In the eighth grade, I had a science teacher who decided he was going to teach us about health and nutrition and exercise. I really liked the guy, all told, but he really, really didn’t like fat people. Well, no, I’ll amend that: he didn’t understand fat kids.
Let’s call him Mr. H.
This made dealing with him kinda tough, because I’d just put on 30lbs of puberty weight, and I wasn’t skinny to begin with. I would later lose 20lbs and grow a few inches, but looking back at some of my 8th grade photos, I was startled to see it was my second highest height/weight ratio.
Was I horribly unhealthy? Well, I sure could have used some exercise, and I probably ate too many sweets. But my diet was just as shitty when I was thinner as I hit highschool as it was in the 8th grade – I just didn’t eat *as much* shit food. But I sure did *look* “healthier,” I’m sure.
In any case, Mr. H. decided it was time to do something about all the fat, unhealthy kids in the class. We did a 2 or 3 month “course” in the class on health and nutrition. So in addition to PE classes, we came to science class and did circuit training and kept food journals. People got to marvel at how much or how little other people ate. I discovered I could do just as many exercises as some of the skinny girls who ate less. And of course, I got my ass kicked by everybody who exercised regularly.
Mr. H. arrived on campus at 6:30 am every morning and went jogging. It’s just what he did. He invited other students to join him in these morning jogs. Which was a great thing if you were already in shape and could keep up. People like me would have to work into doing something like that. And, of course, I have. I can jog three miles now. Not a fast three miles, mind you, but I can jog it nonetheless. I can more-or-less find clothes that fit me, though I’ve got a narrower range of stores to go to than my size 4 roommate, who can shop anywhere.
What I appreciated about Mr. H. is that he did seem to care. What he didn’t seem to get, though, is where all the fat kids were coming from. I don’t think he got that we didn’t feel we could go jogging with him at 6:30 am without feeling like fat lazy slobs because we couldn’t keep up. Being harrassed or feeling like a slothful moron at 6:30 am isn’t anything anybody wants to experience.
Keeping food journals and then sharing them with your teacher (binge sessions included) and having other kids comment on them isn’t fun either. Nor is being compared to an athlete in how many circuit exercises you can do.
Being an overweight kid who’s been made fun of everytime you try to do something active (which gets worse, particularly for women, at puberty when you’ve got all sorts of things jiggling all of the sudden) is pretty off-putting. I’d rather go home and read books.
So it was with in mind that I read this article by a Canadian high school chemistry teacher commenting on the health risks to her “Super Fatty” students:
Another problem is that its a taboo to make fun of fat people. We make fun and harass smokers regularly, but we think its rude to make fun of fat/obese people.
And yet how else will fat/obese people gain the willpower to exercise/eat properly if they don’t get negative feedback/concern about their weight.
I MAKE FUN OF YOUR FLABBY BODY BECAUSE I CARE! THAT’S RIGHT JABBA THE HUTT! GET OFF YOUR FAT ASS AND EXERCISE! PUT AWAY THE COCA-COLA AND THE GREASY FOOD! GO WALK IT OFF!
For the record, I can’t think of anyone in high school who made fun of smokers.
I can think of a whole hell of a fuck of a lot who made fun of me and others for being chunky, tubby, fat, slothful, ugly, lazy, overweight, obese, bovine-like.
Hear that? Nobody makes fun of fat people enough. That’s why high school students don’t exercise. That’s why they’re not keen on understanding nutrition. They’s why we never went out running when our uber-friendly science teachers at 6:30 am.
If we just make fun of fat people more often, they’ll be thin. It won’t depress us and send us into our rooms to binge on cake and ice cream for three days and watch Titanic and cry. And absolutely nothing of our weight has anything to do with genetics, as researched, scientifically and everything, below.
No, we’ll be invigorated if we’re made fun of! Just like in the Marines! We’ll want to go out and get thin!
You want to know what invigorates me to exercise? I want to be strong so I can kick the shit out of assholes like this fucktard.