I’ve had another concern troll. You know the usual schtick, the whole “But you’re gonna DIE!” type. I was reading Ragen’s post over at Dances with Fat on the Vague Future Health Threat (herein referred to as VFHT) and I thought I’d talk a bit about the subject myself. I think I’ll write a letter.
Dear concern trolls, fat hating medicos, my family and friends, other people’s families and friends, colleagues and random douchebags on the street…
We are ALL going to die.
Yep, one day, we’re all going to reach the end of our lives, and we’re going to die. Maybe that will be because we got sick with diabetes, or heart disease, or hypertension, or any other of the diseases that you claim “obesity” is the root cause of. Maybe it will be an accident that takes us. Maybe we’ll just grow very old and our bodies will stop working and it will be our time to go. Or perhaps we’ll get cancer. No matter what the cause of death is, we all have that one thing in common. We are alive now, and one day, we’re going to die. Whether we’re fat, thin or somewhere in the middle.
Yes, yes, I know, you say that it’s all about preventing an EARLY death. Here’s the thing. I knew this girl. She was beautiful and took really good care of herself. She never smoked, never touched alcohol, went to church, worked hard, and did everything you’re supposed to do to be healthy and live a long life. She was slim and ate well and exercised. Then at 24 she developed a kind of cancer that is associated with smoking. Strangely enough, she never once smoked anything. She died at 26.
I also knew a man, who played sport several times per week, ate healthy, didn’t smoke and only liked a beer or wine or two with friends from time to time. He loved his family and was kind to everyone. He died at 49 of melanoma.
Oh it’s about quality of life you say? Because everyone knows fat people have bad hips and knees, huff and puff going up and down stairs and all that stuff. Some do, sure. But don’t assume all do. Besides, if you care so much about quality of life, how about not bullying people with fat shaming? How about accepting people as they are, and encouraging them to live their lives to the fullest right here and now, which in turn will enable them to do things like eat well, and be active? If you’re so fired up about quality of life, you’d be making sure that fat people were happy as well as healthy.
See when I was 12, I went to the doctor with terrible period pain. He told me that if I didn’t lose the weight before I was 13, my periods would stop and I’d never have a proper puberty. I didn’t lose the weight. My periods didn’t stop and puberty came along as it should have.
When I was 16, I went to the same doctor with more terrible period pain, as well as some other menstrual issues. He told me that if I didn’t lose the weight by the time I was 18, I’d have diabetes. I didn’t lose the weight. I’m 38 and still don’t have diabetes, or even pre-diabetes.
When I was 19, I went to a new doctor with debilitating menstrual issues (see a pattern here?) and he told me that I should go away and lose weight, find myself a boyfriend and have a baby. Good advice for someone in pain who has bled for 18 months huh?
When I was 21, I went to a doctor with a skin problem. He told me to lose weight and they’d go away. I went to another doctor, and he made them go away without me losing a pound.
When I was 25, I went to another doctor because my periods had stopped. He told me that it was because I was fat, and if I didn’t lose the weight by the time I was 30, I’d get diabetes and my knees would give away. I lost the weight, then gained it again, then lost it again, then gained it again… all I got for that was bad teeth, a whole lot of stretchmarks and the continuation of a very long term eating disorder. No diabetes or bad knees.
When I was 30, I went to a doctor with menstrual troubles again (see the pattern here?) and she told me that if I didn’t lose the weight, I’d never have babies, I’d get diabetes and have a heart attack before I was 35. She told me that my depression would go away, my periods would come back regular (and be pain free) and I wouldn’t have any more acne. She gave me lots of different types of weight loss drugs and treatments to try. I did lose the weight. A LOT of weight. What I got was more depression, my period disappeared altogether, my skin got worse and I tried to kill myself repeatedly.
I gained the weight back. I went to a doctor who came highly recommended. I was 32. She diagnosed me with PCOS. Over the past 6 years we’ve been working through my health together. We tried a lot of things, worked out what was best for me, and went with it. I am now strong and healthy and emotionally happy. We have figured out the PCOS stuff and all of that is working well for me. My weight is only a factor when it comes to dosage. I’m 38 and I still haven’t developed the diabetes (or even pre-diabetes) that has been predicted for me since I was a teenager. My vital signs are all fabulous. I am full of energy and life is good. My doctor is happy with my health. Should that change, then my doctor and I will assess things again.
The thing is, you don’t know my body. You don’t know anyone’s body except your own. You’re not really concerned about my health, because you don’t know what my health is. You just don’t like looking at fat people. But you think by camouflaging your fat loathing with concern for health, you can pass comment, or make judgement. You can’t.
You worry about your health. I’ll look after mine.
P.S. Here’s a special image for you all: