The Burden of Having a Fat Body

How do you live inside a space that isn’t yours?

Zach J. Payne
3 min readSep 8, 2022

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Photo by Kaffeebart on Unsplash

A certain weariness of being.

I’ve had a strange relationship with my body for a long time. But as the years go on, the worse it gets.

I wonder how it is for other people.

For a long time, my body has always felt like a thing I possess, rather than an intrinsic part of my identity. It is not who I am, but rather the thing that happens to carry me around; an addend, certainly, but nowhere near the sum of who I am.

And, yet, it is the thing that people notice first.

For most people, it’s the only thing they notice: the big, lumbering, malapportioned, misshappen, becrippled sweaty mass of flesh that says, quite clearly, this isn’t someone you want to know.

And, so, they don’t.

I resent my body for pushing away people before they get to know me.

I resent my body for its illnesses and infirmities, for becoming less and less able to walk, to drive, to stand, to dress, to leave the house.

I resent my body for not responding to diet, for not being able to exercise, for all of the weight yo-yo-ing instead of being lost.

I resent my body for the damage it’s done to my mental health.

I resent my body for all the opportunities it’s cost me.

I’m ready to go all Daenerys Targaryen on this bitch.

“I am not going to stop the wheel. I am going to break the wheel.”

Okay, so I’m not the first person to misunderstand Daenerys. But, at least I’m not spending millions of dollars to do it on screen. But I really like this idea.

My body is not something that will be stopped by kindness or gentleness, or treating it right.

It is not something that can be fixed with love or tenderness or good thoughts or mindfulness, or whatever else the health influencers are going to try to sell me.

It is not going to be fixed with keto or good fats, or counting carbs or calories.

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