"Fat girl!" The dickhead yelled at me from the window of a silver hatchback on Sunday evening.
I was hauling my fat self up a steep neighbourhood hill at the time. I'd geared myself up for conquering this hill for ages. It was my Everest and the climb was a mental slog as much as a physical one.
It was not aided by the barbed observation hollered from a vehicle that was, in an irony unappreciated by the yeller, also struggling to get up the hill.
He'd had his whole, slow hill ascent to think of something clever. That all his under-developed brain could string together in his moment of drive-by vitriol were two words closer to a clinical description than a comedic roast is an indictment on New Zealand's language education.
But I bet in that moment he felt as hilarious as all get out. He alerted a fat female (and the neighbourhood) to her fatness and femaleness! Sick burn, bro.
I barely had time to register before he was accelerating pathetically away from the top of the hill.
Maybe he was scared I'd chase him.
I wondered if he might be so embarrassed by his weak words that he would loop around to try again – or hear my response - but alas, he did not.
I was left to reach the summit in the quiet suburban twilight thinking about how it was not the first time a stranger felt the best way of communicating their instant loathing for me was by screaming from a moving car.
"Keep going fatty." That was fired at me from another dickhead in a crappy station wagon as I walked up a Wellington hill.
There are more stories. Mine and others. To exercise in public as a fat person – sometimes even to just exist in a fat body in a public space – is to expect encounters like this.
Recently three friends walking up Mauao in Mount Maunganui were called "fat b******" by a woman running past.
They accurately pointed out the hit-and-literally-run comment said a lot more about her projected insecurities than it did about them.
They started campaigns on social media to empower other women to feel confident sharing their health journeys.
Their reaction was more constructive than mine, but it did inspire me to share.
I do not expect my words here will affect societal change and nor am I harbouring any hope they will reach my callous critic and cause him to examine the kind of cretin he is.
I'm also not writing this to seek sympathy, or advice on how to not be fat so as not to attract the vocal attentions of people with wind whistling between their ears.
Mostly I'm annoyed I've given even a moment's further thought to this loser.
Putting my anger on this page has provided some release from that, but there is a part of me that will always hang on to his words and the casual cruelty that propelled them.
I know I am more than a fat girl and that I don't deserve to be ridiculed for existing or for exercising. I will not stop trying to reach my goals. But the unfairness of being dismissed on sight alone as a joke is hard to shake.
I guess this column is just me - another woman with the temerity to be fat in public - yelling out my car window.