My 1970s View on Fat

Please keep in mind that I don’t harbor any prejudices for fat or thin people; these are just my observations. Many people know I’m sort of on a diet and exercise regimen (I say “sort of” because I’m really weak-willed and things can change daily-actually, now that I think about it, things can make a drastic turn by the minute…), and those who really know me think I’m being weird and patronizing. Maybe condescending, too. This is because I’m short (5’3″) and appear to be small. I say “appear” because I’m a master at hiding my fat globules. I have a drawer full of bikinis and bustiers, but you won’t see me wearing them right now. It’s been several years since they’ve seen the light of day, if you must know. These days, I’ve taken to wearing over-sized sweat shirts and loose sweaters.

I admit that I may have a skewed view on fat. My view probably originated from the late 1960s and early 1970s, when I was growing up into adulthood. Back then, we didn’t have ways to measure transfats or your body mass index, and the popular diets didn’t come into vogue until a couple of decades later. Back then, you just took a look at a person and decided they were “fat” or not.

There weren’t many fat kids in my high school, and my graduating class had over 500 kids in it. In looking over my senior year book, I would think that maybe five kids would be considered “fat.” Their level of “fatness” was not what you see these days when looking at the general population. I didn’t know anyone who was morbidly obese, for example, and I now have a woman who is morbidly obese working for me. Kids were more active in those days. For example, I never rode a school bus. I always walked to school, and it was a mile and a quarter away. I never see anyone walking around my area where I live now, especially not kids. God forbid if someone grabs one and rapes him/her before killing them. And you didn’t have to be an athlete to stay in shape. Even the stoners at my school took hikes into the mountains, where they could smoke pot in peace and enjoy Mother Nature. Back then, we also only had three channels of television, no internet and no video games. If you were a teenager with no inside diversion, you found a quick way to be out of the house.

Both my parents weren’t fat. My father, in fact, was thin most of his life. In the last 15 years, he’s put on a sizeable beer gut, but he’s still basically a normal sized man. My mother, who had six kids before the age of 43, was very short and struggled with her weight. At her hugest (which I know isn’t huge), she was a size 12, which was only noticeable because she was only 4’10’. However, at the end of her life, she had pared down the extra pounds and started playing tennis religiously. She looked pretty good, but damn that cholesterol that killed her. My father’s mother was thin as well. His sibs were thin. In fact, we were so thin that my cousins, who were “normal” sized didn’t think we were related. I was so thin, I was mocked at school. It wasn’t because I was striving to be that way. It was natural for me. I ate like a horse, as many can attest.

Which brings me to present-day me. I still love food, too much. I love fine wine with my food, too much. Yes, I’ve had two kids, but they are grown now, so I’ve had 18 years to get myself back into pre-wedding shape. Alas, it’s not going to happen. Once you birth a couple of kids, your hips move outwardly. I couldn’t fit one leg into those size 1 jeans I so proudly wore before marriage, and there’s no possible way I could get my body into my strapless wedding dress without major reconstruction of the bodice and waist area. I do want to lose enough weight (about ten pounds) to get back to where I was in 1998. I think I could achieve a goal from ten years ago.

Since realizing I have a 1970s view of fat, I am making some changes, which I hope will help with my weight loss program. I’m limiting myself to three channels, and getting out of the house more.

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12 Responses

  1. This is sooo totally right. Limiting yourself to three channels and getting out of the house more will be a reward in and of itself.

    One day when our first was a baby and my sweetie and I were watching TV (Homicide: Life on the Street — we were addicted to that show), a gunshot went off. The baby startled. We looked at each other and realized that this was completely absurd. We shouldn’t be watching that show or any show. We should be paying attention to our child. So, we canceled the cable. It’s cheaper and our lives improved immeasurably.

    People made fun of me for being too thin too. “Turn sideways and stick out your tongue: you like like a zipper.” Ha ha. So clever. Nobody ever thought of that before. People still accuse me of having a tapeworm. Hmm. How about watching what my life is like? I like vegetables and I walk places. Yeah, there’s some genetic thing too. It isn’t just habits. Some of it is pure luck (though given my family history, I’m not lucky with the cholesterol thing and it is completely invisible).

  2. Ha, ha, I got that “turn sideways” line too. I thought it was the most peculiar thing to say to a person. Also, “a stiff wind will blow you away.” Well, where I grew up, stiff winds did knock me to the ground on occasion.

    My son is blessed with being thin and being able to eat just about anything. I was amazed at the amount of food the kid can eat and still stay thin. But I guess it’s hereditary. There are worse things he could have inherited from me.

  3. How do you like this one, Amoeba?

  4. I’d like to reduce myself to 3 channels, but I kind of reduced myself to none a few years ago. Working evening shift really teaches you how unimportant television is.

    I just need to move more. I try to use the treadmill, but I really find it boring, even though there’s a TV right in front of it. That could be part of the problem.

    I try to walk around here when the weather is nice, but you can’t always count on that. This is the perfect place to take walks, too.

  5. I remember the days of walking everywhere. Ask a kid to do that now and they look at you like you suggested the commit an unspeakable act with the dog.

  6. I have an evil 10 lbs. too. Only six months ago I wore a size one. Now I wear a size one if I grease up and use a shoehorn.

  7. A size one wouldn’t fit on my head, heathenly. I think that’s grown with the rest of me.

  8. AMEN!!!!

    I’ve only got 2 channels and one is grainy. I’ve got 10-15 lbs that I’d like to ditch and I just bought a pedometer. I just keep telling myself that I’m at a better place post baby body wise than I was when my oldest was this old.

    What gets me is when I go on Facebook and see all of these hot little things in their skimpy little clothes. I think to myself… just keep those pictures at hand after you’ve popped out a kid or two. You’ll only look like that so long baby!

    Heathenly: You suck! Go to hell! My arm is a size one!

  9. There are enough overweight kids in schools now that I wonder what other kids tease about nowadays … it seems to me that it can’t possibly be as much of a stigma as it used to be. Of course, I was a thin kid and got all kinds of crap about supposedly being gay, but now even that isn’t anywhere near as big a deal as it was when I was growing up.

  10. I know, David. I’m in a lot of elementary schools and it seems like pudgy is the norm.

  11. David: Recall my preemptive strike against people teasing me for being gay: I have AIDS and I bite. It kept them away.

  12. Maybe that’s what my son uses…

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