How to Find a Fat-Positive Doctor Who Won’t Just Tell You to Lose Weight

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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 Immediately upon meeting me, she entered my measurements into the Body Mass Index chart (which we now know is outdated, inaccurate, and misleading) and said, ‘So, what are we going to do about your weight?’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.”

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for this.

    If it wasn’t my bipolar, it was my BMI.

    I went to an endocrinologist to discuss thyroid (I had a total thyroidectomy) and he got out the humiliating tape measure to tell me that my waist was the problem. Might I be so fat because my endocrine system is out of balance? Might that be why I am sitting in an endocrinologist’s office to begin with?

    Now, my orthopedic pain (ACL tear from skiing accident) is blamed on how big I am, and they don’t want to help me with that either, because – 1. They don’t know what to do with pain anyways, and 2. If I weren’t so big it wouldn’t hurt so much….

    ?????

    It is yet another way that healthy people are marginalised, and it makes it difficult and challenging.

    • I keep hearing: Fat is ugly. Fat is unhealthy.

      Guess what? So is cancer! Maybe we could lower cancer rates by yelling insults at folks with massive tumors and leukemia.

      Eating right and exercising are factors within our control. Doctors need to focus more on those. Not saying we should pitch the scales but the genetic lottery plays a big role in our weight. Some research suggests by 50%.

      And doctors who push psych drugs should keep their mouths shut if their patients grow morbidly obese. I have finally lost 35 pounds (from 350 to 315) only after getting off my “cocktail.”