And I Feel Fine

social-changeWith all this talk of the world ending, all day I’ve had the lyrics to an REM song running through my head “It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine…” I wasn’t actually worried about the world ending today (especially since I got early information from my readers overseas in different timezones telling me that we’re good.)  But I have been reflecting on the idea I hear so often that being fat is somehow the end of the world.

I recently went to the doctor with my girlfriend for a follow up visit and she was furious to find that at the top of her chart in addition to the actual medical diagnosis the doctor had written “morbid obesity” – a diagnosis that the doctor made by sight since they never took her weight or height.  I was extra furious because that’s not even correct.  Morbid obesity is also known as Class 2 Obesity.  Both both my girlfriend and I are class 3 – Super Obese (which I think should come with a cape and a secret identity, but that’s another blog.)  I was irritated because if the doctor is going to make a bullshit diagnosis based entirely on looking at someone fully clothed, at least it could be a factually correct bullshit diagnosis.

Everywhere I look I get messages that being fat is just the end of the world.  From people who spend tons of their time, money, and energy desperately trying not to look like me, to fear mongerers who try to sell me their weight loss crap by suggesting that I’m one McNugget away from dying of OMGDEATHFAT, to those who insist that no matter what I say about my life, they know better than I that being fat means an end to everything – no love, no happiness blah blah blah.  I’m as fat as you can get on the BMI Chart, and I feel fine. I’ve never suffered from obesity, I have suffered mightily from the shame, stigma, and oppression that I deal with in our society.  It has to stop – I am ready for the end of the world as we know it as far as public health goes.

Let’s create a world where public health no longer means that fat people’s health is the public’s business.   Let’s create a world where public health means giving all people options for foods they want to eat that are available and affordable,  movement options they enjoy (that are both physically and psychologically safe with absolutely no bullying, teasing, etc.), and healthcare that is accessible and affordable. Let’s create a world where we acknowledge that shame, stigma and oppression are awful for people’s health and so a major public health initiative, maybe run by the First Lady, is ending all shame, stigma and oppression – including that based on body size.  A world where people’s choices about their health are treated as personal and not up for public comment. Where we realize that people of all sizes get sick and, when they do, we don’t waste a second trying to figure out if they can be somehow blamed for being sick but rather get them the care that they desire.

I’m very ready for an end to the world as we know it, but in the meantime, I’m fat and I feel fine.

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9 thoughts on “And I Feel Fine

  1. You are a light in the dark and I am very gratful for your blog! Thank you so much for choosing to be courageous and speaking the truth about the hate that us fat people have to endure every day from the public and family and ‘friends’. I use to tolerate it and actually bought into their judgements about me but after reading your blog the last few months, I’ve finally ‘met’ someone that ‘says’ what deep down I know is the truth! For years I thought my husband was a total liar when he called me ‘beautiful’ or ‘sexy’! He was telling the truth the whole time, it was me that was blind and brainwashed by society! Not anymore, thanx to you! I feel no shame now that I am over 260lbs and wear a size 24! I’ve stopped one person from hating my fat and that’s me! Other people’s nasty hatred and judgements still hurt my heart but I refuse to let them harden my heart. I choose to forgive their brainwashed ignorance and set up solid boundaries.

  2. Wait a minute… the world DIDN’T end????

    I have lost all faith in the Mayan calendar, and, therefore, life itself.

    I do have to admit that I was sick earlier in the week with something intestinal. Ugh. But today? Still very, very fat and feeling just fine.

    In fact, the worst health issue I’ve had in the past few years was a bout of whooping cough. Mr. Twistie, on the other end of the scale, has a lot of health issues… but looking for blame (especially of his waistline) about it doesn’t help one damn iota.

    My father died of lung cancer. He got asbestosis working in the engine rooms of US Navy ships during WWII and the Korean War, Eventually it turned into mesothelioma.

    My mother-in-law also died of lung cancer. She smoked heavily for fifty years.

    You know what wasn’t important in their hospice care? The cause of the cancer. They were both dying, and they needed help.

    People get sick for a variety of reasons, some of which we will never know. Others draw a lucky card in life and don’t ever have to deal with a major or chronic illness. Medicine can help. Blame just plain doesn’t.

  3. Ha! I’ve also gotten the by sight diagnosis of “obese female” and I almost felt like saying “Excuse me, that’s MORBIDLY OBESE to you, mister!” to the doctor. Didn’t. Should’ve.

  4. I had reason to go to Urgent Care yesterday. I saw a young doctor who had about .0001% body fat. He told me that the reason I had gotten ovarian cancer was my weight. He told me all I had to do was just… eat less. I can only imagine he must have looked at me and extrapolated what HE would have to eat in order to look like me.

    I’m not a big eater; in fact the reason I went to Urgent Care was because a long standing issue with my digestive tract had suddenly worsened. But no one, including doctors, believe that I can’t eat much. They take one look at my body (which is 74 on the useless BMI scale) and think I must have a conveyor belt loaded with Twinkies strapped to my mouth 24/7.

    Because they base their oppinions on what they see, not what they have discovered through evidence, they dismiss my problem. It isn’t that they won’t do anything, but rather that they don’t make the real effort required to get to the bottom of an unusual issue.

    They dismiss me because they don’t believe it is real based on my appearance alone. I suspect that many believe I have mental health issues because of my size. Again, they imagine what THEY would have to eat to look like me and think I must eat compulsively and then lie about it. It is hell to be in pain and not be taken seriously.

    1. So sorry you have to deal with crap like this I addition to the medical condition. It’s malpractice! I wish we could each bring a Ragen doll with us to every medical situation, preprogrammed with phrases like ” and how would treat this condition in a thin person?” And “I’m here for treatment of X, not a lecture abt my size.” Or “My size is not a diagnosis.”

      1. Honestly I thinks its awful that first we have to endlessly repeat those things to get any effect. I get that from my nurses as well and it’s awful that they only treat me as a person on open clinic days when the doctor is there to make sure they behave and do things correctly, other wise they are rude and cut corners with my treatment because I have an “attitude” problem.

    2. How dare he. I think I need to keep in my repetoire “come closer and say that, so I can bite your fool head off” for the next time some ass clown tries to blame a serious health problem on my weight. Sorry you had to deal with this ignorant fool.

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