I was compensated by Med-IQ through an educational grant from Novo Nordisk to write about the realities of obesity as a chronic disease. All opinions are my own.
A few weeks ago I dropped an Instagram Story where I showed that I had officially lost 11 pounds. It took me almost 3 months to lose all 11 of those pounds.
It also took me 3 months to even get the nerve to publicly admit that I was trying to lose weight in the first place. This may be hard to understand if you don’t have a social media presence or if you’ve never dealt with being overweight.
You see…I don’t always want to give the perception that by losing weight I hate my body. We had this conversation, remember? I don’t want people to assume that all of us fluffy, fat and overweight people are unhappy in our bodies and that we’re all mega stressed about it and want to lose weight.
And then I realized…do I really care what people think? No, I don’t. But the truth is…as great as it is being an overweight person who is actively losing weight, I feel so much pressure to keep it off. Not because people will notice if I start to regain the weight – but the devastation I feel will consume me.
The Med-IQ post that discussed obesity received so much love and support. So many of you could identify with my experience or knew someone who could. We’re out here, yo. With a large percentage of Americans being overweight, I am certainly not alone.
We are more than aware of our bodies. When we don’t notice it ourselves, the world reminds us of this by rarely featuring bigger bodies on television shows, in ads, on runways and in boardrooms. Airplane seats squishing our thighs remind us. Stores remind us when they don’t carry our sizes. Strangers remind us when they glare at us as we move about minding our business.
Though presenting these incredibly raw emotions hasn’t been easy, I’m glad that Med-IQ has given me the opportunity to have this discussion. In addition to educating myself about obesity, I’m grateful that such a platform exists to help educate our medical professionals on how to approach and consider people who have obesity.
The reality is…we cannot do this on our own. We love to throw out the “It takes a village” quote when it comes to raising kids but the same could (and should!) be applied to those with obesity. The support means absolutely everything – and I don’t mean supporting with messages on why it’s important to lose weight and how we can go about it. That discussion isn’t always helpful.
Oh no, girl.
The kind of support I’m thinking is being able to be that listening ear without judging. I’m thinking being able to be just as angry when someone you know has been judged, picked on or discriminated against because of their size. This means using your voice to speak up when you hear people picking on others or making assumptions about them. We are unable to do this by ourselves and having the support from those who love us means absolutely everything.
Instead of steadily suggesting ways to lose weight, consider asking friends and loved ones what would be helpful. Ask them how they’d like to be supported. If you’re one of those people who loves to go deep with the knowledge, I highly recommend checking out the Obesity Action Coalition. I don’t think I’ve found a better online resource for helping support, advocate for and educate others when it comes to the topic of obesity.
Med-IQ is currently conducting a survey and would appreciate your input. The survey, which includes more education on this topic, will take less than 15 minutes to complete. Survey responses are anonymous and will be shared only in aggregate. Your responses to these survey questions will provide us with important information about your experiences with obesity and your care team, which will help us develop future educational initiatives for healthcare providers to improve care.
Once you’ve completed the survey, you will be asked to provide your email address if you’d like to be entered into a drawing administered by SOMA Strategies to win 1 of 10 $50 VISA gift cards. If you choose to enter, your email address will not be sold, kept, or stored; email addresses are used only to randomly draw the winners and notify them of their prize.
I’m hangin’ in there. And while I hope to continue to lose weight and keep it off, I will always do what I have to do to advocate for people of all body sizes. And I hope we can all do this.
I was compensated by Med-IQ through an educational grant from Novo Nordisk to write about the realities of obesity as a chronic disease. All opinions are my own. The information provided through this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition.