NerdyLady

What is the rudest way a health professional has told you to lose weight?

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I was thinking about the truly awful health center at my current university and remembered my first physical. This was 2009 and my weight was higher than it should have been.

The nurse practitioner was a not a nice person. Unbeknownst to me at the time, she had a reputation amongst the staff as a horrible human with a touch of racism. 

The nurse didn't let me say two words before telling me IN THE WAITING ROOM that I needed to lose weight. She told me that I was susceptible to chronic health diseases because of my "bad Mexican genes". 

I wish I could report back that I said something empowering but I was stunned. All I could do is whisper "but I'm not Mexican". An idiotic response, I know. I was shocked by her rude manner and I couldn't get over being shamed in front of a group of students and staff. Needless to say that the rest of the appointment went badly. 

This story really has no point but it's been on my mind. So I'm curious, what is the rudest way a health "professional" has told you to lose weight? 

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 Ugh... I'm so sorry you went through that. Reminds me of something my mom would say, sadly.

My worst experience was when I was pregnant with my daughter. My entire pregnancy was incredible and easy. I was super high risk due to my weight and age at pregnancy- 43. All Drs were fantastic, encouraging, and supportive. I was asked to try and stay under a 20 pound gain. (Only hit 18 at time of delivery...felt like a rockstar!!!) Unfortunately I got pre-eclampsia at week 33, and while they had planned all along to induce at 38 weeks because of my age, this changed things. I was taken out of work at 33 weeks and at week 35 my #'s started climbing, so they decided my c-section would be 5 days later. (She refused to turn). All the sudden everything started happening fast. The day the wanted my C-section done was a day my ob during my pregnancy was on vacation. So the office mgr said Dr X will do it (who I had never even met), and we have to find one more. I was thinking back up Dr or something like that. Then she had problems finding another Dr, so she said we can't do that date. I finally asked why the need for a second Dr, I always thought one did it. She said normally yes....but you so heavy we have to have another one there to move and hold your fat out of the way do Dr X can get the baby out. :o:(:angry: To say I was humiliated and embarrassed was and understatement. Hot tears pricked eyes - as if I was already scared and anxious as it was. She called her last resort, a Sr Dr and owner in the practice who has been my long term gyn Dr since I moved PA. She knew my pregnancy was a surprise & amazing gift since I was told I could never have kids. She walked in the room and said she'd be honored to be in the room with me. I eventually told her the full story, and she was so mortified that one of her people would say such a thing that she left the room and made the office manager apologize to my face. Lol! Karma is a doozy! 

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Posted (edited)

@NerdyLady What on earth is whoever is in charge of her thinking, keeping her employed in a job where she has to talk to people?! So many things wrong with this. I'm not surprised that you were too taken aback to respond with something appropriate. A touch of racism indeed.

@Trish13 So glad your story has a happy ending (healthy baby! nicer doctor! apology!) but what a thing to tell someone. 

My worst doesn't involve public shaming, fortunately. I was also at the university health center when in grad school, and during my physical, the doctor (female, middle aged, overweight) looked at my weight, grabbed my thigh as I sat on the examination table, gave it a good squeeze, and said, "You've got a lot of excess fat here. You should lose weight. Have you tried eating less and exercising?" 

Dear reader, I was 145 pounds with a BMI of 22 at the time. I was an avid runner and very fit. I had just lost about 80 pounds and had been eating the minimum WW points for like two years straight. Somehow, I let this incident turn into a shame spiral and destroy my will to continue with my weight loss ("If I can work this hard and still be fat, why try?"). Nice job, doc.

Edited by Jen581791
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My 'rude' story also involves a pregnancy.  I was 40, weighed 312 and had a surprise pregnancy.  We had just moved to a new state and the only ob in our town was a female (which I generally do not prefer) and my first visit she flat out said "I will be very surprised if you carry this baby to term because you are so fat.  I'm not sure if we're going to be able to see the baby on the ultrasound because of how big your stomach already is".  I wanted to cry.  That was the first and last time I saw her.  I wound up driving 45 minutes to another OB, told him the story of her and he was shocked and reassured me that there would be no reason why I couldn't carry to full term.  He even told me he didn't want me to lose weight during the pregnancy.  However, the female doc's words stuck in my head the whole pregnancy and I basically ate like a bird.  i gained zero pounds that pregnancy AND every ultrasound I had you could see the baby.  This topic is bringing up some anger.  The way people treat overweight people disgusts me.  I'm a nursing assistant at a hospital and one night, while working in the ICU, we had an intubated patient on a ventilator under sedation.  She was extremely overweight.  It took 5 of us to help turn her and bathe her.  The nurses..these medical PROFESSIONALS....(all super skinny and young) were saying the most awful things "how in the hell do you get this fat"  "this is so disgusting" "she needs to get her isht together when she gets outta here"  I could not hold back my tears and shock at what they were saying.  I wound up reporting them to my boss but the damage was already done.  I wish I was brave enough to say something at that moment to those nurses directly.  I wanted to say 'do you think that people WANT to be this big?"  Now, when I work with these RNs, I can't keep the contempt off my face....and I'm sure they say stuff about me (259 lbs) but I don't care. 

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I had an orthopaedic surgeon tell me (after 12 months of paid visits....thanks a lot) that I definitely needed surgery but that he didn't want to do it. Naturally I asked him to refer me to an ortho that could. His response was that first I needed to lose at least 27kg (60lbs) because according to him, he'd be a laughing stock if he referred an obese person for foot surgery. As if that wasn't enough he then told me not to bother returning until I'd lost the weight. 7 months later, after losing the weight, I returned to get the referral. This time he actually had the gall to say that cleary I was okay as I hadn't been back for so long. I reminded him of our last consultation and all he could say was "That was a bit rude of me wasn't it". I then went out and found a new orthopaedic surgeon.

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These are all horror stories. I feel pretty lucky to have never had a medical professional speak to me about my weight in any manner other than matter-of-fact. The closest experience I've had was in a beginner yoga class. Nothing was directly said to me but I was for judged and treated differently because of my size. I'm not known for holding my tongue in any situation and that class was no exception. When the owner of the studio tried to defend the instructor, I gave her an earful. I hope they thought twice in the future.

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