Even as we are born into families, compete to be accepted in school cliques, marry, join teams and clubs, live in neighborhoods, and compete socially, in some fundamental ways we remain alone. Fat people are generally more so. Each of the socializing forces above betrays innate prejudices against obesity that further isolate fat people.
In many cases, however, the judgments and biases of fat people themselves are more punishing than those they experience from others. Many fat people even isolate when confronted positively by friends, family or spouses to engage them personally or sexually and the loneliness becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If mental wellbeing is characterized by a synchronous vision of how we see ourselves with how others see us, compulsive eaters are especially at risk. Both body image distortion – “I’m too fat” or “I‘m not as big as I look,” – and self-imposed isolation are common among fat people, as is the belief that these feelings are unique to them and not experienced by others. This is one of the reasons why Overeaters Anonymous and group therapies are such effective entries to recovery.
Fat People is not a prescriptive or a diet book. It neither encourages nor endorses recovery theories. My only goal in writing the stories in Fat People is to have both those whose lives are defined by their weight and those who live with and love them have a better understanding of the commonality of fear, isolation, and prejudice with which compulsive eaters live.