A Hull comedian said the thought of taking off his clothes in public was like “throwing a lamb into the lion’s den”.
Jed Salisbury, 29, from Orchard Park, has appeared on the BBC Two two-part series, Who Are You Calling Fat?
The series, which was filmed earlier this year, saw nine people who are overweight move into a shared house for ten days to discuss obesity and attitudes towards it, as well as lifestyle, eating habits, ‘self love’ and genetics.
Jed, a comedian who tours across the country, has been known to use material about his weight in his stand-up routines.
In the first episode, which aired on Monday, October 28 on BBC Two, the group took to a city’s streets to strip off, put a blindfold on and allow strangers to draw hearts on them to show support.
Jed did not take part in the activity, but told an upset Babs that he was worrying about it and said: “It’s like throwing a lamb into the lion’s den”.
However, after watching some of the group take part, admitted he would like to.
He said: “What is weird is the amount of people that walk past that don’t care.
“It’s me and it’s in your head and there’s a part of me that says, ‘join them’ but I don’t think I can. Some days I feel like I should fight for the cause but others I just want to hide away from it all.”
The group also spoke about how they feel when they see GPs – with many of them saying they often felt shamed.
Jed said: “I could go in with a bullet wound and they would say, ‘It’s because you’re fat’ and if I said, ‘Why?’ They’d say, ‘If you were thin the bullet would miss you.'”
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Later, when discussing diabetes, he told the group that “the percentages are worse for us getting diabetes.”
Things got emotional for Jed later when speaking with a diabetic amputee. He said: “We talk about self-love and body positivity and self-care and I might be living my best life currently but am I giving myself enough self-care?.
“It makes me feel stupid I’m only just realising this and really dumb and I always see myself as a joker and as the fun one and now I’m upset and broken.”
The episode with Jed visiting the doctor for blood tests. He later broke the positive news to amputee Colin that he did not have diabetes. But he said it “might not be that way forever”.
In the second episode, which aired on Tuesday, October 29, the group were given the results of a survey asking the public’s attitude to people living with obesity.
They also enjoyed an exercise class led by a plus-sized dancer aimed at teaching self-love.
Jed told room-mate Jack: “I haven’t got diabetes and I’m going to love myself.”
The group helped the Hull comedian celebrate his birthday by watching him at a comedy gig.
During his set, Jed had the audience and his new housemates in stitches.
He said: “When I got here tonight I saw a guy wearing a T-shirt saying, ‘f*** you I’m fat’ I need one saying ‘Yes I’m fat sorry for the inconvenience.’
“I know what you guys are thinking that is a long slogan but if it will fit on anyone’s T-shirt…”
Later on in the episode, the group took a genetics test to see if they already had a pre-disposition for gaining weight and a risk copy for the obesity gene.
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Jed’s results showed that he is in around only four per cent of people with two copies of the obesity gene and a copy of the MC4 gene, which both play a role in size.
He reacted and said: “I like fatty foods and my body may not be telling me I have enough fat. I used to blame myself a lot but I have to accept there are other factors at play.”
Another member of the group said: “Science says everything is working against him. I just want him to love himself and become more body positive.”
Jed and the group also met with Baroness Walmsley, a Liberal Democrat who sits in the House of Lords and Labour MP Eleanor Smith, to talk about obesity being recognised as a disease across the country.
At the end of the episode, the contestants reflected on their journey, the time they spent together and what they learnt during their time in the house.
To mark the end of their stay, the group invited their friends and family over for a BBQ, including Jed’s mum.
At the end of the episode, Jed said: “I have learnt that people can be happy in all shapes and sizes, and people can be unhappy in all shapes and sizes.”
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