She (Really) Doesn't Like Fat People & Crunch Time At The Office

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

DEAR CAT: I don’t like fat people. I am not trying to be provocative or start something. My husband convinced me to write in and see if another perspective will “fix” my view. I do not automatically assume a fat person is unlikable or a bad person. I have fat friends and half my coworkers are fat and we get along fine. It is their personal preference to be overweight and my personal preference to count them down a notch in the “people who impress me” category. They are lazy and gluttonous and they complain about their weight all the time. I have never met a fat person who does not complain about their weight. Never! Not once! I know sick people who do not complain and sickness is beyond their control. I do not know what needs to be “fixed” about my perspective. My husband says I’m too focused on it, but how can you not be when one out of every four Americans is obese?! I saw you speak once so I know you are not fat (at least you weren’t a few years ago). Can you see where I’m coming from? — SHUT UP ABOUT YOUR WEIGHT!

DEAR SHUT: Wow. Can I understand automatically not liking certain people? Sure, that’s how I feel about double-parkers and people who use handicap spots without a handicap sticker. But those are discourtesies that directly affect others while someone’s weight does not directly affect you. Obesity is not a one-time momentary choice (like double parking), it is a physical condition defined medically as being at least 30lbs overweight. Yes it is something of an epidemic in this country, but I suspect your husband simply wants you to stop complaining and snap-judging complete strangers. This might come as a shock to you but….Cat’s Call: Thin people can be lazy and gluttonous, too.

DEAR CAT: At my office everyone eats lunch at their desks. It’s the culture there – too much work, crazy deadlines, etc. I overheard my cubical neighbor comment on the smells of people’s food and the noises they make while eating; she complained that a previous coworker was very annoying eating her carrots everyday. I eat carrots everyday, too, so that’s just like me, crunching away. Since her comment I try to eat my carrots really softly or after-hours in my car. I am a vegetarian so most of my food crunches. I am beginning to stress during my already un-relaxing lunches. Should I just eat ‘soft’ food or say screw it and bring carrots, an apple and a head of celery for lunch? — ‘CRUNCH TIME’ WORKER

DEAR CRUNCH: Sorry, the image of you hiding carrots like contraband is really funny. If you are expected to eat at your desk, then do so. If there is another place to eat where your carrot noise won’t be an annoyance to others or a source of anxiety for you, consider using it for a chance to get away from your desk. However, if your neighbor eats at her desk, she has no right to complain. Cat’s Call: Happy crunching.

What’s YOUR call? Share it below! Submit questions to: or click here!.

  1. The anti-fat question: I see what she means. I see how this could drive her husbands nuts too. You don’t have to like everybody. In the same vein it’s not reasonable to look at people as whether they impress you or not. Why are you someone to impress? Obesity is a choice for the most part so let people choose it and stop hammering them.

    The carrot thing -these are people’s problems? Funny. Eat what you want, ignore your coworker.

    — TT, Pgh    10/18/2011    Reply

  2. Shut,

    You are so dumb, do minorities scare you? Do old people smell? Are women bad drivers?

    [Insert any other stereotype here]

    — DD PGH    10/18/2011    Reply

    1. DD—Women are bad drivers. The other stereotypes are bs.

      To SHUT—you have the right to dislike anyone, there’s no law that says you have to like everyone. Your problem is an inability to distinguish between people. It’s safe to say an obese person is a glutton but not lazy. If I eat ten times more calories than I burn and I do it every day for a long time, I’ll be obese too. The ptoblem is we are all gluttons about something but you single out food gluttons. More Americans are gluttons for fuel/gas than food. I don’t assume someone driving a SUV is a lesser level person or doesn’t care about the world/global warming. It’s safe to say your husband wants you to ask Cat about this because you are a bitch about it, no offense.

