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Traveling While Fat

posted Jun 28, 2012, 2:53 AM by jj pionke
When I was in Japan in 03-04, I was asked if I was pregnant about every 2 months or so.  The first time left me flabbergasted, the subsequent times just left me reassuring the asker that I wasn't pregnant, I was like a sumo wrestler.  Being fat here has been a little surreal.  I've been approached by three different thin men who have described themselves as managers for a Biggest Loser type of show here in Singapore.  I am not sure why people go on those shows - you are degraded, ridiculed, and have your life put in danger doing extreme exercise.  What makes these men (and yes, I find it very interesting that it is all men) hilarious is that they get so excited about seeing me and my weight and then get crushed under my heel when I tell them in no uncertain terms that I find them offensive and there is not a damn thing wrong with my weight.  While I find the whole exchange annoying, I do admit to a certain amount of glee in crushing their hopes.

I just had a conversation with a female guard here at the condo that I am staying at.  She made a comment that she was impressed by my bravery for traveling while fat.  This quickly segued into a short conversation about age.  I moved on quickly because I was hot and since I had just had a run in with one of the television chubby chasers, decided that I probably shouldn't verbally flay her alive and instead should move along.  That said, I did want to say to her, what does my weight have anything to do with traveling?  If I want to travel, I will travel.  It means knowing my limitations and knowing when to sit down and rest.  It means not doing maybe everything that a young and thin person might do but I would sure as hell rather go and see the world then let something like weight leave me chained to home.  Does the guard think I am defenseless or weak because I am fat?  I just don't get it.

The more I travel the world and interact with people, including at UM, the more I realize that I am very different in my thinking in terms of what I can and can not do.  If I want to do something, I do it.  Why would I let anything stand in my way?  I am absolutely not advocating for doing anything stupid, like walking into the middle of the wrong side of a mosque.  That's disrespectful and honestly, idiotic.  Is all of this just me or are people in the world becoming more insular and judgmental?

To my fat sisters and brothers I say, we are united in our weight!  Let the thin people tremble before us.  I'm not a jolly fat man, but I damn well am a determined, stubborn, and confident person who is not afraid to see the world.

....  :P  so there!