concern trolls

All posts in the concern trolls category

On Making Diabetics the Demons

Published August 13, 2011 by sleepydumpling

Well the Fatosphere has been alive this week with discussion on the rather awful piece by Jess Weiner in Glamour magazine where she claims that body acceptance (not quite sure why she chooses the word “body” when we all know she means the word “fat”) almost killed her.

I’m not really going to talk about why her article and attitudes towards FA, not when so many other people have done it already and probably better than I could.  Check out these pieces by Ragen of Dances with Fat, Golda at Body Love Wellness, Marianne at The Rotund and on the Health at Every Size blog.

What I want to talk about in this context is Ms Weiner’s demonisation of diabetes, especially as using it as a death threat.  In her article, she quotes her blood sugar levels pre-epiphany as 99 (and states that between 100 and 125 is pre-diabetic – which would make her 99 reading PRE-prediabetic – go figure!) and also quotes her doctor as saying:

“Jess,” she said, “your blood sugar numbers show me that you are almost in the prediabetic range. If you don’t lose some weight and watch your sugar intake, you will get diabetes.”

I have to say… this is a pretty bloody alarmist statement.  Yes, Ms Weiner’s blood sugar levels were on the high side… OF NORMAL.  We also don’t know if her doctor made a prognosis on anything more than Ms Weiner’s weight and current blood sugar levels.  There’s no mention of Ms Weiner’s pre-epiphany eating habits or activity levels, but from the article one can surmise that she has been living a fairly active lifestyle already, and it is known she has a history of eating disorders.  Is  none of that a contributor to someone’s health?

This is all a prime example of just how easily fat people are given the prognosis of future diabetes, even when their blood sugar levels are in the normal range or they are active and eat well.

But let’s just say that Ms Weiner was on her way to diabetes, perhaps because she has a family history of type 2 diabetes, or for some other reason.  The reason doesn’t matter.  Let’s just say that diabetes was a known likely issue for her.

Why is body acceptance a threat to her life?  Does body acceptance (let’s go back to calling it fat acceptance) encourage people to be sedentary in their lives?  No.  In fact quite the opposite, it urges people to live their lives to the full, to find activities and pursuits that they enjoy and make them feel good.  Does fat acceptance encourage people to eat extreme levels of food with the purpose of gaining weight so that everyone is fat like us?  Not at all, fat acceptance is all about loving the body you are in, and treating it well, while nourishing it with the food it needs.  Most fat acceptance activists do not believe in changing ones body to change ones life, which includes gaining weight as much as it does losing it.  Does fat acceptance discourage people from obtaining medical care from health professionals?  Absolutely not!  Again, quite the opposite.  It encourages people to demand respectful, dignified health care that listens to the patient and works with the patient to find the best methods to encourage wellbeing in the patient, no matter what the circumstances of the patients life.

Something wants me to say to Jess Weiner – Fat/Body Acceptance… You’re doin’ it wrong!

And finally, as a diabetic myself, I get so royally fucking fed up with type 2 diabetes being used as some kind of moral measure of the population.  The minute the word diabetes comes up in a conversation about bodies, people start gasping and clutching their pearls, and screaming “Won’t somebody think of the children!!??”  While there are lots of us out there in the world who actually have type 2 diabetes, who are fed up with being used as some kind of cautionary tale for “bad” people who “let themselves get fat/unhealthy”.

The reality is, diabetes exists.  It’s not fun, it is an illness that people suffer and if not managed, it can make your health decline rapidly and irreversibly.  However, diabetes is not a death sentence.  It’s not an indication that your life is over and that you have “failed”.  Like any other chronic illness, it requires managing and some changes to your life to mitigate any problems that may arise.  It is not an indicator of who is a lazy glutton (after all, lots of thin people and active people get Type 2 diabetes as well – I have several in my family alone) or who has “failed” to take care of their health.

