“What do you think now when you see an overweight person? Do you feel sorry for them? Do you try to help……”

Dear Maura,

I have written to you a few times. I have written to your magazine a few times as well.

Your post three years ago “Should Fatties Get A Room (Even On TV)?” opened my eyes a little more. I have never gotten a response from you. I never will. In fact, I do not want one, I just want you to read mine.

To this day, it made no sense. A fashion magazine has a dating “expert” working for them. You write about dating. You have a book out about relationships. Yet, for some reason on a day in October, you decided to review a television show. The show is about overweight people. While reviewing the show however, your post took this weird turn towards the “hatred of overweight people”. How “fat” people are disgusting. Rolls and rolls. Well, not the plump people, but the REEEEALLLYYYY REALLLYYY fat ones. Yeah, much better.

I wrote to you because I was confused. The post was ridiculous in my eyes. Everything about it. The way you looked at overweight people. The way you tried to give your “easy advice” to lose weight. It just did not make any sense to me. Many people feel the same way you do. Trust me, I know. I have known that for a long time. That is why I try to give my point of view, especially since I struggle with weight.

In your apology at the end, you talked about how you battled anorexia. I know what it is like to have an eating disorder. But just because I have one does not give me the right to devalue others.

Someone who has an eating disorder is disgusted with others who have an eating disorder.

And your apology or lack there of is where I begin.

This is where I changed. This is where I realized the world is full of imperfect perfectionists.

They are everywhere. The 260 pound man who tells his wife she need to lose weight. The “used to be 120 pound” woman who snaps pictures of women wearing clothes too tight at Wal-Mart. The person who loses weight and wonders why you can not as well. The person who can not keep a marriage yet tells you relationship advice.

Imperfect perfectionists have always brought me down. When I would lose five pounds, they would say I needed to lose more. Not a “Great Job” or a “Wow!”.

Imperfect perfectionists would tell me I needed to work out more. They never went to the gym, yet they knew that I had to go.

Yet, what about their lives? Maybe these people should worry about the person in the mirror.

I get letters from women who their husbands do not support their weight loss journey. What does the husband expect when the woman loses weight. Will she still be with him? Should she find someone who will support her new lifestyle?

It is great to get a compliment, but it is much more important to get the help and support beforehand. Not the insult of feeling disgusting.

I will never be like you Maura. Not because of your “fat shaming”, but your lack of compassion. If you want to help, do not come up with an “easy” diet plan. Love the people around you.

A common theme in my posts is that I will always struggle. When people see me, they do not know the fact I was over 400 pounds. They do not know I know what it was like being teased and humiliated. I shop for clothes in the normal section now. I can see my penis now. I can wipe myself in the bathroom now.

Yet, I am far from normal.

I am obese at heart. It sounds weird, but I have spent most of my life that way. I still work out hard. I really focus on what I eat. Yet, I will always understand how hard being overweight is. How uncomfortable it was for me to be in a room with other people. How shamed I was that I could not give my wife a hug. People stared, but I will not.

So what do I think when I see an overweight person?

You tell me.

What should I think when I see Stephen over 350 pounds. Should I not be inspired by his dramatic 270 pound loss, or should I judge?

How about Jen? Should I not be inspired by her 100 pound loss and story?

I do not know what skinny means. I never have. I have no desire to be skinny. Honestly, skinny is not beautiful. Neither is fat. Those are crappy words to describe people. People are beautiful.

I will tell you one thing though. When I look at myself, I see someone who never believed in himself. Every day, I feel like I am getting better and better. As a person, as a dad, as a husband and a writer.

I have written to you for the last three years. I have written Marie Claire as well. No response. I made a video three years ago.

I have a feeling that this year….you might see my response.


And I think people need to worry about themselves before they worry about people they do not know.


Tony Posnanski

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