From Broadly – VICE: “I’ve been over 200 pounds for the majority of my adult life. When I went to see doctors as an adolescent, my weight was the main factor considered to indicate my health. As an adult with mental health issues exacerbated by that, I decided to avoid being judged and chided for something I spent so much of my young life trying to change. If I didn’t have a healthy mind, there was absolutely no way the rest of my body would be healthy, so I protected myself by avoiding general practitioners from my late teens into early 20s. Though I have health insurance, I went over seven years without a physical examination until very recently.
My anxiety about doctors took hold at age 13, when my parents took me to the ‘best’ primary care provider in Boston, known for her Harvard education, quick diagnoses, and aggressive, my-way-or-the-highway treatment plans. She was roughly my mother’s age, tall, wiry, and very blunt. Immediately upon meeting me, she entered my measurements into the Body Mass Index chart (which we now know is outdated, inaccurate, and misleading) and said, ‘So, what are we going to do about your weight?’ My heart sank: I’d scored a 25 on the BMI chart—right between the ‘healthy’ and ‘overweight’ zones. I felt like I’d failed a test I never knew was coming.”