Thin Privilege and Weight Discrimination

In The Medical Profession, Weight Discrimination is A Very Real Thing

So this is a tricky topic for me, a plus-size boutique owner, to write about as it pertains to weight loss. Don’t laugh but I am usually on the very opposite side of this issue. I am not a fan of losing weight to be beautiful. You already are. I don’t agree with women that think being skinny will fix all of their problems. At the end of the day you are still left with you. I am more about feeling comfortable in your own skin & being your healthiest version of you. But today I am compelled to write about the vast conspiracy against plus size people in the medical profession. Weight Discrimination is a very real thing

If I Could Just Lose This Belly

So often I hear women say, “If I could just lose this belly I would be fine” and despite the months of starvation women cannot seem to lose anything. Often I say, “Women who walk through my door are not the size they are because they can’t put the fork down but because of menopause, genetics & medications”.

In my opinion, doctors play a large role in this process…simply by their weight discrimination & the systematic dismal of symptoms of plus size people by saying, “Lose weight and you won’t have this problem.” 

Seriously? I am now at a point in my life that when I meet a new doctor I say, “If all you want to do is talk about or blame my weight, then you are not the doctor for me AND I have been this weight for 30 years & my symptoms are new so let’s not blame it on the weight.” I make it clear I am a player in my own health care. I understand I am not a doctor and that I’m just a retailer but I am the expert in ME and I will not be “Fat Tracked” by a doctor because they are unwilling to do their job.

Think Weight Discrimination Isn't A Real Issue?

Let me give you a little example. A friend of mine who is an eating disorder survivor & someone who has had a large weight gain during her recovery has been having LOTS of health issues as of late. So, she approached her GP and her doctor told her “You have PCOS. Lose weight, and it will get better”. That’s it. The GP didn’t order any lab work nor checked for the usual factors. 

Well, my friend desperately wants to conceive but with her system being so out of whack, it isn’t happening. So, she went to a specialist on whom she “pulled a Jan” and set the rules about the weight conversation. The Doctor’s reply was, “Your weight is the least of my concerns.” 

Within 2 hours of having blood drawn her specialist called to tell her her thyroid numbers were sky high & that she needed to start thyroid meds. She also told her that the hypothyroidism was putting more strain on her system & heart than her weight. My friend came to me with tears in her eyes & said “I thought it was my fault”. Of course you did. That’s what the weight discrimination mentality of Western Medicine wants you to believe.

And. This. Happens. Every. Damn. Day.

No One Listens To Fat People

As some of you can relate to, I am suffering from a lot of arthritis from an auto-immune disease. At the gentle nudging of a new GP I reached out to an Obesity Medicine specialist. After I gave her my opening line I then added, “I want you to know I am not here because I have a low self-esteem nor do I have any desire to be skinny. I am here because my weight is making it hard for me to stand long periods of time.” She asked me, “How much would you like to lose?” I said, “25lbs. ” She replied “That’s it? That’s easy.” 

She said, “Wow, you have a really good handle on the nutrition piece. Now let’s look at your meds”. Then in about 10 seconds she said, “Here is your problem”. She pointed to a sleep medication I use, which even at a low dosage, will make you gain weight and will not allow it to come off.
“You mean to tell me that all those doctors who have told me to lose weight in the last 25 years and not one of them saw this medication as an issue?”

Thus begins my tirade, “You wanna know why????? I’ll tell you why…BECAUSE no one listens to fat people! Like ever! No one takes us seriously when we’re sitting in a backless gown that is too small for us while our chubby ass cheeks are sticking to that tissue paper you all make us sit on!


Today Is A New Day

I am not entirely sure why I am writing on this topic today. It is a problem that has been rampant throughout the medical profession for decades but today I am moved to write. Today I am moved to tell you not to accept one doctor’s opinion or approach, I am telling you that you are the expert in YOU, and I am telling you feeling better isn’t a privilege of the skinny. 

In fact, most recent studies show that healthy has very little to do with our weight at all. I encourage you to be an advocate for yourself and I encourage you continue to seek out doctors who will not put you on the “fat track”. Push back against weight discrimination. Today I am telling you that you deserve to feel good too.

We discuss this topic in-depth in the 3rd episode of our “Own Your Curvy Life” Podcast.

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