“Weight is just a number”

Quite often, we hear that “weight is just a number”, and I agree, absolutely. But that number can hold so much Power over you. Not just over how people feel, but over so many things around you.
I need help with my breasts, a reduction. My neck, shoulders, and my upper back are in costant pain and I’m always on painkillers. But I can’t get that surgery, not yet. The numbers on the scale says I’m not allowed. Now, this is surgery I need for my physical (and to some extent, my mental) wellbeing, but it’s not happening, not for a while.

A woman I know went to the doctor with pain in a leg. The doctor told her to lose weight.
She left. Sad, of course. She got no help at all, just those words “lose some weight and it will get better”. Later she found out that she actually had a fracture in her leg. Her bone was breaking, she was in serious pain, but the doctor ignored it (and her) because of the number on the scale.

“Weight is just a number!”

When I was at my heaviest, closing in on 100kg, I didn’t think it was that bad. I didn’t eat too much, I didn’t have that much unhealthy food etc. I liked myself. But I did notice that, as time went by, finding clothes that would fit was getting harder and harder, and let’s not talk about jeans… sweet someone, no…
I finally did step on a scale. I had one, I just didn’t care about it. I didn’t feel fat. I didn’t feel overweight. I just felt good about myself.
When I saw the number I was in shock! What just happened? How the heck did I get there? I’m not even overweight.. wait… that’s not what the scale says… I am. And not just overweight, I’m fat!! I couldn’t wrap my head around it, I didn’t understand it. How could I? It just didn’t make any sense…

After some days of thinking (“why hadn’t anyone told me?”, “how could I not have seen it coming?” etc) I could finally put 2 and 2 together.
So this is why my back is hurting? This is why my joints are hurting? This is why the clothes… I didn’t want to think any more about that part.
Now, here’s the thing about my weightgain. It happened fast. I mean FAST! I went from 48kg to 98kg in less than a year!! I more than doubled ,y weight in less than 12 months!
I didn’t eat that much. I didn’t eat that much sweets. I was outdoors, walking, a lot since I had a dog. Something had to be wrong… And that’s pretty much where my personal hell began. Doctors…

Whe you’re overweight and go see a doctor, everything is always to be blamed on your weight. If you want help, because you don’t understand why you gained that weight? Oh no, don’t you try that, you are made out to be a lier… Yup. That’s what I got from one doctor after another (and quite a few nurses). “If you really ate like you say you do, and walked as much as you claim, then you wouldn’t look like you do!”
I will NEVER forget the first time I was told that. Yeah, first time, it happen quite a few times actually…
I tried to argue that yes, I AM eating like I tell you, and I AM walking as much as I tell you, therefor something MUST be wrong, please help me! Nope… they couldn’t help me UNLESS I STOPPED LYING!!! Oh that right there isn’t a typo, they really said that!

It took SIX YEARS and quite a few doctors before I had signed up at a new healthcare central (in Sweden, you can get listed at a healthcare central and choose what doctor you want as “yours”) and met with a wonderful doctor (in training) that my mum had also gone to. Now, she had a weightproblem too. When she started at this healthcare central, they had a look at her thyroid, and guess what? Medication needed!
My mum then told the doctor that I had severe weightproblems too and the doctor told her that I should call and get my thyroid tested, this often goes mother to daughter. Said and done, was I lying? No, my freaking thyroid had gone wonkers!!
I told this doctor what I had been through and she just stared at me, she couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She told me that in cases such as mine, you ALWAYS suspect the thyroid!

I was then put on medication right away, they said it usually take 6 months before kicking in. For me, it took 8 months. Then holy wow I lost weight! By that time I had also joined my first ever gym (I thought that would help me lose weight, but alas… not without medication).

I lost 25kg in pretty much no time at all. I was so happy! My hips didn’t hurt, my knees didn’t hurt, etc. I had about 8kg left to lose (I still had a bit of a tummy) and then nothing. I struggled like you wouldn’t believe (well, some of you will), but nothing happened. In the end, after a full year of nothing, I started to gain weight again! This time, we knew about my thyroid, so I called the doctors. And guess, freaking, what? “Naah, it’s not your thyroid this time, your bloodwork is fine.” No help… None!
A while later (early this year) I got RELLY sick. I could hardly breathe or anything. Even with that I was ignored. I told them that I was gaining weight like crazy (4-6kg/week!!) but no, no help…

When I had gained all that it appears I would gain (16kg) I was so sad. Not for the weightgain itself, but for the crappy way doctors talked to me…
In january I reached my “peak” or whatever I shoud call it. Now I was even further away from that surgery I desperatly need… I was in way worse pain than I was before… I had ONE pair of jeans that fit and ONE shirt. That was it. And of course I work 50% so I couldn’t afford to buy anything new… (I have managed to buy a few things since then, thankfully.)
In may, only 3 small weeks ago, my weight started going down again. I’m not doing anything different. I’m not eating less, I’m not out walking more, I even go to the gym less because of my back andd neck has been acting up.
What was the problem? I still don’t know… But I will tell you this, if this ever happens again, there will be hell! I will not give those doctors another go at me!

During all this time. From me gaining weight to me losing weight to me being where I am now. I have kept hearing that “weight is just a number”. Yes it is. But no, it isn’t.
That number will decide what kind of medical help you get.
That number will tell people (doctors, nurses, etc) that it’s ok to be rude to you.
That number will make it ok for others to shame you for eating a piece of chocolate.
That number will make it ok for people to laugh at you in the gym (yes, it happens).
That number will make a person cry themselves to sleep (I have and I still do sometimes).
That number will make it perfectly clear to you, that your are not as much worth as the person with a lower number.

So yeah, weight is just a number. But that number, it will decide how you are being treated.

Do you want to lose weight? Go for it!
Are you happy wih where you are? That’s awesome!
Would you never dream of losing weight no matter what? I’m sohappy for you!

If you have any questions or thought on this, feel free to comment, I don’t mind, not at all. Just don’t be rude, then I will hit delete and block 🙂


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