NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Protecting Your Fat Community

June13

I just had  a business neighbor come in and ask me about the flyer I have up for my fat meet up group. I bristled when she asked because I had heard somewhere that she was a weight loss doctor (Ack! The enemy!) and I was so not in the mood to be fighting the good fat fight when I haven’t even finished my coffee, ya know? Now I don’t know that she is a weight loss doctor, I think she’s just a general MD. In fact her assistant told me that she mostly treats those without insurance and those in need of an immigration physical examination. Nice!

But just her asking felt like someone pointing their finger at my chest. Why? Because she is an outsider. Because she is a medical doctor. Because OMZTEHOBESITYCONVO!!! But it didn’t happen like that. Inside my head it did, ha-ha! But it went more like this:

Doctor: What is this group you have here?
Me: My fat meet up group?
Doctor: Yes, what is it about?
Me: Well, it’s a group of local fat people who discuss the principles of “Health At Every Size” by Linda Bacon PHD. We discuss, we organize and we do things in the community.
Doctor: Oh okay. I see. It’s not a weight loss group?
Me: No, it’s health based. It’s about equality. It’s a worldwide community called fat acceptance. We work towards the equal treatment of everyone. Weight loss and health just don’t go together, ya know? Well, of course you know, you’re a doctor! *nervous laugh*
Doctor: Oh yes! Ha-ha! Okay, well I thought maybe I could recommend people…
Me: Well, it’s organized through a facebook group I moderate. But yeah, that would be fine. I just don’t want anyone to think it’s weight loss related at all.
Doctor: Yes, of course. What was that book again?
Me: “Health At Every Size” by Linda Bacon PHD. It’s really good, I highly recommend it!
Doctor: Okay, thank you.

And that’s okay, right? I just felt semi-attacked or like I had a spotlight on me. I was uncomfortable, I hope it didn’t show. I just, well, I wasn’t mentally prepared. I wasn’t in my fat mind at that moment. I was caught off guard. I just get fearful of the possibility of someone crashing my little paradise. My cafe can feel that way to me sometimes, like right now when a bunch of my customers who were strangers when they walked in and are now chatting it up like old pals. That’s paradise! My fat meet up group? Paradise!

I feel like had I been more aware or in the moment instead of full of worry and stress (life of a small business owner and all) that I could have been more open and welcoming of a possible ally. And why shouldn’t I welcome the chance to educate or introduce someone to fat acceptance? I’m usually excited by such opportunities!But in that moment I felt a very great need to protect it!

How could I have explained/welcomed an ally to FA? How do you explain it to people? Have you welcomed someone as an ally? Who isn’t fat? Have you approached a fellow fat about FA? I’d love to hear your stories!

“Health At Every Size” by Linda BaconDoctor
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posted under fat, Fat Acceptance
18 Comments to

“Protecting Your Fat Community”

  1. On June 13th, 2011 at 5:13 am Ashley Says:

    I think for someone who was caught off guard you did pretty well. I don’t think she was trying to attack you at all, but I understand why you may have been nervous that it could turn into that. If you would like her to refer some people to your group and make it clear that you want to welcome that, perhaps you could approach her about it when you are prepared to discuss, and follow up on the people she planned to refer. That way she’ll know you weren’t trying to blow her off or come off short to her about the topic.

  2. On June 13th, 2011 at 7:36 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Thank you! And that’s a great suggestion. I might just try to follow up with her, if for nothing other than to see if she got the book! =0)

  3. On June 13th, 2011 at 5:20 am E-x Says:

    I think it sounds like you did a great job! You were polite, helpful, and firm. That’s how you introduce an ally, planting seeds like that.

  4. On June 13th, 2011 at 7:36 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Thank you!

  5. On June 13th, 2011 at 6:34 am jackie Says:

    that’s awesome!!! a doctor who might read the book!!!
    yay:)

  6. On June 13th, 2011 at 7:36 am Not Blue at All Says:

    True, thanks! =0)

  7. On June 13th, 2011 at 7:40 am jery Says:

    I think you did a great job. You were eloquent and concise. Maybe you should think about inviting her to one of the events? It would be a way of having a doctor listen to your concerns as a community about the way people are treated (as in doctoral behavior) and she may learn something more about that kind of patient care and apply it to her practice. Then who knows, it may snowball by her telling doctor friends about patient needs.
    Did that sound confusing? It sounded confusing in my head.

  8. On June 13th, 2011 at 8:19 am Not Blue at All Says:

    No, that is a fan-fucking-tastic idea! Thank you!

  9. On June 13th, 2011 at 10:41 am Twistie Says:

    I would say for an off-the-cuff-in-fight-or-flight-mode response you kicked serious FA ass!

    Of course we tend to get defensive when people come up with questions. We’ve gotten so much hate and so many nasty assumptions (many of them from doctors, no less!) that we tend to assume stranger danger. All too often it’s not paranoia because they really are out to get us. So yes, I bristle up, too.

    The important thing is that you pushed past the fear and may have made a valuable ally. I bow to you, babe. Well done!

  10. On June 13th, 2011 at 10:44 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Thanks, lady! You made me feel better.

  11. On June 13th, 2011 at 10:52 am Twistie Says:

    Then my mission here is accomplished!

    (beams and heads off to make a grilled cheese sandwich)

  12. On June 13th, 2011 at 11:05 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Woo Hoo!

  13. On June 13th, 2011 at 1:02 pm Kimocean Says:

    I agree with everybody, you did a great job for an off-the-cuff moment. You suggested a resource, were polite and clear. Even if she doesn’t fully take up as a ally, at least she’s been exposed to the idea that there are other options related to health for her fat patients than weight loss.

  14. On June 13th, 2011 at 1:10 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Thank you so much! I hope so!

  15. On June 14th, 2011 at 2:35 am Kath Says:

    Don’t beat yourself up about feeling protective and hesitant – after all, more often than not, it is criticism and crap we get. And you have to protect yourself first, your own space and sanity points. You have every right to do that.

  16. On June 14th, 2011 at 9:22 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Thanks, Kath. You’re so right about that! Seems you understand where I was coming from.

  17. On June 14th, 2011 at 9:44 am withoutscene Says:

    THIS:
    “Weight loss and health just don’t go together, ya know? Well, of course you know, you’re a doctor! *nervous laugh*”

    Totally cracks me up.

    If she does show interest, I don’t think it would be a bad idea for a doctor to hear about how fat patients feel when going to the doctor or how they feel treated and how it affects their lives.

  18. On June 14th, 2011 at 9:47 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Thanks! I hadn’t considered inviting her until commenters suggested it. May just do that now. Who knows?!

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