Minneapolis, MN — “What is overweight, anyway?” muses Chris Williams, affectionately known to friends and colleagues as Fat Chris. “What weight am I over?”
We’re at a Baskin Robbins off West Fifth downtown. He ordered a large Banana Royale, twice. This is actually our second stop, our first being at the Five Guys around the corner. “I normally don’t do two in one day*, but it’s a special occasion,” he says.
He does have cause to celebrate: His new self-help book, “Servings Per? More Like Servings Par! My Story of Self-Love” just made the New York Times Bestseller list.
Read his candid interview below, which covers everything from family and fame to his unbelievably good health.
*Note: before publishing this interview, we spoke with Chris’ wife, who disputed several of her husband’s responses. Each instance of dispute is marked with an asterisk.
How are you today?
Feeling great, as always!
How does a typical day start for you, Chris?
I wake up, eat breakfast, and get to work, just like everyone else.
Now, when you say breakfast…
My usual is a* pack of bacon, a* pan of hash browns, two* or four* eggs, and a* Sprite. Ask me what I weigh.
What do you weigh?
Four-sixty and climbing. I know, I don’t look it*!
What’s the response been like for your book?
Overall, very positive. I love hearing from my fans. A lot of them are saying my message is really working for them.
And what is that message?
Do what you been doing.
Very cool. So what inspired the title of your book?
I want to challenge the status quo. Not just saying, “eat what you want,” but looking directly at what “doctors” recommend, and saying, “You know what? I’m gonna do the exact opposite.”
So one of the big things with the book is this theme of servings per container – you know, that BS. I challenge my readers to always be under par. Whatever arbitrary number the FDA chose to put as the servings per container, do it in less. If a package of double-stuf Oreos says sixteen servings per container, beat it. I can do it in two.
And what do you hope this will accomplish?
Two things. One, my readers will live more authentically by not listening to the haters.
And two, it will send a message to the elitists at the FDA that we’re sick of their lies.
Take serving sizes. If I eat a handful of Ruffles, the FDA would tell me I’m done, right? But I still want more, so obviously I’m not done, right? Common sense.
I think those are just recommendations.
Sure, just like how my wife “recommends” I sleep with a CPAP.
This is how I was raised. I eat what I want, when I want it. I should change that just because the FDA changes their standards of what’s acceptable every year?
Do they actually —
Is it a pyramid or a pie? Pick one.
I’m not sure I follow but let’s talk about your past, because you mention it in the book…
Sure, without giving too much away; growing up, I dealt with a lot of self-confidence issues, bullies picking on me for my weight, all that. Eventually I got to the point where I could just be me and not worry about what others think of me, y’know?
What tipped the scale for you?
Is that a pun?
No, I —
It’s okay, I’m not ashamed.
No, but —
Just say it.
Call me gravy fingers. Do it.
I want you to do it.
Chris, I’m not —
Fine. Fat Chris, I wasn’t making a joke. I was just asking —
I used to look like you, you know.
You’ve spoken at a few colleges about your book. I understand there’s been some backlash?
No more than I expected. People don’t like when you flip their worldview upside down. They’re told their whole life, don’t eat this, don’t eat that. I come in and I say, “Look, there’s nothing to be afraid of.” Sure, I’m big, but that’s the worst of it***.
Your family when I spoke to them said you’re diabetic. So you don’t, in fact, suffer from diabetes?
Suffer? In what world is a condition that requires you eat a Snickers every time you get a little light-headed considered “suffering?”
Moving right along, you’ve said your wife — Are you okay?
You sure? Can I get you anything?
Yeah, I’m fine. Air pressure in here, is…
Your wife seems less than supportive of your decision to stay heavy. Would you say she disagrees with the arguments you make in your book?
She’s the same as the college kids, stuck in her worldview, always searching for bias confirmation. I tell her all the time, “I’m fine.” Like, I think I could tell if I had a bedsore.
She thinks you have a bedsore?
It’s a muscle spasm*. I don’t pay it any mind; my focus is on inspiring others to make a positive change in their mindset. I’m helping people*************************.
Now that this book is out, are you working on anything else?
This thirty rack! (smacks belly)
(bursts into tears)
Servings Per? More Like Servings Par! is now available in bookstores and on Kindle.
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