Life at ~400lbs

me, stretching

me, stretching

I weigh about 400lbs. Sometimes 409, sometimes 397, usually in between.  Over the years I have encountered folks who talk about how “If you weigh over 300, you aren’t living, you’re just existing.”  Or  “being a bit overweight is okay, but if you weigh some huge amount, like 350 or 400 or 500lbs, well then there’s all these things you can’t do, like hold down a job or get out of bed.” And don’t forget “Anyone who weighs [above arbitrary threshhold] has diabetes and high blood pressure and knee problems and will die in five years, tops.”

I’ve been in that “really huge” category for over 15 years.  During that time I’ve worked at various jobs, traveled around the US and Canada, attended college and taught at a college.  I’ve been leered at in my swimsuit at Disney World, posed for a life drawing class, exercised with friends and a personal trainer, and gotten married.

I started this blog to talk about what it’s like to weigh about 400lbs.  How bad is my health?  How much can I physically do or not do? How it does being fat affect my life?

For example, I happen to be “apple-shaped” – I have a big belly, which means I can’t do a very good traditional seated forward bend, which stretches the hamstrings and back.  So (as seen above) I do an adapted version of the pose, stretching my back and other muscles in my legs.  I do the hamstring stretches in other ways.

Why doesn’t the photo show my face?  (Don’t I know that “Headless Fatties” are dehumanizing?)  This blog is all about my body, so I am putting the emphasis on my body.   Second, I feel that maintaining a bit of anonymity will make it easier for me to be honest.

Happy September, everyone :)

27 thoughts on “Life at ~400lbs

  1. As a person who is over 400 lbs, I had to wander over and see how you were doing here! :)

    Thanks for being a voice to a body type very few people will admit to being. There’s so much added stigma attached to being the “eek” fat person! Like you, I am more active than people credit, and I’m glad you’re letting that be known, too. Good luck… I’ll be back!

  2. Hi Kate. Don’t know if you saw the sidebar, but I’m linking to your BMI project because I think it does a great job of translating things like “BMI 30” and “BMI 25” into layman’s terms, and showing how ordinary “overweight” and “obese” really are.

    That was a fantastic idea of yours, if you didn’t know already :)

  3. For example, I happen to be “apple-shaped” – I have a big belly, which means I can’t do a very good traditional seated forward bend, which stretches the hamstrings and back. So (as seen above) I do an adapted version of the pose, stretching my back and other muscles in my legs.

    I think this is a great point – exercise and movement (like clothes) can actually be modified to work with the body I have, rather than trying to make my body work with exercises and movements that don’t take into account its shape and functions.

    As another fattie rocking it over 300, I’m pleased to see this blog!

  4. @Tari,

    Absolutely. I have a yoga instructor who is big on making adaptions as needed, but it also helps to speak up. I find if I ask, “Are we doing this to stretch back or hamstrings?” that helps to figure out how to make adaptions too.

  5. I came here from your link in the recent Shapely Prose post, and I think you’re fabulous. (Also, your flexibility in that photo? I AM SO JEALOUS. I do not bend!) Please, please keep writing — I’ve added you to my favorites, which means you are now in the Daily Routine Which Cannot Be Changed Or My Head Explodes.

    (In other words, I like you and want to keep reading. :P)

  6. Thanks @Sweet Machine & @Sarawr! It’s amazing how many hits have come in on the first day!

    Re: flexibility ~ the man of the house also weighs above 300lbs. Let’s say that flexibility is a very useful thing ;)

  7. Good for you for starting this blog – I’m very happy to make your acquaintance. I hope you get quickly onto Lindsay’s new feed at FA101, which includes *all* the fat blogs known to be in existence. You should certainly be on that.

  8. Oh this is so wonderful!!! As a woman who weighs almost 400 pounds myself I have struggled a bit in my life with the thought that someone my weight can’t do that. There is so much that I have not done in my life because I have been told that I can’t do that, and now I am trying to open my life up and follow my dreams. I look forward to reading your blog, it gives me hope and inspires me. Thank you for opening up your life to others so that we can see that it is possible to have a full life at this weight!

  9. I’m also over 400 pounds, and I found your blog by way of Fatshionista on LiveJournal.com. You are bookmarked, and I will be reading your blog regularly! :)

  10. I just found this blog, read only one post, and already totally love it! Goddess bless you for being honest and
    sharing your life. And your yoga posture doesn’t look bad at all!

  11. Im so glad I found your page I to am 400lbs or a little over and I will visit you often for configence cause I need all I can get ! thanks for doing this for us out here !

  12. I am well over 400 lbs, which I am not happy with, but no one thinks I am. I have a job (5 yrs). I can walk, almost run and swing at the park. There is no doubt that I could do more, or those things better if I lost weight, but I am by no means bedridden.

    thank you for letting the world know that not everyone over 300 lbs is lifeless.

    <3

  13. you are amazing! thank you for sharing your moments…sunshine, sadness, movement, stillness, day in, day out…you are amazing!

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  15. I’m about forty pounds over 200 (I’ve been dieting for about five months, so I was once really close to being in the 300’s) but even I can’t stretch the way you do! You really prove that being over 300 pounds you can literally do just about anything anyone else can!

    I look forward to reading more of your blog. :D

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