“You are FAT”. Offensive or not? 7 Squaddies speak

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Phew…

We hit the streets like Reporters on this one. We wanted to find out how people react to the term FAT. I recall one time my neighbor said that to me. I had gained some nice “breastfeeding weight” which I didnt gain all through pregnancy so that morning, on my way to the gym at 8weeks post partum, she responds to my greeting with

“Ah, you are NOW FAT…”

Let me share how that made me feel at the end of the post. Let’s hear my Squaddies first… That’s respectful Haha. Most names have been changed for privacy.

Deola shares her opinion on this…

Yes, I find the term ‘fat’ not offensive but sensitive.

I’m very sensitive when someone calls me fat. But I’m not offended lol. Especially if it’s true.

I only get offended by the term when I’m not fat (at that period), or when I know I used to be bigger and have lost some weight.

A while ago, an old friend who had not seen me in about 9 years saw me recently and was like “you are now big ooo” lol. I just rolled my eyes because, it’d been such a long time since the person saw me, as I’m much older and grown now.

It makes me really uncomfortable and very body conscious.

Better words that can be used are – “she’s big”, “she’s plump”, “she has body” lol.


“She has body” got me laughing, but hey I can completely relate with someone calling you FAT when you know you have already lost 10kg. Ugh!!!


Let’s hear from Mary

Mary adds her voice

So I have always been overweight (weighed about 15kg more than my peers).

At 13, I weighed 55kg while my twin brother weighed 35kg.

I think calling someone fat (body shaming) is a millennial thing. According to recent statistics, I am fat. I’m even obese, but I don’t feel fat and I don’t have that guilt, shame & embarrassment of being a fat person.

However, I have noticed some malaise and of course, my symptoms can be easily linked to a body fat percentage that is higher than normal. So I decided to do something about it and hopefully, I’d enjoy the lifestyle change.

Eventually, I’d feel better about myself (because mind, body, soul and spirit are being taken care of)

By that I mean no symptom of malaise like fatigue (to wake up &pray or perform optimally at work), headaches, backaches & low immunity because I’m eating crap all day everyday.

Also, my clothes would fit better.

To answer your question, a fat person is someone whose medical statistics clearly indicate that he/she is fat (BMI) and yet does absolutely nothing about it. Because if you did something about it, your BMI would adjust accordingly.

On a side note, I actually think BMI needs to be adjusted for Africans because our bones are clearly heavier and our foods are different. I feel great at 75-80kg anything less is too skinny for me (Oyinbo Science thinks I need to weigh about 60kg).

Maybe when I get considerably slimmer, I’d change my mind about my ideal weight.

This just means no one has the right to define another person as fat. And if fat is an adjective let’s leave it at that and not attach sentiments to it. If being called fat offends you, then do something about it. Period. I personally rarely use the term fat, I just use chubby or big.

The problem I see here is not even the term ‘fat’ it’s the ‘body shaming’. After all everyone loves fat babies and we don’t go around body shaming babies


Phew, I love how she went all science on this bringing in BMI and yes I agree we need African BMI lol. Though I think that because BMI is a range, when we tilt to either end of the specteum, it covers for us. E.g my ideal BMI range is 69 to 76. I know 75 is my best so I stick to it. Someone else my height with lighter bones may need to hover around 69kg instead. Ok, let’s go back to the term FAT lol.


Kofo shares her ideology about this…

I feel it is offensive, but also a propeller to moving ahead. At least, to help you bring yourself out of that categorization of people.

For me, it was when people started describing me as “that fat woman, you don’t know her?”, “that fat girl” it started getting to me and also made me research for solution.

I have been on this weight loss journey for quite sometime. I really desire this weight loss because, sometimes it could be embarrassing when you’re being referred to or tagged ‘that fat woman’; or when one is on a journey and has to request for seat belt extensions because the usual can’t go round you; or when you board a tricycle or bus and people start to give you that resentful look.

It was expensive! but it really helped me. It made me determined to remove myself from that category of people. I was determined to change my outlook and size.

I didn’t realize how big I was until I began this weight loss journey, and I was tenacious about it. I keep comparing how I used to be to what I am currently. There was a time I said “wow, so I’ve been this big”. So when people don’t say it, you may not know. It is offensive but good they say it, because it will put people on their toes. It helped me want to get out of that condition and situation.

I feel people should just be truthful to themselves. Others can deceive you but it won’t be wise to deceive yourself. When such words are been used to describe you, you should do a personal appraisal of yourself and start to look for what next to do about it. Information is global, if you want to lose weight you can seek help from trainers/ professionals in that field.


Wow wow wow. Should I even add to this??? Frankly my major propelling force on my weightloss journey was being called FAT. While it peppered me, it made me determined to so something about it. In less than six months, I was back to my ideal weight.

Next squaddie speaks


Seyi shares her truth

I don’t think saying ‘fat’ is offensive. The truth is whoever is fat know they are fat, so if another person uses the term I don’t think anyone should be offended.

The only problem is some people (the critics) overdo it. They won’t say it in a nice way, but really there is no nice way to say it. You’re fat is you’re fat. Like I said, some people overdo it. Imagine you see someone and the first thing you say to them is “You’re so fat” or “You’ve added so much weight”, you haven’t even greeted the person, I mean that is just very wrong.

But the word itself is not offensive.

Like I said if I’m fat, I know I’m fat. So if someone else tells it to me, I should not be offended. It’s just the manner in which the person says it. Some people are quite insensitive as they don’t know what you are going through.

I had an experience with my mom (major reason for my weight loss). She won’t tell me I’m fat, rather she’d just say ‘fakya fakya’. She would say it in different ways. For instance, when I want to eat she would say “You’re eating, you will soon blow up”. While other times, she could say it while we’re in the midst of people. I used to take offense then but deep down I knew I was fat and needed to work on myself. So sometimes, this offenses need to come for some people to know that they actually have to lose weight.

