The conversation we had to have (apparently)

So tonight my physio told me that I needed to lose weight.  There is a whole lot more context that I’ll share in a moment, but to say I was disappointed is putting it simply.

My physio has returned from an 8 day conference at the AIS where he spoke to a specialist in Gluteus Medius Tendonitis about his (my physio’s) patients (me included).  No doubt there were other discussions with other specialists, but one message seems to have been given to my physio by this specialist… and that is that overweight people with this condition will struggle to resolve/heal it while they remain overweight, as the extra weight will aggravate the condition.

So tonight, the first time I’ve seen my physio in 3 weeks (as I started a clinical pilates thing that I’d been doing on my own), he suggests to me that I should lose weight.  In his favour, he was genuinely uncomfortable about saying everything he did, the fact that I didn’t look impressed to be told this most likely added to his discomfort (which I’m so not sorry for).  He did say that being overweight leads to death (well cancers and heart attacks apparently – and why yes my blood pressure and cholesterol are fine and I don’t have a family history of cancer), very, very quickly, before moving onto the fact that extra weight puts extra stress on my tendons and so we can perform maintenance on my tendonitis, and it may heal but it will take significantly longer.  He then recommended (in his favour again) that I see a dietician and discuss with them what I do and don’t eat (tonight’s dinner – stir fried vegetables and chilli marinated tofu, with satay sauce, served with rice), and perhaps have a meal plan developed – utilising my GP to get a referral so that it will be partly covered by Medicare.  And that he’d be happy to talk to me more about it if I wanted him to.

He finished the whole thing off with, “There I’ve said it”.

I spent the next 5 minutes (while he was poking at my back – where a lot of the conversation had also occurred), wondering if I was going to quit this physio and given I have a basic understanding of what I need to do to deal with my back and my tendinitis and whether I should take that elsewhere and maintain myself.  Then I thought about Greta Christina’s weightloss (problematic framing aside) and how she decided to lose weight to stop her knee(s?) from hurting so that she could continue the activities that she wanted to do.  I then thought of another friend of mine whose medication induced weight gain has resulted in a nerve being pinched (I think) in her thigh so it waivers between almost numb tingling and painful tingling, and her medical professionals who have told her that the only solution is for her to lose weight (which is resulting in fun medication adjustments).

So I can sleep without waking up in pain (several times a night), so I can sit cross-legged on the floor/bed/couch, so I can do yoga and Body Balance properly (I can’t do any hip flexion exercises), so I don’t stand up stiff and limping until I’ve walked it out, so I can have sex without paying for it for a few days afterwards, and so I don’t sit in a chair feeling my hip/s ache, do I attempt to lose weight to possibly speed up the process of healing my hips and taking the pressure off them so I am not aggravating the condition or do I just keep doing the exercises hoping that it will get better on it’s own? (nice complex sentence, sorry).

My partners will support me in any decision I make – which is lovely of them, and they tell me that I’m gorgeous, sexy, wonderful, beautiful and lovely now (not in some potential future state).  I could attempt to lose the 10kgs that being on steroids last year (briefly but oh how the weight stuck around) put on, and see where I go from there – whether the pain is less and my ability to move improves.  It won’t be easy (in fact it will suck immensely), but is it the best thing for my body right now?

I currently feel a bit let down by my body, which isn’t fair on it I know.  It does a lot for me, and puts up with all the things I want it to do.  I spent the weekend being depressed about clothes shopping being too goddamn hard because fat people are hard to make clothes for, including spending bits of Sunday in tears because it all sucked so much.  Hearing today that being fat is also aggravating a painful condition that I want treated and healed was not the news I was after.

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5 thoughts on “The conversation we had to have (apparently)”

  1. *hugs* It’s bloody difficult this stuff.
    Want to say more but it’s late and I’m tired and the words won’t come – suffice to say I get where you’re coming from.

  2. It upsets me to think about how much pain is caused by the emotions surrounding fat in our society – far more damaging than fat itself could ever be.

    The shame many people are taught to feel, the lack of consideration for different body types (like your issues with clothing retailers), and so on.

    The relationship between fat and health always seems particularly messy to me. So much science has been misrepresented and blown out of proportion, but somehow the idea of thin = healthy has wormed its way into people’s minds anyway. Though of course I don’t know the science on your particular issue.

    That must make things really hard. I guess all I really wanted to say was I hope you work out what’s best for your body, while taking care of yourself emotionally. That’s always the most important thing, I think.

  3. My concern would be that you do the ‘diet’ thing and you don’t end up losing ‘enough’ weight, or you initially lose weight and eventually put it back on. You will then undoubtedly be blamed (by society, by your physio perhaps, even by yourself) for the lack of loss, or the regain, and that will have an even more detrimental effect on your wellbeing – your emotional wellbeing rather than your physical wellbeing. Maybe a HAES approach might be what you are after? It is a tough one and I am hearing you.

    1. On the other hand I at least am, if I do decide to die with a t, educated about the risks of regaining the weight and insulated by a great community of feminists, fat acceptance activists and HAES activists, not to mention my family, from most negativity if I regain the weight, don’t lose “enough”, etc.

      If my physio suggested blame for any attempt I may potentially make of losing weight, then I’ll go and find another physio. I don’t need to be guilt-tripped more than I already have been – and the only reason I didn’t dump him is because he so clearly did not want to say what he did – but felt he had to.

      I think there may be merit in attempting to lose say 5 – 10 kgs and seeing if there is any improvement in the level of pain I suffer. That experiment, if I go through with it, has the potential to be used as a “well I did lose X, and the pain levels were the same despite the strengthening and exercising I did, so that isn’t the answer”.

      I am still thinking and wondering what I do and don’t want and what I can and can’t put up with. There will be no rush into making any decisions here.

      Thank you for your comments and support Bri, I do appreciate them.

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