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I’m Not Fat; I Am a Survivor

Our life stages are unique, Kathy enjoys sharing her thoughts and stages through her writing and looks forward to learning about yours.

Everyone is a Rose, Just Shake off the Rain, and Stand Clear of One Another's Thorns


I am what society calls FAT!

I am what society calls FAT, based on the world view. My body type is one that people feel comfortable judging. These judgments come from the visual standard of what is considered fit. It has taken a long time to share my emotion about the presumptions made about me. Now, I would like to address it for those that may experience similar types of assumptions. Regardless of being judged, we impede others by sharing our views based on assuming what we don't know. To guess can fuel fires; to seek truth puts them out!

The truth is I was fit. I lived a life of active pursuit in sports, outdoor recreation, experiential adventure ropes, aerobics teaching, and any activity that captures my interest. Now, I am well over the pound limit and BMI index for my age, yet I am not the unhealthiest person people assume me to be. My truth is I am not fat; I am a survivor.

The cause of extra weight is sometimes explainable, not typical, and very specific to the circumstance beyond the norm. And while we need not discuss assumptions. I find rationalizing the thoughts of others, not aware of a story or testimony, tedious. I sometimes allow their inference and nod in agreement as it is easier to succumb to their belief. I am sure we can relate this theory to a similar situation in your life where explaining your reality is unnecessary at times. Assumption roots within our minds, molded by the truth one may have experience or understand.

My truth is that in the past, I was a therapist working in physical rehabilitation, my first love of helping people joint with athletics, leisure, and the love of being active. After that, I was a skier, swimmer, hiker, camper, lifeguard, volleyball player, biker, and I loved the thrill of helping others back to their interest and life goals.

When I was in my late thirties, I got hit by a mysterious illness, which slammed me into a life I did not choose. I know you’re thinking what a sob story, and at least it’s not something worse! It was worse for me because nothing is further from the truth. While I appear lazy or unmotivated, I am not. While we understand weight loss due to illness, it is more common to shame and blame the opposite reaction from medications and disease on weight gain. Both are uncontrollable; however, one is more socially acceptable in society, as sick as it sounds.

Societal norms, we tend to lean on surface exposure! Worldly presentations that are ever-changing are shared quickly and gossiped into a chaotic misunderstanding. We stop focusing on the heart of people and our nation, only to find comfort camps to ramble the stories of assumption and platform.

Allow me to continue to pull a layer of my example to comprehend better how to assume it is misleading. Again, I am not fat; I am a survivor. My muscles waste! They do not conduct in the heat, and when my heart and mind want to go, the muscles and nerves reply, NO!!! To further explain, I and many others are the faces of muscular disease/medical anomalies. Our bodies do not cooperate with the mind and heart of moving or being active, like making a car run without gas. See, our muscles need messages to perform, and mine reacts with a static response, and often the entire conductivity shuts off.

Don't assume!

Soaking wet from the Falls and so in Love!

Soaking wet from the Falls and so in Love!

Ask questions and get to know the real stories

Here is the strange part, I walk sometimes, talk most of the time, can appear normal, whatever normal is? I nearly always struggle with stairs; my speech slurs, called Dysarthria, or as onlookers like to call it, sounding drunk without drinking. There are more substantial possibilities I could fall, and as for getting up, let’s say that "I’ve fallen and can’t get up thing” is real. I eat reasonable amounts of food. Often I am anorexic due to medication, nausea, and eat too little or no food. Other times I am famished, although this is rarer. Either way, it does not matter, as my body cannot get to the burn level that my form requires for losing.

Before this health issue developed, I had a slower metabolism and worked to lose weight in my college and adult Years because I wanted to be healthy for myself and others. My husband and my children deserved my attention to wellness and health, yet it meets with futility against this disease.

Here is the thing: I am not as unhealthy as one might think under my fat-bodacious body. When I am not hopeless and giving in or giving up, my sugar is within normal limits. I am not a chronic sweet tooth and have never been much of a snack-eater, although, in my later years, it's easier not to give a hoot! My blood pressure runs average to low, and my other cardiac health tests are within normal limits. But, of course, as I age, that is more complicated if I stop trying.

I love how people assume I have chosen this and want to remain this way because of my plus size. Hah!!! Not true!!!! I also love how people work in Bariatric surgery or healthy eating tips into many conversations when I am among them. I probably eat better and less than most of them. I appreciate their desire to help and understand that it is inconceivable that a disease process could block the body's ability to respond. I sigh profoundly and state, I will indeed consider that and try it.