In conclusion I don’t think saying fat is offensive, it is how you say it or who you say it too (That’s another approach). A close friend that cares about your health would probably have a nice discussion with you. Not necessarily blurt it out in that manner, they could just let you know you have to lose some weight and also the health implications behind it.


I completely agree with her view on this oooo. It is HOW we say it and even better, you should already KNOW before you are told. I personally would prefer for a friend to tell me, but maybe what I need is a stranger so that I truly hit the gym or hire a Coach.

I love the next person. She has been on my squad for almost 20weeks at this time…


Ihuoma shares her views

Yes, using the word ‘fat’ is actually offensive.

If it were in the UK (United Kingdom) and you address a person as ‘fat’, you can actually be taken to court for it.

I will suggest that the term ‘Plus Size’, it is viewed as mild word. Even using the word ‘Obese’ is seen as offensive as well.

Besides I don’t have an issue with the word ‘fat’.

You’re fat, you’re fat.

There is no two words about it.


Like I said, I love her. And her last line is everything. Let me show off her transformation journey so far as she is LEAVING FAT BEHIND!!!


Tobi shares her opinion…

The term ‘FAT’, hmm…

To be honest, I have gotten to the point where I have just developed a thick skin to it. There was a time when the word used to really bite me.

The word ‘fat’ isn’t offensive, but the mannerism or intention behind how people use it can make it seem that way. For instance people say things like “Tobi you’re now fat o”, “Tobi I always knew you would be fat”, “See how fat you’ve become” or in someone’s words last Sunday “you’re now…*demonstrating by expanding arms wide*, and I can see that you’re enjoying”.

Most of my life, especially from the time I became a teenager, people would say things like “oh, this one will be fat” or the or they would call me orobo. I’ve always been extra sensitive to it and I think I just made it my life mission to not become obsessed.

When people say ‘fat’, the impression they give is that of obesity and in my head, I never felt I was in that category. But considering that a lot of people, looking back now should not have been allowed to have a say in my life or allow their opinions to matter always used the word fat. It was always in an offensive manner. I hear things like “Na wa o, you will be fat o”, the comical one is when they use my name (which means; ‘Big’) “Tobi! Tobi!).

Gosh!

That used to piss me off and at some point, started to make me very sensitive.

Again, I can’t say I have ever met anyone who said it and it seemed like it was coming from a good place. Maybe some were with good intentions but, it has rarely come as that to me and that’s why I find it offensive.

Though it is no longer a motivation for why I am trying to lose weight. But at a point it was the fear of people calling me fat that drove me to lose weight, so I started to try different diets and plans. Truth be told, because my mindset hadn’t really changed, I continued to eat my unhealthy meals. I wasn’t paying attention to how I was eating and comparing it to how I was working out or how I was living. So even when I lose the weight, I end up gaining it back. At a point I was putting my body through so much trouble and it felt like I wasn’t losing weight anymore.

But again, with the God factor I know he is still working on me and changing my mindset about food and fat, treating the body as his temple. That is what has been helping me change my mindset from “I don’t want to be fat” to “I want to honor God with how I live”. It also applies to what I eat, because I feel like God is slowly yet continually helping me overcome my desire for sugary things and junk food that I love. Over the past couple of weeks, I have seen a consistent reduction in my desire for it and I am really grateful to him for it. I would have a taste of something very sweet, then say to myself “oh, this is not for me” and just walk away.

Things I have never done before.

I have been able to change my mindset from “It is not the fat” to “people will say what they want”. Recently, I wore a big ‘size 8’ jumpsuit that fit me really well and then someone said I had added weight. The last time they saw me I was wearing a SIZE 10! The backlash was beginning to get to me because within 30mins of that conversation, I began to feel like I was fatter. But somewhere along the line, I just told myself that I wasn’t on this journey to hear commentaries or seek approval, it’s because I want to take my life back in terms of my health. That is why I’m doing this, submitting myself to God’s guidance as to what to do (him bringing me to you, giving me further instructions as to what to do per time).

If people truly mean well, I feel they can ask questions about what is going on in the person’s life. For instance, you can find out if it is health related or if the person is going through a phase. Try to communicate. You can also recommend tested solutions as well.

It’s not every time you just tell people “You are fat”.

This was REAL right!!! And yes to asking if there is something going on in the person’s life. I would do that with a friend instead of just saying YOU ARE FAT

Let’s end with Gloria who kept it short and to the point…


Gloria’s response

I find the term fat, offensive.

To me it sounds derogatory.

I believe a better way of phrasing it will be to say, “This person is a bit on the big side” or “This person is on the big side”.


The END

And as we can see, the jury is still out on this one. Let me conclude my story which I shared at the beginning…

I felt bad she would say that to me BUT deep inside, I also knew I had gained weight and that was even from a place of LET ME EVEN SEE WHETHER BREASTMILK WILL POURRRRRRRR when I vex and eat anyhow. I desperately wanted to exclusively breastfeed and despite my pumping and feeding every three hours, I was coming up short. Gaining weight didnt help and I eventually introduced formula at 3months thereabouts. So it hurt that the weight I gained was not even working lol. Now the woman comes to make it worse. But really, she also used to hail me all through pregnancy that I wasn’t gaining weight, I was so strong and all, so her “you are now fat” was a shocking reaction to my present state, which was FAT.

Anyways, I was already on my way to fixing that so that was further motivation.

In a month, 7kg was off me. Lol

Hope you enjoyed this CoachE Originals #CEOriginals

Oya share your own experience below and feel free to share link with your friends

Thank you for reading and see you with another #CEOriginals soon

Love

Eziaha

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