Fitness Magazine

Our Health in Our Hands

By Danceswithfat @danceswithfat

Bad DoctorReader Amanda let me know about a new study  that I find not at all shocking – the study shows that  doctors are not as warm, empathetic, or generally nice to us as they are to their thin patients.  I imagine that it’s difficult for them to fit in niceties when they are so very busy ignoring what we say to them and prescribing weight loss for everything that’s wrong with us.

My partner went to the doctor today, without performing any tests the doctor blamed the issue on her weight.  When Julianne asked her about the studies that show that almost nobody succeeds at weight loss and many people actually gain weight the doctor agreed with her, but said that Julianne didn’t “have to be a statistic.”  Sadly I wasn’t there to ask the doctor if she recommends skydiving without a parachute since some people survive the fall.

Mistreatment by doctors is, to me, one of the most dangerous side effects of the obesity panic and the stigma, shame, and stereotyping that comes with us.  Doctors don’t listen to us, aren’t nice to us, and insist that we should try to do something that nobody has proven is possible for a reason that nobody has proven is valid with almost zero chance for success. People who stick up for themselves with their doctor can find themselves blacklisted and/ or unable to get the treatment that they need (Julianne waited over a year to get an appointment with this specialist so it’s very dangerous for her to alienate her), but those who don’t advocate for themselves end up getting prescribed weight loss for a broken arm. Some fat people just give up on going to the doctor altogether which means that they don’t get proper preventative care or early intervention for illnesses – though it’s to be noted that even if they went to the doctor they might not get those things because of the bias that exists with doctors around fat patients.

To me the key is to, as my friend Darryl is fond of saying, being the CEO of my own healthcare.   Doctors have a place at the table but I can choose to me at the helm.  It’s not always easy, it’s not fair that I have to do it, and I still don’t always get the healthcare I deserve, but the only way I know to change things is to risk, question, and push the boundaries.

ASDAH and the Size Diversity Task Force are partnering on a project right now called “Resolved” asking people to make videos discussing their treatment by doctors and what they are resolved to do to change things.  My video is below, you can take make your own as well, all the details are here!

You can also still order (or print out) your Doctor’s Office Survival Kit.

Here’s my video:

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The Book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

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