My score, which had no doubt been climbing steadily as I input my stats about never smoking and infrequently drinking alcohol, my dedication to ingesting five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, my daily workouts (at least three per week being strenuous) – abruptly fell like a stone of course when I input my weight.
At the end it gave me an action plan for health improvements on which I am to begin immediate work: lose weight!
“Ah,” I said quietly to myself, “That course of action had never occurred to me before.” My old friends: disappointment, discouragement, frustration, and even despair settled right in. Why? Because being told yet again to lose weight by the healthcare industry feels like being told to do something that isn’t even remotely in my control. If it was, I’d have done it by now. I’ve been on a diet for 27 years.
My frustration is this: the evaluation never asked me why I was fat, and made no attempt to discover the cause of my problem. When I clicked on the link to find out ways to accomplish the desired thinness I was of course directed to a page about healthy eating and exercise. That old mantra: eat less, move more. The default assumption being that fat people are fat because we’re all unaware that a bag of Oreo cookies eaten while never leaving our sofa shouldn’t be dinner.
Contrary to popular belief, fat people aren’t actually dumb.
At no point was I asked: have you been tested for any diseases that might effect your metabolism? Or more appropriately for me: do you think you might have an eating disorder? The only nods this evaluation made to mental health at all were to ask me if I felt depressed (no) and to rate how much I like my job.
If obesity is a symptom of a problem, then why is no effort being made to discovering that problem’s cause? And why is so little help available? If someone were anemic blood tests would be performed to discover why, but the cause of someone’s fatness is like an elephant in the room. Being fat is often like having a massive head wound and the health care industry is a person standing next to you screaming, “Stop bleeding! Stop bleeding this instant or you’ll die!”
I don’t know how to stop bleeding. If I did, I’d have stopped gushing blood all over the world by now.
It just feels like more useless hoop jumping while I continue to yoyo up and down the same twenty or thirty pounds for the rest of my life, a life which is no doubt being shortened by the physical stress of aforementioned yoyo-ing.
Ah well, time to head back to the gym for another workout.