And Now I Am Deathfat…

meowser-48.jpg posted by meowser

It’s official. A couple of weeks ago, I went in for my yearly ladybits exam that I have to have for the insurance company to keep paying for my generic Mircette, and I got weighed and measured. I don’t weigh myself at home, so at this point I kind of regard it as an interesting novelty more than anything else. (It does help immensely that I don’t have fat-shaming doctors. You have no idea how grateful I am for that.)

I’ve had a Remeron-fueled 15-pound gain in the last year (although I suspect most of that was in the first six months, going by clothing fit and body measurements), after the Remeron-fueled gain of 25 from the seven months prior to that, and now I am officially DEATHFATZ, BMI > 40. Better get that voodoo coffin ready, folks, because I’m a-fixin’ to die any second. Well, except not. A-fixin’ to die any second is what would have happened to me had I not taken the Remeron.

Gives me a built-in argument for the MY INSURANCE BLAAARGH crowd, it does. It’s very likely I would never have become “obese,” let alone DEATHFATZ (though probably, thanks to PCOS, would not have been “ideally” thin) if I’d never seen a doctor in my life. Prolly wouldn’t be typing this, or moving my fingers at all, or, for that matter, taking air into my lungs, either, but since even the MY INSURANCE BLAAARGH folks (mostly) aren’t impolitic enough (yet) to insist I should have had the good grace to die and leave a size-12 corpse while the cacking was good, what else can they say? Zoloft catapulted me into “obese,” Effexor kept me there, and now Remeron has pushed me into MONSTERBEAST range, I am coming to eat your children, hahaaaa!

And here’s what the MY INSURANCE BLAAARGH people are really, really going to hate: I’ve never felt better in my life. I haven’t had a recurrence of the killer hip-flexor problem that bedeviled me after I lost weight (while I was off meds), my internal bits are in no worse shape than they ever were, and my mental health? Off the charts better. I honestly thought that when Pendo died, I would take to my bed for a month and cease to be able to function at all, I’d lose my job and wind up in the hospital and everything. But no. Obviously it was upsetting, and I cried a lot, but I only needed one full day off to deal with it. It was a miracle.

See this fat ass? These jiggly thighs? These squishy forearms? What you are looking at is REMISSION, baby. The thing I’ve been waiting for for 35 frigging years, ever since I perched on the side of my bed with my Girl Scout knife when I was 11 and felt universally loathed, and wondered how one went about slashing her wrists. Maybe I’ll go off the Remeron one day (my psychiatrist thinks one day I won’t need it anymore), but I’m sure as hell not doing it because people think I’ve been whomped with the ugly stick. I’ll do it when it’s time to do it, thanks.

And last week something happened to remind me that I should never, ever take this remission for granted. A former friend of mine, who blew me off years ago and wouldn’t tell me why (I assumed it was because I embarrassed her — this was all pre-aspie diagnosis) jumped off a bridge. She was one year younger than me, and was in such a fragile state of mental health that all it took was one questionable mammogram, and boom. (I got this information from my ex-husband, who got it from her ex-husband, who was one of X’s best friends.) For years, I envied her because her (then) husband made enough money that she didn’t “have to” work, she just seemed really contented and together, and knew exactly how to live, and was doing exactly what she wanted to do with her life. It might have seemed like “nothing” to a lot of people, but knowing what I knew — that most jobs sucked, and that if you could weasel out of doing one of the many, many sucky jobs in this world, more power to you — she seemed far above me, in so many ways.

Except not.

Apparently, after she and her husband split, she went downhill in a hurry. She’d told me once that if there ever was a divorce for her, she’d make a living organizing and cleaning houses, and I believed her. I knew — I just knew — that the reason she wouldn’t talk to me, even after I reached out to her after hearing about her separation, was that I wasn’t good enough. Wasn’t important enough. Wasn’t socially adept enough. It was all about my deficiencies. Of course it was. That was how I had always thought: Everyone else is fine, even if they’re jerks, because they’re jerks in a way that’s perfectly sanctioned. I’m the one who’s wrong, wrong, wrongity wrong. I once half-joked to X, “I’ll hear from her as soon as I get a book published. Then she’ll want to talk to me.” But I really wasn’t kidding. I really thought that was why.

I forgot. Other people are better at hiding their mental health issues than I am. By orders of magnitude. And you know what? The fact that I suck at hiding how I feel is actually what saved my ass, until I could attain the sweet relief of remission. I knew I was going to die if I didn’t contract with multiple people not to jump off the bridge, or do anything equally deadly, until I could stop feeling that way. And I came close anyway, but I honestly think that’s why I didn’t do it.

