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Speak Up and Speak Out!

A Doctor's Visit

by Denise H.

Scales are for Fish Not People

M. Delgros
© New England Center for Overcoming Overeating

I began having problems five years ago after my third attempt to have a baby. My body told me that I was not meant to have children. Following this last miscarriage, my kidneys failed and recovered after four plasmapheresis treatments. Since that time I have had a tendency for high blood pressure.

On a routine visit to my doctor, he commented on a high blood pressure reading. He asked me to keep track of my blood pressure at home until my next visit. I reported it had been higher than the normal or average range. He then asked if I had gained weight. I told him I didn't know since I haven't weighed myself in over a year since I started the Overcoming Overeating approach in June, 1994. Up until then I had maintained a lower than "normal" weight with restrictive eating and long distance running.

He marched me out to the scale and asked me to step on it. I replied that I would but I didn't want to know the weight. I stepped on the scale backwards so I couldn't see it. He chuckled and said, "You really mean it." I said, "Yes." He wrote the weight in my file and then looked back. "Oh, yes, you have gained weight. Well, this could be the cause of your problem." I replied that it may well be the cause of the elevated blood pressure, but after 22 years of dieting, I was not going to restrict my eating. He told me I didn't have to go on a crash diet, but just lose one or two pounds a week. He also suggested exercise and I told him that I exercise everyday. He looked skeptical.

I slowly burned inside. I wasn't going to let him turn this into a weight issue. He sat there looking at me as though I was a naughty child for gaining weight. I was faced with the "you are a bad girl for not being thin" syndrome so prevalent in our society. I was furious.

I looked at him and said, "If it's so easy to lose weight, why don't you do it?" He had no reply. He clearly did not meet the height and weight chart standards. Although I am sensitive to the issue of weight and won't make comments about other people's weight, in this case, I felt justified. He blushed and mumbled something about how hard it was to lose weight. No kidding!

We then went on to discuss the alternatives, but I was just a little bit happier inside for standing up to him. I won't ever let someone make me feel bad for not being thin, including myself. I've fought to hard too accept myself to let anyone else tell me I'm not okay the way I am.

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