Commentary #110: Fatphobia in the Medical System, and Thin Privilege

I found this on Facebook on July 29, 2020. It was originally shared by Heatherina Lavender on May 25, 2018.

This was utterly shocking to me. I’m ashamed of how shocking it was.

No wonder Americans have issues with eating disorders!


The resounding comment I got when I shared this on my Facebook page/profile was about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Many of my friends have it, but almost all of them were not properly or appropriately diagnosed for YEARS. And that is completely unacceptable.

I remember learning about PCOS in “Family Life.” I think The Care and Keeping of You, by American Girl, may have covered it? I can’t remember for sure. I also read Girlology multiple times through the library.

Here’s some more information about PCOS:

  • The ovaries produce an abnormal amount of androgens, male sex hormones that women typically have in small amounts.
  • Some women do not have cysts in their ovaries with PCOS, and some women have cysts that do not have a PCOS diagnosis.
  • The most common treatment is medication, but there is currently no cure.
  • Many women with PCOS have insulin resistance.
  • Symptoms: Missed periods, irregular periods, excess body hair, weight gain (especially in the belly region), acne or oily skin, infertility, skin tags, dark or thick patches of skin in certain areas.

I’ve included a list of resources at the end of this post.


I’m not a medical professional, far from it. I’m not here to give medical advice. However – Something I completely agree with in this series of screenshots is this: Unless your child is severely obese, there should be no discussion of weight at their doctor visits, especially not in front of them.

Having worked for two different healthcare systems since 2012, I’ve watched the changes in body mass index (BMI), weight management, diabetes, nutrition, and more. It’s been staggering, and a lot of it has made my head spin. I can’t imagine how it feels for people with chronic pain, autoimmune diseases/disorders, and parents!

Also, the way weight is approached needs to change. A good example is what happened to a family member more than a decade ago, probably 17-18 years ago now. They knew full well they were overweight, and never went to the doctor regularly. Well, this family member ended up with a terrible UTI, and needed antibiotics at a minimum. They went, reluctantly, and the doctor advised bloodwork since they were already there at the office. To no one’s surprise, the bloodwork indicated Type 2 diabetes.

But, here’s the kicker. The doctor didn’t say “I want you to lose weight.”

The doctor said, “I’m giving you a week to improve these numbers. Then we’ll re-evaluate.”

This family member went home, started walking more frequently, and started changing their diet. It’s been a slow process, but the doctor was pleased with their progress in that one week. And the progress continued. Their diabetes is now under control, and has been successfully controlled for the last several years. It’s remarkable what that doctor said. It changed the family member’s life!


I mentioned eating disorders (EDs) earlier. I’ve been educating myself on EDs for quite a while now. I personally have never truly experienced or suffered from (or diagnosed with) anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating, or disordered eating, but I know many people who have. It’s mostly women, but I know men who have struggled as well. It’s called a disorder for a reason. Many of my friends, thankfully, have received help.

One blogger who truly opened my eyes has been BeautyBeyondBones. She posts the most amazing and delectable recipes based on her specific eating plan (Specific Carb Diet – SCD – among others), but she has also been incredibly candid about her ongoing journey with ED. She was in treatment, relapsed, and has been recovering ever since.


The other thing I noticed was “thin privilege.” I had to look it up.

In simple terms, it means that I, among others, have never experienced demeaning comments, unsolicited advice, medical discrimination, paying more money for clothes and airline seats, and other shaming instances because I’m “thin.”

Have I gained weight? Of course. I’ve gained about 35 pounds since I met Al in 2010. But, there are reasons why – I graduated from college and wasn’t walking around campus multiple times a day, every day; I started working a job in front of a computer (and that hasn’t changed since 2011, except for getting a sit-stand desk); and I got older. Studies show that a woman’s metabolism begins to slow down at age 25.

If we looked at my BMI, I’m borderline overweight for my height. But, I don’t let that affect me.

Do I struggle with body image? Yes. A lot of it was ingrained in my head from certain family members since childhood, church members, and my ex-boyfriend who was incredibly vain and wanted me to look good for him at all times. I struggled with how to work out properly for years.

Now, in my early 30s, I finally have a healthier mindset. You are not defined by your weight or image. Children are certainly not defined by that. I have vowed to remove this harmful language from my vocabulary!


Resources


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #102: “More Pizza And Fries? USDA Proposes To ‘Simplify’ Obama-Era School Lunch Rules”

Image Credit: Politico

NPR is one of my go-to sources. I’ve written several posts on articles from them. When I read this headline a while ago, I knew I needed to write about it: More Pizza And Fries? USDA Proposes To ‘Simplify’ Obama-Era School Lunch Rules


I also saw this article as a challenge to myself.

I’m not a parent.

