I’ve never been an extremely overweight guy, but I’ve always been a tad bit bulkier than I’d like. About two years ago I got really excited about endurance and obstacle course races and began working out for long periods of time everyday. As a result, I lost a ton of weight and started to feel really good about myself. This is the most important aspect of weight loss and the one people primarily talk about when spreading the fitness gospel. However, there’s a lesser known side effect that occurs as well and that’s a sudden inclination to acting like a huge dick towards those deemed “out of shape”.
These tendencies usually begin innocently enough. As a beacon of health, your main goal is to safeguard your body from the destructive nature of fatty foods, carbohydrates and inactivity, therefore you modify your life accordingly. However, once you’ve entered the upper echelon of your body’s fitness potential and become fully “enlightened”, you want others to experience how great high energy and low body fat ratio can truly be. This can range from advising friends about calorie dense foods and nutritional deficits to encouraging your coworkers to do a 5k together. Generally speaking, people appreciate your tips and begin to refer to you as their personal “health guru”. This makes you feel great and after a while you settle into this new role. But if your fitness quest has taught you anything, it’s that settling is something losers do; you’re not a loser you’re a winner and you want everyone around you to be a winner too.
This is the point where the surplus of self-awareness you had as a fat person would kick in and prevent you from becoming too overzealous in regards to “assisting” others in their weight loss journey. Instead, you see yourself as the savior to your unhealthy peers, no longer feeling that your role is that of an adviser. You are the only thing that stands between them and a premature death…failure is not an option. While some people may see you as an inspiration, most will grow tired of every lunchroom conversation turning into passive aggressive digs at the food they’re consuming. These individuals will distance themselves from you as much as possible, which to rational people would indicate that perhaps you should tone it down a bit. You don’t see it this way. They are no longer lost sheep to you; they are the enemy and are willfully participating in a movement that will fill the Earth with obese, lazy citizens who’ll be easy targets for invading aliens or government controlled super soldiers.
This is where the unintentional fat shaming turns intentional as you begin to see yourself as a member of a resistance force that’s fighting a losing battle. You no longer feel safe sharing your views with those around you as they’ve begun to grow hostile. You believe this is because they’re in denial when in fact they’re simply tired of your condescending approach to health. Your open mindedness has eroded as you feel you’ve discovered the only proper way to maintain the perfect physique. Even those you once saw as peers in the fitness community begin to treat you as a pariah. The positive vibes that fueled your metamorphosis have drained away, in their place a level of pretentiousness that makes people miss the less intense, more plump version of you.
Sure, your abs looks great and you can finally wear an extremely low dipping v-neck t-shirt, but you hate what you’ve become. Perhaps your fat had stored up decades of angst and burning it released it back into your system. There’s nothing particularly scientific about that theory, however you’re still coming down off a superiority complex that saw you question the research that centuries of medical science had produced. While being sexy is great, you realize you couldn’t handle the responsibility that came with it. You decide to stop focusing entirely on your physical appearance and begin to focus on the qualities that attracted people to you in the first place. This results in you finding a happy medium between fitness apathy and fitness obsession.
Just kidding, you’re a human and humans are absolutely horrible at finding happy mediums. No, you throw caution to the wind and jump right back on the chubby train immediately. Life becomes more entertaining again but your actions begin to take a toll on your body and you find yourself back in the same place you were when you started this journey. You make a mental note of the things you did wrong and the things you did right and start the whole process over again. This time, however you take things a little slower because with great power comes great responsibility. Also, no one likes a fit asshole (metaphorically speaking of course).