If you currently exist on this planet in a fat body, the one thing you are certainly familiar with is health talk. 9 times out of 10 you have probably been told you needed to lose weight because it is unhealthy. Every doctor you’ve seen has probably attributed any symptom you’ve experienced to your weight.
Come in to the office with sniffles? O you would probably feel better if you lost weight.
Have a headache? It’s probably all your weight.
Pregnant? You probably won’t make it because of your weight.
These scenarios may seem extreme, but it is the awful reality for many of us. Weight is thrown into every aspect of our health adventures and it has made many fat people shy away from the important discussions about health and disease because they are afraid to be dragged into the discussion about weight.
That’s why when I became ill I decided to share my journey my way. I knew that I was going to encounter many people who would blame my diagnosis on my weight. There are people who feel so free and empowered to tell me how fat I am but never take into consideration genetics, health issues and the idea that perhaps my illnesses prevent me from losing weight and even cause me to gain it.
The stigma of fat shaming is so real, fat people will avoid divulging their health experiences until after they lose weight so they can be the acceptable fat person who saw the error in their weighty ways and lost weight so they can give their testimony. While I applaud those who make the changes they see fit to better their quality of life; I don’t want the fat bodies that still exist in their rightful spaces to feel like they have no right to a voice in the health communities.
That is why I choose to share my journey with my chronic illness. I wanted to create a safe place for people who are dealing with various health issues to feel like they are understood. I understand that need to share and feel safe and supported among people who are going through similar situations. I want to show people who are fat, obese, overweight (or however they identify) that you can deal with illness, feel validated in your emotions, your concerns, and your fears and not be ashamed because you are fat with an illness.
Every time I share a piece of my health journey, I am met with responses from people all over the world who are enduring as I am. Who unleash and release in my inbox because an experience I was wiling to share with them made them feel valid. Those messages remind me why it’s necessary for me to continue to share what my life is like as a fat person with chronic illness.
While I may take my time in sharing because I need to process what’s going on; my willingness to share is intentional. I’ve been told by some they feel like I overshare or they believe in privacy. My response to that is I definitely respect privacy and even people’s view on oversharing; but I share with a purpose, not just to share. And while you may not agree with or see the purpose behind what I do what I do; there are new people everyday who do understand. That’s why I do it.
I interviewed with The Melanin Muses (here) and one of the questions they asked was:
“What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?”
“I want to be remembered as someone who was authentic at all times. Someone who shared their truth despite how unflattering it might have been and essentially help other people find their voices to speak their truth. I want the final say on how my story is written.”
I think that sums up my thoughts on the matter. Hope it clears it up for you too.