Are you fat because you’re sick and/or disabled? I am…

And I’m tired of the bigotry.

I posted the following comment after this Guardian article GPs urged to send obese and overweight to slimming classes, to attempt to redress the rabid toxicity of the comments thread and of the article itself.

Just one question – why am I, last time I looked, the only one doing that?

I also linked to it on Twitter, in an attempt to encourage others to join in. Sank without trace so far, though I have noticed a couple of people complaining on Twitter. But here’s the thing, folks, if you object to this as much as I do, you should be saying so in the comments. 

And what pisses me off at the Guardian is that, in most of the comments, if you substitute “fat” or “obese” with Muslim, Jew, Black, or almost any other minority group, they’d be dumped by the moderators. If you’re fat, it seems you’re fair game at the Guardian.


My Comment (NB: ATL = Above the line, i.e. the article; BTL = Below the line, i.e. the comments):-


Note for the terminally smug and judgemental both ATL and BTL – Not everyone is fat because of poor lifestyle choices.

I consume fewer than 1,000 kcals a day. Despite that I am substantially overweight.

I am also seriously disabled, which is why I’m overweight. I’m a powerchair user – my walking ability is measured in feet.

This is me:-

FMS, Cervical spine arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Long-term damage from being struck by lightning in 1983, M.E., COPD (never smoked), Heart failure, Aortic valve calcification & stenosis, Angina, Bilateral Lymphoedema (chronically infected), Primary Addison’s Disease (requires high-dose steroids just to stay alive – main side-effect, weight gain).

About half of the above conditions are potentially fatal (my chances of seeing the general election, for example, are remote).

Exercise is not an option – it will simply hasten my demise.


And I’ve also just posted this comment:-

In most of the comments here, if you substitute “fat” or “obese” with Muslim, Jew, Black, or almost any other minority group, they’d be dumped by the moderators.

If you’re fat, it seems you’re fair game at the Guardian. But, hey, mods – it’s still hatred.

So what are you going to do about it?

9 thoughts on “Are you fat because you’re sick and/or disabled? I am…

  1. What an absolutely ridiculous idea. For gods sake like you said some people tend to make poor choices more fool them bt then there are those who cant help it due to meds etc. And as for the brainless idiots who came up with that idea whats to stop the people they send reverting back to old habits and getting fat again. Jst a thought. Still the most idiotic idea ive ever heard.

  2. Hi Ron, Last year I spent 10 days in hospital due to serious long infection. Year before that, 5 days in hospital with same thing. Only difference was I was sent home way to early, I suspect due to shortage of beds. Three days after I came home, my doctor was sent for. Apparently I had more things wrong with me than I went in with. I was suffering from excruciating spasms under my ribs and chest, could hardly move and I was screaming in agony, ( had this problem for years). Anyway, my doctor told me to loose weight , otherwise I would sit in my chair and grow fatter and fatter and die. Like yourself I have cervical arthritis in my spine also osteoporosis in base of spine, fibromyalgia and a list as long as my arm of other ailments. All my doctor was interested in was my weight, he told me to go running, so I told him to take a long walk off a very short peer. Enough said.

    • Some of the fittest people I’ve known have also been some of the fattest. And, of course, the converse is also true – just goes to show that sweeping generalisations are a waste of everyone’s time.

      March last year I was admitted to hospital close to death, having lost 35kg after months of vomiting, diarrhoea and starvation – I was simply too ill to feed myself. However, the weight I got down to – that almost killed me – was my allegedly “ideal weight” for my height. Shows what a crock that is too, as the consultants promptly put me on a diet to regain the lost weight.

      Today, as a result of my steroid intake for Addison’s (which is what caused my problems in the first place), I’ve regained all but 5kg and am overweight again.

      Am I going to diet? After last year? No way in hell!

  3. well i’m with you all the way. i used to be a 6st wet through non weakling,i could do my share of lifting a 20stone woman up a hospital bed (before the days of hoists)i could lift a bed end that had a 15stone boy in it, leg in a metal splint,attached to weights in turn attached to pulleys attached to heavy angle iron that went from bottom of bed over the top of patient and down the back of the bed..while a massive big bertha of a sister pushed a bed elevator under the bottom end.that was at 17yrs old …. 1960…follow on to 1977, nursing my terminally ill mother for 10 months while also looking after my 2 kids aged 8 and 6 and my working husband. hardly time to eat so snacked to keep my strength up and cups of tea were limited to half a cup at a time. dinners when i got them were always stew as that seemed to be all my hubby could cook at that time. my weight went up to 13.5 stone.and i smoked at that time. forward on to now. with 29 minor to major conditions including asthma,COPD,spinal spondylosis,diabetes,IBS,acid reflux..and an ongoing saga of did i or did i not have a heart attack in 2007… had stopped smoking at that time and bounced weight on from 12st 9lbs to 14st 1 lb. after 18 months lost all of that weight gain plus some ( because of having to change my eating habits after i gained the last 3 conditions over the following 4/5 years). but, as the austerity measures gain momentum and food costs have gone up i am finding it more difficult to eat as i was and have already gained 9lbs again. this is coupled with the winter gain admitted. but now im finding it difficult to gert out as i was from both a physical and financial aspect,.and have now got an assessment to get a wheelchair to take with me when i do go out so i can go further .my grandaughter will push me on those occasions.the distance i can walk is getting less n less before i have to sit down therefore it takes longer to do the shopping for instance ,than it was doing.
    i have no doubt that it wont be that long before i too will be in a housebound situation. keep getting told to walk to end of cul de sac a few times a day. well yes if they want me in a depression again as i was when i tried walking the dog 3 times a day around the same little area for 6months. (he has walkers now). i do not have such a small mind that walking like a donkey on a treadmill round n round actually appeals to me. insanity comes to mind.
    just a thought on this….you can find plenty of people willing to walk a dog, dog sit etc, but can anyone tell me how many you know of willing to take a granny/grandad for a walk ,or a ride out or sit for an hour with her/him???? to keep her/him active in some way that also stimulates her/his brain???

