I have written about feeling as though I didn't measure up in my family because I was a fat kid. Could be true or I could have been projecting. Who can tell? But it was a burden on them, my being fat. I know this. (I also know that family members burden each other by their behavior all the time, but that's not what this blog is about.)
Also, I'm not writing about this to stoke my already-strong sense of guilt. I just think it's interesting. When we were in high school, my younger brother and some friends started a band in my parents' basement. I was not a fan, but that's not the story. One of the guys was a nice enough kid, but eventually there was a falling out, and the band, um, disbanded.
Recently, that kid posted to my brother's Facebook page: "I'm glad you're not you're not obese like your family." My brother took great offense. I have never seen such invective on Facebook. He's very loyal to the family, even if we don't always agree, and he was outraged. I'm not the only fat one in the family, and my brother--he'd admit--is decently marbled. But he's mostly been the thinnest one in the family for years.
What an insult! Obese. Even if it's true. Not the same as saying, I'm glad you don't have brown hair like your family. Not the same as, I'm glad you're not a lawyer like the people in your family. Truth as insult. It's interesting. I think the reason it hurts is because no one who is fat doesn't know he or she is fat. You know from the minute you get up in the morning, get dressed, eat, and go to work. Having people point it out just adds to the burden.
I feel bad that my brother got this reaction. I'm also gratified that he ditched this guy in favor of his family. But hell, I'm glad my brother isn't obese, too. I wish no one else in the family were. It would be easier for everyone.
Of course, my theme is that obesity, in my experience, is mostly about using food as a drug--as an way to escape problems. In that way, we're a family of alcoholics or heroin users. It's just that everyone can see it when they see us. If I could quit ingesting food, I'd have done it years ago. I'm working hard to quit "using" food.
If you go look at Sean's website (losingweighteveryday--linked at the right), you will see that he's made his peace with food. It's his friend now. I'm working on that, too. Food is fuel.