Yes, i am fat.

Thank you for asking, in case you weren’t sure whether i had packed on a few too many pounds or i had actually stuffed a small bean bag chair up my shirt. It’s nothing new, to tell you the truth – i’ve been fat for a while. But for the longest time, i strolled around with a smug little grin on my face because the distribution of fat on my body made it easy for me to hide my weight. For so many years, it was my little secret … i’d run into people on the street and talk to them, and they wouldn’t guess. Every so often i became so excited that i almost blurted out “Guess what? i’m actually FAT!” but no – no, it’s been a part of my alluring mystique for quite some time.

But these days, the lid’s been blown off that little affair. The sneaky distribution of bulk has crept into increasingly obvious areas, including my kneecaps and eyelashes. By the time someone had asked me if i’d put on any weight in my earlobes, i knew that my body’s talent for sweeping fat into the corners was wearing thin. i was running out of corners.

So these days, i’m just plain fat. Tick off your home scoring quiz with a big red checkmark, because you guessed correctly. Could’ve been the way my jacket doesn’t close because i popped off all the buttons running for the bus … could’ve been the way my thighs squeak together like wet balloons when i walk. Whatever clue you followed, give yourself a point.

There’s no denying that the road from too fat to reasonably svelt is long and sucky. i’ve lost weight before, using that newly-discovered combination of Diet and Exercise, and it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t even that successful, really … i spent an hour at the gym a minimum of three times a week, doing 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of resistance training. This went on for 8 months, and i didn’t notice much of a difference other than a slight boost in energy and a giant plunge in my enjoyment of life.

Those of you who are extremely athletic and fit and sexy, those i now dub “The Hated,” might say that i didn’t work out hard enough. What you Hated don’t understand is that the excercise experience of a chubby, non-athletic guy is vastly different from your own blessed, stroll-through-life-looking-awesome reality.

It’s far easier for you Hated to do exercises because you have developed muscles, and you can feel which muscles are at work during that exercise. Conversely, a chubby blob feels only vague-to-extreme discomfort in numerous parts of his body and an uncontrollable shaking for the whole of the exercise.

For even more complex exercises, particularly those in a standard pilates program (pilates being, by the way, the current bane of my Wednesday afternoons), you Hated can pull off the sit-up-straight, arch-back-and-curl-down-while-twisting, fluidly-wave-arm-out-to-side-and-back-around while smoothly-articulating-each-vertebra-as-you-gracefully-curl-back-up with relative ease. Meanwhile, hopelessly un-coordinated Chubby McFatPants is still struggling with the “sit-up-straight” part.

Fatty von AmpleBottom can’t even achieve many things the Hated accomplish because it’s very difficult to breathe folded up like a lawn chair. The Hated have nothing but empty, sexy space for their lungs and tummies to move in and out, allowing them to draw in vital air that is so precious for breathing. During many stretches, the rolls of sweet mallow around my body compress so tightly that i can barely catch my breath. When the Hated do a push-up, they are hoisting less weight with more muscle … yet i am still expected to complete more than one push-up, and not even girly-style for that matter.

Flexibility is taken completely for granted by you Hated. Some of your number have tried to help coax my body into a figure-4 leg stretch – a hamstring stretch – and have been shocked and appalled to learn that not only can i not touch my toe … i can’t even sit with my legs outstretched and pull off an acute angle. It’s oblique, baby – a cool 110 degrees, thanks to this big pudgy roadblock in the middle of my body that i shall now dub “Earl.” Earl is a name for things that are fat – sincerest apologies to any readers named Earl, but dear Earls: if you’re fat, you’ve only proven my point.

My own spare Earl will be taking a long vacation one fine day. i’m officially kicking him out. He’ll be moving his junk out bit by bit, one day at a time, starting with the knick-knacks, such that you’d never notice he was on his way. But one fine day … one fine day, his eviction notice will take, and Earl will have to find a new home in some other poor sob who’s battling the overwhelming desire to spend his entire week’s paycheque at the Candy Coliseum and Mike n’ Ike himself into oblivion.

Each day that Earl packs a box and puts it in the moving truck while i’m on the treadmill or riding my bike, i will put a sticker on my calendar. These sullen days of occupation are numbered. Goodbye, Earl. And don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.