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Let's Address the Assumptions People Are Making About My Weight

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I am a bigger lady, or plus sized, or fat, or overweight, or obese – however you would like to phrase it. None of these descriptions upset me, as it’s simply what I am.

I haven’t always been overweight, I used to be much smaller and have a good level of fitness. That was before I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and put on medication, and before I began to experience chronic pain.

People tend to make judgments about me based on my weight – these people are almost exclusively people who do not know me. They know nothing about my life, how I go through the world or what I struggle with. The usual assumptions tend to be that I am lazy, that I have a terrible diet and only eat junk food, that I don’t do exercise – and that I put on weight simply because of these things. They also assume that I don’t have the right to be confident in my body.

In actual fact those things are far from true. The barrage of medications I have been on have led me to gain weight. And, luckily for me, the medications that I am now on, which are the only combination that have worked to stabilize my mood, also have the delightful side effects of making me feel sick with extreme hunger a lot of the time, and of slowing down my metabolism. This combined with the fact that I struggle with chronic pain and lack of mobility has made me pile on weight.

I’d like to address the assumptions people have about me one by one. The assumption that I’m lazy is patently untrue, myself and I think most of the chronic illness community are the furthest from lazy it’s possible to be! We have to put our all into simple daily tasks, never mind doing anything extra! It may be that we cannot do as much as we would like, but trust me we are working harder than you could ever imagine just to function.

As far as the assumption I only eat junk food, I will freely admit that when I am in a depression I often turn to food as comfort and don’t make the best choices, but when I am able I do my absolute best to have a healthy diet.

In regards to the assumption that I don’t do exercise, again this is completely untrue. I do my absolute best to exercise as much as I can. I am only able to walk slowly and not far, but every step takes great effort and I get out there as much as I can. I use aids when needed to get around and am building up my fitness level. This is something that I am progressively working on.

As for the last one, this is probably the least correct assumption of all. I am not ashamed of my size, of how I look or of who I am. There will always be people who make judgments, but I am proud of myself as a person. I know I am beautiful inside and out. I am confident in my body and with my curves and even my wobbly bits. I know what I face and what I overcome every day, I know that I am doing my best at all times and I hope that every other person out there who is going through struggles is proud of themselves. Whatever your shape or size, we are all worthy, we are all beautiful in our own way, and we all deserve to be judgment-free!

Getty Image by akikonuru

Originally published: June 15, 2018
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