Friday, May 23, 2008

The Fat Tax

Since there's nothing else going on my world, really, I'd like to take this moment to complain. Being fat is expensive, being super-fat is really, really expensive, and losing weight is expensive.

Being just kind of fat is not nearly as expensive as it used to be... or as inconvenient. When I was a chubby kid, there were no clothes options, really... and I wasn't that chubby, really. Now it's far, far easier to get plus-size clothes that actually look good (and, by the way, a great blog about plus-sized clothes is The Pretty Pear), at least in a certain range. And they're cheaper than they once were, although there are still so many companies that charge extra for a women's size. I don't for a second believe that you have to buy, say, another yard of fabric when you go from an XL to a 1X, sizes that are virtually the same in most cuts. But we pay it, don't we? Because there's little other choice when you get right down to it.

It's far worse when you're super obese. Everything becomes unbelievably expensive very fast, and the quality, a lot of the time, is atrocious. My best example: the lift chair that I bought before Michael moved here. Cost about $1800, and while it does in fact lift a lot of weight, it is probably the least comfortable chair that you could imagine. I'm more than willing to believe that there is more cost involved in putting in a better motor, etc., but does that mean that the chair itself has to be poorly constructed and terribly uncomfortably upholstered? We would never have bought this chair if there had been any other choice. (Also, never buy anything from a company called SpinLife. You will never, ever be able to get off their email list, no matter how many times you try.) Actually, Laz-Boy now makes what looks like a terrific chair with about the same weight capacity... about the same price, too, and I'm willing to bet that it's a considerably more comfortable chair.
If I were willing to spend another $1800... which, mostly, I'd just as soon skip.

And so, well, we all feel a little like we shouldn't complain, right? Mustn't grumble, after all, it's our fault that we gained the weight and all that... well, ok, but you want to lose weight, buy healthy food, and so on. Expect your (already-rising) food bill to increase rapidly, whether you're on a low fat or low carb diet. Whole foods are expensive, and the more that you care about what you put into your body, the more it's going to cost you (especially on a low carb diet, since you just eliminated the cheap staples like pasta and rice). Sure, there are ways of getting around that, ways of making things better... but they all cost time, and time is often just as expensive as the convenience cost of just paying whatever the supermarket asks.

Some days it's a little frustrating. And, really, I shouldn't complain; a lot of people are considerably worse off financially than we are, and financial options have a tendency to shrink with weight, too. But it's like an enormous pit, and that you have to spend every second trying to claw your way out.

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