OK, so I have a lovely friend called Rachel. I’ve never met her in real life but we talk on Facebook a lot and she’s funny, very smiley and clever. She’s the kind of person who always has a kind word to say, some advice or a word or two to pep anyone up who’s having a hard time. Rachel has had a tough time of it herself for one reason and another and she’s been treated for depression.
So today she told me that she’d been to the doctor for a non-weight related issue, and the nurse insisted on weighing her. I’m sure Rach won’t mind me saying that yes, she is significantly overweight, big enough that it’s not going to be a huge shock to find she’s in the obese section on the BMI charts. Not that you have to be enormous to be in that section anyway. but she knows she’s big, like most fat people do. She didn’t want to weigh herself. Like a lot of people with weight problems, she struggles with low self-esteem and has been working really hard to be positive despite her feelings about her weight. The nurse wouldn’t take no for an answer. Of course, when she looked at the scales, the nurse proceeded to lecture her about doing something about her weight, and even though she wasn’t actually nasty, Rachel left the surgery feeling like crap.
Why did she need to do it? I don’t get it. If someone is clearly overweight, they already KNOW they are. They don’t need to be humiliated and lectured, that fat didn’t just appear overnight, most of us have been struggling for years with diet after diet. we’re constantly reminded that we’re fat and disgusting, unfit and unhealthy, so why do we need the numbers? Why do we have to be humiliated by medical professionals who continue to tell us that diets are the only way to lose weight (yeah right) and who suggest a diet sheet for people with eating disorders because they can’t be arsed to fork out for proper help?
Anyway. Rachel has been distraught all afternoon. She’s gone on that horrible downward spiral, getting very upset, weighing herself again on the wii, just to make herself feel even worse, and beating herself up with the “I’m fat and useless” stick. All because that nurse insisted on weighing her for no obvious reason. This is what Rachel wrote, and she’s given me permission to share it. I think lots of people will understand…and Rachy, you’re very talented.
They say you should be happy, you’re lovely as you are.
They say embrace your body and your mind will take you far.
They say that diets make you fat and so you shouldn’t try,
So why do I just want to cry?
They say that once you’re happy with yourself then you’ll be free
They say that when your head is straight, then comes the real ‘me’,
They say that if you want to change then what will be will be,
So why do I just feel so lost?
Perhaps the time has come when I should just give in,
Realise for once that I will never be thin,
Put all ideas of being gorgeous firmly in the bin,
So why does that make me feel so sad?
I need to make some changes to my life, but what are they?
I need to do something positive to help myself each day,
Until I do, these thoughts will never go away.
So why can’t I do this for me?
By Rachel Townsend.
Isn’t it brilliant? I just had to share it. Now I’m off to calm myself down – I’d really like your opinions on the whole bullying fat people thing though. Am I being sensitive? Should the nurse have respected Rachel’s wishes NOT to be weighed just for the sake of it?