The first time I really, really noticed it, and maybe it was the trigger to what was already a perfect storm was seeing this card online made by I assume an obese woman that could be purchased by people to give to doctors that tell them to treat them no matter what they weigh. Her explanation was that she would go to the doctor for different reasons, and would always be told the answer was to lose weight. I've been to a doctor and have been embarrassed by my weight in the past and even had a doctor humiliate me one time - I had gained about 30 pounds since I had last seen him - so, I get the part about not wanting to be shamed, but...you are going to a doctor who is going to counsel you on your health. So, she wanted to be able to hand them this card that said not to mention her weight or to lose weight, that losing weight only led to gaining it back and many times gaining back even more weight than was lost (with links provided to support her statements), only to weigh her if that would be required for reasons such as knowing how much of a medication to prescribe and not to tell her what the number was unless she asked, etc. But what got me - what really got me - was something that my father said to me - exactly. Not to recommend bariatric surgery because it caused complications - "even death". Oh, really? REALLY? Yes, my father who was morbidly obese said those exact words to me when I suggested bariatric surgery. My father, who would NOT change his lifestyle - his eating habits, exercising, which I'll admit would have been limited *because* of his obesity related illnesses, but something is better than nothing.
My father died of obesity related illnesses almost two years ago. And here she is online selling these cards to obese people that tell doctors not to tell them to lose weight or even weigh them, and if they have to, do not tell them the number. I think it's important that they know the number because some people are in denial and don't weight themselves for a very long time and are surprised that they weight 50 or more pounds than they thought. And by the way, people have eyes, numbers don't really matter. You don't walk into the office looking like a supermodel, step on the scale, and suddenly the nurse thinks, "Wow, you are FAT! I thought you were so slim, but now I know the truth!" I'm pretty sure she already has a good idea of how much you weigh since she does that all day long every day.
But back to bariatric surgery. It's laughable and ridiculous for someone to claim they are so concerned about their health that they can't fathom getting bariatric surgery, yet they care so little about their health they do nothing to try to get healthy. I'm not talking about people who are obese who are working on themselves, exercising, trying to eat better. I mean people who are working to get obesity ACCEPTED in society, like she is and like the people who loved her post and replied to it, at least the people that she allowed their comments to show up after her moderation. I'm not even going to mention appearance, that's it's own topic and not at all what I'm concerned about at the moment, just health wise, it should never be accepted.
It's a medical problem like anything else. Smoking causes cancer, so stop smoking. Obesity causes a variety of obesity related diseases, that's a proven and well known fact and a huge reason why our health insurance keeps sky rocketing. Money aside, it robs us of our most treasured loved ones and leaves us with regret and guilt that we didn't do more, we didn't say the right thing, how could we have helped?
So...if *I* feel this way about my father, how would I feel if I were a doctor with years and years of obese patients that had died of obesity related illnesses? How much guilt would I have? I think every time I had someone in my office that needed to lose weight (not just 20 pounds, I mean obese), I would not miss that opportunity to tell them, feelings be damned. That might be the only chance I had to get through to them, to save their lives, for them and for the people who loved them.
If I found out that my father had handed one of her cards to his doctors and they actually abided by it, and since he died because he was obese, I would be very tempted to see what I could do legally for gross negligence. I have never, ever been a smoker in my life, and I am constantly badgered by it at doctors offices - are you a smoker? have you ever been a smoker, and even once - are you considering becoming a smoker? What makes obesity any different? They both lead down the same path - pretty certain chances of getting cause and effect illnesses.
NOW. People like myself and perhaps those who are brought to my blog are disadvantaged. Side effects from medication we take very often increase our hunger and...can make us obese. I have never been so hungry in my life as I have been on some of the medications I have taken. I have stopped on the way home from work and bought a can of frosting which I then ate half of once I got home. Multiple times. I'm sure there are other reasons people are obese as well - thyroids, I don't know all the reasons.
But - that's to discuss with your doctor. If she is so freaked out about it, why not be the first to bring it up? When I knew I needed to lose weight, I told the nurse before I EVER saw the doctor and what I was doing to lose weight, and the doctor didn't even say a word about it.
But denial is not the answer. Getting society to accept obesity is not the answer either because it's just unhealthy. No one should be making fun of anyone, humiliating anyone, shaming anyone, that's not right and it's cruel. A person isn't what they weigh, just like I'm not my mental illness, although right at this moment, maybe I am or maybe I sound like I am, I don't know. This is an extremely, extremely touchy subject for me because of my father, and when I read her card, it was like listening to him all over again about this.
Weight is a very big issue for me. I struggle DAILY with it. I've been way up and I've been way down. My clothes have run all different sizes, I have stretch marks and have never had a child, I have parents right out of the riddle or poem "Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean...", except my mother is too thin and my father was too large. It's a very confusing way to grow up - two parents with eating disorders, one who won't eat, and one who eats too much. One who freaks out about people who are obese and says the strangest things about them that confuses me to this day and I've come to realize she has never known anything but being very thin her whole life, and one who said people shouldn't judge or say anything to someone about weight.
Well, one is still alive and one isn't. But the strange thing? The one that is still alive has smoked ever since I can remember, so perhaps being obese is far riskier than even being a smoker.