15 Obese People Share The Things A Non-Obese Person Would Never Understand

We only have one body—the one we were born with. We only know what it’s like to live in that body. If we could “freaky Friday” with someone else and live in their shoes for a day, we’d be a lot more sympathetic to others than we are now. Until then, we can only rely on firsthand accounts from others.

For example, a skinny individual will never understand what it is like to be overweight. Recently, one netizen wanted to know about their experience, so they asked, “Obese people of Facebook, what is something non-obese people don’t or can’t understand?”

The thread immediately gained popularity, with over 13,000 people joining to explain what they believe is unique to their experience.

To go deeper into the topic of body inclusion, Bored Panda contacted Sarah Herstich, a registered therapist and professional worker.

She was questioned about the benefits of the body positivity movement and the myths that individuals may associate with it.

Herstich knows a lot about body image and eating issues because she works with them. Please read the interview with her below! Join our facebook fans to hear what they have to say


Obesity increases the risk of receiving inadequate medical treatment. Physicians will say “lose weight” instead of tests, diagnoses, or anything remotely resembling medical care.

Image credits: Accomplished_Trip_

Sarah Herstich, LCSW, tells Bored Panda that the body positivity movement is vital because it opposes anti-fat rhetoric and body discrimination.

“The body positivity movement has origins in black fat activism and the history of the oppression of bodies, particularly black fat bodies.”

She emphasizes that the movement is about destroying the current power structures. “[It] welcomes an intersectional perspective, probing the relationship between power and racism, gender, disability, sexuality, class, and age, as well as how these relate to oppression.

This is significant since the body positivity movement was founded on the idea of challenging systems that oppress, discriminate, and stigmatize bodies,” Herstich says.


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We realize we’re overweight. Like, trust me, I know. It’s tougher to lose than it is to gain. My body is screaming that it is hungry, despite the fact that I just ate. Even though I ate an hour ago, I still felt lightheaded and nauseated from not eating all day. I know many people believe that d***s like Ozempic and WeGovy are “cheating,” but WeGovy has actually altered everything. I can eat a healthy bit of food and yet feel satiated.


It’s especially harsh since it makes you even more likely to avoid walking or exercising, ensuring that you gain more weight.

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The licensed therapist also tells Bored Panda that the body positivity movement aims to combat oppressive structures.

“To be effective in supporting people to heal from mental health struggles, we have to look at how systems of oppression impact people each and every day, the intergenerational transmission of trauma from those systems, and how trauma responses are now impacting the day-to-day.”

Herstich underlines that the body positivity movement is about much more than simply embracing one’s physique.

“It’s a movement aimed at liberating all bodies while acknowledging that until all bodies are free from stigma and oppression, we are not truly body positive,” the certified therapist clarifies.


How much do you fear others taking photos of you because seeing yourself in a snapshot often wrecks your day?

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From a woman’s perspective, guys do not believe you can say no or reject them. There are many men out there who believe that because you are overweight, you are undoubtedly lonely and should be content with any male attention.

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Finding clothes that fit, and worrying about whether the furniture would support you.

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As with any other popular movement, there are certain misconceptions about body positivity. One of them is that the movement encourages harmful behavior and eating problems. Herstich claims that it is precisely the reverse.

“It supports people in acknowledging when their fear of fat originated, how that has made their body feel unsafe to live in, how they have internalized that as truth, and to build a new relationship with their bodies—coming home to themselves and treating their body in ways that are health-promoting and respectful.”


It’s really easy to gain weight over time. You start sedentary work, nibble on occasion, and instead of going out in the evening, you watch TV or read a book.  So you are three pounds heavier than you were at this time last year. It’s not a big thing, right?

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Now compound that by around fifteen years. Suddenly, it’s your fortieth birthday, and you’re fifty pounds heavier than you were in college. It’s not because you eat two boxes of Oreos every night; you’ve only gained a little each year.

Also? Losing weight is much more difficult when you are overweight. When I was 25 and believed I had gained a few pounds, I began running. Soon, I’ll be able to run two or three miles at a time, and hey!

