Letters from Home

Confessions of a Fat Kid

Here’s a kickin’ “What is Eating You?” guest post

by M.A. Brotherton

I have an unhealthy relationship with food.

I do, it’s true. It’s a by-product of growing up in suburban United States with parents that were both fairly poor themselves in their youths. I never really had a chance to even learn what it really meant to eat properly.

When I was a kid, they didn’t really care about things like “health” in schools. I’d fathom that these days they still don’t, but they hide it a bit better. Combine a lack of education and role models with a serious chemical imbalance in my brain, and you pretty much have the perfect formula for a fat kid.

I don’t eat to satiate physical hunger.

That’s the problem really, isn’t it? I use a physical act, like say, eating an entire bucket of fried chicken, to try and fulfill an emotional need. That’s just not how the universe works, unfortunately, or I’d probably look a lot more like Kevin Sorbo. Instead, the best description of me probably involves the phrase, “furry potato.”

I’ve pretty much spent my entire life looking like one form of potato or another, so this particular phrase doesn’t bother me too much.

On the surface.

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know

There is a strange, dark joke played on the fat kids of the world.

Most of us are fat because we don’t eat properly and get enough exercise, but that’s the really funny part of it. We don’t eat properly because we either don’t know how or are far too addicted to the bad things. The things that make us feel both a little bit better and a little bit more ashamed of ourselves as we eat them.

We don’t exercise because, well, have YOU ever tried doing anything with an extra 200lbs of weight strapped to you? It’s not really a picnic.

Then of course, is the worst part. The world tells us that there is something wrong with us for not being the right size.  Plus, people who are the “right” size tell us we shouldn’t feel bad about our bodies because we’re “big, and beautiful.” They tell us that we have a damaged body image because of magazines and movies and things.

Here is the truth that only a Fat Kid knows, apparently:

You’re all stupid.

I don’t have a distorted body image. I’m fat. There are people out there that have a distorted body image. You should go help them. Fat Matt Blubberton isn’t one of them. He’s accepted that. He also knows that with a bit of work, he could be not fat anymore.

Here’s the thing. Give a person like me any excuse and we don’t ever do the work, because we don’t really want to.

Deep down inside, I’m a fat kid. On the inside I’m always going to be a fat kid.

It would be a lie to not be a fat kid on the outside too.

Besides, healthy food tastes like butt.

M.A. Brotherton


Matthew (M.A.) Brotherton is my soul brother on Twitter, keeping it real with the bad decisions and BBQ in Kansas City,  the town where we both live(d), but never met. His blog, MABrotherton.com is acerbic, fuzzy and warm (but not in the way you think), and full of 100% true doodles. 




6 thoughts on “Confessions of a Fat Kid

  1. I love this.

    But also would like to represent: I’m a fellow fatty who is an avid cyclist, runner, dancer, and yoga enthusiast, and I eat my veggies and lean meats and whole grains, too. Couldn’t fit a bucket of chicken if you paid me. So it goes with my family.

    I have solidarity with my fellow fat kids, but I also really have felt the sting of lifestyle being assumed! And this had lead me to eating disorders, at points, when reality doesn’t line up with society’s assumptions.

    Slower, but functioning, metabolisms; and bodies that come programmed to hold weight; exist. People say calories in/calories out, ignoring that fuel consumption rates and design specs can be very different from machine to( biological ) machine!

    1. By the way – I felt moved to comment because indeed, until they finally start studying fat people in longer-term studies, > 3 years, and pay more attention to the metabolism shifting data and its effects, and get a good handle on the metabolic signalling that makes us who we are – well, until then, I’m not convinced that we know why “most” fat folk are fat.

      The science pretty much only says that even with lifestyle/exercise “most” of us don’t get and stay skinny. But since the only time I could eat a whole bucket of chicken was in the bad old days when I starved myself, it’s hard to separate all the variables, like being super-hungry, which changes our behavior and metabolism.

      We can each really only know ourselves and our histories. And those are good enough!

  2. This rings familiar. I wasn’t a fat kid, but we ate processed dinners and Apple Jacks growing up, and despite being fairly conscientious as an adult, I still have a very unhealthy relationship with food, and have very little willpower. To counter this, I exercise obsessively, which isn’t the worst thing, but it does cause me to rationalize my less than stellar eating (and drinking) habits.

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