» health, noncompliance & the fat girl.
  • health, noncompliance & the fat girl.

    Jan 14th • Posted in health, personal, writing

    courtesy of eric lon, flickr.

    Those who have read this blog have read about some of my struggles about body image, fat positivity and self-acceptance.  I’m very proud to be a self-proclaimed fat girl. I’ve always believed that what is on the outside does not matter… it’s what’s on the inside that counts. But what if what’s on the inside is a sticky web made up of mental roadblocks, excuses and heaps of non-compliance?

    Then you get me, having a minor panic attack at six in the morning on a Monday in an outpatient endoscopy center waiting room. Look, I’m not bothered by my body shape or size. I’m perfectly happy and content with my body size and the fact that I’m fat. Being fat and being healthy aren’t mutually exclusive, and some people naturally veer towards certain body shapes. My father’s side of the family is certainly somewhat genetically predisposed to being bigger, so I’m OK with the curves and ‘dat ass.’ No matter what I do, I’m still going to have a pudgy face and thick calves. It’s fine, I’m super happy with those features. However, what I’m not happy about is having to go to a doctor’s office at least once a week dealing with some sort of medical issue.

    So when I had to go to the endoscopy clinic at six in the morning for the second time in the week and realised I was the only female patient there and definitely the only one who was under 50– I realised something had to give. And that “give” has to be me.

    Let me reiterate that these are my health issues that I’m writing about. My experiences are my own, and may or may not be representative of others. Please do not take my health issues into account while reviewing or reflecting upon your own. Like I mentioned before, I’ve met tons of proud, fat, independent women who are doing it up, eating right and are super fit. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them. I struggle with certain diseases (PCOS) that exist with specific comorbities; one being type-two diabetes.

    The day I found out that I had type-two diabetes, I sat in the Starbucks of a Target with my roommate and cried. At the time, I had known that I was pre-diabetic for a couple years and I was already on a strict medication regimen. I cried because I blamed myself for causing it– I was noncompliant with my medication. I cried because I was frustrated, seemingly fulfilling the worst case scenario prophecy my doctors and parents warned me about. Most of all, I cried because there was nothing else I could do at that point. I felt helpless. And then, of course, I cried my feelings into a red velvet cupcake and an iced venti chai tea latte.

    It’s not like things have changed all that much from then until now. As a strong-minded, career-driven, twentysomething in school– the last thing I thought about was my health. Even after undergraduate life, I still find it difficult to adhere to a strict medication regimen. Life is hectic! Things get in the way. Maybe that’s why the majority of patients are noncompliant 1http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/818850 when it comes to their medication. By the time I actually remember to take my medication, I’ve missed the previous day’s dosage and the vicious cycle repeats itself.

    As a twentysomething year old female sitting in a room full of men who were definitely over the age of 50, I realised that something was way off: I shouldn’t even be here. If it weren’t for my health issues, my lack of motivation to adhere to medication and my mental issues with what was seemingly balancing a healthy diet and exercise 2I still don’t understand why I can’t balance once with the other. It seems like I can never win. Ack!!! I probably wouldn’t even be sitting in that office. (Honestly, most of these issues may be due to my diet and weight. But perhaps the results are also partially genetic.)  Luckily, the exams went without a hitch.3The lucky thing about being so young is that things like anesthesia react well. I should hear about my results when I go to my doctor’s office on Thursday.

    However, I still have to work on my health struggles. I need to be honest with myself and keep myself accountable. While I am lucky and blessed to have the support of my amazing boyfriend (who cooks with me and motivates me to exercise) and the well-intentioned but misplaced nudgings of my family– they won’t always be around to keep me healthy (hell, I’d even settle for being a functional human being at this point.) There’s definitely something lacking in my routine, and I need to learn how time manage more efficiently and set aside at least an hour to go to the gym and exercise. I also need to set an alarm (and always carry my pills with me) to take my medication, so that I can improve instead of getting worse. And I also need to stop succumbing to the sweet temptation of the dessert menu at restaurants. sad I’ll have to eventually convince myself that it will hurt less.

    Footnotes   [ + ]

    1. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/818850
    2. I still don’t understand why I can’t balance once with the other. It seems like I can never win. Ack!!!
    3. The lucky thing about being so young is that things like anesthesia react well.