The dirty dozen – 12 things I hate about being a fat guy

I thought today I would keep things on the lighter side. Following are 12 things I really hate about being a fat guy:

12. Expensive clothes with limited choices. Do you know how hard it is for fat guys to shop for clothes? I usually have to shop at specialty stores – like Casual Male XL, or I am stuck with very limited choices. It is hard for me to find dress shirts that fit me well, so when I do I buy several and end up with a closet full of very similar looking shirts. Oh, and by the way, what is with the sadistic knuckleheads that stock the shelves at stores like Meijer and Walmart, always putting the fat guy clothes on the bottom shelf? Do they sit in their offices laughing at us as we strain to bend over and pick out a pair of jeans that fit? Make the skinny people bend over for crying out loud!

11. It is damn hard to tie my shoes. It requires a chair, patience, and a deep breath. This is also partly due to my knee issues, but my girth definitely plays a role. It is the reason why the last 5 pair of dress shoes I have owned have been loafers, and why I own a 4 foot long shoe horn.

10. Standing up and taking the chair with me. I hate arm chairs. I spend all of my time wedged into them like 10 pounds of sausage in a 5 pound casing. Then, when I get up, the chair comes with me. Not all the way up, just enough so that the chair falls sufficiently far to make a nice crashing sound, which attracts so much attention!

9. I am a one man wrecking ball on furniture. We have gone through more couches in my house than any of our friends in the same timeframe. I have this uncanny ability to destroy them over time. And my kitchen chairs are not immune either. It is so bad that I actually don’t like sitting on other people’s furniture for fear I will end up pancaking a chair.

8. Squeezing into restaurant booths where the table doesn’t move. These are a nightmare. I wedge myself in, and then I have to decide what portion of my girth will be above or below the table. Sliding out is no fun either. If I have to use the restroom before we are finished, everyone has to guard their drinks as I shinny out of the booth for fear that I will create tsunami in all of their glasses.

7. Not being able to ride the fun rides at Cedar Point or other amusement parks. A few summers ago I went to Cedar Point. My daughter came with us, and I planned to ride the Blue Streak with her. Granted, that isn’t the most thrilling ride in the park, but riding it always evokes an emotional response. In the past it was nostalgia because it was my first roller coaster, and it was one my dad had ridden in the 1960s. This time the emotion was quite different. It was a horrible concoction of embarrassment, anger and sadness over the fact that they couldn’t get the bar to lock over my giant belly. I think I was so upset that I ate some French fries, or maybe it was a King Sized Kit Kat, I don’t remember. I do remember I was fairly inconsolable for much of the rest of the day.

6. Airplane seats. While we are on the subject of uncomfortable, embarrassing experiences, have you ever had to ask for a SEAT BELT EXTENDER on an airplane? The flight attendants give you that look where they pretend to be sympathetic, but they are secretly seething with anger that you are taking up more than your allotted seat space. Oh, and the lucky chaps who get to sit next to me are thrilled as I involuntarily spill out of my assigned seat and into their space.

5. I have no lap. That means no space for a laptop computer, a child to sit and read a book, or anything else that thin people do with their laps. I just don’t have one.

4. The amount of food that ends up on my shirt. Remember how I said finding shirts that fit is difficult? Well, imagine then how I feel when I inevitably slop something on them. This happens in part because I have to be leaned back a bit when I eat (usually to fit in some child-sized booth), and also because, as a fat guy, I tend to want to get that food in my mouth quickly before it is stolen.

3. Two words – MAN BOOBS. I have a rack on me that pre-teen girls only dream about. I really shouldn’t be allowed to walk in public without hiding my boy jugs in a bra, but I go out and about anyway. It is such an attractive part of being me. Which brings me to…

2. Gigantic boxer briefs. A year or so ago I decided to bag wearing tightie whities. I had worn them since childhood. I really liked how they kept things where they were supposed to be, that bit of control gave me confidence. But, because I am a fat guy, it also meant that the leg openings tended to dig into my skin causing an array of issues. The best solution was boxer briefs. I remember when they arrived in the mail (in plain brown wrapper to protect my privacy). That day my son was over. I pulled one out to show him. They are huge. If I ever had an urge to go parasailing, I would rig a pair or two of these bad boys up and have at it. I showed him, and I made a comment on how unattractive they were. His, ever-so-thoughtful answer was …. “who are you trying to impress?” Well thanks dude. I mean, I am thankful every day for my wife, and I know she isn’t going anywhere, but these things really do kill any remaining mojo I had left.

But, the #1 thing I hate about being a fat guy is….

1. Seeing myself in the mirror. Especially the full-length mirror that is right at the end of my bed. When I am getting dressed in the morning I get to see the sloppy, chunky mass of humanity that I am. It isn’t pretty.

Now, before I get a flood of comments and condolences, let me say this. I wrote this list to be a bit light hearted, and self-deprecating. I know that I am on the right track to fixing these issues, and I look forward to the day when I can shop at regular stores, ride roller coasters, and not want to upchuck after my shower. Until then, there are just parts of this body that I don’t like, and I am using them as incentive to keep going forward.


  1. Bob, I laughed till I had tears, not at your predicaments my friend, but in your lighthearted writing about yourself, Hang in there!


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