This post inspired by Ragtag Daily Prompt: Corpulent
“My doctor says I’m too heavy.”
“I feel so huge.”
“I just hate this roll of fat on my hips.”
“I’ve always been on the big side.”
“I’m just a little overweight.”
“When I was a kid, I was considered chunky.”
I was a registered dietitian for many years, providing one-to-one diet counseling at hospitals and clinics. Doctors referred patients for weight loss diets…for a variety of reasons. Blood lipids too high. Blood pressure too high. Blood sugar too high. Joints wearing away.
Or…”to be more healthy.”
As if it was that simple…
I met with a young woman who cried with the shame of being criticized by her mother growing up. Because she was overweight.
A man whose parents belittled him at the dinner table when he served himself a second helping of potatoes.
A teenage boy who needed to be weighed on the hospital wheelchair scale. Bullied at school. Dropped out. Working on his GED.
A young man whose wife would put a box of chocolates in his bureau drawer to tempt him. She was chubby too.
Countless women – of all ages – were embarrassed to be sitting across from me, as if they had committed a sin.
To be fat. Corpulent. Obese. Chunky. Chubby. Portly. Overweight. Whatever you name it…is to be branded less than. Ostracized in our first world society.
Often facing an exhausting lifetime battle with food.
How much. When. Where. Why.
Most doctors don’t realize that food is just one piece of this puzzle.
You don’t have to do this, I’d say when calling to set up an appointment…if I sensed reluctance.
But the doctor said I have to.
It is your decision no matter what the doctor says.
There would be a pause in the conversation.
Yes. It’s up to you. If you aren’t ready, we can wait.
Most of the time, the appointment was made.
The patient showed up. Often wary.
And we’d talk. About goals. Typical meals.
Eating history. Likes. Dislikes.
Sometimes there was crying. Or almost crying.
Stories of shunning. Lost opportunities. Self-hatred.
So much emotional pain.
Because a body is large…
Soothed for years
With foods that comfort.
Only to face doctor’s orders
to take those foods away.
I often asked myself…
Is it worth it?