Why am I fat? Part 1 in a series.

You are fat because you choose to be, and you are the cause of all your problems

You know the saying that goes something like “the one constant in all of your dissatisfying relationships is you”? Well, it’s true about relationships, and it’s true about fitness.

You might actually be genetically predisposed to being fat. I expect that most of us are, if only because we evolved to survive in times of scarcity, when it wasn’t possible to waddle to the fridge and grab a bottle of sugar water that would cover the caloric requirements of a small third-world village for a week.

I was a fat kid. Not morbidly obese or anything, but I was definitely the guy who got picked dead last in PE class for absolutely everything that didn’t involve math. So, everything. I hated exercise and thought it was basically a special form of cruel and unusual torture that was only good at keeping me away from my books. I also loved food – and still do, actually. This means that I was always predisposed to be a little on the hefty side. My dad has always been a fair bit overweight, so it’s not something I ever thought much of.

Vegetables were a thing that showed up on the plate and I did my best to avoid. I’m sure my parents (Hi, mom!) had some vague idea of what a proper “balanced” diet looked like, but I was always a fan of “garbage” foods. I’m also sure if you take pretty much any single parent in the world who is just trying to do their best, and give them the choice between fighting for an hour or two with a stubborn kid over a couple of pieces of cauliflower or just letting them eat most of their food and skip dessert instead of eating the goddamn cauliflower, they’re gonna pick the easy route so that they don’t go to jail for killing their children.

I ate a lot of crap as a kid, especially once I reached middle/high school age and was allowed to deal with my own lunches. Two packs of instant noodles per day? Check. Cheezies, ice cream, ALL THE CAKE? Check. So, my parents tried. They really did. It’s not their fault that I was a willful little shit and just did what I wanted.

I’ve always joked that I should have “poor impulse control” tattooed on my forehead as a warning to others. For a lot of years I thought that “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing to excess.” So, I was fat. Never ridiculously so, though I really don’t know why (unlike a certain lazy fuck that I know. Get off your ass and back on the bike, House).

And who’s fault was it? Was it my dad’s, who gave me the dreaded “fat gene”? Was it either of my parents, who would just decide that after an hour of screaming back and forth with me that it wasn’t worth fighting any more? Was it the government, that didn’t beat proper and simple nutrition information into the heads of it’s citizens? Was it the food industry, that has become really really good at giving us what we want – delicious foods with salt and sweet and fat? No. It was my own. No one put a gun to my head and told me to eat the cake. If someone tried to do that, I would be totally OK with it, because that meant I could eat their slice too.

I was, and am, the source of all my problems. You are the source of all of your problems. The only one who can work on them is you.

Life dealt you a shitty hand? That sucks, bro. Guess what, you’re still doing better than at least 50% of the population just by being able to be in a position to read this. “Bad genes”? Ditto. I think it’s called being human – well over 50% of the upper part of my family tree is between slightly and quite hefty.

It might not be completely, or even mostly, your own fault that you got into the position you’re in. But the only person keeping you in the place that you are in is you. If you want to complain about being morbidly obese while swilling down a 500oz Ultra-Mega-Super-Diabeetus-Gulp and stuffing your face with cake, you need to understand that it’s your own damn fault. You are the source of all of your dissatisfying choices and decisions.

You have the ability to change things if you want to. It’s all at your fingertips. The only person holding you back is yourself.

Isn’t that awesome? I think it is.

PS: If you are part of the approximately 1% of the population that has a medical condition that makes it literally impossible to maintain a healthy weight, I’m sorry for your situation, and this advice is not meant for you. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. Talk to one of them. No, seriously. You should do that.

PPS: Here’s a hint: stop thinking about it as “I AM fat” but rather “I HAVE fat.” One is a state of being that feels immutable. One is something that you can do something about. Your choice.

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