You are a unique person and you have to be yourself. You can’t be anybody else; you can’t lead anybody else’s life. You have to be comfortable in your own skin and you have to be confident about who you are, whether you’re working at Twitter or running for office. And that is hard to do….and yet it’s all doable once you relax and decide, ‘You know what? This is no dress rehearsal. This is it for me. I want to be who I am.’ You be yourself. Easiest advice to say, hardest advice to follow.
Any website glamorizing disease and encouraging extremely harmful lifestyles is bad news.
Pro-anorexia sites: NOT A FAN. We in the medblr community are generally a very encouraging and accepting bunch, but we don’t accept this kind of behavior. I certainly am pro-being healthy, but starving yourself to death is no way to be healthy.
On the other end of the spectrum, I don’t think sites that encourage overweight people to avoid doctors are healthy either. No other stigmatized group has ever brought about change by refusing to face their oppressors. Sure, there are tons of doctors out there who are rude to their overweight patients (and I guarantee you they’re rude to other patients too), but they’re not going to learn unless their patients stand up to them. And believe me, there are plenty of very encouraging doctors out there if you look for them. And what if, by avoiding doctors, you miss out on getting a serious medical condition treated or managed early, and it causes serious long-term damage? It’s a scary thought.
Also, I’m all for body positivity and being confident in your own skin, but we also can’t ignore the fact that obesity (and extreme underweight) does lead to legitimate medical problems. You can like yourself as an overweight person and also acknowledge that there may be things you can do to be healthier in the long run (I’m preaching to myself here as well, folks).
We overweight folks may be healthy now as young people, but over time things may not stay the same. It’s important that we take care of ourselves for the present and the future.
We as doctors can’t be lazy and blame everything on adipose, but we can’t ignore its presence and influence on disease any more than we can ignore the weight of anorexic patients.
I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.