The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

It’s Because You’re Fat

on January 18, 2014

My mom has a love-hate relationship with the medical profession.   She has a number of health concerns and so she must visit various doctors on a fairly regular basis, but she hates that no matter what ails her the first response to her complaint is that it’s because she’s fat.  She often jokes that she could visit her doctor for a hang nail and she would be told that if she lost thirty pounds it would really help.  Others have experienced this as well and it is frustrating, but what I find most interesting is that as much as my mother hates it, she believes it.  Or at least she doles it out without seeing the irony.

Recently I was up for a promotion at work and I didn’t get it.  The other candidate doesn’t possess my charm or wit, but she is a hard worker and has the experience so while I am disappointed that I didn’t get the new position, I can’t be upset that she was chosen over me.  When I told my mom I didn’t get the job she was sympathetic, but the first thing she said after that was “when I don’t get something like that I assume that it’s because of my weight”.  I assured her that that wasn’t the case, that we were equally suited and seniority played a role in the decision, but she wasn’t swayed.  I also told her that the other candidate wasn’t a skinny minny and she was emphatic that regardless of the other candidate’s dress size she wasn’t “as big as us”.

But now here’s the twist to the story.  Without irony I too foster this same negative thinking.  Not about the job, I lost that fairly, but about my own health.  My 41st challenge, sort of  a bonus challenge if you will, is to get off blood pressure meds and reduce my blood pressure naturally through diet, exercise, meditation, natural supplements, or whatever works.  For a long time I resisted dealing with my hypertension sort of hoping that it would go away if I ignored it.  This last year I finally got a bit more serious about it and went on meds and for a while they seemed to be working.  My doctor played a bit with the dosages and initially things seemed to be improving, but now my blood pressure is still high and holding constant.  She has upped the medications that I am on to the highest dosages and now she has added another medication that she was hoping to avoid.  The drug has some annoying side effects and it has some potentially serious side effects for which I will need to have blood work done to make sure that I can tolerate the drug.  She also gave me a requisition for an ultrasound for my kidneys and explained that issues with my kidneys could be the culprit.  She applauded my efforts to work on my general health and was pleased to see that I’ve lost a little weight, but in this case my weight may not be the issue at all.  My doctor didn’t give me a lecture about my weight, in fact come to think of it she’s never really made it a big issue, but I have been reluctant to seek medical attention not only because I feared the lecture, but because I thought it was the issue, I thought that my weight was the only issue.

I have spoken before about how I’ve decided to pull back a bit and not be quite so social as I work on my health and this experience has increased my resolve to do so.  I am working hard on losing weight, but I also need to step up the other behaviours that could help, like making sure I drink enough water, getting more sleep and upping my physical activity.  If there is a problem with my kidneys then more sleep and exercise won’t help to fix the problem, but if I do require surgical intervention then being in better shape will definitely aid in my treatment and recovery.

For now I’m fine and I’m going to stay positive and hope that everything sorts itself out.  What I’m not going to do is assume that my weight is always the culprit.  Excess weight doesn’t help, I know for example that the back pain I’ve been experiencing is directly related to my carrying too much fat and not enough muscle tone in certain areas.  But unlike the medical professionals who seem to assume that every malady is directly related to my weight I’m going to start taking note of my aches and pains and not just brush them off because I’m fat.  A few years ago I had a lot of lower back pain and since it tended to go away when I lay down I assumed I needed to do more crunches.  It wasn’t until the pain started waking me at night that I thought to see my doctor who diagnosed me with a pretty serious kidney infection.  You’d think I would have learned from that experience, but alas no.  This time I’m not making any assumptions and I’m not going to let anyone else make them either.

– the Goddess


2 responses to “It’s Because You’re Fat

  1. This post is a good reminder that no matter what our circumstances we have to be mindful of the messages our bodies are telling us. I’m the worst at this, so I especially appreciate the message. Good for you for all the positive steps you’ve taken and continue to take. I always find your words inspirational. Keep up the good work, and here’s to your health!

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