Last week someone was explaining to my son the “calories in, calories out” theory and I had to interject “Unless you have Cushing’s.” They looked at me oddly and just moved on. I understand the theory, but I’m pretty sure we’ve disproven that one many times over. And hidden in those words is a personal history of decades of blame and shame. Its a simple choice, right? Eat less, eat better, and exercise more and you'll be healthy! I wish. I don't want my children learning that those who are fat or sick made the choice to be that way.
Few who are obese are without some underlying condition -be it insulin resistance, depression/anxiety, eating disorders, autoimmune disease/treatment, neurological damage, or a myriad of things including my personal least-favorite, or a tumor. We are SO judgy and make so many assumptions when it comes to weight and it is not okay. What is worse is that the medical community does it just as often.
It is NOT normal to gain 1.5-2lbs *A DAY* for two weeks straight, then lose .25-.5 lbs in a day for two weeks straight WHILE your activity and diet are stable, and then repeat that cycle month after month. It wasn’t poor diet, overeating, laziness, depression or low vitamin D. It was a tumor in my pituitary causing excess cortisol in roughly two-week spurts, causing a deadly and debilitating illness called Cushing’s Disease. I had brain surgery and am now in remission, but because of the damage done by the disease and it’s comorbidities, the 15+ year delay in diagnosis and treatment, and the complications of the treatment itself, I’m still not “well.” I still have to make constant adjustments for my health, having to rethink my goals, plans and activities on a daily basis.
The reality is that nobody feels good being fat. We all wish we were healthy, skinny, physically able, etc. We ALL know the theories and practices behind weight loss. Few are too lazy to make that effort. Most of us have spent years, decades even, fighting against it and seeking health. Some of us do all we can towards the desired changes to no avail. Maybe it’s time we start assuming weight gain is a symptom instead of the disease, and respond with empathy and support.