I don’t need to be ‘fat-shamed’.
I do that myself, quite easily, every single day.
No-one was more shocked than me, with how much weight I packed on after starting medication for neuropathic pain, back in 2011.
Then the Grave’s Disease, oscillating between hyper and hypo with a string of meds to match.
Then the carb-fest I indulged in during family dramas.
So, yes, I admit it, I’m fat.
I agree it’s not a disability as such, but it’s certainly a side-effect of a disability, in my case, MS.
On top of everything I’m coping with, I’m astounded that some people have a problem with my weight. I’m mobile, I work, I go to University to study, I look after myself and need no external help.
It’s not easy finding nothing to wear in shops apart from lurid tops in garish colours. Or catching a glimpse of yourself in one of those long mirrors – the chubby face, the still-healing hernia, the ‘bigness’ of me, when inside I feel pretty small.
It’s weird – my MS is mostly invisible and I have to prove over and over again that I am in pain, that I could do with some kind words and help. Yet my weight, outwardly visible, is what people remark upon and feel free to make hurtful comments about.
Believe me, I know. And I also know that fat-shaming does not work.
Fat-shaming keeps you at home, exactly the same as MS. It keeps you out of view as much as possible. And it hurts, deeply.
When I stand on stage and talk to a crowd of people, I’m acutely aware I’m fat. But, I put that to one side and give my best. The people are there to hear me talk, not judge me on my dress size. I would like to think that what I have to say about MS is far more important than my weight.
I am not impacting our NHS or our social services with my weight,
I carry it all by myself.