Unlike Jess Weiner, I am not pre-pre-prediabetic, I actually HAVE been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and I’m fat.  That doesn’t mean I don’t want to optimise my health as best I can within the circumstances of my life, nor does it mean that I have got myself this way by “loving my body”.  It also doesn’t mean that I deserve to be demonised as what happens to lazy gluttons who are “bad people”.

It’s a complete “othering” of people who have a chronic illness and it’s disgusting that people do this.

To Ms Weiner and anyone else who wants to use diabetes to frighten people into dieting and following their “campaigns”, I send a hearty FUCK YOU!

The One In Which I Come Out as a Diabetic

Published June 1, 2011 by sleepydumpling

Well, last week I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Cue the trolls:

  • But you brought this on yourself!
  • Serves you right, you should have just put down the cheeseburger!
  • I told you it would happen eventually.
  • Don’t you care about your health?
  • If you’d just lost weight, you wouldn’t have got diabetes.
  • Well, you’ll just have to lose weight now, won’t you?
  • You’re driving our taxes/health-care costs up!!
  • You’ll probably die now, thanks to your obesity.
  • You’re a walking heart-attack/stroke, it’s just a matter of time.
  • Turns out being fat DOES mean you’ll get diabetes after all huh?  Told you so.  Maybe you’ll see sense and give up this fat acceptance rot now.
  • Get off the sofa fatty, no wonder you got diabetes, all you do is just sit.

I could go on, but we’ve heard them all before.  I just wanted to sprinkle a few out there to save the trolls some breath.

Thing is, I’m not at all unwell, nor was I when it was discovered during a routine annual blood work up (the kind every one of you should get annually, whether you’re fat, thin or in between).  I have no symptoms, and every other blood test came back embarrasingly healthy.

I’ll talk more about my thoughts, feelings and the stuff around my diagnosis later (especially about my anger in taking Metformin to prevent diabetes for YEARS but developing diabetes anyway), but I just wanted to announce to the world that I am now officially… wait for it…




Guess what?  That doesn’t mean I’m lazy, that I eat too much, that I should have lost weight and I wouldn’t have got diabetes (tell that to my 81 year old Grandma and various other relatives on both sides of my family who sent that gene my way – who are a liberal mix of fat, thin and in between) or that I’m going to die.  What it does mean is that my doctor and I are working together to optimise my health and mitigate any future issues.  We are not approaching with dieting, and we are looking for a Health at Every Size (HAES) plan.

I do have to eat more.  Yes, this fatty has been instructed to eat more because I am not eating enough.  I need to add more Low GI foods to my daily intake.  The worst thing?  I cannot find Low GI information that isn’t loaded with fat shaming and weight loss crap.  It’s of no use to me if it’s shaming me for my body, only if it’s informing me on the best foods to add to my daily intake.  It’s frustrating and confusing because there is so much conflicting information and I see so much fat loathing and scare-mongering that I just opt out of viewing it all together.

There is a Facebook community for Diet Free Talk for Diabetes/Insulin Issues in infancy (email me if you want to be included – it is a closed, private group to keep the fat hating trolls out and preserve a safe space for us to talk) and I hope to come up with some more resources I can share with you all in time.

But most of all, today’s message is this:

A person’s health, and their body, is their own, and nobody has the right to judge, bully, troll, lecture, vilify, disrespect or discriminate against anyone for their health or their body shape or size.  Even if their weight DID contribute to an illness, it’s nobody’s business but THEIRS.

So unless you have something constructive and supportive to add to the topic of diabetes and fatness, you are not welcome here.

If You Could Magically Become Thin Overnight, Wouldn’t You?

Published May 23, 2011 by sleepydumpling

Hands up if you’ve had this question.  If you’re a fat activist I’d say the likelihood is pretty high.  I hear it pretty regularly myself.

It’s usually followed by “Of course you would!” before I even get the chance to respond.  Which tells me from the outset that my answer to the question was actually irrelevant, since I wasn’t even given the opportunity to answer for myself.

I’ve just had another round of that question fired at me.  Anonymously of course, though it hasn’t always been so.  This time the asker hit me up in several places (Tumblr, Formspring, in the comments on this blog…) with the same question.  Seems they really want to tell me that “Of course you would!”

The thing is, it’s a redundant question.  There IS no magic way to become thin, either overnight, in a week, a month, a year, a decade.  The asker assumes that the concept is really worth entertaining because they believe that if I really, really wanted to, I could become thin.  But I know, and it’s becoming increasingly documented in science, that no matter how much a I could possibly want it (if I did), I can no more become thin than I can become a unicorn, the President of the United States of America, or marry Hugh Jackman.

Well, there is an outside, remote, very distant chance I could marry Hugh, but even that is more of a likelihood than my becoming thin.

However, there are some things I would like to happen, and I do believe are possible right now, without any magic, is for people with fat bodies to be treated with dignity and respect.  For our bodies to exist without being treated as objects of derision, fetish or ridicule.  And for fat people to be allowed to live their lives without the intrusion of strangers and the general public on our own private matters, such as health, sexuality and comfort.

I would like to see all bodies, regardless of their size included in all aspects of life.  I would like to see all bodies included in public spaces, on transport, in education and health without moral value being attached to them.  I would like all bodies to have access to clothing, furniture, safety gear and sporting/recreational equipment equally.

But most of all, I would like to see people in general focus on the wellbeing of their own bodies, rather than intruding on the wellbeing of other people’s – even fat people.

This is what could happen, without “magic”, and without wishing for something that is simply a fairytale.

The Lazy Diagnosis

Published April 21, 2011 by sleepydumpling

I want to talk about death threats against fat people today.  Not literal ones, like “I’m going to kill you!”, which we do receive sometimes, particularly if we commit the “crime” of being publicly and unashamedly fat.  But the more subtle ones.  Brian over at Red No. 3 wrote about them a while back, in his post “A Culture of Death Threats“.

It’s the kind of message that fat people hear every day.  The message that boils down to “You’re going to die, fatty!!”  All those times you hear “But don’t you know being fat is unhealthy??” and “You’re going to get diabetes/high cholesterol/heart disease/bowel cancer/etc.” right through to the ridiculousness of “Your fat is crushing your bones!  Your organs are going to liquify into fat!  Obesity destroys your immune system!”

We, fat people, hear those messages every day.  From sources near and far – friends and family, the diet industry, mainstream media, the government, strangers on the street, and indeed, from many health care professionals.

As Brian says in his post, this is a method of control, trying to get us to do as we are told.  We must diet, punish ourselves, be invisible, feel shame, loathe our fat bodies.  Be a good fatty and do whatever we can to stop being fat.

However, something else happens too.  Even if we opt out of the societal norm of loathing and shame for fat bodies, something happens to us that even the most deeply entrenched fat activist can be susceptible to.  We begin to fear our fat bodies.   We stop listening to them as part of ourselves, and see them as the enemy, something to be feared and fought, other than/outside ourselves.

It happened to me this week.

I’ve mentioned plenty of times before that I suffer from anxiety.  Some of it is genetic (most of my family on both sides have some form of anxiety issues) and some of it is a result of PTSD.  Of course, my anxiety has been blamed on my fatness too, but I have thin relatives who also suffer it, and that never gets acknowledged.

Most of the time, it’s well managed these days.  I recognise many of the triggers, I see the warning signs, and I have learned the skills to mitigate most bouts.  But sometimes it blindsides me, and then it’s very difficult to work through it, even with the recognition and skills I have learned.

So I got a cold a couple of weeks ago.  It swept through my office like a brush fire, and as I had a nice open tattoo wound at the time, I could hardly avoid it.  My doctor (who is awesome and I am very lucky to have found) and I have noticed this phenomena of me getting a cold every time I have a fresh tattoo – otherwise I hardly get the bugs that go around.  I had a pretty full on cough, got a rather interesting husky voice for a couple of weeks, felt a bit run down and tired, but wasn’t that bad so I didn’t have any time off work though many of my colleagues who got the same lurgy did.

However this week, I noticed a pain in the left side my chest.*

And every voice that ever told me that I was going to die because I’m a disgusting fatty, fat, fat came flooding back to me.  Every concern troll, every narrowminded bigot, every doctor who didn’t bother to examine me and just looked at my fat body and made a diagnosis, every arsehole on the street who told me I would die because of my fatness was suddenly back in my head, telling me that my fatness was going to give me a heart attack and I would die.  I was hearing those old recordings in my mind, and I was afraid.

It was stupid.  But it happens, even now.  Because the relentlessness of those messages, that are literally inescapable, means that even though I’m consciously rejecting them, they still get through from time to time, when I’m not feeling at my strongest.

This is what we’re up against in our culture.  Relentless messages that tell us, regardless of any actual facts about our personal situations, that we’re going to die, and it will be all the fault of our fatness.  People who are not fat, or who can pass as not fat, don’t have to constantly brace themselves against that avalanche of negativity every day.  But those of us who have unhideable bodies, bodies that can never pass as “not fat”, are subjected to it, everywhere.  Dozens and dozens of variations of that same basic message, “Fear your fat body.”

The thing is, having that kind of constant threat of death spouted at us is what makes many of us sick, not the fatness of our bodies.  Having that much negativity, shame and loathing constantly thrown at you has got to wear at times.  It’s the nocebo effect – where those messages are so deeply ingrained, that we start to believe that we are going to get sick, that we are going to die and that message is so powerful that we actually DO get sick.

But it’s still our fault.  Because we’re fat, and being fat means that you caused all bad things that have happened to you.

Of course, we are then accused of being “weak” when those messages weigh too heavily on our shoulders.  When the constant call to fear our own bodies actually filters through, and we succumb to that fear.  If we admit anxiety or stress, then it is somehow our fault, and we’re to blame for that as well.   If we go to the doctor, we’re often told that we’re hypochondriacs, or that we’re being overly dramatic, if we would just go and lose weight this wouldn’t happen.  Our anxiety and stress is dismissed as whinging or attention seeking, with no question as to what is causing such anxiety and stress.  We are tossed out the door yet again, with “lose weight” as the cure for all that ails us.

So what do so many of us do?  We ignore the REAL messages our bodies try to send us.  When we feel pain, we avoid going to the doctor, because we’ll only be told that we’re weak, that we should just lose weight and the problem will go away.  We won’t get a real diagnosis, they won’t care how we feel.  We’ll just be shamed and sent packing with instrutions to eat less and exercise more.

Is this ever factored into “studies” into mortality and health of fat people?  Is it ever acknowledged by those supposedly researching into issues around obesity that the very culture we live in is a) making fat people sick and b) preventing us from getting adequate health care when we do get sick?

It strikes me that the lazy ones aren’t those of us who are fat.  It’s those who don’t bother to actually listen, and investigate the health of individual fat people on a case by case basis.  It’s those who take one look at our fatness and diagnose every ailment we have as “obesity”, merely on sight.  It’s those who don’t ask WHY there may be evidence towards fat people having health issues and just assume that fat is always to blame.

Wouldn’t you say that’s pretty hypocritical?  I know I would.

*It’s ok, the pains in my chest turned out to be pulled muscles in my ribcage due to coughing with that damn cold.

It’s Easy… Just Starve

Published April 10, 2011 by sleepydumpling

Last night I was reading blog posts through Google Reader, and somewhere in my reading travels, I read a commenter I think, relating something a thin colleague of hers had said to her. (I’m sorry I can’t find where I read it, if anyone knows let me know and I’ll link it up)  It went something like this:

My doctor says that it’s easy to lose weight, all you have to do is stop putting anything in here. *Pointing to mouth*

I can’t quite express how it made me feel.  It HURT at first.  Then it made me unspeakably angry, the red mist really formed before my eyes.  Then sadness, and some more hurt.  Followed by a big old mix of rage and pain and sorrow that all came flooding at once.

