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Have you ever felt judged for being overweight?

I was obese for most of my life. I felt invisible. I was judged by my peers for being unable to shop at the same fashionable stores due to my size. Customer service workers even treated me differently than my skinnier friends, too. And of course people often made untoward comments about my weight.
Have you ever felt invisible, or judged, due to your size? How do you cope with these judgements?

  1. I’ve felt invisible due to my weight. I put on around 5 stone after my dx for MS. I’ve since lost weight, but whilst heavier I was shocked by the change in peoples’ attitudes towards me. I was still the same person! I sometimes use a wheelchair and feel people judged me for my weight (“if she lost weight she wouldn’t need that wheelchair”). This leads to other issues such as people ignoring me and speaking to my carer instead of me.

    I also had to shop online for clothes in larger sizes, and this changed the way I looked, and clothes I wore. So my appearance changed in that way too. I almost had a different identity.

    I struggled moving - small movements such as putting my socks on, and walking made my legs sore and feet burn by the end of the day.

    Good luck if you are obese and have MS. it’s hard. There’s no easy answer because losing weight is hard and doesn’t happen instantly.

    1. That contrast must have been quite a shock for you, . I have noticed that some people are quick to criticize those who need mobility aids and are obese, believing obesity is the cause of their health problems and that the cure is within their control. It doesn't occur to them that other health conditions probably debilitated these people, and that the pain and lack of mobility led to obesity. My father also had MS. He was able to exercise when I was young, but not when his MS progressed further. MS is such an unpredictable disease. He could be fine one moment and on the floor with a head injury the next. I am glad you were eventually able to lose the weight and I hope treatment is effective for you. Are you also part of our sister community, MultipleSclerosis.net? It is a very active and supportive group. Definitely worth looking into. Sending lots of gentle hugs your way. - Lori (Team Member)

  2. By way of introducing myself, I believe that my morbid obesity is a co-morbidity of having a diagnosis of MS. As are several other autoimmune diseases I have been diagnosed with (Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, psoriatic arthritis, etc.) The difficulty I have walking is a symptom of other diseases, not due to my obesity.
    And exercise is completely impossible for me!
    That said, I have been judged routinely by physicians and others. It hurts emotionally and can often prevent me from getting appropriate medical care. I feel broken hearted for the younger women who are experiencing doctors who ignore their needs or shame them over being obese.
    I read once that in a classroom if a small percentage of the students do poorly that cannot be blamed on the school; but if a high percentage has falling grades, the system is at fault.
    That's what is happening with obesity in the USA. So many of us struggle and feel humiliated by our weight problem! If shaming helped, we would all be thin!
    Thank you to everyone for showing up here and sharing!

    1. Hi . I have no doubt your obsesity is an effect of your other health conditions. People struggle to be active with just one of those comorbities. I can't imagine dealing with them all. You must always be dealing with unstable hormones, joint pain, congitive fog, muscle weakness, muscle spasms and a whole host of other symptoms. I wish you were never made to feel ashamed or at fault. That is so wrong. I hope that you have learned to advocate for yourself over time and that you are able to push back when health providers treat you poorly.
      And I love your analogy. Shaming is never healthy or productive.
      Are you aware that we have sister communities for people with MS and PsA: MultipleSclerosis.net and Psoriatic-Arthritis.com? They are both very active and supportive communities. If you haven't already, you might want to check them out.
      Thanks for being here and thanks for chiming in. Change won't happen unless people talk openly about their experiences and share them with others, There is strength in those shared experiences. Best wishes. - Lori (Team Member)

  3. I have had poor Healthcare in the past due to my obesity.
    I was put on "diet pills(amphetamines) when I wascten years old.

    1. That is so young, . What an awful thing to do to a child, That approach can cause so much psychological and physiological damage. I hope you recovered from the way your were treated in the past and that you now have compassionate and caring health care providers. Many people who took amphetamine-based diet pills developed heart conditions over time. Did you have any heart trouble as a teen? Thinking of you and sending lots of gentle hugs your way. - Lori (Team Member)

    2. That was very common in years last - thankfully it is almost never done now! I hope you are getting better care now. Wishing you well as you go on this difficult journey!

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