I had a physiotherapy appointment today and I was so nervous. That might sound weird and you might ask: “Why would you feel nervous for a physiotherapy appointment?” but let me explain. I go to a physiotherapist every couple of months for my neck – I have a tube that run downs my neck from my surgeries and metal in the back of my brain that causes a lot of pain in my shoulders and neck from having these foreign objects inside of me. Since moving full time to London, I have had to find new physios, new doctors, new neurosurgeons etc. but unfortunately when I go to new people, sometimes these medical professionals and physiotherapists have used these appointments to shame me about my weight. I have even had one physiotherapist scoff when I told her how often I exercise, so when scheduling this appointment with a new physiotherapist, you might now be able to understand my hesitancy.
Some of you will say that it is their job to warn me about my health but actually it isn’t. Their job is to fix the problem that I have come to them with and the problem I have is usually non-weight related and furthermore, shaming someone about the current exercise they do is not contributing anything to my health, it is only diminishing it. Body shaming is body shaming and it isn’t acceptable ever. The reason I am sharing this is because today, I have never felt more accepted by a professional and I was soooo grateful. And then I realised that I shouldn’t feel grateful for it, it should be the norm, it should be expected and it made me realise that you should never accept this treatment. I found an incredible woman who not only focused on the problems at hand, she sympathised with the limitations that my medical conditions put on my exercise, (like that I can’t lift my arms above my shoulders without pain) and helped come up with new ways to work around it and instead, we had an amazing chat about all the new exercises I have been trying lately – like paddle boarding! If any professional makes you feel bad about yourself or your body, find a new one. They should support you, without shaming you.