One reason I have been so comfortable being fat my whole adult life (and some of my childhood too) is that here in Wisconsin, I don’t stand out that much.
Wisconsin residents are famed for loving two things, cheese and liquor. There’s a Dairy Queen on every corner (including the corner right next to my residence). Our license plates proudly proclaim that we are “America’s Dairyland”, Leinenkugel and Miller brew up their finest here, amongst others. The community I live in used to boast a sign that grabbed the attention of all passing by – “Taxidermy & Cheese.” Now it’s just cheese, of course, being the more profitable of the two. Even Facebook recognizes Wisconsin’s love of fat-filled dairy products. One group I’ve been asked to join was titled “Wisconsin Cheese: Love it or Get the Hell Out.”
According to recent CDC statistics, 60.1% of Wisconsinites are overweight or obese. Our neighbors to the West, Minnesota, rolled in at 60.8 percent.
I’m not calling Wisconsin fat – trust me, you don’t wanna mess with these people. 😉 But what I will say is that it isn’t uncommon to meet an overweight or a severely obese person on the sidewalk or in the coffee shop. It kind of makes me proud of Wisconsin, that people who are overweight do not hide in shame in their homes – they live their life like everyone else.
I wasn’t hounded in high school about being overweight. In college I made the cheerleading squad at the same time girls who weighed less than half of me did. I dated the same socially-inept losers everyone else did. (Sorry guys.)
But now, I don’t want anything to hold me back as I try to go forward with my career. I don’t have the statistics, but some studies suggest that more attractive people get jobs easier, make better first impressions, are viewed more favorably by their boss, etc. I don’t want my weight to stop me from achieving all I want in life, and I’ve finally started to do something about it.