Someone Called Me Fat — and I Survived

If you’ve ever read a blog post of mine, you’ve probably noticed that I sometimes like to write about how I seem to love feeling inadequate — especially when it comes to potential husbands. As a result, I’ve been confronted by a few close friends for being too hard on myself and putting myself down too often in my writing.

I usually respond to this criticism with, “But my low self-esteem is what makes me me! Without it, I’d be totally worthless.”

(Please let that remark simmer for a moment so you can fully appreciate the irony.)

Let me assure you, my low self-esteem is admittedly exaggerated in this blog (I swear I don’t hate me). Still, I do sometimes have to remind myself that the gallon of ice cream I guzzled the other night doesn’t make me entirely unlovable. This is why I have these strategically-placed post-its in front of my desk at work:

                                   Repeat out loud in sets of five for best results.

When not convincing co-workers that I’m weak and emotionally fragile, these affirmations can be a huge help and are highly recommended for anyone else who occasionally guzzles ice cream and feels unlovable.

Speaking of ice cream, let’s discuss the sole source of all my issues — my fatness. (Note: I am referring to gay-fatness, which is its own, effed-up scale. Straight people often tell me I’m thin, which, coming from straight people, unfortunately means nothing.) This fatness (along with my body image issues in general) has been the main focus of my life for the past several days — mainly because this was said to me last week:

“I mean, you’re not that fat. I still wanna have sex with you, or else I wouldn’t be here.”

Seriously, that happened.

It was during a conversation between myself and Lou — a guy I had been spending time with over the past month in spite of the fact that on our first date he openly admitted to only wanting a casual friendship with benefits (something I think we all know I’m incapable of by now; see: any past blog post).

I think I ignored my better judgment with Lou because he’d kiss me affectionately and feign an interest in my feelings every once in a while, so I was at least able to pretend that he cared about my well-being on some distant level.

For the sake of my mental health, I’m going to refrain from recapitulating the entire fat conversation. I’ll just say that it started with Lou helpfully suggesting that I stop drinking beer on a nightly basis, eat healthier, and start going back to the gym. It ended with the above-quoted declaration of my fat-but-not-fat-enough-to-be-rejected-for-sex-by-Lou status.

Because my work post-its clearly weren’t enough to combat the severity of this situation, I went into full self-hatred mode and actually went to the gym with Lou a few days after the incident.

I’m still sore from that workout (both physically and emotionally).

Here’s a tip: If you’re ever craving a traumatic experience, simply go to the gym with your super-in-shape non-boyfriend and allow him to coach you through various weightlifting exercises while you cry on the inside and fantasize about him getting killed in some kind of freak bench pressing accident.

First of all, Lou was lifting about three times as much as I could. This added a horribly quantitative element to how much better than me he is. Secondly, whenever he’d spot me, I had this whole how-many-reps-until-I’m-good-enough-for-you?! thing going on in my mind. (Answer: Infinite.)

Despite the trauma, though, I woke up the next day feeling better about myself than I have in a while — and I couldn’t help but wonder if Lou is some kind of evil genius.

By doing what he did, he has provided me with the following revelations:

  1. I got called fat — something that I’ve lived in complete fear of for all of my gay years — and I survived. The world kept spinning. No puppies died, I didn’t fall out of a window, and Manhattan didn’t burst into flames or sink.
  2. My diet kind of was crap. While I made healthy choices whenever possible, there’s no getting around the daily beer consumption and penchant for buffalo wings that Lou unabashedly called me out on.
  3. At some point in my crazy-busy life, I stopped going to the gym altogether — and I did feel less healthy because of it.

Thanks to Lou, I’m now more motivated than I have ever been. I’m eating healthy and being the most active I’ve been since before I went to grad school and gained twenty pounds. It’s kind of awesome — and I swear the impetus behind it is not to gain the approval of a gym-obsessed gay man; it’s to feel better about myself and maybe decrease my odds of heart disease down the line.

So in the end, despite the fact that I wanted to cry hysterically and stab Lou in the eye at the time of his fat comments, I’ve come to realize that — even though he was being insensitive — he was not being intentionally malicious. He’s just a health fanatic with a hot body who couldn’t help but comment on the fact that I am not living up to my healthy potential.

That or he’s just a judgmental prick — which might be okay, since I love feeling inadequate anyways.



  1. First of all; it’s good that you’ve found motivation to start going back to the gym! I hope it’s somehow unconsciously not to score points with Lou, but cuz you really do it for yourself…? Also, I doubt you’re fat–if the pic I’ve seen of you is not ages old, you are NOT fat.

    Lou tho–is that the politician guy? I’m sorry, I forget his name… (Or is it The Notebook’s Allie’s Lou? Ha!)

    Anyway; good going! Keep it up, homie!

  2. Proud of ya, kid!

    There is definitely a distinct difference between someone berating you and making you feel worthless and someone nudging you towards your potential. It’s a very fine line and many people cross it without knowing that they are ( or maybe they do, but hide behind, but I love you and want you just to be healthy.) Get healthy for YOU (mentally and physically) then you can be healthy for someone else…that is my 2 cent advice. Oh…and next time you want chicken wings, send them to me…
    Oh, and celery and blue cheese too

    Ciao… ❤

  3. “But my low self-esteem is what makes me me! Without it, I’d be totally worthless.” good

    • Haha thanks!

      • not very good at this..first of all i am the mirror image of you..southern..conservative..god toting..heterosexual..hey..they had me fixed..but your writing is..well..woody allenesque..this is a me i own a bible and fire arms..brilliant..keep writing..and ill keep drinking these vodka memory of leonard ..of course. this didnt sound like some kind of proposal….did it.

