Every Monday and Wednesday morning (though it used to be Fridays, too), I work up a sweat right after arriving to work. You see, I am an office manager for a tech startup in Silicon Valley. Part of my job is to ensure that our beverage fridge and snacks rack are fully stocked. I haul cases and cases of glass and plastic bottled beverages across two kitchens to fill the fridge at 8:30 am. I also keep our kitchens tidy and organized, surfaces clean and safe for food to be displayed and consumed. I run our food program which is a near impossible task when we have nearly 130 people insisting they only want “healthy” food options when the data shows me that they really just wanna load up on heavy proteins at lunch, and complaining about non-issues seems to be a competitive sport around the office.
I am easily the fattest individual here. I am also the queerest (as in the only non-heterosexual human at this particular location). Both of these facts are only slightly unsettling, but don’t typically bother me. I like my job, it’s different every day and presents limitless challenges and issues to untangle. I like startups because they are scrappy, like myself. I can use both my creative and analytical brains to accomplish a myriad of tasks and projects. I find this to be mostly fulfilling. I have no lofty aspirations or goals, I can’t even say that I’m terribly career minded. I know what I excel at what I can do, my experience is unparalleled, my professional reputation impeccable. This isn’t bragging, though. Manual labor is just as much a part of my job as event planing or security protocols. None of this is new to me what so ever.
Fat people often hold very physical jobs. Of the most physically demanding jobs in the U.S. most are held by people most folks would consider fat. This isn’t an anomaly, this is true as hell. Our heft and girth can assist in and protect us from our physical tasks and I would imagine sustain us, too, for the long haul. As the sweat is now mostly evaporated from my brow and neck and the chill of the air conditioner overhead has me reaching for my sweater, I can’t help but reflect on the minimal effort any employee here puts in to do anything at all in a physical way. Yet they will go on and on about their “Keto” this or “fasting” that, “clean” eating and protein shakes. *barf* It’s all bullshit and I know it is. It doesn’t mean they stop the toxic talk, though. I have had to put a few folks in their place whilst demonizing fat in front of me. “And what exactly is wrong with being fat?” I have said with determined and steady eye contact (intimidating no doubt). “What’s wrong with all of what I got going on?” as I gesture dramatically to my entire body.
They tell me it’s “unhealthy” to sit at a desk all day. Don’t I know it! But it’s not like that for me because I’m jumping up from my chair about 50-75 times a day to take care of these adult babies and their endless needs, wants, and complaints. It’s never boring! Ha-ha! I don’t mean to place a negative spin on my role or the people, really, but it is a mixed bag and I’m a very sarcastic human. Ha! I was just thinking this morning as people talked with me or were sharing space while I was sweating it out in the kitchen filling fridges, that it makes some uncomfortable. It’s almost as if they’d rather not know or see someone doing manual labor on their behalf, like only they benefit from it, so I get it, but also, they know me and have to interact me with me constantly. I have no doubt that most assume all the things about me due to my committed ownership of this fiiiiine fat body ‘o mine. They are wrong and it makes me laugh.
I once had a job as “Director of Happiness” for a startup (okay I’ve held that title twice), where my job was so physical, every single day, that I had to change the type of under garments I wore! I was just sweating so much it was uncomfortable (I’m not typically very sweaty, but who wouldn’t be hefting and hauling all day?!). At one point I even sprained my spine on the job. It was insane the amount of work and pressure on me in that place, but all of the vegans and juice cleansers weren’t ever trying to pitch in. So quick to shame or hate on fat folks, but you don’t see skinny-minnies doing these jobs! (JFC! Do NOT search google images for anything about fat people working or having a job! Your blood will boil!)
I love my body. I trust my body. My body has taken me places and allowed me to accomplish things no one thought possible, myself included. I may be forty, but I’m feisty as fuck with no intention of ever chilling out! Every fat roll and dimple has fired up its cells to allow me to move mountains by starting my own business from scratch, starting a fat positive event for the public, for dancing every year in the Big Moves show with my dance partner Tigress, to leave a waning marriage and to strike out on my own and rebuild a life of my own choosing and design. I have had struggles and injuries and hardships, but my body has been there and seen me through each and every phase of this wild ride called existence. I have no regrets!
Rad Fatty Love to ALL,
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