We all Fall Down


See to the Heart

How I wish they could see the brokenness and frustration. While I swallow down chemo-therapeutics that would drop a horse, take medication every four hours to maintain muscle function, and receive regular plasma exchange to start with fresh. I am perplexed that anyone would think one would choose this.

Steroids have ripped my body apart while adding unimaginable pounds. Every time the scale shows reprieve, a crisis seems to add more notches on the range, trying to steal my joy and that same joy of those like me. Now some of my fellow sufferers are grossly thin because of swallowing and bulbar difficulty. Yep, that's part of it; in this game, we call life. While I, too, often cannot eat, and when I do, I sometimes choke. Thus, I seem to maintain my gross weight. But, I do not share this to have a pity party. Although I am a tad jealous of those who can manage their weight with surgery and particular diets, this is not an option for some. I believe there will come a day when I will find my fit self again through constant attempts and discipline.

In the meantime, I am proud to be a survivor! Yes, a more massive than most who are ill survivors, but a survivor. I have survived the loss of a career that I loved and replacing it with the joy of one more day to be alive, serving God and my family. I have endured countless procedures and hospital admissions that have depleted our bank account and yet filled us with gratitude to have love, life, and laughter. I have survived a wonderful 30-year marriage that has grown more beautiful with every trial. I have stayed parenting on an empty tank and beyond the empty shell, only to see my children, filled with talent, tenacity, kindness, strength, compassion, and empathy, while growing closer to God with every hurdle.

My family and I are in love with life and every breath God gives to serve Him. We have learned to dig deeper and seek someone's truth because assuming is only surface stuff. If we only see what we think is a person's truth, it's usually not even close to the real deal of their testimony. God makes each story relevant, and we should take the time to listen to them.


I Share this broken body with the world and ask you to see me and all those who are not as defective as you might think. We are not fat, ugly, skinny, scarred, the wrong color, the wrong gender or orientation, the false religion, the wrong nationality, the incorrect culture, and the wrong to your right! We are children of God, beautifully and wonderfully made for God's purpose and perfect plan. So don’t assume you know, but also see the person you think is this or that in your worldly view, as they are just as broken and beautiful as you are. I love me. I love you, just the way we are. We are beautiful survivors, all of us.

Scars to Your Beautiful

© 2019 Kathy Henderson


Kathy Henderson (author) from Pa on September 15, 2019:

Abitha -

Your comments are very sweet, thank you for your kind words and for reading this article.

Hugs & Blessings to you

Abitha Deepak on September 13, 2019:

I love the personality that shines through your writing! Also, that is a wonderful, happy and so in love photograph and a sunshine of a smile!

Kathy Henderson (author) from Pa on September 05, 2019:


Thank you for the sweet comment, and you are right, attitude is 90% of everything. :)

Vincent Dublado from Metro Manila on September 04, 2019:

So true. Sexy is not a shape, it's an attitude.

Kathy Henderson (author) from Pa on August 18, 2019:


Thank you for your sweet comment. So, true, God is the one with all the facts, and we can't let the worldly distractions get in the way of glorifying our awesome God.

Hugs and blessings to you - Kathy

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on August 16, 2019:

Kathy, thank you from the depths of my heart for opening up about your life. Your list of survivor experiences is impressive and it shows that you understand what is really important. No wonder God reserves the right to judge for Him alone. Nobody else has all the facts.

Kathy Henderson (author) from Pa on August 15, 2019:


So true, if only we could see with the eyes of our creator. He says we are beautifully and wonderfully made, and we truly are just that, as His children. Thank you for your comment and blessings always to you as well.

Kathy Henderson (author) from Pa on August 15, 2019:


Not as much an inspiration as one who has been inspired by the grace to have one more day to share in the moments. Always learning and seeking to live on purpose for a purpose. Thanks so much for your kind words.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on August 15, 2019:

Excellent message. People do assume too much by just looking. I've always said that we are cursed with eyes. You can't see what is going on in the heart that way. You are very brave for sharing your life with us.



Lorna Lamon on August 15, 2019:

Your wonderful spirit shines through in an article which is so honest and heartfelt. I applaud you for sharing your difficult journey Kathy and reminding us of the necessity not to make assumptions based on what we do not know or are aware of. You are an inspiration.

Kathy Henderson (author) from Pa on August 15, 2019:


You're the best! I will hold onto this comment and put in my heart for when needed. Hugs and blessings to you!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 15, 2019:

Love the message and love your attitude. I am so tired of tiny people with tiny minds....it's nice to hear from someone with a plus size mind. :)

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