Because it’s not the first time I’ve heard the opinion that fat people should simply stop eating, AT ALL.  I’ve had it directed at me personally time and time again.  Let me share with you a couple of instances that stick in my mind.

More than a decade ago.  I was severely depressed, dieting (actually, pretty much starving myself) and generally just hating myself for being fat.  I was at the local shopping centre and I was so hungry, I was close to tears.  I hadn’t eaten all day, and I decided I could let myself have a small tub of fruit salad.  I bought the fruit salad, and was sitting on a bench eating it, when an elderly couple came by, pushing a shopping trolley.  The woman nudged her husband to look at me and said, loud enough for me to hear, “Look at that!  People like that should never be allowed to eat.”

I simply lowered my head, and cried.

About five years ago.  I was out on a date with the guy I was seeing at the time.  We were having dinner in a cafe.  I had improved a lot with my eating disorder by this time, but was still “watching what I ate”.  I am eating my dinner, a chicken and mushroom thing with a side salad and a pineapple juice.  He is eating his dinner, a burger with the works, large chips, a strawberry milkshake and a large serve of deep fried, crumbed calamari.  He is tall and very lean, I am average height and very fat.  Two women walk into the cafe, see us and as my date leans over, kisses me and helps himself to some of the food off MY plate, one woman says to the other “That’s disgusting, how can she just sit there eating in front of him?”

My date didn’t hear, but I did.  I fought back tears, and could not enjoy the rest of my date.

It happens all the time, not just the “stop eating” but everyone seems to be an expert on what fat people should do with their bodies, without any real knowledge at all about those people, their health, their bodies, their lives.  Everyone out there is an expert on fatness, you only have to take a look at the hashtag that has been busy on Twitter today #thingsfatpeoplearetold We suffer people telling us how to diet and exercise, as though we have never considered it in the past.  We suffer people commenting on what we are eating, how much (or how little) we are eating, how we are eating, when we are eating and why we are eating.  We suffer people making snap judgements on our bodies simply based on what they see before them, and their own fucked up assumptions about fat.

There is this fucked up thinking that if fat people simply stopped eating, ceased consuming any food at all, they would no longer be fat and the problem would be solved.  How we’re supposed to do that, when you know, humans need food to live, to survive, I don’t know.

I think the assumption is that fat people can just “live off their fat”, that if we stop eating, our bodies will just consume the fat on them and go along as per usual, without any negative consequence.  But it simply doesn’t work like that.  Ketosis for one, can be highly damaging to a body that is consuming it’s own fat, particularly to the liver.  Bodies that are not receiving nutrition can quickly become malnourished and begin to break down their own muscle and other vital materials rather than the fats stored.  It raises the risk of osteoporosis later in life.  And most of all, starvation makes people lose their ability to function generally throughout the day.  One cannot think straight, focus, remember etc when one is starving.

But all of this is considered acceptable by some, if it means you’re losing weight.

The thing is, weight loss is not guaranteed with starvation dieting.  In fact, I’m living proof that it simply doesn’t work, in fact, makes you fatter.  I starved myself, for long periods, on and off from when I was in my teens to when I was in my 30’s.  I rarely lost weight.  Sometimes I lost some, only to have it come back, even without going off the starvation diet.

Of course, it’s really not about health at all.  It’s about the sight of fat bodies being offensive to some people.  Because no matter how healthy you are, if you’re still fat… well then you are not doing it right.  You must get rid of your fatness, or at least hide it.  Cease to be fat, and if you can’t do that, cease to be.

But what really bothers me is not so much the epic wrongness of these assumptions, but the sheer injustice of being expected to live a life of deprivation, starvation and unhappiness, simply because my body is fat.  That to these people, I am never allowed to taste anything, to celebrate with food, to spend time with friends, colleagues and family over a meal, to experience the world through it’s cuisine, to enjoy food and eating, and most importantly, I am not allowed to make my own choices when it comes to food and eating.