I grew up with eating some school lunches, but most of the time I brought food from home, since my mom made big meals that turned into leftovers.

In elementary school, we learned about the food pyramid and how junk food was “bad.”

Since I graduated from high school in 2007, the rules and guidelines around school nutrition have changed. In addition, the United States weathered the worst economic downturn, among other things.

So, I wanted to dive in, do my research, and educate myself. And then share that education with you!


I’m not going to go into the entire history of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), but know that the USDA is the government agency that sets the rules for school nutrition. These rules apply to breakfast and lunch served in U.S. schools.

One of most landmark pieces of legislation on nutrition and schools has been the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. It became Public Law on December 13, 2010. It has not been amended since it was passed by the Senate on August 5, 2010.

However, at the end of 2018, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced changes. The idea was to give schools “more flexibility in serving meals that kids will eat,” according to another article from NPR published on December 7, 2018.

Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)

USDA FNS – Nutrition Standards for School Meals

One of the biggest issues that people have with the new proposal is allowing any entree at any school could be served as an a la carte item for students. This means, if the proposal is made into a final rule, schools can offer pizza and burgers as an option every single day, if they choose. It’s a potential loophole to the previous rules that have mandated balanced school meals.

NOTE: While starting to write this post, I clicked on the link to the proposal from the Food and Nutrition Service on the Federal Register. I couldn’t access the Proposed Rule. There was an Editorial Note in its place, stating, “This document was withdrawn by the Office of the Federal Register because it was inadvertently placed on public inspection. The record will remain on public inspection through the close of business on Wednesday, January 22, 2020.”

This post is nowhere near finished. My research continues!

Tag #63: 3-2-1 Quote Me! – “Food, Glorious Food”

I love Rory’s quote challenges! He’s the author of A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! He tagged me to complete this one.

Thanks for picking me, Rory!

Here’s the link to the post where I was tagged/challenged:


Rules: 3.2.1 Quote Me!

  • Thank the Selector
  • Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day.
  • Select 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me!’

Note: Although this is the topic for today there is no specific deadline to it, meaning you can answer as and when.


Topic: “Food Glorious Food”

If music be the food of love, play on. - William Shakespeare

Image Credit: BrainyQuote

Let's face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me. - Audrey Hepburn

Image Credit: BrainyQuote


Tag – You’re It!

  • Jenna – Bookmark Your Thoughts
  • Laurie – Work, Play, and Chardonnay
  • Bibi – Bibi’s Book Blog

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #40: The Cheesy Goodness Tag

The Cheesy Goodness Tag - Howling Libraries

Image Credit: Howling Libraries

This looked like a really interesting tag – I saw it on Jenna’s blog, Bookmark Your Thoughts.

Here’s the link to Jenna’s post:


The Rules:

  1. Pingback the original creator (Sydney @ Fire and Rain Books) so she can see all your cheesy goodness answers.
  2. Pingback the person who tagged you (as per usual).
  3. Have fun!

Cheddar

The traditional cheese: Name your favorite classic novel.

Although I’m very tempted to pick The Great Gatsby, I’m actually going to choose Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I’ve loved everything Austen has written, although I haven’t read everything (See my TBR!). I first fell in love with her books when I was watching Wishbone as a kid!

Swiss

The hole-y cheese: Name an emotional roller coaster.

Looking for Alaska by John Green. This was the first of Green’s books I read, in 2011, and I had no idea how much emotion he packs into every book he writes!

Blue Cheese

The controversial cheese: Name an unpopular book opinion you have.

I despise dog-earing pages. I will use any scrap of paper as a bookmark before I fold a corner of a page. Also, I really don’t like love triangles!

Brie

The favorite cheese: Name an author you always want more of.

Tie between Suzanne Collins and J.K. Rowling! These two women, between Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, have shaped so many years of my life!

Gouda

The Dutch cheese: Name a book that makes you want to travel.

The Vacationers by Emma Straub. Take me away!

American

The fake cheese: Name your least favorite book / a book you love to hate on.

Many of my regular readers know the hate that I give to Allegiant, the third book in the Divergent trilogy. Ugh!

Colby Jack

The mixed cheese: Name your favorite ship.

I can’t pick just one!

  • Katniss and Peeta, The Hunger Games trilogy.
  • The more I think about it, the more I wish Harry and Hermione ended up together!

Mozzarella

The simple cheese: Name an old favorite you’ll never stop loving.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Pepper Jack

The spicy cheese: Name a book you can’t judge by its cover.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain.

Muenster

The monster cheese: Name a villain that you wish never had the joy of eating cheese again.

Many people who have done this tag already have agreed with my sentiment. I loathe Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter. *shudders*


Tag – You’re It!


This was such a fun tag, and really different from the other tags I’ve done (so far). I loved it! Thanks again, Jenna!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