I have to wonder: How many people who could be helped by medication don’t take it (or stop taking it even if it works for them) because they are terrified of getting (or staying) fat? (And yes, I know there are people for whom meds don’t work or actually exacerbate their problems, or who have made an informed choice to deal with their mental health issues without chemicals, and I respect that, too. I’m talking about those of us for whom the drugs actually do work.) I know my ex-friend was distressed by her own Zoloft-related weight gain. I don’t know if she stopped the drug because of that, but it wouldn’t surprise me, knowing what I know about her. I couldn’t quite get it through to her that, having experienced everything that I had, I knew there were much worse things in this world than being fat. Even DEATHFATZ. And thinking you should be dead is definitely one of them.

It’s kind of incredible that this still needs to be said, but it does, and that’s why anyone who dares tell me that my weight makes me ipso facto self-destructive, is going to get an earful xe will never forget. I know what self-destructive really is; that very well could have been me jumping off that bridge, and I owe fat acceptance big time for the fact that it wasn’t.


23 Responses to “And Now I Am Deathfat…”

  1. living400lbs Says:


    People also forget that depression alone can cause weight gain. (Or loss, but that is often welcomed. Sigh.)

  2. Ellen Brand Says:

    As a fellow Aspie, former victim of clinical depression, and a member of the obese, (though not DEATFATZ!) I say word. I was on Paxil and Wellbutrin for … er, ten years? I’d take fat over suicidal depression any day. In my case, at some point, my brain chemistry apparently said “Eh, bored now” and flipped back to non-depressed. I’m glad I’m off the meds. But I’d go back on them in a HEARTBEAT.

  3. Mina Says:

    “See this fat ass? These jiggly thighs? These squishy forearms? What you are looking at is REMISSION, baby.”

    After nearly 13 years – literally half my life – of taking medications to manage my bipolar, I cannot tell you how much this line means to me.

    I spent around 4 years on Seroquel, which not only causes massive weight gain but can also cause diabetes and high cholesterol. But it made me WELL. And although I’m not on it anymore, the weight I put on while I was is not coming off.

    And that’s okay. Because I, like you, no longer have to struggle with the debilitating symptoms of depression.

  4. Lori Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. It’s so easy to assume that when somebody isn’t being a good friend, it’s because of something we’re doing rather than because of something they’re going through.

    I think part of the reason I don’t mind being fat is that the 15-20 pounds heavier I am on Zoloft is nothing compared to how much better I feel. Zoloft has been a miracle drug for me, and lets me go from having multiple, severe panic attacks every single day, to the point where it is debilitating and I can barely function, to having a manageable level of anxiety. I cannot even imagine trading being thin for being a productive, happy, and relatively sane person.

  5. Trabb's Boy Says:

    Wow, what a post. Part of my fat is definitely due to depression and depression treatment, and I have also heard people decide to go off meds because of the weight gain. That used to be a sign to me of how serious a person’s depression was — who could object to a bit of jiggle in comparison? But that’s nonsense, of course. People are hit by social expectations in different ways. This is yet another reason this war on fat is so cruel and wrong.

    About your friend, you are so insightful. I was definitely someone who blew off everybody. I needed friends like anything but I saw rejection or potential rejection so vividly that I preferred to be alone. I’m so sorry for her.

    And as for the official deathfatz rating, wear it proudly! And if you’re coming after my kids, go for the boy first. My daughter’s taller, but there’s less meat on her.

  6. Vixen Says:

    “See this fat ass? These jiggly thighs? These squishy forearms? What you are looking at is REMISSION, baby. The thing I’ve been waiting for for 35 frigging years, ever since I perched on the side of my bed with my Girl Scout knife when I was 11 and felt universally loathed, and wondered how one went about slashing her wrists.”


  7. Patsy Nevins Says:

    Congratulations on being deathfat & so much stronger & healthier! Live your life to the fullest, take up all the space you need to, & tell ALL the jackasses, including those who are so ‘concerned’ for your health &/or worried about their insurance premiums where to go & how to get there! I am not on psychotropic drugs, but I have dealt with a lifetime of emotional/psychological issues, a history of abuse, etc., & if my fat is in any tiny PART a portion of my ability to cope & survive & even (most of the time, thrive), aside from being a very definite genetic legacy, then may all the goddesses & guardian angels bless it! We all need to take good care of ourselves & accept & appreciate the help we need where we can get it & I have just been fortunate enough to find my own coping mechanisms &, when I need it most, my own support network over the years. For you & everyone else who needs the help of medication, I applaud your wisdom & courage in seeking the help you need & in accepting, even celebrating, the weight gain which came with it.

    I hope that you will continue to live & thrive in your deathfat body for another 50 years.

