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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

My Reaction to "My Big Fat Fabulous Life"

Last night I watched a show called "My Big Fat Fabulous Life" and before I knew it I was holding back tears.  I found someone else who has experienced the same problems as me. 

Now I'm going to be blunt, most people would think, oh, you found someone who understands what it's like to be fat, but no, that's not it. I found a person and a show that is speaking to the medical problem called Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome that I have with all it's complications AND a show speaking to the last totally acceptable group to be discriminatory and totally ugly towards. 

You see, in our society today, it is totally acceptable to be rude, ugly and nasty to so-called "fat" people.  If you are overweight & considered "fat" then it seems to be acceptable to be called a whale, Shamu, pig, or cow in public by total strangers.  It seems to be acceptable to be told by total strangers that you are disgusting and should start exercising and stop eating.  It's totally acceptable to devalue and dehumanize us.

Consider how you would feel walking from the parking lot towards the entrance doors of a restaurant only to have someone you don't even know yell out that maybe starving children in Africa would have food to eat if you would just stopped eating.  Or having kids in a playground tell your child I'm glad she's not my mom, I'd be afraid she'd fall and squash me.  Or how about being told to wait for another elevator because you're so big you'll put it over it's weight limit.  These things (and much worse) are said to people everyday and no one blinks an eye....worse than that, most people laugh and go on thinking nothing of it.

You see, if you are one of those "fat" people, you're considered to be lazy and a glutton.  Basically, it's assumed that your weight has everything to do with your inability to stop putting food in your face.  In most people's mind there is no way you can be eating a good healthy diet and being active or exercising AND be fat. Society has decided, and most people believe, that those people who are "fat" got there by bad eating habits and laziness.

What most people don't take the time to consider is 
circumstances outside of your control.

During the first 6  months that I was married I gained 30 pounds.  I had grown up on a diet that included a lot of carbs with veggies on the side.  As a newly married woman I had to change my eating habits since my husband desired more meat/protein in his meals than I was used to.  For years I blamed the change in diet for the weight gain but others blamed laziness.

©Voice From The End of Town
Funny thing was, all my life I was told I was fat and ugly and needed to lose weight.  The day I got married I felt so blessed that this man, soon to be my husband, loved someone as fat and ugly as me.
It made no sense for me to be called fat or told I needed to lose weight though since I was ~120-130 pounds when I got married at 18 and wore a size 12 wedding dress.  

What no one knew until I was 21 was that I had PCOS and something had triggered the weight gain.  However, many blamed the PCOS on the weight gain not the weight gain on the PCOS. You see, PCOS is an endocrine disorder*...
*The endocrine system influences how your heart beats, how your bones and tissues grow, even your ability to make a baby. It plays a vital role in whether or not you develop diabetes, thyroid disease, growth disorders, sexual dysfunction, and a host of other hormone-related disorders. (WebMD)
That means hormonal imbalance leading to more male hormones being produced than would normally be and an imbalance of the female hormones leading to uncontrolled weight gain among other things.

Over the last 30 years I've gained more than that 30 pounds I picked up in my first six months of marriage and have had some really horrible experiences with people, but especially doctors who did not understand PCOS and have preconceived notions about weight.  One in particular had me tell him what I was eating and what exercises I was doing and keep track of it.  He could not accept that I could possibly be doing the exercise I said I was and eating what I said I was and not losing weight.  He treated me so badly including calling me a boldfaced liar and shutting my daughter up when she demanded I was being truthful.  I left his office crying that day and never went back.

About six months ago I saw a new physician and after looking at my medical records and tests I was told that my weight was not my fault.  The doctor told me point blank there was nothing that I could have done to stop my weight gain.  PCOS has controlled my weight all my life.  He indicated that without getting balance in my adrenals as well as female & male hormone production that I won't be able to get the weight off.  So much for the comments that say "You're that weight because you want to be!" 

Mine is not the only story like this but most people don't care to know the truth.  The common belief is that  "fat" people deserve the hell they get.  "Fat" people can be treated like second class citizens, like they have no feelings, like they're stupid and undesirable because they're "fat."  If they didn't want to be treated that way then they should lose some weight.

The real problem don't know who a person is by their weight, you don't know their problems by looking at the scale.  So the next time you come across someone who is "fat" to you...consider that they may have a medical issue you know nothing of.  

And remember, "but by the grace of God, there go I..."

because one day...that might be you.

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