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Cushing's Awareness Challenge - Day 17 - Being Fat

I was fat, even considered "morbidly obese" at my highest weight.  As anyone reading this blog probably already knows that one of the most devastating symptoms of Cushing's is the dramatic and uncontrolled weight gain.

This article from the New York Times explains how the fat stigma affects people all over the world.  At my highest weight, I was 285lbs.  I had trouble walking short distances and turned down a lot of activities because I was worried about climbing stairs or walking while people were with me because of how difficult it was for me.  Now, I am 179lbs (yes, every pound counts now!), and have changed almost nothing about my eating habits (which aren't that great) or activity level, though I am slowly building my exercise tolerance.

I never got attention from guys while I was fat, and even my friends might have been embarrassed for me.  My college roommates would try to convince me to go for a walk with them or walk to class, but I usually drove alone.  I have been told I was too fat to shop at certain stores, even told to take off my sweatshirt so a salesgirl could measure me and THEN tell me that they had nothing that would fit me - how humiliating.  Needless to say, I have not stepped foot in that particular store since.

Most people think that if you are fat, it's your own fault.  Sometimes, that is the case, but a lot of times, weight gain is due to a medical or psychological condition, medications, or a person's genetics.  In my case, it was due to Cushing's, but since it took so long to get a diagnosis (and a cure!), I felt like a failure.

Having people look at you differently because of the shape or size of your body is one of the hardest things.  Now that I am thinner, it amazes me how much better I am treated in public.  People wouldn't stop talking about how great I look at work and asking me what I did to lose the weight.  The receptionist at the hair salon I have been going to for about 2 years was kinder and chattier. People at stores that I have never been able to shop at before have been more than accommodating.

Have you ever been treated differently because of what you look like?  How do you deal with the stigma?

(I will work on taking some pictures for you!)




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