Is Fat a Disease?

7 comments | November 12th, 2011

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

I'm so frustrated!

I hate that there are so many people, who like me, are overweight. And so many people, not like me but just like me, who are underweight. Obese. Fat. Underweight. Skinny. A disease. Imagine defining the way someone looks as a disease.

Imagine your respected doctor or health professional telling you your appearance is a disease. How is that legal? Why do we allow that?

My diet might be a problem. My activity might be a problem. Maybe I'm not doing healthy things, maybe I have an eating disorder, but the way I look is not the actual issue. The issue is that my body image is terrible because airbrushed magazines give other people and myself unreasonable goals and doctors like you validate them by telling me I look like a disease and that's the problem.  {end story.}

You ever had a doctor – or some professional – say something to you where you were all WTF?!  When?  What'd you do or say back? 


  • Mountain Biking Mama

    Posted on November 12, 2011

    My story in bad bedside manner isn’t quite as serious but your question made me think of this. My BF and I were mountain biking with friends in Aspen when my BF “wiped out.” He had a big gash on his leg, when one of our friends who was a doctor looked at his leg and said “I think I see bone.” My BF immediately threw up. Funny now. Wasn’t then.

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  • Momof2

    Posted on November 12, 2011

    My kids are very tall for their age. Their pediatrician has made some comments that totally bug me about how big they are. Society sees it as an asset, but I don’t want them thinking they are “BIG”.

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  • Jacki

    Posted on November 29, 2011

    Wow, thanks for pointing that out. I hadn’t realized that before.
    My father, a doctor, pointed out that in medicine you never call someone “a diabetic,” you call them, “a person with diabetes,” or whatever other framing, so it is a quality of their being, not their entire identity. I notice that same linguistic power with in other categories: “a gay,” or “a gay person,” et cetera… Subtleties like that in language can be so powerful….

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  • Anonymous

    Posted on November 30, 2011

    Appearance belies NOTHING about health. People don’t seem to realize that GENETICS play the biggest role too. It just so happens that ectomorphs (tall lanky body types) are “in” this century, everything about beauty and the psychology of what we find beautiful and why, is utter BULL. Modern beauty standards love to masquerade as “natural,” when mankind has been obsessed with unnaturally altering their appearance since we were born. Go look at the crazy stuff african and asian cultures do for ‘beauty’. What we like to call “beautiful” looking body types are literally -the freaks of the litter-, your average “healthy natural woman beauty” is not 6 feet 100 lbs with bug eyes, fat lips and cheekbones that could cut glass.

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    • OffOurChests

      Posted on November 30, 2011

      Thanks for sharing, Anonymous…beauty remains in the eyes of the beholders, but you’re right “natural” seems pretty fungible and, um, unnatural often.

      Thanks for adding your voice. OOC

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  • leah

    Posted on December 21, 2011

    When I was about 13 or so, an orthodontist made predictions of my chin’s imminent doom. He warned me that my chin would continue to rise and rise and cave in as I got older if I didn’t get braces. My 13-year-old brain translated this as, “You will be ugly if you don’t get braces”. I didn’t get braces. My parents couldn’t afford them. My chin is fine. My self-love wasn’t.

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