I’ve started interviewing fellow fats to include here. But, if I’m going to ask others to do this, I thought it might be best if I did as well. So…
Q: How would you introduce yourself?
Hi, I’m Jen. I’ve been writing here about being fat since September 2008. There are linked Twitter and Tumblr accounts: @Living400lbs and Living400lbs.tumbler.com.
In my normal life, I’ve been a software tester over 20 years, along with doing tech support, project management, and technical writing.
Q: Are you comfortable with the word “fat” for yourself?
Yes. It’s a simple descriptive word.
Q: How would you describe your body size?
I often say I’m “too fat for Lane Bryant”, since with few exceptions their clothes are too small for me. I’m about 5’8″ tall and round, often called an “apple” shape. My waist is about 65″ around when standing, 76″ around when sitting. Yes, I like elastic waists.
Q: How has being fat affected your life?
It’s just always been there. It’s what I got picked on for in school. It’s what doctors told me to change. It’s what my mother told me was wrong. It’s become a topic I’ve read a lot about, if only in self-defense.
In the day-to-day, it also affects which chairs I can sit in at restaurants. I use a seat extender in most cars. Flying is definitely uncomfortable and more expensive. So’s clothing,.
Q: How did you encounter fat lib/fat acceptance?
Via BBW Magazine in the 80s, a glossy fashion-for-fats magazine with articles on how dieting tends to lead to weight gain and many people “dieted their weight up” and only stabilized after they quit dieting. Later I discovered UseNet and with it, various fat acceptance discussion groups. This lead me to books like Big Fat Lies and Fat!So?.
Q: What’s the worst part of being fat for you?
Trying to get medical personnel to focus on the reason I’m there, and not that I’m fat. (It’s not like just woke up this way today.)
Q: What’s the best part of being fat for you?
As I accepted that I would probably stay fat, I became less afraid of being the odd one one in other ways, which helped me deal with criticism for majoring in computer science. I’ve been able to work on cool software and, incidentally, make a good living because I stood up to peers telling me computer science was “icky”.
Q: What’s your favorite place to buy clothing?
Most of my wardrobe is from On The Plus Side (formerly Making It Big) either directly or secondhand on eBay. I have items I bought in the 90s that still fit, and their stock is mostly made in the US. I also love Torrid t-shirts, though they don’t last as well. But … A “The Dark Side Made Me Do It” shirt! “Be Nice Or Go Away” shirt! “But First, Coffee!” I doubt their more fitted stuff would fit me well, but the tshirts are my friends.
Anyway, that’s the first interview! If you would like to be involved, email me at living400lbs AT gmail DOT com!
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