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Shoelaces, restaurant booths, and twelve inch peckers.

"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble" -Helen Keller


I'm going to bet, and probably win, that you have not really thought about tying your shoes today. You probably leaned over and tied them, or secured them by deftly laying your foot across your knee and running the bunny around the tree and through the hole. No matter what way you tied your shoes today, I'm willing to bet if you gave any thought to it at all it ended at "I have to tie my shoes" perhaps, while bending over, you grunted, or inhaled quickly and didn't breath while you did it, but you probably gave almost no thought to the act of tying your shoes. Why should you, you've been doing it since you were however old. Its not really something for which you need strategy.

When you're fat though...you need a strategy.

Because, see when you're fat, very often, the simple act of tying your shoes is not so simple an act.

When I tie my shoes i have a wide array of variables to consider. Location, equipment, lighting...and other things its hard to land on. As a fat person tying my shoes isn't just a throw away reflex of an activity.

For starters I couldn't see my feet. I have to lean forward at an absurd angle to get a glimpse of my piggies. This is made even less likely if i try to do the ol' down on one knee marriage proposal style of shoe tying. As my gut all but crams into my face, I have to reach down, feel for my laces, tie them and then awkwardly shift to the other knee. I have to think I look like a drunk penguin or a weeble, only in my case i have wobbled, and i have fallen down. Fortunately I'm blessed with good humor, so you know, whatevs.

So since that style isn't an option, you might think "well sit down and cross your leg over your knee." Thats pretty common place, and i mean, even if you're fat you still have knees right?

Well, sort of. When your belly just kind of leaps forward and takes up most of your legs up to your knees when you're sitting, just laying your other foot over the top of it, is not so practical. Of course even if you could, you would have to be flexible enough to bend your leg at the right angle, and strong enough to lift your leg, redirect it, and lay it over your knee. These things are not guaranteed conditions for the fat man especially if he is weak and inflexible.

That leaves you with the "stair step" method. You find an elevated platform, stair, chair, maybe a ottoman and you lift your foot up to it, bend over, and tie. This works pretty well, assuming the platform is in the sweet spot where its high enough for you to be able to reach your feet with a minimum of bending, but not so high as to be difficult for your foot to reach (due to belly/knee collisions or general muscular insufficiency). If you find the right platform, it will become your go to platform. In my instance it was the crossbar on the side of counter height stool or the arm of my couch. Both platforms provided me with a relatively smooth and efficient shoe tying experience, while looking perfectly natural and not resulting in any kind of awkwardness. I am quite proficient in the platform method. I scope out a room for platforms when i enter it, like the Godfather does with entrances and exits, in the event my shoelace wiggles out of its contortions and it needs be addressed. When i tie my shoes initially, i tie them VERY tightly, because i don't want to have to tie them in public view if its not necessary. The last thing i want, and this is ironic as all hell, is for people to notice i am fat. Its the last thing most fat people want, I imagine. Difficulty tying your shoes is an almost instantaneous indicator of fatness. Ipso facto...

So the point of all this? Is it that I really just, have to talk about tying my shoes after this blog took a 2+ year hiatus?

Well yeah, kinda, but also no.

No because what this is really about is stress. The stresses of everyday life that you encounter when you carry an extra person clinging to your body. Insignificant moments for people who don't struggle with their size are very significant to people who do. The littlest things are the biggest failures. And they bring with them weighty psychological ramifications.

When I go into a restaurant with friends and family I cant just say "table for 4 please" like many people can. Not if i want to avoid an awkward scenario. I have to say "4 please, table, not a booth, thank you" because if I don't specify odds are pretty solid that they are going to bring me to a booth, and booths frequently do not adjust to the sizes of people occupying them. I have literally sat through a meal, unable to breath properly, because i was too embarrassed to specify "table, not booth" and got shoved into a booth that bifurcated my stomach with half resting on top of the table and half jammed up below it between my knees and the bubble gum stuck to the underneath. So most of the time i go out with friends or on dates, I try to be the request-or. So i can be sure I'm not going to suffocate at the diner. Interesting side note, my mother...a child of the 50's with severe dementia, insists on sitting in booths because when she and the other kids at Riverdale High went to Pops soda Shoppe thats what they did. In order to indulge her Demenstalgia i have limited our dining out options to restaurants i know have booths with movable seats. That way I don't have to explain to my mother why we can't sit in one.

