In Memory of Ellen Maud Bennett

Another retroactive post transferred from my facebook page.

I am tired of this shit. And, I am tired of hesitating to post about it on Facebook. This isn’t just “fat-shaming” it is institutionalized fatphobia. And, its impact isn’t limited to self esteem. It is fucking life and death.

I have a genetic condition that has gone unrecognized most of my life in part because doctors have refused to see beyond my fat. My injuries have been dismissed. I have not gotten the treatment a thin person would.

What’s worse is that the reason I’m so fat is because I followed doctors’ advice and very dedicatedly dieted for years. Those of you who know me know how disciplined and responsible I am. That dieting ruined my metabolism. I have exercised to the point of injury/disability because nobody recognized my hypermobility. Exercising the way my doctors wanted me to has actually had a negative impact on my mobility and contributed to even more weight gain.

Now, I have to worry every doctor I see will refuse to treat me. And, unfortunately I see a lot of them because of my illness. I live in fear that I will need a life-saving surgery and someone will refuse to operate on me. I live in fear that I will be forced to have my stomach amputated before a doctor will treat me—effectively forcing me to swap one life threatening issue for another (bariatric surgery has a 10-15% mortality rate 8 years past surgery, and a 50% rebound rate).

I have known of multiple people personally and in my community who have experienced these threats—some of whom have died from medical neglect, just as this poor woman did. I am not being dramatic.

If you feel tempted to suggest that the solution to all this is simply to lose weight. I direct to you to Linda Bacon’s book: Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth about Your Weight. I’m not going to explain it to you. Educate yourself.

But I will say that based on the science, I am no longer dieting because I don’t want to GAIN weight. And, that is the only thing dieting has done for me in the long term. I can certainly reduce my body size temporarily by forcing my body to eat itself. But I’m not interested in temporary. My life is, God willing, longer than 2 years. Instead of dieting, I am eating intuitively and eating real food. And, when I am physically able, I will build in movement that is safe for the extra stretchy body I have. But I don’t owe anyone, including my doctors, those commitments. They are mine alone. That is as much justification of my fatness as I am going to give here.

The REAL solution is for doctors to treat fat patients like human beings. And, for us to stand up and collectively refuse to accept medical neglect and abuse—after all 2/3rd of us are fat! This is unacceptable. It could be your mother, your neighbor, your friend. It could be you. It could be me. Let’s commit together that not one more fat person will die from medical neglect!

And, yes, I’m posting this after posting a pic of a donut! Shamelessly! 🍩

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.