Every now and again, you find yourself in a position where you might end up doing actions you’ve spoken against for social justice reasons, either because holding your ground gets too damaging or because it gets too difficult.
I’ve been a member of the fat acceptance movement for going on a year and a half now, and I flirted with it for a substantial time before then. Like most fat people, I’ve had to struggle with accepting that ‘fat is not bad’ doesn’t just apply to others, it applies to me too. I’ve slowly gotten more comfortable in my skin, though each time my weight and size increase, I’ve found myself having to go through the same process again.
But now, after a couple of years believing that diets are unhealthy and unhelpful (because I’ve read studies that suggest that), I’m finding myself in a position where my doctor thinks I should lose weight because I have high blood sugar.
Now, high blood sugar is bad news. There are a couple of things that could be causing it, but regardless of the cause, many people’s blood sugar lowers when they lose significant amounts of weight.
So here I am, faced with two pieces of bad news. There are 2 different medical conditions that could be causing the issues, one of which may require surgery inside the dura mater (the membrane that surrounds the brain) and the other of which is the precursor to diabetes. On top of that, I’m likely to find myself stuck on a very severe diet, because milder diets haven’t had any effect towards weight loss for me. Diabetes is more serious than you’d expect, at first glance. One of the things that comes with it is poor wound healing/slow healing. Because of my EDS, I get injured very, very easily, and I already heal slowly. You add a blood sugar issue and the likelihood of me getting infections in wounds skyrockets. The likelihood of doing permanent damage, quite possibly without even knowing it, is somewhat astonishing.
Managing it will also be more difficult for me, because of my variety of issues. I have to be exceptionally careful about what I eat, because of my reflux disorder and my IBS. (in particular, vegetables end up problems) I also run into the problem where most ready meals have a great deal of carbs and/or sugar in them, which a person with diabetes is not supposed to have.
So now, I find myself in the position of having to do something I have advocated against. So I find myself wondering, am I right to assume that losing weight may actually affect my medical conditions, or is that just what studies paid for by companies that have their fingers in dieting pots have said? Even if I am right, are the costs of dieting greater than the benefits?
The uncomfortable truth is that I don’t know, and I’m not sure if it will become clear.