Fertility fat shaming has to stop

“I went in to see my doctor last week but he told me a had to lose weight before he would help me”

 

 

 

“They won’t give me funding for my IVF cycle until I’ve lost another 6lb”

 

 

 

“I’m really struggling to lose that last 2lbs to get my in the right BMI bracket but I can’t get an appointment until I do”

 

 

I hear so many stories like this and every time it breaks my heart a little bit more.

 

As a fat woman, I experience fat shaming all the time. Every single time I go to the doctors, regardless of the issue, my weight is commented on. The doctor, who hasn’t even looked at my notes, chastises me for being fat having no idea about my PCOS.

 

My favourite fat shaming experience was when I was attending a workshop titled “I am enough”. It was an incredible self empowerment workshop, bar the last 10 minutes when an old man who was there took it upon himself to lecture me in front of everyone else about how if I just stopped eating rubbish then I’d have a long and happy life. ?

 

I could barely hold it together to get out of there before bursting into tears. Why is it still ok in this day and age to make others feel like shit? Even if it’s under the guise of being in your best interests? Who the fuck are you to decide what my best interests are anyway?

 

The current situation looks like this.

 

Thousands of women are seeking help from their doctors and being told to lose weight before they get any help at all with their fertility struggles. They are not given any advice about their diet, their lifestyle, their health……nothing.

 

In this thin-obsessed world, don’t you think that they are already desperately trying to lose weight and have been since they were 11?

 

 

 

Don’t you think that the majority of their thoughts are about:

 

  • how much they weigh
  • what they can try next to lose weight
  • how many calories/points/syns are in those biscuits on counter in the office
  • how much they want to dive face first into said plate of biscuits
  • how much of a greedy pig they are for not being able to lose weight in the first place
  • how much they hate every single jiggly part of their body

 

 

 

And now you can add into the mix:

 

  • it’s all my fault I cant get pregnant
  • why can I not eat the “good” foods
  • I’d better punish myself with more exercise
  • i hate my body even more

 

 

 

How is making women feel even shitter about their bodies going to help them get pregnant?

 

How is giving them no support going to help them find a healthier way to live?

 

Because when it comes down to it, telling them to lose weight leads to

 

  • unhealthy and unsustainable desperate weight loss measures
  • unhealthy and unsustainable exercise programs
  • depression, anxiety and other mental health issues

 

none of which will lead to a healthy environment in which to grow a baby.

 

Women need physical and emotional support to prepare for pregnancy not another fat shaming show.

Written By Nicola

Nicola is a fat-positive fertility coach and author of “Fat and Fertile”. She helps fat folks navigate getting pregnant in a weight-obsessed world and advocates for change in how fat people are treated whilst accessing help with their fertility. Nicola uses her unique fat positive framework to support people in finding their own version of health without diets, advocate for their bodies, relearn how to trust their body and believe in their ability to get pregnant.

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