I’ve been fat since childhood, varying sizes, with lots of dieting, weight cycling, and untreated eating disorders. Always following medical advice, because my body size was always the problem.

Since 2018 I’ve also been living with stage 4 breast cancer. Living well on powerful medications that take a toll, on my energy, strength, and immune system, all while saving my life.

However, because of how deeply I’ve experienced and internalized weight stigma I have a difficult time identifying symptoms and physical challenges as due to anything but my weight.

Which makes appropriate treatment and support difficult to ask for and attain. The level of blame and shame other humans and the medical system have tossed at me has done great harm.

Forget breast cancer awareness, our culture and medical system needs to address weight stigma, and all the harm it does to people in bodies of all sizes.

PS: post boundary – I’m not looking for sympathy or advice. I’m here to educate about the damage that weight stigma does in this world and encourage you to learn more and change how you respond to your body and others. If you happen to have body privilege (cishet, slim,white, conventionally beautiful and such) do some work here.

PPS: Diets don’t work, conventional medicine is steeped in weight bias, and the diet industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that blames the failures on you. Oh, and medicine is regularly listening to the diet industry, hmmm…

PPS: yes, this is Weight Stigma Awareness week. In light of the very concerning and biased decisions made recently NEDA, let me be very clear: they are not a safe or welcoming choice for people in large and marginalized bodies. Approach with caution. I will not be supporting them in any way.

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