There are five cats in my house all the time, and one semi-feral cat which comes inside a couple times a day and then goes back out. The feral is small and sinewy, which she has been the whole time I’ve known her. One is a fluffy black male who has always been small. He only weighs nine pounds. The other is puffy, black, average weight female with a tail that looks like a club.
I have two brothers, one of whom is a chunky gray tabby, and one of which is a chunky gray and white long hair who looks like a badger when he lies on his stomach. The last is a tubby calico who looks like a beach ball.
The calico is not at the food dish more often than the others, nor is she less active. I finally found a vet who didn’t fat shame or give us the pearl-clutching “vague future health threat.” As a fat person bringing in a fat pet, I was often eyed with suspicion as if both my cat and I must be gorging ourselves daily.
The net effect of fat shaming, for pets or for people, is that people tend not to get care for themselves or their pets unless it becomes an emergency. This is a trend that can’t stop soon enough.
This second bit is a response to a fellow commenter who mentioned that increased cortisol levels can increase glucose levels.
There are studies showing that stress causes elevated cortisol levels, which do lead to weight gain. I hadn’t heard that elevated cortisol levels lead to elevated glucose levels. It doesn’t surprise me, though. All this stuff works in conjunction.
I’ve worked night shift for a good portion of my working life, this time since 2004. I went from about 180 pounds to over 300 during this time period without eating more. (In fact I probably ate more when I was at the lesser weight. I worked in Italian restaurant!)
Until a few years ago when I discovered this blog, I shamed and berated myself, yo yo dieted, and didn’t exercise because it didn’t lead to weight loss.
Since discovering this blog and Ragen’s blog, I’ve been able to stop belittling myself and calling myself names. I stopped dieting, and my weight stabilized. I started exercising again and have stuck with it ever since because success isn’t based on whether or not I lose weight.
I did lose about 25 pounds in the first few months that I was exercising. However, the doctor also put me on Armour thyroid (dessicated thyroid, not suitable for vegetarians/vegans because it is made from pig thyroid). So I can’t really say how much of the weight loss was due to increased thyroid levels and how much was due to exercise. I had to fight with myself to keep this simply an observation and not go back into the “ooh, I’m losing weight! Soon I’ll be slim and people will love me!” thinking.