I get angry that there are people who believe that my fatness negates my human right to live my life as I choose to do so.  There are those who believe that simply because my body is fat, that they, or society, or someone, needs to intervene in my life to direct me in how to take care of myself.

Well fuck that shit.  We are grown adults.  We are not stupid, or lazy, or somehow morally corrupted by our fatness.  We are capable of making our own choices when it comes to food and eating, particularly if you let us do so without ramming diets, or general fat loathing in our faces.  When removed from all the hateful messages society shoves on us about food and fatness, we can even become competent eaters.

If you are concerned about fat people eating, then don’t be, because it’s none of your concern.  Be concerned about your own eating.  We don’t need you to be concerned about ours.  I promise you, if fat people are left alone to eat as they wish to, without your concern, they won’t eat everything and leave you nothing.  The world won’t end.  You won’t miss out on that delicious thing that you are craving.  The economy of the planet is not going to collapse.  Children won’t suddenly drop dead from heart attacks.  You’re not going to see human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria.

What will happen is that grown adults, regardless of their body size, will make up their own mind about food and eating, and that will be ok.

Respecting Realities

Published February 14, 2011 by sleepydumpling

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been thinking a lot about how our realities as fat people are so regularly questioned, doubted, or denied.  I guess the triggers have been a few things.  From the repeated “just put down the cheeseburger and get some exercise” comments on the threads stemming from the fabulous Frances’ page on Triple J Hack being promoted on Facebook, to a commenter suggesting that “If you can’t seem to find clothes I think you’re trying the wrong size. :)” (Complete with passive aggressive smiley face – don’t you love when people tack those onto the end of a rude statement?), to friends suggesting that “perhaps you’re imagining it” when I try to talk about the way I am treated in public by some people, it’s something that is constantly done to fat people.

I don’t know about you, but I get bloody sick of it.

I get sick of people who have never lived in my body, never seen what I did to it for 30 years to try to get it thin, who don’t know how my body feels or what it is capable of, insisting that they know a) what I am eating and what I am doing and b) how to make my body thin c) that my body is somehow in pain and incapable of doing what I want it to do.

I get sick of people who have never tried to buy clothes to fit my body, who’ve never been with me when I’ve been shopping for clothes, or never seen me try clothes on, insisting that there are “plenty of options” for clothing for my body.  I get sick of them not trusting my judgement when they suggest an item of clothing that I know won’t fit me or won’t be comfortable for me to wear.

I get sick of people who don’t live in my fat body tell me that I’m imagining the woman trying to sneakily take my photo on her mobile phone as I eat my lunch in a cafe.  Of people saying “But I’ve never heard anyone say anything hateful to you!” refusing to acknowledge that it doesn’t happen in their presence because fat hating shitweasels are usually cowards who wait until I am alone to have a go at me.

I get sick of people who look at my body and assume that I am in pain because of my fatness, without ever asking me how I feel, or even seeing me show any signs of pain.

I get sick of people who dismiss me when I say I feel better now than I ever have, and that my body performs better now than it ever has, now that I have accepted that I have a fat body and I am best to just love it as it is.  People who don’t know anything about my health, people who dismiss my past and the experiences I have been through.

But most of all, I get so very, very sick of people who cannot accept that my reality is different to their reality, and that fact in no way minimises their reality.  Those who cannot fathom that if someone else needs fairness and equality, it doesn’t mean they will be missing out on “their share”.

I saw a good quote on Tumblr today, not sure where it originated, it wasn’t credited:

Equality is extremely threatening to people who have always benefited from the lack thereof.

But You’re Gonna DIE!!

Published December 27, 2010 by sleepydumpling

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.


Fat Heffalump

P.S.  Here’s a special image for you all:



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,323 other followers