I've had this post brewing in the back of my mind for several weeks based on a 'feeling' I get when I'm at work. Then, as though someone were listening to my thoughts and wanting to prey upon one thing known to put my into a panic-induced tizzy, I see the headline: Health-care workers face lifestyle pressures.
I am not a health-care worker, but I work in the field healthcare. I am surrounded by doctors, nurses, residents, OTs, PTs, SLPs and any number of other allied health professionals all day long. I was beyond thrilled when I learned that I got this job, but didn't fully think through the scenario of 'fat girl working with people whose jobs it is to promote healthy living.' I didn't fully appreciate the extent to which my weight would be cast in the spotlight precisely because of the environment in which I work.
Enter the hypocrisy. I may be overweight, but I am active and generally eat very well (obviously too much, but well). I do pretty much all of the things that the literature tells you to do in order to live a long and healthy life (don't drink to excess, eat lots of fruit and veg, don't smoke ...). So why is it that I should be judged any more or less on my 'lifestyle' than than veritable throngs of doctors and nurses that I see smoking their faces off outside my office and just past the doors of the emergency entrance? Even the article above talks about weight and exercise, with no attention given to any of the other vices in our lives that can stand in the way of good health.
People who are overweight have no choice but to wear their stress, poor coping skills, shitty genetics, etc., whereas alcoholics or smokers can hide their dirty little habits from public view. Would I feel any more confident about taking health advice from someone who was overweight versus someone with nicotine-stained fingers who smells like an ashtray? Absolutely not.