    • Re your last point, yes! There are organisations in most towns that offer “befriending services” – I got an offer when I got out of hospital last March but I politely declined.

      Try Age Concern (Called Age UK now, I think). If they don’t do it they should be able to tell you who does.

      As for keeping the brain active, a computer works for me, and doesn’t expect me to be sociable! 😉

      • yes, i had a befriender but to be honest she was in a worse state than me in a way,with bad epilepsy. there would be weeks when she didnt turn up. one week after another. and never walked to my pace. so i found myself getting more n more out of breath while trying to keep up to her and none left to shout her. she was off in her own little world. so i told them i didnt want her coming nephew started taking me out in his car shortly after for keeping brain active. i actually meant while out. to me going shopping is a neccessity.not a pastime. if im going walking,or for a car drive i do not want to be walking around this estate of boxes with not one house or bungalow of character and very few nice gardens.or driving around towns only uinless its of historic value.i need the stimulus of new places, grass, fields, water (no river that i can get to now within a good few miles of me)
        i used to get a lot from the pc. especially when researching my family tree. but in recent year have found it more n more difficult to concentrate and apart from looking things up (i.e. my next surfing project is to see if there are anymore new painkillers on the market that people with asthma and COPD can take. the co codamol i have been on for a few years is now affecting my peak flow which frequently is down to 200-220 on a morning..also to check what is exactly in co codamol as i understood it was codeine and paracetamol but my asthma nurse told me last week it has morphine in it. i should have been told this if that was the case because i did not want to be taking stronger painkillers than i needed to and morphine to me is a last resort.
        i like to be sociable, upto a point. cannot do with crowds and anymore than 4 people i have problems keeping up with the conversation. but now my friends are dwindling. one in a nursing hoome, another now on mobile only and lives 80 miles away now.i cannot afford to be phoning mobiles too often so i feel i have lost a friend in a way there. as was used to being able to phone each other whenever we needed each other. i have no one i can just call on anymore,.visitors amount to my daughter once a week.,nephew n his mum once a blue moon unless i have money for petrol for him to take me out which is getting rarer n rarer with everything but pensions etc going up more than our son calls in for 5-10 mins if hes out on his bike, and grandaughter about once a month. i realise this sounds a lot but used to having people bobbing in for a coffee and natter and that isnt happening now. so im feeling it and it will take some getting used to, the wheelchair shpuld help me get out more. but frankly because of where i live it costs about as much if not more to go on bus somewhere (because i need taxi to nearest bus station and back still… dare not get on bus at normal stop because they rarely wait for you to sit down) its 20quid return into our nearest big town.before you start with lunches or coffees etc.these days as much a part of the outing as the oouting itself. one day i may be in your situation and not be able to do any of these things at all. but until that time i want to try whatever it takes to get me out of these 4 walls. i know how depressed people can get when they dont get out for a few weeks. so being completely stuck in must be 100 times worse.

        • Asthma nurse is in the wrong job – there’s no morphine in Co-codamol, just codeine and Paracetamol. According to the BNF there is no combination of codeine and morphine – which makes sense. No point in combining two opiates, one weaker than the other. Makes more sense to increase the morphine.

          Morphine can cause respiratory suppression – my sodding GP is paranoid about it and is convinced I’m going to die. I am, but not from that, it doesn’t affect me at all. The fact that it CAN cause respiratory suppression doesn’t men that it WILL.

          Might be worth a try with a low dose, but NOT with Zomorph which is modified release and lasts for 12 hours (that’s what I’m on). Get normal tablets and if they should disagree with you they’ll be out of your system quickly.

  4. thought i was right bout the content of co codamol… but to be honest i would rather not go onto any morphine meds yet a while if i can avoid it. i really dont think im bad enough for that yet,hopefully wont get that bad either. fingers crossed.if i could just stick to codeine would b fine. i only take them once a day normally. twice on some days when neck plays up. now. if out for a drive or shopping might take a third dose depending on how long im out,indoors take less. to me going onto morphine before its really necessary is limiting what pain relief is available at the latter stages of your life when you are less able to contend with any pain. i know im coming up to 72 therefore had my 3 score years and ten, but my gran lived to be 96, her mum 93, dad 87. (admitted none of my mums side reached 70 at all and mum ,her mum,her mum and her mum ,according to my research, reached 63.every one. so ive bypassed them.) but i could have another 20 yrs in front of me yet. (do i want that i ask myself??not up to me though is so would rather not hit the heavier stuff until / if ive no choice.

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