        • This comment means EVERYTHING. Thank you!!! (And it kinda did sound like a proposal, but that’s probably just because of the insanely broad definition that I have chosen to give to the term — so you might be safe!)

  4. I got blocked by a guy on Grindr after sending him a photo last night (hence my status on Facebook). Except instead of handling it positively like you did and using it as motivation for the gym, I drowned my sorrows in ice cream and cried at my inevitable fate: dying sad, lonely, and horny.

  5. Ok.

    a. Lou sounds like the biggest d-bag ever.

    b. You give him way too much credit in the article/actually sound grateful for him being such a d-bag that he actually had the audacity to say that outloud to another human being

    c. You better not be seeing Lou again because he obviously felt so inadequate that he had to degrade you in order to get you to sleep with him….just saying. He might have called you “fat” but clearly he’s got his own issues…

    d. I kinda am in love with your blog/you/we should meet ;0)

    • Lol. Thanks!

    • I agree 100%, and you should totally meet Brian. He’d call you svelte, like a decent human would. BTW, there’s no way in hell I would have put out to Lou after that little comment. He could go find someone else to screw at the gym. Ugh. We have a word for people like Lou in the South: “Asshole.” Lou is an Asshole.

      We also have a word in the South for Brian: “Darlin’.” Brian is a real Darlin’.

      • Haha I love it! Brian IS a Darlin’, but Assholes are so great for feeding into low self-esteem issues, which I desperately need. (Totally just kidding. There will be no sex with Lou, and I shall be calling Brian.)

  6. I’m glad you are able to laugh – and write so humorously about it! I’m also glad I am not dealing with the dating scene anymore!

  7. The dating scene is lame. Also, I would sell my soul to be as ‘fat’ as you.

  8. oh lawd gay-fatness so exists. except for I used to be straight-fat too…but then i lost it all and my straight friends/family think i’m unhealthily skinny, but to the gay world i’m still not good enough. there is such a skewed view of body image inside the gay community. and somehow it’s subconsciously turned me off to men that are in great shape. i prefer an average guy, like me, who I can eat wings and drink beer with whenever we want. be motivated for you–life is too short to stop enjoying it to please all of the homodouchery out there.

    tl;dr – love your blog so hard.

    • I totally agree with you on this whole comment – while I’m loving this healthy kick I’ve been on, there’s no way that I won’t be indulging in beer and wings come fall, and I’m 110% okay with that! and THANK YOU!

  9. OK, couple things. I am really glad to know about the straight v. gay weight assessment discrepancies b/c i keep thinking that you are quite thin. I’m straight thick so …. ‘nuf said.

    And secondly, Lou can shut it.

  10. This almost inspired me to get the mail (that’s a compliment I swear). But I think I’ve reached the point where sandwiches fulfill me more than human touch, so.

    • LOL I mean, I can’t argue with that. Back when I had an OkCupid profile, “Sandwiches” was #1 on my list of “6 things I could never do without.”

  11. I wanted to thank you for your post. I was in Wal-Mart today picking up some groceries as i was checking out the man behind me pushed his things with mine. I ignored it and continued to check out, as i proceeded to grab my bags he was right in my face…i told him your i my space and her said you should be grateful with your fat ass. I was so disgusted and wanted to throw up. I currently battle body image issues at a size 10 and have an eating disorder, all i could do was cry until i ran across your post. 😥

    • Nina – thanks so much for stopping by and sharing. I’m so sorry to hear you had to go through that today — that guy sounds like SUCH a dick… it’s so disappointing that people like that exist. But! There is power in knowing that his vitriol to you truly comes from a place of fear and self-loathing in HIMself. Happy, fulfilled people simply don’t say mean things to other people – so as miserable as he made you, just know that he’s likely ten times more miserable with himself. (Definitely something I learned from the above experience!) Keep on keeping on, my sister, and I’m definitely sending good vibes your way – you have a supporter in me!


  1. […] would I even begin? The gay bar sagas involve Lou, whom I’ve reluctantly become friends with. The casino weekend involves car troubles and […]

  2. […] the ones who “don’t want anything serious” are liars who may or may not just think I’m fat. Or maybe they are being truthful. Either way, it doesn’t bode well for my future that I keep […]

  3. […] its most obese form — which is fine, because I’m totally over those body image issues, Lou. Because really, unlike a gay bar, Gillette Stadium is something of a judgment-free […]

  4. […] that time a guy named Lou called me fat and it left me scarred for life but I […]

  5. […] US Airways phone lady never mentioned this annoying caveat, but whatever, I thought, as long as my supposedly fat ass gets to Raleigh […]

  6. […] addition to crying into wine glasses while listening to Taylor Swift songs and mentally revisiting that time I got called fat, of course. But I don’t so much look forward to that last routine as much as I just accept it as […]

  7. […] how I went to the Pats home opener after having spent most of my summer wasting time with that guy who called me fat and a variety of other noncommittal a-holes? And then we […]

  8. […] Speaking of fatness – while I inadvertently gave up men, I also inadvertently lost ten pounds! Well, not totally inadvertently – I did start going to the gym five days a week and eating healthier, but it was more so because I realized that endorphins make me happy and less so because some guy struggling with his own myriad body and emotional issues told me to. […]

  9. […] fear means truly, truly forgiving people – including our parents, ideal-shattering ex-boyfriends, those who’ve called us fat, ourselves, etc. It’s not easy, but it’s […]

  10. […] to The N!colas Blog are either nipple-related (because this), getting-called-fat-related (because this), or OkCupid-related (because this, this, and this, probably). But aside from all of those, here […]

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