Stuff Fat People Do: The Out of Breath Cough

As a recovering  fat person I like to talk about things I do or have done as a fat person.  Wanna read more? Check out the stuff fat people do.

Have you ever been with a fat person while walking up a flight of stairs or after a brisk walk?  Did you try having a conversation with them? Did they cough? You might notice this one more often now.

Ok, here is the scenario. I have just walked up the stairs at my office.  Someone is there waiting on me (or they are walking up with me).  They ask me how things have been going.  I am out of breath.  Instead of just huffing and puffing, I use a couple of little coughs to hide the fact that I can’t breath and then answer and then cough a little more. I take a deep breath just before each small cough.  I think it effectively hides my gasping.  Whoever is with me is probably thinking, “Jeez, just exercise a little more why don’t you!”

This was the old me. The super obese me. This is not a fake scenario, rather it is something that used to happen to me on a daily basis. I would get winded walking up flight of stairs.  The cough was something that I used to hide the fact. I wonder if there are others out there who do the same thing.

This past weekend I was staying on the third floor at a small resort condo near Myrtle Beach.  There was an elevator at the far, far end of the building. The stairwell was much closer to my room. I never used the elevator that weekend and more times than not, I ran up the stairs. I. RAN. up. the. stairs. Sometimes I took two steps at a time.

It feels great not to have to use the out of breath cough anymore.

Have any of you folks done this or anything like it?


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14 comments to Stuff Fat People Do: The Out of Breath Cough

  • Molly Nitka
    Twitter: MollyMFNitka

    Yes, this same scenario actually made me realize I need to start losing weight and getting healthy. I would be winded walking up a flight of stairs to get to the other side of campus. I literally was heavily breathing and sometimes would start to sweat. Not cool.

  • Sadly, I am still at the point where I try to avoid the stairs at all cost. For instance, today I reported for jury duty (first time ever). After waiting in the jury lounge stuffed in a chair that I obviously didn’t fit, I was called to report to a judge’s courtroom with 35 other jurors. The law clerk lined us up in the hall and told us that the courtroom was up 1 flight of stairs and asked if anyone needed to use the elevator. Two older women stepped forward. I thought about how embarrassing it would be, but I did it anyway, I stepped forward and rode the elevator one floor. I hope to be in your shoes someday and run up the stairs rather than avoid them.

  • Wait … you can actually COUGH to HIDE your out-of-breathness? Darn, only to learn that NOW!

  • Not that you know me, or follow me, or care to……. But as of this morning, this 5’3″ chick just broke the 160# barrier!!!! That’s a 23.5 lb loss & I can remember up until very recently when it was difficult to pick something up off of the ground. Fat people do things that thin, HEALTHY people don’t have to do. (so far down from 182 in August & it feels great – your motivation helps!!!!! Especially with Dragon Ass)

  • TheFatBusiness
    Twitter: thefatbusiness

    Totally. Been there, done that. Last week was the first time I made it up a flight without panting, or hiding it with a cough. Win.

  • misszippy
    Twitter: misszippy1

    That’s really fantastic progress. I can’t relate, but I can be impressed!

  • Katie M.
    Twitter: dammitkatherine

    I recall doing the out of breath cough when I was younger and playing basketball in the local police league. I would run up and down the court coughing and hacking. The other parents must have thought I had TB or something!

  • Thanks – but it’s only through the motivation of folks like you…… On my resume, I describe myself as, “self-motivated”; unfortunately, the same did not hold true with my health. Well, it does now & I feel the rewards (& so do my size tens) YES!

  • Jodi @ Jodi, Fat or Not
    Twitter: Jodeexi

    hahaha I TOTALLY used to do this! One of my favorite things about losing 60 + pounds and getting in shape has been the ability to walk up stairs! I no longer am filled with dread when I see a big staircase. Such a relief!

  • Bob


    Firstly I like your description i.e. recovering fat person.

    I took great encouragement from your comments and may I
    say well done, or as we say here in Scotland ‘keep up the good work laddie’.
    I wish you well and I will add this site to my favourites.

    High regards


    ps I think my spelling may differ slightly from yours as we english and not us english, however I am syre you understand me

    Thanks again for your share

  • […] post over at The Business of Losing Weight, “Stuff Fat People Do: The Out of Breath Cough.” I’m ashamed to say I’ve done this. I also thought this charade worked. I guess […]

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