Pattie Thomas, Ph.D., is a medical sociologist and co-author (with her husband, Carl Wilkerson, MBA) of Taking Up Space: How Eating Well and Exercising Regularly Changed My Life, a sociological memoir about living as a fat and disabled woman in a society that stigmatizes both. Thomas is one of a growing number of multi-disciplinary scholars who are addressing the cultural stereotypes, stigmas, myths, and oppressive practices based upon persons who do not fit ideal body sizes. One of the seminal authors in the first anthology of this movement, The Fat Studies Reader, Thomas has been actively pursuing social justice for persons of size and supporting the concept of Health at Every Size(r) for over 10 years. She currently teaches Sociology at the College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas, Nevada. Thomas and Wilkerson also write and create multimedia about coupling when both members of the dyad are disabled. They bring to that project experience as a couple as well as both the sociological and organizational knowledge that they have drawn upon to create a life together.
Weight loss is a doomed proposition that often leads to poorer health rather than improved health. Good health is possible without weight loss. A Health at Every Size(sm) approach is preferable for the well-being of all persons no matter what their size. Judging character, work ethic, health or worth on the basis of how someone looks is ALWAYS prejudice. No one should be treated as "less than human" because of their body size.
FATISM is a matter of cultural stigma. This blog is about cultural and social issues, not a health debate.
Information about relationships and disabilities and/or chronic illness often assumes one member of the dyad is the "caregiver" and one needs care. Since most people will suffer from some sort of disability at some time in their lives, this seems presumptive. Carl Wilkerson & Pattie Thomas each face disabling chronic illnesses. Each strive to provide care to the other when flare-ups occur. While this dynamic colors everything in the relationship, you may find being disabled the least interesting thing about them. They share their experiences to help other couples with disabilities.