Fat People

What do you think when you see those words? Do you think about someone you know, and wonder how they let themself get that way? Do you think about yourself, your struggles and frustrations, and how you think the rest of the world sees you?

”For decades, the medical community has ignored mountains of evidence to wage a cruel and futile war on fat people, poisoning public perception and ruining millions of lives. It’s time for a new paradigm.” (From the Huffington Post article linked below)

It’s quite obvious that we don’t know how to solve the obesity problem. I know people who have dieted off and on their whole lives. I know many people who have had bypass surgery or lap band surgery but only a couple were successful in keeping their weight off long term. The Greatest Loser TV program –  researches learned that the contestants has markedly decreased metabolisms even years after the contest. (NY Times article HERE)

Today I saw this article HERE in the Huffington Post. It’s a bit long but well worth reading if the subject interests you. “Losing 3% of your body weight results in a 17% slow down of your metabolism until you get back up to your former weight”. Sheesh. It points out that doctors only compound the problem by their attitudes towards fat people. “Chances of a woman classified as obese achieving a ‘normal weight’ .008% “. And – “Keeping weight off means fighting your body’s energy-regulation system and battling hunger all day, every day, for the rest of your life.”  Almost no one can sustain that long term.

The article also points out that fat and unhealthy don’t necessarily go together. It is possible for fat people to be fit, strong, and healthy. Look at Fat Girl Running, who runs ultra marathons, and I think weighs about 235.

I like this photo from the article. She looks like a FORCE!

“There is so much agency taken from marginalized groups to mute their voices and mask their existence. Being depicted as a female CEO—one who is also black and fat—means so much to me. It is a representation of the reclamation of power in the boardroom, classroom and living room of my body. I own all of this.”— JOY COX

I think my first diet was when I was 12. I was maybe 8 or 10 when a doctor asked me if I ever allowed myself to get hungry, or did I just eat all the time. Yes, decades later I remember that, the first of many doctors who blamed and shamed me. I’ve done Atkins, Weight Watchers, lo carb, raw, you name it multiple times over the decades with less and less success. I’ve gone to the gym, walked, played tennis, biked, all with no effect on my weight. HCG finally worked but keeping that weight off, not so much. I’m very careful what I eat and I’ve biked literally thousands of miles, but every year the weight creeps up a bit more no matter what I do. I feel like further dieting will only compound my metabolic slowdown and dieting has been proven to not work. I think all I can do is continue to eat healthy and exercise, and try to learn to accept myself as I am.

At least here in Panama, I don’t feel the same stigma. People don’t seem to care what size you are. My life is really good except for this one frustrating thing that I have failed to control my whole life. As my (tall and slim) daughter points out, I’m healthy and able to do everything I want to, and she is right. I am thankful for that. But still….


About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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23 Responses to Fat People

  1. Eliza Ayres says:

    Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal and commented:
    I hear you… you’re fine, beautiful, and healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marilynn J. Clark says:

    I am 75 have outlived most of my friends! I have always been a size 12! My brother and sister have always been over weight! I am Going to eat what I want when I move to Panama.a of course on the 27th! I know I am overweight not that much, either like me for who I am or don’t! I Love Me!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: Rethink weight, fitness, and such. | unity2013

  4. oldsalt1942 says:

    You’ve written about this theme before. It’s all about “Body Image” and what we’ve been indoctrinated into believing how things should be. I’ve NEVER thought of you as “Fat.” I’ve always thought of you as a “BIG” woman and you are, You’re probably as tall as I am, (5’9″) but you have a bigger frame, and I’m NOT exaggerating that. Your shoulders are wider than mine and that isn’t adipose doing that…it’s bone structure. And you will ALWAYS be my idol for your epic bike journey to Nicaragua.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow thank you for this. Yes I am big. I’m 5’9”, size 12 shoes, and I need a man size watch band to fit around my wrist. Thank you for sharing how you see me. You really lifted me up. I remember you waiting for us as we left Panama on our bikes. That was exciting for me too! Thanks for all your support in many things over the years. 😘


      • It’s true Kris. I have always been the size I am ( I used to have patients ask if I was anorexic or ‘you may look better if you weren’t so skinny’ …) and I have never done the kind of physically demanding activity you have my friend. Bravo for calling it like it is and an excellent blogpost as well. BTW, how is the mall coming? I recall all the pictures you took while biking in and around David and seeing your initial posts about it from long (?years) ago — it is Panama, all in good time.
        Abrazos de Colombia, Mariah

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think you look just perfect! But yes, my first husband was really thin too and couldn’t gain weight no matter what he did.
          The mall is really coming along and it’s huge! I need to go take more pictures. I think I heard it could be done by the end of the year.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Edie Baxter says:

    Go with what Richard said. He is 100% correct!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kathleen Kunster says:

    Thank you, Kris. Love your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Joyce says:

    Kris, I commend you on your gut honesty and for sharing your experience with your blog members. I, too, as you well know, have suffered and dealt with the yo-yo experiences of attempting to drop my weight and get out of the plus size department. I realize that for the most part my body has been doing an awesome job at keeping all my vitals at a quite healthy level and I do function well at my weight and I am grateful to it. But, how many times in my past have I been told to lose weight, like they knew how to do it themselves! I remember how guilty I would feel walking down the street eating an ice cream cone, feeling that people were thinking “no wonder she is fat”. There is truly nothing wrong with being heavy. Society has long since dictated what beauty is and for sure, they missed the boat! Kris, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know you have fought the same battles, and I figure there must be other blog readers who have also. Maybe this article would be helpful to all of us who have always been blamed and shamed. Thank you amiga. You are beautiful too!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Julie Moellenkamp Gardner says:

    Thanks for sharing, Kris. I also fight the never-ending battle of the bulge. Somehow on bad days, I convince myself that is it just a character flaw and I need to get my shit together… sigh.


    • The whole world has convinced us that it’s a character flaw. I think that’s the main point of the article – it isn’t!! But you?? Nah, you are beautiful and perfect. It never occurred to me that you should be one bit smaller. BTW I’m loving following Kayla’s progress and work and everything. Tell her hello from us.


  9. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kris 🧡!

    I’m Cher. I’m an identical twin.

    For a lot of my life, folks could tell us apart because I was the heavier one.

    Just twenty pounds, but enough for people to say, “You look so much alike, except that you’re bigger.”

    Heres my take on it, with well-earned wisdom:

    — Embrace YOU!! You’ve *gotta* be your *own* best friend and biggest fan in this world.

    — Judgmental, unhappy people? They project it onto others,

    I’m new here, and my husband and I are looking at Panama as a real retirement option during mid ‘19. We’re exploring your country in January!!

    Happy to be here. Have a wonderful night, everyone! 💜


    • Thank you so much for your comment and support!
      Exciting that you will get to visit Panama soon. January is a nice time, dry season but not so far in that everything is crispy and it’s really hot.


  10. Joyce says:

    January is going to be a tough period to travel here because of World Youth Day. I am told if you don’t have reservations yet, you may not be able to get them.

    Liked by 1 person

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