Thursday, June 09, 2011

Minding My Own Business

So I was walking up the hill today and an ebullient, smiling fellow says to me, "Congratulations!"
I say, "What for?"
He says, "Walking!"
I have walked all my life. We didn't have a car when I was growing up and I've never learned to drive as an adult. If I didn't walk, I didn't get there. In the last few years my knees have gotten worse and now I use two canes. I walk less but I still walk. I wasn't sure why my walking was a point of merit and then the guy starts to tell me that he was awake at 4 to see doctor so and so because he'd had weight loss surgery and lost some amount of weight and ...
I hate the surgery. Hate it. There are no long term studies about what ever harm may be done but it's a major alteration of an organ that is required for survival. I've read really bad outcome stories but I don't have anything to link and it doesn't matter. I hate it. I also feel that people have the right to make choices about their bodies. My first reaction when I hear someone has had the surgery is sadness. And then concern. And then anger, not at the person but at the doctor who told them it was a good idea.
I mumbled something about being sorry to hear that but wishing him luck and moved on while he continued to try and sell the surgery.
I was minding my own business.
I've always resented the assumptions people make about fat people in public and I really resent the things people think are OK to say. It's shocking.
AARP is promoting the surgery and making wild claims about the benefits and couching most negative outcomes as failure on the part of the individual. They do manage to note a few token bad things but blame individuals for things that go wrong. Because the truth is that the surgery only really works if the person eats nutritionally and exercises.
Sound familiar?
Make what ever choice you want to make for your body. Please don't assume you know anything about me and mine.


Mr. Hopkins said...

You would have felt the same way if the man talked to you about knee replacement surgery?

I don't disagree with you about bariatric surgery but, if in the same situation, I think I would have been reacting to the endemic, residual shame I carry from being obese most of my life.

As enlighten and evolved as I sometimes think I am, I can still feel the sting of not being picked for a Little League baseball team.

Will it ever go away? I think not.

Tish said...

Part of my reaction was about this specific surgery. I don't have the same feelings about knee surgery. There is no doubt that many fat people carry residual shame no matter how hard they may work on understanding themselves as fat people. I'm sure I have some. However,I was raised by a fat grandmother who was always annoyed by anyone saying anything negative about my body. And she was formidable. I give her credit for my own sense of my self in this body. I resist the word acceptance when talking about size. My intention has always been to be "with" who I am in any given moment of my life. No shame. And honestly I'm most "with" myself when I feel I'm being treated with assumption.

Cheryl Czekala said...

Damn straight, Tish.