof, too fat. Too gay, too foreign, too black, too whatever. Assholes will seize on any pretext they can to be all the asshole they can be. The supposed trigger is often irrelevant or interchangeable. Some people just can’t be happy unless they’re in a pack, attacking someone who doesn’t fit in, reflexively punishing people who run afoul of cultural norms.
I enjoy staying in shape. I feel better when I exercise, and having been through a lengthy period of time with untreated rheumatoid arthritis, where the inflammation plus the cortisone injections left me feeling bloated and lethargic and depressed, I was all the more determined to take advantage of my ability to work out once medication made it possible to do so again. You might think that I could easily be one of the evangelistic type of fitness enthusiasts who have no sympathy for anyone overweight — if I could sculpt myself back into top shape after all that, what’s your major malfunction, fatass? But you’d be wrong.
Put simply, part of not being a Christian, to me, means not giving a shit about the supposed seven deadly sins. Gluttony may give you all sorts of health problems, and it may make your mundane daily activities much more difficult than they need to be, but how does that adversely affect me? You’re the one suffering from it, why in the world should I take it personally? I just stare in amazement at tossers like this who foam at the mouth over something that doesn’t impact their own lives in the slightest, using a pretense of moral superiority to thunder and rage like a good little Puritan. I get annoyed by laziness when someone I’m personally depending on lets me down somehow because of it. But what kind of zealot gets outraged about laziness as a general principle?