The problem is solved! Now? I’m older and heavier, which makes me more prone to injury. So I try to work out, but my knees start hurting (again), or I exacerbate an old foot issue, which is upsetting.

There are workarounds, of course. I can swim and lift weights. However, everything is more difficult now than when I was younger.


For some of us, losing weight is really difficult. Some drugs can cause excessive hunger. Those of us who suffer from chronic sadness and anxiety frequently turn to food for consolation. We *know* it’s a bad decision, but right now, all we can think about is eating something delicious.

Having customers patronize us actually makes things worse, not better.

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Unless you’re a medical practitioner who specializes in weight loss, there’s probably nothing you can tell them about their weight that they haven’t previously heard of or are aware of.

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“Body positivity challenges normative and harmful beliefs in a hierarchy of bodies based on size, race, ability, identity, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status,” she states.

“Mainstream body positivity also supports people to recognize body diversity, exit harmful dieting cycles, and challenge what is healthy vs. unhealthy.”


The guilt that comes with being seen eating anything at all.

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If you’re spotted eating a salad, people will say, “Aww, good for you!” since the only reason an obese guy would eat a salad is to lose weight.

The existential dread that arises whenever you have a random discomfort in your chest or a stitch in your side and suspect that it is the result of a heart attack.

The reality is that you can go days or weeks without feeling horrible about your weight, but then one day it becomes all you can think about.

Summer sucks. It’s already too hot, but being obese makes it even worse. And then you start to worry that, despite your impeccable, if not excessive, hygiene, you’re developing the “fat guy smell.”


Because of the width of my a*s, I can only travel to certain areas comfortably.

Image credits: lyan-cat

I’d love to go to a concert, a movie, or on a plane, but it literally *hurts* to squish my buttocks into the seat, and I lose circulation in my legs when I can’t move. I would love to ride roller coasters or ferris wheels. I do not lack *desire*.

On top of that, using public restrooms is *extremely* uncomfortable. I prefer to use the handicapped stall, and I *despise* when I have to use the regular size stall. If I’m on my period, double that discomfort by 1,000.

I feel obligated to always be neat, smell well, and appear well-dressed in order to “make up” for the difficulty my presence causes.


How painful it is to be alive. I’m no longer obese. Last year, I weighed about 375 pounds and was considered obese. Living is painful. People would urge me to exercise, that I’d get runner’s high, and that it was simple. No. Life is a hardship at nearly 400 pounds. Everything is very hard. I now weigh roughly 210 pounds. Life is no longer painful; I still dislike exercise, but depending on the intensity, I get fatigued or exhausted, not ‘I want to [off] myself’ borderline damaged. Show your obese buddies some kindness.

Image credits: RaggamuffinTW8

According to Herstich, the goal of the body positivity movement is to allow people to feel safe and free in their own bodies.  “A culture that is inclusive, accepting and uplifting for all bodies, will ultimately be supportive of wellbeing, [physical] and mental health,” she says.

“If that existed, there would be no diet culture. As a society, we must continue to struggle to dismantle oppressive structures that affect and injure people who do not fit the slim white ideal.


The constant desire to physically correct oneself.

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I wear clothes that fit, but I’m always modifying my clothes, my body position, and so on in order to be comfortable and to cover up part of what’s going on. My slim buddies rarely modify their outfits and such.


If fat shaming succeeded, there would be no overweight people.

Image credits: spacemermaid3825

Also, yeah, I workout 3-5 days a week, I diet, and I do not eat junk food every day.


I’ve lost 180 pounds since having a gastric bypass 22 months ago.

While the physical changes are fantastic, the best part is that my mind can now focus on something other than my weight. I had no idea that thoughts about my weight and food were constantly running through my mind: “Can I park close enough to the supermarket door that I can get inside without stopping?” Or, “Will the café have some of the chairs left that I can fit in?” And so on, *all the time*. So much of that has vanished, and I wasn’t even conscious that it was blocking my thoughts until it was gone, like just recognizing that your radiators were making a noise when the furnace turned off at night and they went silent. I’m now at ease.

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