“I Told My Doctor I Had An Eating Disorder & He Tried To Put Me On A Diet.”
TRIGGER WARNING: the following material may be triggering for some individuals - please read with caution.
There is nothing I hate more than visiting the doctors—especially when you have to talk about the more touchier subjects. One of hardest things I've struggled with in the past is talking about my history with food. I’ve always been a bigger girl, and for some reason, within our society, there seems to be this sort of disbelief or misconception when it comes to fat women with eating disorders. So when I finally decided to talk about it with medical professionals, I didn't get the kind of reaction I had hoped for. After a couple minutes of discussing my past with eating and specifically binge eating, everything began to unfold. I’m crying because I’m being emotionally vulnerable, My twin sister is crying because when I cry she cries and vice versa, and I also feel this huge weight being taken off my shoulders as I continue to dive in and open up more. In my head, I’m thinking that things are going quite well and I'm sure i’ll likely be recommended to a therapist and move on. Should be a piece of cake, right? WRONG.
Here’s what actually happened:
My doctor begins to scribble on his clipboard. I’m hysterical, and my mom is squeezing my hand telling me everything is going to be ok. My doctor has the nerve to ask me if I've ever considered going on a diet. Before I could say anything, he pulls out a syringe from his refrigerator and SHOVES IT IN HIS STOMACH. I REPEAT: IN HIS STOMACH. I am puzzled, my sister is puzzled, and we can’t believe what we just saw. He just injected his stomach with a syringe. I am now fuming, frustrated, and uncomfortable. I couldn't get a word out without being interrupted by him. I still have tears rolling down my cheeks. I’ve just opened up about something that I have been battling for years, and my doctor is sticking a needle in his stomach. He begins to exclaim how “just like that, you won’t be hungry for the rest of the day!” as if it was some miracle formula. The unfortunate part is that this isn't the first time this has happened. I’ve previously tried talking to other medical professionals about binge eating and I have always been directed towards the same crash diets and weight loss plans. I’ve done the diets, whether it was straight cabbage soup for a couple weeks or small chewable tablets that were considered “snacks”; nothing ever worked for me. The only thing that ever stuck around was poor eating habits and brutal self- image. I strongly believe that I was treated this way because of my weight. There is this form of stereotype and stigma when it comes to eating disorders and fat people, and it’s honestly one of the main reasons why I've kept quiet about mine for years. I just wasn't small enough, I just wasn't sick enough, I just wasn't enough. I’ve talked to a handful of other plus-size women who have suffered from a variety of mental health issues and eating disorders, and a lot of their stories were similar to mine. It’s frustrating to suffer in silence, and it makes it that much worse when the so-called “professionals” are invalidating your struggles and your sickness based off of the way you look. After my doctor put that syringe away, I collected up the courage to tell him exactly what I wanted. I was done with being told to sit down, be silent, and told to take up less space. I began seeing a therapist, worked on my triggers, and began re-learning my self worth. I’ve been on a journey towards self love for the past two or three years now, and it’s seriously changed the way I live my life, both mentally and physically. In today’s society, sometimes people will doubt you, and sometimes they won’t always believe you, merely based off of your appearance. But I am here to tell you, clichés and all, that it WILL get better. Sometimes, we have to learn to stand up for who we are as an individuals. I promise there are plenty of resources out there for folks struggling with mental health, eating disorders, body image, and more. I'd like to thank NEDIC for giving me this amazing platform to share my story, and I hope this resonates with you. I want you to know that no matter what you look like, your problems are valid, you are valid.
Please note these piece was roginally published by Michelle for Revelist.
Michelle Rogers is a 20 year old writer, blogger, and body positivity activist. When she isn't writing final papers, she's creating content centred around all things plus fashion, body image, and eating disorders. Michelle has been featured in FabUplus Magazine, The Today Show, Revelist, and more. She has a passion for sharing her stories and struggles, and creating a connection with empowering and like-minded people across the globe.