Lola Rolls
Advice on Life from a Former Sideshow Fat Lady

Afraid of Getting Fat

Posted By on Sunday, May 31st, 2020

Dear Lola,

I hardly ever leave the house, except to go to the grocery store. My only entertainment is ordering takeout and drinking wine with friends online. My eating is basically insane right now, and I’m gaining weight. I’ve never been fat in my whole life, but I can’t seem to stop myself from overeating.

If you were big enough to be a sideshow fat lady, maybe you could tell me how you got that way and I’ll just do the opposite. Hahaha.

Seriously though, can you help me get this food binge under control before it’s too late?

–Terrified of Getting Fat


Dear Terrified:

Hahaha, indeed. Who doesn’t love a good dig at fat people? They’re such easy targets after all.

Let me be the bigger person here though, which you’re free to understand in both the figurative and literal senses. (See that? I’m hilarious as well.)

Given the current circumstances in the world today, I can empathize with your feelings of anxiety and being out of control. Since we have no real way of knowing how and when this pandemic will end, we need to adjust to the new normal, rather than waiting for things to return to the way they were.

In short, you need to adapt your mindset to understand these extraordinary circumstances as everyday life, and that means establishing a routine where you manage stress and anxiety in healthy ways. Presumably, before the pandemic, you had other forms of entertainment and emotional regulation besides eating and drinking. Can you reengage with those activities, even if they won’t be exactly the same as before?

There’s a glut of information about classes, hobbies, and volunteer opportunities. Now is the time to sort through all of that and establish some combination of learning, enjoyment, and altruism that will give meaning and structure to your days.

You might also take this opportunity to reassess your negative attitude toward fat people. As you’ve recently learned, eating and weight can be complicated issues. Use that knowledge to be a better person.


Barbara Boehm Miller
Fiction Writer and Creator of the Character, Lola Rolls

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