  8. JeanC Says:

    I’ve been Deathfat for quite a while now, much to the disconcertion of my doctors who keep wanting me to be a hypertensive diabetic with cholesterol thru the roof. So much so my previous doc was delighted to prescribe me Prozac (I’d been diagnosed mildly depressed) because it had the side effect of weight loss. Surprise to her, not only did I not lose a single pound, I still had low cholesterol, low blood pressure and no sign of diabetes (when she called with my blood results and sounded so disappointed my sugars were low normal, I decided I had to find a new doctor).

    I need to design some t-shirts with Deathfatz on them. Have to think of some good slogans and designs 😀

  9. Tiian Says:

    Deathfatz indeed, me too! I’m exactly at DEATHFATZ 40, I got here without the help of medication but probably with the aid of my PCOS. I’m now looking for a doctor with no fat-shaming on the agenda.

    Cheers to our deathfat bodies for at least another 60 years!

  10. Deanna Says:

    I’m so sorry about your friend. It’s amazing how well someone who suffers deeply can hide it from others. People who know me, but haven’t been around long enough to really know me and my history, are usually shocked when I tell them about the 30+ years I’ve suffered from severe anxiety and depression (most recently diagnosed as having bipolar ii). I’ve become quite adept at putting on the happy, contented face when I’m at work, etc., while inside I might be panicking or so fatigued and down I’m certain I won’t be able to make it through the day.

    I too am officially in the “deathfatz” club. I don’t know how much my anti-depressants and mood stabilizers have contributed to my weight gain, but I’ve been on a ton of different meds, so there’s no telling for sure. All I know is, that like you, I’m currently doing pretty well, thanks to these drugs. If they’ve made me fat in the process, I’m more than willing to accept that. I’m alive, damn it…and there were many times I wasn’t sure that was what I wanted to be.

  11. wellroundedtype2 Says:

    I’m really glad to have however much there is of you to hug, to talk to, to read, to be friends with. Much better to have you at any size than to not have you at all. And, my friend, you are stylish and lovely and funny and fun to be with. And an excellent tour guide and chooser of restaurants.

  12. meowser Says:


  13. BB Allen Says:

    I’ve been on anti-depressants (on and off – mainly on) for the last 16 years and they have, beyond doubt, saved my life many times over.

    I would rather be fat than dead, and I’d rather be sane than skinny.

    If society want to shame us into thinking otherwise, then society is more insane than I have ever been.


  14. the fat nutritionist Says:

    Woohoo! Welcome to Deathfat Camp! Shall we bake two whole cakes in celebration?

    Totally startling shift of gears: I’m really sorry to hear about your friend. Suicide is so shocking, so horrible. But I’m also glad that you’re not in the place.

  15. La Says:

    This is an AWESOME article. Thanks so much for sharing it.

    I find it to be so ridiculously frustrating to have a doctor that wants you to lose weight while you are diagnosed with PCOS, insulin resistance, taking effexor and dealing with trying to get over a double knee replacement. What the hell is wrong with these people?

    I am striving to be accepting of myself and to eat intuitively. I’m not there yet and it may take years. But, what the hell, if I don’t croak from my fatness, I’ve got the time!!!

  16. Theresa Says:

    A lot of people have feelings of self loathing, even “well-adjusted” people, but the tone of your post re-enforces the progress you’ve made. I love and accept you and I’m glad you publish this blog.

  17. Patsy Nevins Says:

    JC, please let us know when you come up with a ‘deathfatz” design. I may not be an official member of the club, but I would be proud to fly the flag.

  18. JeanC Says:

    I’ve got a couple simple ones using DeathFatZ up now:

    I need to look for more fonts, I don’t have the one I want to use (something along the line of a Death Metal font). Still need to put what I do have on other items (bumperstickers, etc).

  19. meowser Says:

    Great stuff, JeanC!

  20. JeanC Says:

    Thanks 🙂 Now that I have my computer at home running better (hard drive was dying) I hope to get more designs done and posted in the next few weeks. I was afraid of doing anything for fear it would puke and take everything with it 😦

  21. Better Happy Than…Uh, Happy? « fat fu Says:

    […] And Now I Am Deathfat… […]

  22. Catgal Says:

    What a great post. I am also DeathfatZ. Funny thing is that when I first started dating my husband I was on the fat side of “normal”, and suffering horribly from depression, and social anxiety. He was the one who got me into therapy and on the long road of finding what works for me medication wise. I never really considered that the meds could have pushed me into DeathfatZ. I thought weight gain as a side affect meant like you gain some weight and then stop. Anyway, my husband always says that he will take me fat and functional over not so fat and “broken”. I am in one piece because of my meds.

  23. Shannon Says:

    I am so glad I googled deathfat. Amazed at your honesty and thankful too. You commenters are cool too. My doctor is also surprised I’m fat and fit in terms of blood pressure and insulin levels. Keep blogging we need you (we being me and this person I ate lol)

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