      — Rob    10/18/2011    Reply

  3. SHUT: I agree that if you complain about something continuously but do nothing about it, you are your own problem. There are some people that have conditions that make them overweight, but a majority of people just don’t do anything about it and expect people to feel sorry for them because of it – hence the complaining. I have no problem with someone saying to me ‘how did you lose that weight?’ or ‘losing weight is so tough – but I’m trying’ but I do have a problem with people saying to me ‘you’re so lucky you’re thin’. Nope, it’s a choice. The way I look at it, as with most things in life, work to change the things that make you unhappy if you can – if you aren’t working to find a solution, stop complaining and accept them.
    CRUNCH: Don’t let someone else’s problem make you uncomfortable. If you were crunching all day long, that would be different. Lunch is lunch.

    — NotPC, Pgh    10/18/2011    Reply

  4. To SHUT: If you haven’t already, please don’t have children. I pity your child if he/she deviates from the body size you consider ideal. If that’s the case, please get counseling for both of you before you give the child an eating disorder.

    Some medical conditions do make people overweight, and I don’t hope that happens to you in the future, but… karma is a b*itch. Just saying.

    — Isidora, Pittsburgh    10/18/2011    Reply

    1. Isidora, “Some medical conditions do make people overweight.” A thyroid problem can do that but that’s it. Nothing else medical makes someone obese. You want to be obese, be obese. You don’t want to be, change it. Not easy but nothing in life is easy. It’s doable. I know women like SHUT UP. She is a “I’m perfect” type who looks down on people no matter what the issue. Here it’s weight but you know she does it about other things.

      Carrot Eater: I agree with NotPC. Eat your food in peace. She complained loud enough for you to hear instead of respecting you, that passive aggressive stuff is nonsense. Who eats silently????? I would rather hear someone crunch carrots for ten minutes than smell their food.

      — Carigirl, Pittsburgh    10/18/2011    Reply

      1. @ Carigirl, depression and depression meds, some infertility treatments, steroids (for asthma, arthritis, lupus, IBS), diabetes meds, quitting smoking….all things that make people gain weight. Then of course there’s bulimia (many bulimics are overweight), compulsive eating disorder, etc..

        I’m not saying that all or even most of the people she’s judging are overweight because of a medical condition…my point was that God forbid, one day she herself may gain weight for some reason beyond her control, and let’s see what she says about overweight people then.

        You’re right carigirl, I’m sure she’s Miss “I’m perfect” on other issues besides weight. She sounds charming.

        — Isidora, Pittsburgh    10/18/2011    Reply

        1. @Isidora

          “depression and depression meds, some infertility treatments, steroids (for asthma, arthritis, lupus, IBS), diabetes meds” <— false statements, they can make you gain weight (a few lbs not 30lbs), they do not make you obese, and in fact there are medications out there for those conditions as well that can make you lose weight. your point is moot.

          “quitting smoking” <— false statement, quitting smoking does not make you obese, the habit it is most often replaced with is eating which makes you obese.

          do not try and state medical opinions if you have zero knowledge of the subject matter.

          — M from Pittsburgh    10/19/2011    Reply

          1. @M- or Doctor M, I should say- medicine aside, she´s still a bitch about this topic. That’s what her husband is gently telling her by asking her to write to Cat, and that’s what others are not so gently telling her.

            — Isidora, Pittsburgh    10/19/2011    Reply

            1. Ah oh! I think we have an actual “CAT” fight brewing here [pun intended].

              — LeBron from Pittsburgh    10/19/2011    Reply

        2. Don’t forget birth control. I gained 10lbs a month on Depo Provera… then found out that’s not uncommon.

          I’m still fighting to take it back off too (now off that one)!

          Btw: I am one of the most productive workers in my department (I work with computers). I sing in 2 choirs on the side, and I just auditioned for 2 operas in one day (also had a solo that morning). I also maintain a very active life with biking into work at every opportunity, and I maintain a great deal of friends. Plus, my marriage is great, and we go out to concerts, theater, parties, etc etc almost every night (that I’m not rehearsing that is). I’m pretty sure that “lazy” isn’t something that would be applied to me if I were thin, but I’m certain that people assume it now.

          Oh, another thing: I don’t complain about my weight constantly, but it is an issue in my life, so if I’m around others who are having similar issues, we discuss it. Or is that really SHUT’s issue? Do they feel left out of these discussions?

