Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Guest Submission: It Can't Get Any Worse Than This ... A Cautionary Tale

Note: This blog posting contains shocking depictions of someone struggling with the loss of their mobility due to obesity.  Reader discretion is advised. 

By Anonymous

I'm writing this anonymously to protect myself. And ultimately, that's what we do when we gain weight. We become more and more anonymous. Overlooked both by society and by ourselves, often hiding in the shadows and withdrawing from public life. The weight starts to rise and our self-esteem starts to sink. But there is another side to becoming obese. We also lie to ourselves, often saying "well, it can't get any worse than this..." But you are wrong. It can. And it does.

Please allow me to bear witness:

Ahhh, freshly showered and ready for work. Huh! I can't seem to put my socks on as easily as last week. I'm really huffing and puffing to get them on. I know I've gained a few pounds. Oh well, it can't get any worse than this!

And then...

Hmmm. I can't bend over and tie my shoes. Looks like I'm going to have to use a kitchen chair and prop my foot up. Never had to do this before. I need to cut back on the snacking it seems. Oh well, it can't get any worse than this!

And then ...

My seatbelt is extended to the max. Do I really need to slide my seat back? Looks like it. Maybe I should cut back on the fast food. Oh well, it can't get any worse than this!

And then ...

Wow. I'm out of wind walking from my car to the office. I need to find a parking spot closer to the door. Guess I'm going to cut back on the daily snacking. Oh well, it can't get any worse than this!

And then ...

I can't put my socks on any more. I need to have someone help me. How embarrassing. And I'm not able to tie my shoes without popping a vein. Well, it really can't get any worse than this...

And then ...

An alarming situation at work today. I suddenly needed to go to the bathroom and had to use the handicap stall. Not only that, I could barely reach to finish up. Humiliating. Wow, I never thought it would get this bad. Oh well, it can't get any worse than this ...

And then ...

It happened again. Only this time I couldn't reach at all. I had no choice. I had to go back to my desk unclean. Not only that, during the process, I wet all over my pants and didn't realize it. This is beyond humiliating. It's dehumanizing. I need to rethink my entire public strategy. I can't be caught too far from home. Maybe I'll just stay in more often. That way something like this won't catch me off guard. How did this happen? It all came on so quickly. Well, It can't get any wor....

Let me stop you right there. It can get worse. Much worse. This downhill slide doesn't stop with dehumanizing incidents like this. What will it take? Type Two Diabetes? Losing a leg? Your eyesight? Public scorn?

The good news is that you can fix it. Like Bryan's example shows all of us.

There comes a point where you draw a line in the sand. You have to have that Howard Beale moment from the movie "Network."

"So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, stick your head out an yell...I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"

Until you do that, it gets worse.  It always gets worse. Much worse.


  1. I cannot even begin to describe how much this post resonates for me. I wouldn't just say I could relate but that when I found myself over 500lbs I had all the exact same thoughts. Brave of anonymous to shine some light on this area of the reality of being that size. It still amazes the things I could talk myself into at that point in my life. Thank you both for sharing this.

    I just discovered your blog today Bryan and I must say that I have been glued to it since, catching up on your journey. A lot to ponder and process, I like that.


  2. Thanks for checking out my blog, Mike. I'd be interesting in hearing more about your struggles.