Tales of a Fat Boy - 88'-96' - Part 1

Sweat is your fat crying!

I am hoping that I can put the keyboard to good use again with this little blog series.  I hope this post will help every body conscious person out there reading this, I will be covering this topic over 2 parts. This is something very close to my heart, you see I have always been the fat boy especially when I was younger. So to begin I was not born fat, I wasn't even a chubby baby, I was a happy reasonably sized little guy, unlike now, 6ft 5 and old writing stories about my childhood. There was a point of course as young boy where I started to put on weight, I seemed to get larger with every passing year. In fact there was a time every year I grew older,  I would weigh the same as my age, for example when I was 13 years old I weighed 13 stone so on and so forth.  I think it was around senior infants the teasing started, I had become the fat boy of the class. 

My nickname at the time was Earthquake at 6 years of age, it is mad I still remember that. Earthquake was a wrestler in the WWF and that was my nickname. Looking back at photos I don't see myself as being overly fat in those years but as I was getting older I was putting more and more weight on. You see I love my food and of course still do, I ate everything put in front of me with second helpings, always forever second helpings with extra slices of white bread to mop up the plate. I loved my parents food and there was nothing in this world I loved more than fried bread with bacon cooked in lard, heaven!  I was never the picky eater that was my brother we called him ham sandwich as that was all he ate. My first seminal moment as the fat boy was when I remember having an unfortunate accident in 1st class with a class mate of mine, we were both playing in the yard and I fell on his arm, simple stuff really but myself and tubby frame thought wrong. The next day he arrived in to school with his arm in a cast, yup the fat boy broke his arm. Not a great feeling knowing that, especially as I was teased so much because of it.

I wasn't without friends, I always had friends but I certainly wasn't with out other kids making fun of my size. It was a common part of my day, to be slagged and teased because I was bigger than most kids. I wasn't that tall yet, in fact I didn't get to the height I am now till much later in life ( 25 in fact ) which I will talk about in part 2. Everywhere I went I got the same old jokes about my weight even on holiday! I remember my parents took us to Pontins in Wales in 1990, it was great till some Northern English kid made me the butt of his jokes in the Fun World centre. I used to dread meeting him during our stay, he loved to have a pop at the fat boy, why not I was an easy target because I was very non confrontational, I would still be to a certain degree. I grew bigger and bigger with every passing year, it was always on my mind, Jesus a kid should not have to deal with that but so many do especially now more than ever. That though is how our society is, if you are anything other than normal you are outcast. I was known as the Burger King on our street when we moved there back in 1991, a nickname given to me by much older kids.. that stuck for a few years.  

I was starting to get to a point around the age of 10/11 where I as young as I was recognised I needed to lose a few pounds and my mum who was my biggest supporter tried every which way to help me. She would give me healthy lunches and breakfasts anything to shed some pounds. I also remember she signed me up to Aerobics.....Aerobics yes. My 10 year old self said I would do anything to get fit, supposedly it was only puppy fat after all I was always told.... yeah right tell that to the other kids I thought. I arrived one Saturday morning ready for aerobics, Jesus even to this day I shudder. It was a class full of very fit older women clad in lycra. We spoke to the leader about attending a class the following week. Needless to say I didn't come back, the embarrassment was too much for me. My mum wracked her brains as to what to do for me so I could lose weight, then she had an epiphany, BASKETBALL! There was a team down in Ard Scoil Rís gym that would play Saturdays, I thought count me in! The team's name? Burger King Limerick, you could not make it up! I loved basketball, I didn't lose weight but by the age of 11 I was 5ft 9, which was tall enough for my age in basketball and I was actually good at it. My mum even learned to drive so she could specifically take me to basketball. 

I was no Michael Jordan but I was alright , however I was still tubby. My friends all round me were starting to hang around with girls and I wanted to as well but the girls had no interest in the fat boy. I was not cool enough or good looking to even have any confidence. In 1996 I finished primary school, thinking back I loved primary school, my teacher in 5th and 6th class was a hero of mine, he still is to this day but I also knew everyone and the slagging had diminished. Secondary school beckoned however and becoming a teenager was no delight.

To be continued next week...

I actually felt inclined to write this today because I was watching a Youtube video about a guy called Charlie Sloth. He is a famous DJ on BBC Radio 1 Xtra, he goes by the moniker of " The best looking fat guy in the world". I thought I wish I had his confidence all them years ago.