I finally had time to read an article shared by a dear friend of mine who shares not only my love for bats, but also health issues that refuse to fit in a box and a waistline that defies all attempts to force it to conform to mandated proportions.
The title is “On ‘tough love’ and your fat friend’s health.”
Something was wrong with my body. I’d failed a test I didn’t even know I’d taken.
It’s really horrible as a child when you first find out that a) you’re fat, and b) fat is bad. The equation is simple, if I’m fat and fat is bad, then I’m bad. It really sets you up for an entire life where you’re a failure for something you didn’t even know you did. I’m pretty sure that’s not what doctors and parents and family intend when they start explaining things to you, but that’s what actually happens.
…I received unsolicited health suggestions, stern lectures, gym recommendations, names of surgeons — an avalanche of advice I was already taking. Talking about diet and exercise, my favorite vegetables and personal bests, were all shorthand to preempt the inevitable. I know I’m fat, but I’m spending every waking moment to change that. I hope you won’t write me off completely.
I’m not sure why people you know seem to forget that you are intelligent and educated when they start talking about your weight. Did you think I hadn’t ever looked into diet or exercise? And why, exactly is it socially acceptable for complete strangers to accost you and discuss your ‘failings’. I was once accosted by someone while on vacation at Disney. A perfect stranger walked right up to me to discuss the virtues of something or other. Since at that precise point in time I was reveling in my recent loss of over 100 lbs, I wasn’t really interested in her opinion on how far I might still have to go.
Why is it ok to accost a stranger about their weight, and not about something like inadequate hygiene?
No matter my symptoms, no matter the needs I stated, everything was attributed to being fat. Even when I lost weight, my health failed. Bloodwork showed that I had become anemic, dangerously short on iron, and low on essential vitamins. Despite being a middle class, college educated woman, I was undernourished. Because the focus of weight loss is never nutrition — just burning off as much fat as possible, as quickly as possible. Anything that didn’t do that was an abject failure.
Every fat person knows that fat causes every conceivable health problem, from dandruff to athlete’s foot. Most doctor’s first questions will be about what you’re doing to get the weight off. Like it’s the most horrible creeping mold conceivable.
They spend much less time checking to make sure that the 1200 calories that are all a fat person deserves in a day are healthy and providing the nutrition needed. Do you know how hard it is to get an appropriate amount of trace minerals, enzymes, and fatty acids in 1200 calories? It’s not impossible, but it requires strict attention to detail.
Those are just a few of the brilliant and insightful comments in the article. I encourage you to read through the whole thing.