If I eat more than you, it’s for one simple reason.

by Michelle


Did someone say “third piece of pie“?

I’d like to say something about how much fat people eat. I, personally, would be neither surprised nor offended if it were somehow proven that fat people, on average, eat more than thinner people. Of course, this hasn’t been proven, and if it were, there would be exceptions and outliers — but if it were found to be the general case, it wouldn’t surprise or offend me in any way.

I think I eat a fair amount of food, but I do not binge, and I do not habitually overeat. By its definition, overeating is eating “too much,” or an unhealthy amount. In our culture, this means “eating enough to get fat,” because fat is shorthand for “unhealthy” — and it suddenly becomes a lovely example of perfectly circular logic: overeating is what fat people do when they eat, whether it’s a two-pound steak or the parsley garnishing it. Therefore, if you are fat, you are fat because you overeat, else you wouldn’t be fat; and if you are fat, any act of eating you undertake is defined as “overeating” — because you are fat.

I’ll tell you what; I eat exactly the amount of food I want and need at any given time. This is not overeating. This is called Being a Grown-Up Human Being Who Can Take Care of Her Own Damn Self, Thank You Very Much. And if I found that I ate more than a thin person, or that the average fat person ate more than the average thin person, I wouldn’t be offended because I don’t think it’s morally wrong for different people to eat different food in different amounts. I wouldn’t be offended because I don’t think what a person eats reflects on their character. And I wouldn’t be surprised because, well, I am hungry.

I could go into the biological reasons for why I am hungry, into the fact that I support more fat mass than the average person, and to do that requires more muscle mass, more bone mass, more vasculature, more everything, and the fact that, beyond that, nutrient requirements are normally distributed — but I won’t, because there’s really no explanation necessary (and if you think there is, you’re well on your way to a bingo.) I am simply hungry, and there is nothing anyone can say to dissuade me from being hungry, or talk me out of being hungry, or trick me into thinking I am not hungry when I am, in fact, hungry.

I am hungry, and my body is a much better estimator of calories and portion sizes and even balanced nutrition than my head, or anyone else’s, will ever be. I eat exactly what I’m hungry for, and I do this because I learned how — something that many people won’t ever learn, because that is exactly how messed-up our culture is over food. If I overeat, it’s an occurrence relative only to myself, not to the thin person next to me. And if I eat more than someone else, say, more than someone thin, it is not because I am stupid and they aren’t, not because I don’t understand nutrition and they do, not because I’ve never been read the Riot Act Obesity Act, and certainly not because I am an immoral, no-good, greedy, wanton symbol of evil Western imperialism and overconsumption.

It is because I am hungry, and I know how to feed myself so that I am no longer hungry. It’s something no one else can do for me; I have to do it for myself. And I thank the good Lord every day that I can, and do.