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Be Your Own Advocate




It is hard to imagine that it is 2024 and we are still battling fatphobia and the bullshit BMI number. I haven't had trouble with a doctor in a very long time but recently I had to see another doctor for my annual physical and I was actually shocked to find the focus was purely on my BMI.


Let's be real, I know I'm overweight, people who are overweight always know, but what isn't always true is that my being overweight causes every single one of my problems - some of them sure but not every single one. What really blew my mind was the assumptions this doctor made "stop drinking soda" was the first thing she said to me... I don't drink soda, an occasional diet ginger ale if my stomach is upset or the occasional diet root beer because it's my favorite but on a daily basis - nope. Next, she told me to not go to Starbucks multiple times a day. Unclear who she thinks can afford a multi-time a day Starbucks habit but I'm not that girl. I love my coffee and I love my Starbucks but that's a once-a-week adventure for me. I hated feeling like I had to defend myself at every turn. Again, I know I'm not thin and I know my eating habits aren't the best, but I also know I voiced concern that since being put on a particular medication I am bloated and puffy and that my habits hadn't changed but my weight had, the doctor once again turned the tables saying I had to limit sodium. I didn't even fight this one. This woman doesn't know me, I don't add salt to my food, I cook with it sparingly and it was insulting that I was being blamed for something that was prescribed to me.



I also exercise every day - not the exercise I used to do when I was running or hanging from a lyra hoop but I do 20 minutes of cardio every morning, yoga a few times a week and two walks a day. That's the minimum! There are days I do more! Sure, I'm not running miles a day and I love cheese more than anything but I'm not just sitting and eating trash all day long. Unhappy with the feedback from this particular doctor I made an appointment with my regular doctor to discuss next steps with him. I am open to feedback, but it needs to be based on me as a human being and not just some number.



Historically the only time I've had issues with a doctor it's been with a female doctor. Why are females so hard on other females? Also, we don't have to take this. We can and should speak up for ourselves. We have questions, we should be able to ask them without judgement, there should be a real basis to losing weight aside from BMI (did I mention my labs came back fairly normal) and the advice a doctor provides should be based on the individual not just the fatphobic crap usually spieled.


And this goes for all medical issues - my particular problem came because I'm overweight, but I know other women all ages and weights get constantly questioned about our health concerns and it has to stop. So, stand up for yourself, ask the questions, get second opinions and make sure you get the care you deserve - because no matter how much you weigh you deserve to be heard!

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