I’m Not Fat; I Am a Survivor

Updated on August 15, 2019
The Stages Of ME profile image

Our Stages are unique, Kathy enjoys sharing her latest thoughts and stages through the Hub pages 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 worldly 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 of the presumptions made about me. Now, I would like to address it for those that may experience similar types of assumptions. Regardless of the issue being judged, we impede others by sharing our view based on assuming what we don't know. To guess can fuel fires, to seek truth puts them out!

Truth is I was fit. I was living 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, and 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 assumption. I find rationalizing the thoughts of others, not aware of a story or testimony tedious. I sometimes allow their assumption 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 with 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. 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 later thirties, I got hit by a mysterious illness, and it 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!) But, for me, it was worse, because while to some, I appear lazy or unmotivated, nothing is further from the truth. While we understand weight loss due to illness, it is more common to shame and blame the opposite reaction of weight gain from medications and disease. Both are uncontrollable; however, as sick as it sounds, one is more socially acceptable in society.

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

Allow me to continue to pull a layer of my example to better comprehend how assumption 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 say go the muscles and nerves reply, NO!!! To further explain, I and many others are the faces of neuromuscular disease/medical anomalies. Our bodies do not cooperate with the mind and heart of wanting to move or be active, like trying to make 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 weirdest part, I walk sometimes, talk most of the time, can appear normal, whatever normal is? I nearly always struggle with stairs, emit the sound of dysarthria, or as onlookers like to call it, sounding drunk without drinking. There are stronger possibilities I could fall, and as for getting up, let’s just 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 meds 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 level of burn 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 of my wanting to be healthy for myself and others. My husband, my children deserved my attention to wellness and health, and yet it meets with futility against this disease.

Here is the thing, under my fat bodacious bod I am not as unhealthy as one might think. My sugar, when I am not hopeless and giving into or giving up, is within normal limits. I am not a chronic sweet tooth and never been much of a snacker, although in my later years it's easier not to give a hoot! My blood pressure runs average to low, and my other test for cardiac health and such are within normal limits. As I age, that is more complicated if I stop trying.

I love how people assume that because of my plus size that I have chosen this and want to remain this way. Hah!!! Not true!!!! I also love how people work in Bariatric surgery or healthy eating tips into many conversations when I am among them. Truth told I probably eat better and less than most of them. Where I appreciate their desire to help and understand that to them, it is inconceivable that a disease process could block the ability for the body to respond. I sigh, profoundly and state, I will surely 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 chemotherapeutics that would drop a horse, take meds 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 is part of it, in this game we call life. While I too, often cannot eat, and when I do, sometimes choke. 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 or particular diets, this is not an option for some. I believe there will come a day when through constant attempt and discipline, I will find my fit self again.

In the meantime, I am proud to be a survivor! Yes, a more massive than most who are ill survivor, but none-the-less, 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 survived 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.

We, my family and myself, 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 or the wrong to your right! We are children of God, beautifully and wonderfully made for our purpose for God’s entire perfect plan. So don’t assume you know, but also see the person, 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


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    • The Stages Of ME profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy Henderson 

      12 months ago from Pa

      Abitha -

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

      Hugs & Blessings to you

    • profile image

      Abitha Deepak 

      12 months ago

      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!

    • The Stages Of ME profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy Henderson 

      12 months ago from Pa


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

    • Vinnie Doobs profile image

      Vincent Dublado 

      12 months ago from Metro Manila

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

    • The Stages Of ME profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy Henderson 

      13 months ago from Pa


      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

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      13 months ago from The Caribbean

      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.

    • The Stages Of ME profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy Henderson 

      13 months ago from Pa


      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.

    • The Stages Of ME profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy Henderson 

      13 months ago from Pa


      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.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      13 months ago from Fresno CA

      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.



    • profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      13 months ago

      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.

    • The Stages Of ME profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy Henderson 

      13 months ago from Pa


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

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      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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