Public bathrooms are the worst when you're fat. For starters unless you're ... abnormally lengthy...the space between your junk and the zipper is probably not a threshold you're going to cross without some strange contortions. At my heaviest my waist was 54 inches around. the distance around my pelvis was 42 inches. Thats a 12 inch difference. I don't think I'm breaking any news by revealing i do not have a 12 inch tallywacker. Sorry if that disappoints anyone, but honestly best to get it over with now. I tell you this by way of indicating that often, urinals are not a real great choice for the fat man because trow droppage is more or less a garaunteed situation. Which means you have to use a stall. Have you been in the stall of a public mens room? Depending on the facility we are talking a WIDE array of variables. Is there a door? Will the door shut? Will it lock? Will you fit in the space provided? Will it be clean? If there is traffic, you then have to get into the conversations with the people behind you about how you're waiting for the stall so they can jump ahead of you at the urinal, which is pretty much universal for "i gotta poop" which, in my case anyhow, is rarely the case. But still you have to present yourself to a total stranger and discuss your bathroom needs. Which, i mean, call me old fashioned, but no. I hate bathroom talk, and I've done well more in this paragraph alone than makes me comfortable.

So lets talk about sex instead.

Sex when you're fat is awkward. No way around it. Lets face it, everyone who isn't fat wonders, so heres some hard* truths. Sure its awesome to think that the world is populated by body positive fat sex gods who know its all about the motion of the ocean and what not, but for real...I've never met one. And i certainly am not one. Sex when you're fat, for me at least, forces uncomfortable conversation. I don't feel like i can just relax and go with the flow, i feel obligated to gauge women on their comfort level with a bigger body. The physics of it, hygiene of it, the surprises of it. I feel obligated to discuss what angles i can bend in, how strong i am, what positions will work. I feel obligated to say things like "if i breath kinda heavy thats a good sign, i'm probably not dying, but if i am dying my safe word is pickles". My body has areas thin bodies just don't have. In short, every time I'm intimate with someone I feel I have to tell them, in detail, about every one of my insecurities and how I'd like them to respond to said insecurities. I apologize in advance. yes, i mean i know thats a classic Woody Allen joke ...except I'm not apologizing to my adopted daughter. But in real life, when Diane Keaton is nowhere to be found, its not funny. Its not spontaneous. Its really not sexy. Its stressful as hell and frankly makes me want to die a little each time it comes up.**

Heres the thing though, heres the thing if you're not fat, you don't really get about being fat (and not to say you don't have your own things, but ....get your own blog). Every single day is about your fatness. Every moment, from stepping out of bed, to stepping back in, is about how your body is bigger than the statistical average. As a fat man i am NEVER unaware of how much space i am taking up, of how i look when i'm sitting down. I never don't know about my proximity to others. I jokingly tell people not to snap photos of me unless its a direct head on shot, because at 3/4 angle i look like a landscape not a person. But I'm not joking. Every single minute, of every single day i am considering my obesity. and I'm not considering it positively. Its stressing me the fuck out. I hate it. Its an abusive spouse who makes a fool out of me in public.

So daily i am besieged by fear and insecurity. Activities I otherwise enjoy (dining out, sex) become drenched in the bile of my own self loathing and become opportunities for me to read out the litany of things about myself, that i hate.

See sometimes tying a shoe, isn't just tying a shoe.

I'm telling you all of this, not out of an excess of Glastnost, but to make sure, you're in the proper head-space to truly understand what i am about to say. All of this lurid, disquieting detail, this removal of my skin and exposure of my nerves, is necessary so you FULLY understand what the real point of this post is, what the real weight of obesity is for me, and how massive the small things are when you're fat. I'm telling you ALL of this so you can understand why after several years of this Blog laying fallow,its resurrection is upon me.

So here it is:

After many months of eating a rigidly detailed caloric intake, exercising at a gym at least 5 days a week, some days for as long as 3 hours a day, after eating as many as 14 servings of vegetables and drinking nearly a gallon of water a day, after losing 2 pounds a week being down more than 30 pounds and seeing shifts and changes in my physical shape, after weekly work with an excellent Personal trainer and an attempt at Yoga with an excellent instructor, I sat down on the bench in the locker room of my gym and without using my hands, lifted my foot up, rested it squarely across my knee and tied my shoe.

You're Goddamn right i did.

*pun intended
**pun intended again






Comments

  1. I've missed your blog. So glad it's back! Unfortunately I forgot that I should not be drinking anything when I read your posts, but I guess my screen needed a wash anyway.

    ReplyDelete

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