Alternative title: “…And medicine be thy food” (Hippocrates)
“And how is your diet?” my GP asked.
“I erm…” for the first time in the appointment, I was stumped.
“You appear to have lost weight since the last time I saw you” he said as he leaned towards me.
” … ” the words seemed caught.
“Should I be concerned?” he clasped his hands together.
“I’m struggling a little” I admitted “at times I’m nauseous at just the thought of food, I skip breakfasts, I eat little for the other meals…I don’t feel hungry but force myself to eat something, anything”
“I see…” he nodded “let’s talk about this”.
So talk we did…To put your minds at rest a little, it is a side effect of my medication (it was increased a few weeks ago and I’m still adjusting) – my GP has recommended a diet rich in fresh foods (“no processed crap Ruebi, if you can’t stomach breakfast take a juice or piece of fruit” etc etc etc).
Since I started my medication for the Anxiety and Depression I have lost weight…Weight I didn’t want, nor need, to lose. It is a noticeable weight loss, I’ve dropped dress sizes. It is a noticeable change of appetite, I recently committed the sin of all sins for biscuit eaters and turned down a custard cream for my brew! It has been something that has concerned me…But not in the way you would expect.
I am aware that my body is changing as the medication gets into the system, but I know it will balance out. I know I just have to be persistent, I know the foods I need to limit my intake of, I know it will just take time. No, this isn’t what has concerned me about it.
What has concerned me is other people’s reactions to it:
The “whatever you’re doing girl carry on, you could do to lose another stone” (from where?! One more stone and it will be a problem for my GP…Also, I don’t consider this statement as supportive nor conducive to a positive mindset, I believe it to be a poorly veiled version of body shaming).
The “ooo look at little miss Skinny Bitch” (see above).
The “I totally need Anxiety just to get your meds! My diet isn’t working and I have a bikini to get into!” (my mental health is not a joke, Anxiety isn’t a joke…Nor is it a fad diet. It is debilitating, it is terrifying, it makes a mockery of any control you believed you had over your own body and mind. Stop diluting the seriousness of a condition that people suffer with daily because of a bikini – take my advice, put the bikini on, rock it, enjoy it!).
I’ve written before about how the pursuit of perfection is a poisoned chalice in which we obsess about our perceived flaws, imperfections and body image demons…I know that this is a difficult battle in itself. One that we all experience at some point to varying degrees…But instead of body shaming, perpetuating stigma and making enemies, why not accept that we are all different and support one another? Compliment each other? Listen to each other?
We are beautiful no matter what size we are…We are beautiful.