Feeling Like A “Bad” Fatty

I haven’t been exercising.  I spent most of the weekend sitting or laying down. Sometimes I’d be breathing hard from the effort of sitting (compared to laying down).  Sunday I was so exhausted I literally laid down and cried.

I’ve got a cold, which does not combine well with asthma.  Plus I was helping run a small con, which meant quite a bit of adrenalin and the feeling that I “should” be walking around, checking in with our guests, seeing if other volunteers need help, and generally doing things.

You know the sort of “sick” where you feel fine as long as you don’t actually try to do things?  Yeah, that was me, most of the weekend — at least, once I had enough pills / etc that I could breathe regularly and stop coughing.

Yes, I took my preventative meds.  I also took time-release guaifenesin, supplemental antihistamines, and used my albuterol inhaler a lot.  I helped coordinate volunteers, I ran the tech equipment that the other volunteers don’t know or aren’t as skilled with, I helped keep guests organized.  I’m told a lot of folks didn’t realize I was sick.

And yet I feel I was a “bad fatty” because I spent a lot of time sitting.  Because I collapsed with my computer Monday instead of helping carry a bunch of equipment.  Because I didn’t get some borrowed equipment returned until Tuesday.  Because I should be performing feats of strength to prove I have worth, or that I’m capable despite being fat, or something.   Because only bad fats sit around all the time.

The idea that I should have to “prove” my body is okay is one I’d like to unlearn. My brain knows that attitude is insane.  Unfortunately I’m not there yet, and it bugs me.

Update: I did intend this post to be about “Gee, even though I’m legitimately sick, I keep feeling guilty for not doing enough and wondering if people think badly of me because I’m fat.  That’s screwed up.”   Sorry if that didn’t come through.

22 thoughts on “Feeling Like A “Bad” Fatty

  1. *hugs* being sick and having to do all of that? Not sure I could manage it. I get downright cranky when sick. I know my saying you’re not a bad fatty and they don’t exist anyhow won’t help, but I do hope that you won’t feel badly about it for long. You DID something. I didn’t do much of anything this weekend and I’m exhausted! I’m exhausted from life, I suppose. But seeing you and your posts and all of the other rad fatties of the world online? That makes my day!!!

    • I’d been helping plan this con for a year. That’s why being sick was so frustrating, but also why I didn’t just stay home.

      Well, that and I didn’t want to make more work for the rest of the tech crew.

  2. I know what you mean about feeling like a ‘bad fatty.’ I walk daily but on Sunday, pulled a muscle while helping an elderly neighbour with her shopping, and felt guilty about resting up for rest of the day. A thin person is resting but a fat person is seen as being lazy.

    You helped to run a con, while having a cold, and having asthma on top of that? Really, that’s amazing. :)

  3. I’ve read in various blogs that a lot of fat people feel ashamed that they become short of breath while climbing up several flights of stairs, and such.

    I’m a very thin, very athletic young woman and despite working out for 1.5 hours at a time, three times a week, I still become short of breath after climbing the three flights of stairs to my office in heels, and if there’s anything I hate? It’s carrying things. I cannot carry heavy things. My larger friends (I’m very petite) become irritated with me because I can never hold up my end for long enough to get anywhere, and it leaves me sweating and exhausted.

    Also, I spend most of my time while NOT exercising lying around, sitting in the office or lying in bed.

    This long ramble was just to say: some thin, supposedly athletic people feel exactly the same way you do. Walking or standing around for hours, carrying things, checking in on people–that would leave me exhausted, without even having to be sick. You are NOT a bad fatty.

  4. You sound a bit like Mr. Twistie who is always berating himself for being ‘lazy’ when he tries to get more than four hours of sleep in a night, or when he’s too exhausted to spend a whole day hauling heavy things despite his heart condition.

    You and Mr. Twistie both need to ease up on yourselves. You don’t owe anyone a certain level of activity or fitness in return for the right to exist in your own bodies.

    Now go take care of yourself, including getting plenty of rest. We all need it when we’re sick, fat or thin.

  5. Feel Better. I relate to wishing I was father long than I am with my inner thoughts of inadequacy, of moral failure, etc. Bad Ice and snow here in the NorthEast US and I am not getting my walking in as I’d like to. I’d rather not slip and break something… but I feel guilty for not driving to the shopping mall to walk inside. Warm wishes.

  6. Boy , have you got a bad case of the unjustified guilts! I was a nurse before my health got me down. I worked hard, almost never called in unless I was on my death bed. I had these guilty feelings too, and now realize I was wrong! Now the first thing you need to do is call in for tomorrow and get to bed and rest. Sleep all day, take meds that will help you, drink lots of fluids. and push the chicken soup worse than an IV! Take the phone off the hook so nobody is waking you up. Then get back with us in a day or two to let us know how you are doing. Please. OK? We all want you to get better.

  7. Seriously, dude…I thought you weren’t even supposed to exercise (or at least not much) if you were all congested. You’re supposed to be snorting chicken soup!

  8. While there is certainly the “fat” baggage surrounding feeling guilty for being legitimately sick for you, I think that our culture supports feelings of guilt and shame for illness and being “non-productive” in general, fat or thin.

    I hope you feel better soon.

  9. I’d look at your feelings around being sick, rather than being fat and sick. I echo Noel above that we have weird priorities around sickness – that we’re supposed to ignore it.

    I’m sitting here typing this in pyjamas, at 2.30pm on a weekday. I’m home sick. I will not ever ignore my body so I can go and do something work-related, or to meet social obligations. Not again. I ignored my body for a long time and ignored signals that something was badly wrong, with catastrophic consequences. If you’re in a state where you end up in tears – GO TO BED! Fat or thin has nothing to do with it.

    Your body is too important.

  10. Goodness, I could have written this about a conference last year! I hope you’re feeling tons better now. It always amazes me how much a cold knocks me out because of the asthma complications. So I think it’s great you were still able to do *anything* for your con. Curse that guilt – you are NOT a bad fatty, or a lazy person!

    • It always amazes me how much a cold knocks me out because of the asthma complications.

      Yes. And I’m like, “But I’m not THAT sick! Why don’t I have energy? Why am I wheezing? Oh.”

  11. You are an excellent fatty, you are. If I were sick and tasked with doing con-running-work, I’d be just as miserable and exhausted and flopped-over as you are! More so! Con running is hard work. Fun, but exhausting. (I’ve got some of it coming up next month, come to think of it…)

    I totally understand that “I’m just not TRYING” feeling. If I have to take a day away from my exercise schedule for valid reasons (friend emergency, bad weather, health issue) I feel like a horrible, bad, awful person, too. And that’s not a fair judgement for any of us. At all! Dwuh!

    I say you should go rest up, too. Convention-running is a real energy-suck. I always say that “going to or working at a con is not a vacation. You need a vaction after the con to recover.”

  12. My doctor told me that people with asthma have colds that last on average 50% longer than those without asthma. This is why I have a flu shot every year, wash my hands frequently, and stay away from sick people when possible. I also use my nebulizer during the cold to help keep my lungs clear—do you have one? Hoping you feel better soon!

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