I work in healthcare. I work in tech. I know what it means to be obese.

I know it puts one at risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

The statistics are out there. It is not an easy problem to solve.

Doctors throw their hands up and say a prayer with little resolve

To tell their own patients the truth.

 

As a kid, I was always overweight. I know what it means to be obese.

I know what it’s like to be bullied for it – it’s a chronic social disease.

A doctor told me “You’re fat. Just lose the weight, and your problems will go away,”

and she made it sound so easy–as if I could fix it in one day.

I refused to see her ever again. I was thirteen.

 

Didn’t she know that I know what it means to be obese?

Did she think I like being bullied for being fat? Please.

Did she not think I too have already considered how life might be

to not be shamed, taunted, spit on–to not feel that misery–

all because I was obese?

 

When a friend suggests I ought to lose weight since I’m obese,

it’s hard not to be offended–as if I haven’t tried or am not trying to lose these

extra pounds. He says, “It would bring out your prettiest self.”

Thanks. As if the rest of me belongs in a cage on a shelf.

“You have to be honest to yourself,” he adds. Ouch.

 

So this is what it means to be obese:

your friends and bullies give insults alike with ease.

I don’t need more insults upon injury, assumptions about my life,

about what I know or don’t, am trying or have tried. Spare me the extra strife.

I just want to be loved and treated with kindness like everyone else.

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