Astonishingly, we fatties can have all sorts of different personalities, just like people who are of an ideal (according to BMI figures) weight. Hard to believe, I know. These days it is even possible for fat people to find careers other than being a jolly butcher. Yes, now we can be fat cat bankers. Otherwise career choices are pretty limited.
And also moments when being fat can make you feel like you are really ill, but you aren't really. And these can be scary moments, not just for you but also for your loved ones.
In 2006, I'd been living in Kent for a couple of years. Everything was good, except that occasionally it felt a bit like I'd swallowed a grapefruit. It was a horrible feeling and no matter how much I tried to actually swallow the non-existent grapefruit, it never went away. I'd be sitting at work, gulping away, trying to shift that bloody grapefruit feeling and then, having indulged in a good quarter hour of aerophagia (that's swallowing air, fact fans) it would have to be released. Luckily this was not in one massive, disgusting belch but, unluckily, in a series of uncomfortable mini-belches. I am always a pleasure to be around. Why not spend some time in my company?
It became apparent that I was getting recurrent attacks of heartburn - reflux of gastric acid into my oesophagus. It was horrible and painful. Sometimes it kept me awake at night. It was a result of eating or drinking too much and then sitting in a hunched up position at a computer. Or more basically it was because I was fat and persisted in eating too much.
On one particularly fabulous day in 2005. Denise and I decided to go to the pictures. I know it was 2005 because that, according to IMDB is the year that 'Kinky Boots' was on general release.
If you aren't familar with the film, it is a light-hearted comedy drama about a struggling British shoe factory whose strait-laced owner teams up with a drag queen to save the business by making man-sized ladies shoes. it stars Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (from 12 Years a Slave). Critics acclaimed it as 'a formulaic Britcom'. I guess that means they loved it!
On the way to the cinema, we stopped for chips. We sat by the river and ate them. It was a lovely day!
And then I bent down to tie my shoe laces...
Ooops, something doesn't feel quite right...
Bloody heart burn feeling again. Right in the middle of my chest. Really bloody painful.
Denise asked if I was ok. I was sure it would pass, so we went over to the cinema on the other side of the river.
Once we'd bought the tickets, I had to sit down. Denise says I looked grey. I was sweating profusely. I felt really terrible. I don't think 'really terrible' quite cuts the mustard here, but I'm saving the sorts of words that convey how bad something can feel for later.
Denise was very worried about me. But I didn't want to spoil the film for her.
We should just go in, I was sure I'd feel better in a bit. I was sure that if I just sat down and watched the film (hunched up in a cramped cinema seat - most cinema seats are a bit cramped for us fatties) that I would forget about the horrible burning sensation.
But I was still sweating, but cold and clammy. Still in pain.
I really didn't want to spoil the film for Denise.
But honestly, for f***'s sake (I don't think any other word does this justice) how stupid am I? How much is she going to enjoy a light-hearted comedy when she's worried that I'm having a heart attack next to her?
I often feel like I am the biggest, dumbest idiot the world has ever known. I'm not always alone in this feeling. I genuinely didn't think it was anything other than really bad heart burn, but how much use is genuinely thinking when you don't know? And how much reassurance is that to somebody else.
I am a silly idiot.
I wasn't having a heart attack. The horrible feelings passed. And I think I quite enjoyed the film.
But I'm not really sure that Denise did.
For which I am sorry, and I love you xxxx