When Someone Says “I Just Want to Get Back to the Weight I Was When I Felt Best”

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Fat patients shouldn’t have to accept “maybe if you were in a different body you wouldn’t be in pain” as a treatment plan or prescription. They should be given the same options for dealing with aches, pains, injuries etc. that thin people get.

I often hear from people who say something like “I just want to get back to the weight I was when I felt the best.” or “I know that when I’m a size x I’m healthier, my body is happiest at a size x.” When I ask them how they know that they will typically point to a time in their life when they were that size as proof.

Often in a conversation like this:

Me: When were you that weight?

Them: When I was 18

Me: How old are you now?

Them: 57

People don’t come to these conclusions out of nowhere. In truth, this idea is often driven by subconscious internalized fatphobia driven by the diet industry, and even if it were true the chance of succeeding at significant long-term weight loss is still miniscule. Luckily there are other, much more evidence-based ethical solutions to this dilemma.

There’s a lot to unpack here, so I wrote a piece about it for the Weight and Healthcare newsletter,.

You can read the full piece here!

UPCOMING ONLINE WORKSHOP:

Understanding the Research About Weight and Health

SPECIAL DATE: Thursday, February 24, 2022 5:30pm Pacific Time
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The research around weight and health can be daunting, dense, confusing, and downright misleading. A mix of diet industry involvement and weight bias (from methodology to media reporting) has created a world where what “everybody knows” about weight and health is often not supported by the actual research. In this workshop we’ll talk about the existing research around weight and health, learn techniques to evaluate media articles and studies to see past the weight bias and diet industry smoke screen and get to the truth. This workshop will deal with concepts in plain language and is for research nerds and non-research nerds alike, including those with no experience at all in research methods.

Full details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/monthly-online-workshops/
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Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization (and I can do it remotely!) I speak to healthcare, college, corporate, and general audiences about topics including weight science, weight stigma, and the Health at Every Size paradigm. You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org

3 thoughts on “When Someone Says “I Just Want to Get Back to the Weight I Was When I Felt Best”

  1. Excellent article. People should run off copies and send them in BEFORE doctor’s appointments to acclimate the doctors, nurses, aides etc that the patient/client does not wish to be treated like a disease with a bad attitude.

  2. Hi, Ragen, I wanted to share that I put one of your blogs on discrimination in medical practice into the syllabus for a course in the MSW program where I teach. It was a module on intersectionality and culture. I wanted to expose students to the ideas and the dangers of accepting “everybody knows” ideas. We took the conversation everywhere. The students really loved it! The fat students suddenly spoke with more confidence and other people were passionate about the ideas in many different ways about their own intersectionalities and privileges. It was fabulous.

    There are a lot more students who are passionate about fat activism than even 5 years ago when I was a student (and I cited your work then in papers). The work is really growing. Thanks for all you do.

    It’s late but I almost forgot to write. I have some more (coherent) ideas that I will try to send you in the coming weeks. Best, Karen

    1. Hi Karen, Thank you for sharing this with me! I’m so happy that you are doing this work and honored to be part of your curriculum (and to have been a citation in your student papers absolutely makes my day!) The change that you are I are both seeing in students definitely gives me hope for the future. So happy to be in community with you! ~Ragen

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