Do heavy guys have it easier than the girls? Is it more difficult to be a fat woman? I'd say yes, but I'm changing my mind.

Describing me as anything but "skinny" will make me mad (never mind the truth). You're better off remaining silent on the subject. Don't even try words like curvy, womanly, hour-glass, Ruben-esque, or even athletic. Think I'm wrong? Ask the guys - if those words appeared in a dating ad, how would they translate it? Uh huh ... chunky.

Men get one, vague description: "big" - as in "that Billy Bob, he's a big ol' boy." We used to have stout, portly, rotund or corpulent, but those went the way of Bowler hats.

A man being "big" could mean anything. Say it about a woman (that LuLu is a big ol' girl) and there is no dodging the meaning. LuLu is fat.

The injustice of it all.

I believed being a fat woman was a million times worse than being a fat guy, until I started training guys. Men struggle and are just as sensitive about weight. It just comes out differently.

Women have "plus sizes" and the men have "big and tall." I thought "big and tall" sounded pretty good. Plus means "more."

Men can hide behind "tall." One of my guy clients rolled his eyes. "Look at me - I'm 5 feet 5 inches. Everyone knows I'm not there ‘cause I'm tall.'"

He had a point.

Women have a W attached to our larger sizes. I hated the W. I tried to believe it meant "woman's," but the devil in my brain whispered "wide." I wanted the men's simple X. But they hate their letter as much as we hate ours.

Women have demonic, compression undergarments ,and zippered-torsos so snug we can barely breathe. Guys have unforgiving belts, suit jackets, and jeans sans the spandex (we've got that one on them). Guys also wear their waist-size for the world to see on the back of their jeans. No woman would put up with that.

To get the scale to move, men have to work just as hard. They skip extra snacks and walk extra miles just like us.

I suspect it's harder for men to start working out. Women aren't that embarrassed when we can't do a push-up. Men are. Pull-ups? We chuckle when we try. Men cram their disappointment.

My biggest surprise was their joy at slimming down. I've seen men beam when they lose another pound. I've also seen them get upset when they don't. They ride the same emotional roller coaster we do.

So mark your calendars - the year and day. I changed my opinion. I've developed more sympathy for the guys. Billy Bob doesn't like being called "a big guy" anymore than I like being described as "shapely."

NSCA certified personal trainer Shannon Sorrels has a bachelor's degree in chemistry and an MBA. Her Ahwatukee-based company, Physix LLC, works with Valley individuals and groups to improve their overall fitness. Reach her at (480) 528-5660 or visit

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