          — Gwen, Pittsburgh    11/14/2011    Reply

  5. To Shut: Allow me to add that some people work in jobs that aren’t the most conducive to eating right and exercising. A classic example is the trucker. There aren’t too many skinny truckers out there, but we need them. Some people complain about their weight not because they don’t want to do something about it, but what they have been trying isn’t getting them the desired results, and they get discouraged. It’s tough for some people to maintain a proper weight. Some people have such discombobulated schedules that they neglect to eat right and exercise; they haven’t learned how to prioritize. Some of the hardest working, biggest busybodies I know are overweight. Perhaps they’re a little too busy. And of course, there are some overweight people who indeed are lazy. The fact is, you really don’t know the story. None of us are perfect. We’re all sinners. We’re all backsliders. Nobody appointed you God. Jesus said let he who is without sin cast the first stone. My call: you need to shut up and quit casting stones before one smacks you in the noggin.

    — ExBurgher Out West    10/18/2011    Reply

    1. @ExBurgher Out West:

      Wow. That diatribe of yours proves that logic leaping is alive and well and has carried on out West. [Many questions listed below will be rhetorical]

      “None of us are perfect. We’re all sinners. We’re all backsliders.”

      How do you go from SHUT not liking fat people to we are all sinners and backliders? Not liking someone or somebody makes someone a sinner? And, what does your philosophy have to do with the letter written to CAT in the first place? I’ll answer that one. Nothing.

      “Nobody appointed you God”

      Another death-defying leap in logic. Why would you even say that? It has nothing to do with what SHUT said.

      “Jesus said let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

      The letter had nothing to do about sinning. Not everyone believes in you what you believe in, so save your philosophy for a religious forum or for a letter that actually deals with religious matters.

      — LeBron from Pittsburgh    10/19/2011    Reply

  6. I’m not sure which type of medical condition it is, but watching obese people gorge themselves at “All You Can Eat” restaurants is not it.

    — LeBron from Pittsburgh    10/18/2011    Reply

    1. She said it’s a physical condition, how is that confusing? She didn’t say it’s a sickness or anything. Being bald is a physical condition too. I can shave my head or lose it naturally, doesn’t matter, still a physical condition.

      — Saldeeze, North Hills    10/18/2011    Reply

      1. @Saldeeze,

        If you were responding to my comment – who is confused? I am not. Also, a medical condition can be a physical condition.

        — LeBron from Pittsburgh    10/19/2011    Reply

  7. Wow, I’m so pi$$ed that I’m getting in late on this one. I totally get what SHUT UP is saying. Although I certainly don’t consider myself as hard line as her – I get it. I’ve often said that the two characteristics for which I have no sympathy are fat and lazy. Those characteristics you choose for yourself. You can’t help it if God made you ugly or stupid, but fat and lazy you have some control over. Sounds harsh, I know, but it’s a cruel world out there.

    Secondly – bad drivers pay more for car insurance, if you sky dive or smoke you pay more for life insurance, if you live in a coastal area subject to hurricanes you pay more for homeowners insurance. How come you can cram your pie hole with every morsel of food in sight until you weigh over 300 lbs., yet you pay not one more penny for health insurance, even though your actions cause higher health insurance costs for all of us?

    Man, I wish I got this posted on Tuesday…….

    — Ben - VA    10/20/2011    Reply

  8. Sorry Cat, but I disagree… while I do respect other peoples choices, being overweight affects me directly and indirectly. Have you ever sat on a plane next to someone spilling over into your seat? Have you ever rode a bus and had to stand because someone’s rear takes up two seats? While I concede that medical conditions and other factors can limit some individuals from controlling their weight, my health premiums are rising in part to this nation’s obesity problem and the medical costs associated with it. However, I do agree that the resolution is not to stereotype people who have weight disadvantages. Perhaps the next time you run an article such as this, you could post some websites for health and wellness programs where your readers can find more information about getting fit and improving their overall health ( Until then….well let’s just say I’ll be standing around!

    — GM from Pittsburgh    10/20/2011    Reply


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