“Renowned body positivity advocate Dr. Linda Bacon, author of Body Respect: What Conventional Health Books Get Wrong, Leave Out, or Just Plain Fail to Understand about Weight, puts it simply: “There are a lot of people in larger bodies that are scared to go to the doctor and don’t look to doctors to be their source of support.”
Bacon says that people in this situation will often delay and avoid medical care “because they’ve been stigmatized by doctors and given bad advice in the past.” She says that this fear amongst those who have larger bodies is understandable, as “doctors do spend less time with heavier people, and tend to blame them [for their problems].”
But, you shouldn’t have to live in fear or give up on the quality healthcare that should be provided to you. One way to do this, Bacon says, is to “harness your inner resources, and take back your power.”
Understanding the biases out there and knowing what you deserve can allow you to listen to yourself and what you need. “You know your body better than your doctor does and you’ve gotta trust that,” she says.
Assuming you already have a doctor who isn’t understanding or on your side, Bacon says one of the best things you can do is to research and find a doctor that’s going to give you respectful care. Find online communities that share stories about doctors, as well as resources in which doctors who are committed to sensitive care share their mission.”