Dear Instagram “Doctors”
While I know you think your comments telling me to lose weight is helping me, it’s not. I’m 37 years old so to assume that I’ve gotten this far in life as a fat chick and the thought of losing weight never accured to me is the dumbest thing ever.
I am well aware that if I lost weight, I would ultimately feel better. And yes, SOME of my Lymphatic issues would ease up. But by no means would it magically fix my life. Diet and exercise will not reduce my Lipedema (aka damaged fat cells). You might be reading this going “bitch how do you know if you don’t try?” I know because I’ve been on diet after diet since I was probably 10. My dad made me go on every diet he ever did. I’ve done shakes. I’ve done pills. I’ve done fasting. I’ve done low carbs. I’ve done Herbalife. I was a 100lbs heavier when I had my son almost 11 years ago. I went gluten free for Celiac Disease 8 years ago and in 3 months I dropped 80lbs cause my body was properly handling food. I lost the weight in my face and torso. My upper arms, hips, and thighs did not change at all.
Do you know how hard it is to be told year after year by someone as important in your life as a parent that you need to lose weight? Do you know how much of a mind fuck it is to hear at 16 “if you don’t lose weight you will never find anyone to love you” by your father? Do you know heartbreaking it is that when you sit your father down to tell him your husband is cheating and the first thing out of his mouth is “what did you do or not do to make him cheat… maybe you should have lost the weight”? I’m going to go ahead and guess that most of you haven’t and I HOPE you haven’t had to experience those moments. But I have and they vividly stick in my mind for so many situations whether I want them to or not. So for you to brazenly sit behind the screen of your device and throw out at me to “just lose weight” like I’m a lazy dumbass not only makes me livid but hurts.
While I’ve grown to love myself and accept the body I have, it does not mean there aren’t days I wish I was more “normal” so that life would be easier. It would be easier to shop wherever for cheaper. It would be easier to not have to plan out extra room on the airplane. It would be easier to not have to scan the restaurant/venue/airport to see if there is a chair that doesn’t have arms that will dig painfully into my Lipedema hips leaving me with painful bruises to remind me for days that I’m different. It would be easier to not be in pain constantly. It would be easier to not be the fat mom that my kid gets teased about. But life isn’t easy, so I’ve chosen to embrace the body I’ve been given instead of being miserable about it. Let me love my body and my life. Me loving my body DOES NOT make your life hard… Shocking to learn but its true. Me being ok with the fact that I’m bottom heavy pear does not factor into your life. It doesn’t change your day to day. It does not put your job at risk. It does not ruin your relationship with your loved one. All it does is make MY life a little easier.
If you truly want to help me, you can do so by educating yourself on what Lipedema and Lymphedema are and the differences between the two. I’ll even give you a little info on it so you don’t have to google or go elsewhere.
Lipedema is when the fat cells in the hips, thighs, buttocks, upper arms are damaged and absorb lymph fluid. Once they have absorbed the lymph fluid it has changed the make-up of the fat cells. That change makes the Lipedema fat not react to diet or exercise like normal fat cells. Lipedema may affect up to 11% of women. Although it begins as a cosmetic concern, it can eventually cause pain and other problems. Lipedema can be mistaken for regular obesity or lymphedema. Lipedema can be maintained through manual lymphatic drainage, compression, or exercise. Water-assisted liposuction can reduce Lipedema fat cells.
Lymphedema is a chronic lymphatic disease that results in disfiguring swelling in one or more parts of the body. It can be hereditary (Primary Lymphedema) or it can occur after a surgical procedure, infection, radiation or other physical trauma (Secondary Lymphedema). Lymphedema can be treated/maintained with wrapping and compression garments.