FAT JOKES

Breaking news - the guys at BadChristian have decided that based on listener feedback, there will no longer be any jokes made regarding obesity, overeating, or Joey's huge (literally) problem controlling his weight. We don't want to offend anyone, and especially not Christians. We apologize for any hurt that's been caused from all the jokes up until now.

Wait, you didn't believe any of that, right? Keep reading to see why Toby thinks we should all just lighten up. Pun intended.

I’m trying to get into shape… in my mind.

I really enjoy reading and listening to podcasts about healthy eating and exercising (check outFat Burning Man Podcast, it’s so interesting), but, and it’s my big but(t), I have a hard time implementing all the cool things I’m learning about living a healthy lifestyle.  My fat journey started when my entire family instilled in me the thought of a Victory Plate.  That meant you ate all the food on your plate. You always had to have a Victory Plate no matter how full you were.  I actually still feel guilty if I don’t finish all my food at a restaurant.  That is so bullshit.

It’s funny because on the podcast I always make fun of Joey for being fat, but I am actually at least twenty to twenty-five pounds heavier than my good friend.  But he is ugly.  I can lose the weight, but he’ll still be ugly.  Damn it!  There I go again.  Sorry J-dog.

Anyway, I told Joey a while back on a podcast  that having always been fat, the fat kid, the fat teen, the fat adult, that I’m not hurt anymore by fat jokes, or people making jokes about weight at my expense. Joey disagreed.  It’s got me wondering.

Having always been a bigger guy, my highest weight was 280lbs my freshman year of college, I got used to people making fun of my weight.  I learned to be fairly quick with the comebacks, so I defended myself pretty well, and eventually moved to self-deprecating humor.  I basically made fun of myself before others could get to it.  It worked.  Folks seemed to like me and I made them laugh a lot.  But the truth was I was very insecure underneath all that humor and, well, fat.

When we started Emery and moved to Seattle, Chopper, our bass player, and I decided to try this popular diet called the Atkins Diet.  People talk shit about it to this day, but I lost forty-five pounds in 6 weeks.  I was the thinnest I had been since 9th grade, a solid 205lbs. I felt great.  I mean I looked in the mirror and didn’t feel animosity at the dude looking back at me.  But something funny kind of happened.

I became more guarded and less funny. Boring.

It was strange, but after the weight loss and lack of needing to defend my weight, I didn’t have the same energy or zest for using my humor to get attention.  I had an easier way to get noticed.  I was in good shape and I was in a successful band.  Now I was more focused on keeping my new “cooler” look than getting people to like me with my humor.  Matt said that there were three or four years where I was less funny to him.  Screw that guy.  But he probably was right.  I had become a different person in this new body.  Now I had to figure out who I was.

It took a while.  The humor came back and I was able to be my old self again. But it was funny to think that all that fat was more than just cells and skin rolls.  It was me.

My wife never even knew me at my heaviest, but I know she would have married me anyway.  She’s got a beautiful heart, and was also a huge part in helping me figure out how to handle my life in this world regardless of what I weighed.

Alright, enough of the mushy stuff.  If I struggled with weight, what’s with the ‘Joey is fat’ jokes? Shouldn’t I know better?  Why do Matt and I make fun of Joey’s weight?

It all started innocently enough when we were just looking for a way to end the podcast in the early stages and I stumbled across some ‘Yo Mama’ jokes.  I just inserted Joey’s name in the jokes and we all laughed.  That was it.  But now, over a million downloads later, Joey is large and in charge!  It was just a joke that didn’t matter because Joey is not fat.  But I am.

If I’m being honest, I can see a little of my own sensitivity under the surface of these jokes.  Maybe a little of me makes fun of Joey’s weight to take the focus off my own?  But if that’s true, I don’t know if that’s really bad.  By not taking myself so seriously I could get some freedom in return.  If the jokes are about me and I can laugh, then that means I own it rather than it owning me.  The spare tire around the waist isn’t nearly as troubling as allowing that weight to become our identity.  I’m not my fat.

Now this may be getting a little too deep, and I mean Joey is so fat he gave Dracula diabetes, but I want to know who I am and why I do the things I do.  Fat jokes can be a touchy subject for folks, but as always here at BadChristian, we have no intention of aligning ourselves with overly sensitive culture that only protects and doesn’t allow us to make fun of ourselves, especially Christian culture.  In the church, being overweight is rarely talked about.  Many pastors struggle with weight and so the subject gets thrown to the side in favor of bigger sins (bigger sins, get it!).  It’s way easier for Christians to talk about or make fun of things likehomosexuality, evil politicians, or scientists presenting facts on global warming than it is to talk about overeating and obesity.  Why?  It’s kind of a good thing to make fun of weaknesses and make light of things we hold onto in the dark. Making light of something dark; that sounds like Jesus.

These jokes don’t really affect Joey at all, but maybe they do affect me. Man, all this self-analyzing is making me hungry!  Waffle House anyone?

As a disclaimer, I also know for a fact some folks do not like us making fat jokes at Joey’s expense.  They have heard these jokes pointed at them for most of their lives, and when they hear one of these jokes on a podcast or blog post, it feels like it’s about them.  That does make me pause.  But we want to be clear that BadChristian makes fun of everyone on Earth, and we don’t think a certain group gets a pass just because they don’t like it or it’s not spoken of.  I tell the jokes to be funny, but I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  And at the same time, if it does rub you the wrong way, then that means it has a hold of you and you might not have a hold of it.

I hope everyone knows that I am one of them.  I want us all to joke and laugh together, and be honest and real. We don’t want to shame anyone. We want everyone to have freedom, and to realize they are on a journey. We aren’t going to stop cracking on Joey, but I want you to know that our jokes are not a commentary on how you should act, but just three friends cutting up and figuring out life.

With that being said, we would love to hear about your fat journey.  It would be great to read your stories, and maybe we could even share some with other bad Christians who would love to know what it’s like and that they aren’t the only ones.  So write us.  Give us the dirty details of where you have been and where you’re going.  Being big is a big sin, right BadChristians?

Love you fools.