I have never been good at giving toasts. I am nervous so I wrote everything down. Hold on, where is it? Ah, this pocket. Okay...

To those who “fat shamed” me throughout my life,

Everyone has problems and issues in their lives. Mine were very evident. You could see by my waist and my large body that I overate. You could tell by the way I walked and the sweat from my face. You could tell by the way I was always out of breath and how hard it was to pick things off of the ground.

You all referenced me to large animals from the zoo and overweight television characters. You called me such inspirational things as “Fat F***” and “Enormous Tub Of Lard”. You laughed at me when I walked and you called me lazy and stupid. You did this in front of others who laughed as well. It is pretty easy to laugh at a fat person. I mean, I was larger than you so of course I deserved the insults. I must have, I was laughed at quite often.

I never held a grudge. I get it, I was fat. I was obese. Maybe you thought I deserved it. Granted, I had other issues in my life, but it is easy to pick out the most obvious one and exploit it. That is what you did and I hope it made you feel better about yourselves. I hope it gave you the self esteem you so needed.

I mean, you could eat and not get fat. Bravo.

Once I lost the weight many of you came back to congratulate me. Honestly I appreciated that. I was not mad. Many of you told me I was inspiring. That was nice as well.

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Many of you told me that you were happy that all of the insults motivated me to lose weight…

And that is where we have a disconnect.

Insults and fat shaming never helped me lose weight. Not at all. I did not lose weight because of insults or because of you. In fact, when I was younger they just put me in a darker place with more food.

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I never lost weight because of your so-called “tough love”. Beating me up and then ending it with “because I care” is invalid to me. It is a narcissistic way of putting someone down and bringing yourself up. The only person you cared about was yourself.

I never lost weight because you laughed at me or rejected me because of my weight. I did not lose weight to fit in or for your approval. I never lost weight because you thought I was stupid or because you thought I was lazy.

In fact, I never lost weight because of you.

You want to think I did. You want to think that your shi**y comments was my “wake up call”. You want to think that you making fun of my pictures or calling me a freak was my turning point. You want to think that I decided to better my life because you made it worse.

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Let me make this clear, it did not.

Fat shaming does not help people lose weight. At least not me. Telling me I was fat is like telling the sky it is blue. You did not tell me something that I didn’t see and feel every single day. You just enhanced it. You tried to bully me by saying the names will stop if I lose weight.

You would have found a way to make fun of me anyway. I had messed up hair and I had old shoes. I never had stylish clothing. Yet you found the one obvious flaw. My weight.

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It hurt as a kid. I became numb to it as an adult.

I struggled with my weight. I got up to 420 pounds. I heard the comments. I heard the laughter.

And I lost over 200 pounds. After that you wanted to think you had a part of my weight loss because of your fat shaming comments.

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So please raise you glasses. A toast to all of those people who fat shamed me. And if you thought I lost weight because of you...

I did not. I lost weight because of my wife and my health.

Not because of your comments that you could have kept to yourself.

Regards

Tony Posnanski