mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Doctor, are you calling me fat?

I can't help feeling torn about the woman who is complaining because her doctor told her she was fat (via Protein Wisdom, which has good discussion).

First of all, I think that people have made a bigger deal about it than it deserves - it's a complaint, not a lawsuit, and it's over the manner that the comments were delivered, not the fact that he said she needed to lose weight.

Granted, I think the woman should have found another doctor, not filed a complaint. But the doctor may have been overly harsh, and shouldn't have.

I'm fat. I meet the government standard of obese (but if I lose 25 pounds or so, I'll be mearly overweight). But I've also lost about 50 pounds in the last year or so. I'm hoping to lose another 50, but that's going to be tougher - the more weight you lose, the harder it is to lose the remaning weight, and increased work and school obligations (and the delicious smell of french fries) have led me to resume some of my bad eating habits and not exersize as much as I was previously (although I still get more exersize than I did a year ago, when I never exersized, and my eating habits are still way better than they once were, when I considered an entire box of pizza rolls and a pint of ben and jerry's to be a suitable dinner).

For pretty much all my life I've been fat. And for pretty much all my life I've had doctors tell me I shouldn't be fat. And for pretty much my entire life I ignored them.

Some doctors do seem to go overboard on the diet lectures - yes, it is good to remind fat people that they should lose weight and that there are serious consequences if they don't. But I once had a doctor blame my ear infection on my beer belly. I've also had doctors tell me I should stop smoking - despite the fact that I smoke maybe 2 or 3 cigars a month.

But most people who are fat 1)know they are fat and 2)that they shouldn't be fat. Sure, you will find people who are convinced that being fat is entirely genetic and that diets are unhealthy, but most fat people know they are fat and would prefer not to be - they just haven't convinced themselves to make the effort to lose weight. And when they do, it has to come from inside, from themselves, not from their doctor. Doctors may help make them realize they should change, but ultimatly they need to have the desire to change.

For a while, I had realized that my life was made more difficult by my girth, but the thing that really kicked me into action was filling out one of those "how long do you have to live" calculators - and having it tell me I would be dead by 55 or so.

I still have a long way to go. I don't consider myself a success story - yet. But I would guess my experiences, motivations and thoughts are probably similar to a lot of other fat, fat-but-not-quite-as-fat-as-they-used-to-be, and ex-fat people.


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