I’m mad. Like properly boiling over with rage type mad. If you’ve been following me on twitter you’ll know why, but if not then here’s what’s been going down: I ran out of my pill and since I’ve moved I haven’t changed doctors. Being lazy I decided to go to the ‘health centre’ aka ‘family planning clinic’ as I was told I could just walk in, pick up my prescription and be on my way. That’s not exactly what happened. After waiting for well over an hour to be seen I finally got called in by a middle-aged female Asian doctor (just to set the scene) who proceeded to weigh me and measure my height. I’ve been going to the doctor for my entire 28 years and can’t remember a time when they’ve ever done this, but I just let her get on with it and thought no more about it. How wrong I was. She pulled out this little colour coded chart from her desk drawer, mapped my height against my weight, frowned, turned to me and told me my BMI was too high.
Now I’ve heard of this BMI thing (body mass index) but haven’t paid much attention. Apparently it means if you’re out of your little box n the chart then you can’t get the pill. That’s right – I was one point above the BMI I should’ve been for my height and I wasn’t entitled to contraception I’ve been using on and off for the past ten years. Not only that, she then decided to tell me to ‘work on my weight’ and if it hadn’t reduced within three months then they would have to ‘evaluate me’. What does this even mean – are they going to send me to fat camp?! I literally sat there with my mouth open in a complete state of shock… A medical practitioner was telling me, a healthy 28 year old woman, that I needed to go on a diet.
|Would you say I needed to go on a diet?|
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no skinny minnie and I could probably do with losing a few pounds, but I’m a healthy and happy size 14. I’m not obese, I’m not sitting on my sofa all day eating Pringles (only when hungover anyway) and I’m not panting and puffing walking down the road. I’m extremely active, I walk at least two miles every day, I’ve been having two Power Plate lessons every week, I am constantly on the move and I don’t eat loads of crap. Yes I have a healthy appetite, yes I probably have too much junk in my trunk, but do you know what: I’m the happiest and most confident I have ever been. Who are these people dishing out advice based on a chart developed by some idiot behind a desk reading from a textbook?
What really riled me though was the fact that I can take this and deal with it. I’m confident in myself and my body and I know to take it with a pinch of salt and find someone else to hook me up with some Yasmin, but what about those girls (and guys for that matter) that aren’t? How many people have walked away from their doctors having been given the same advice and embarked on an unhealthy binge diet, or god forbid eating disorder, because someone they trust has told them to do it? Who are they to measure what’s healthy and what’s not? There are so many measures of health and weight is only one of them – I almost challenged her to a game of Wii Boxing just to prove I could kick her ass.
|Am I a gigantor? Really?|
What made it even worse was that she was probably at least two sizes bigger than me (and shorter – I wonder how high her BMI is!) yet she sat there preaching to me about the size of my thighs. My thighs are very well thank you, so kindly jog on. If I hadn’t had to answer a bazzillion questions (some extremely inappropriate and irrelevant) and prove that I didn’t smoke, take drugs or have a history of diabetes/deep vein thrombosis/strokes in my family I would currently be having unprotected sex and filling the world with mini LBQs. (OK, that’s taking it a bit too far but you get my drift.) If this is the policy our country is currently adopting then it needs re-assessing immediately. You simply cannot be telling people they’re overweight, need to go on a diet or need to be ‘evaluated’. How many stories have you seen on the news about kids that are developing complexes because they were told by the NHS they were obese? This has to stop.
I’ve included some pictures of me in this post just to prove I’m not a heffer. I’m a normal woman with a normal body who doesn’t have any hang-ups about the size that she is… So why does my doctor?