I had hoped my first post would be a cool introspective about how I have lived in 3 major Canadian cities in the past year, comparing them and talking about how they reflect on Canada's diversity. That post is going to come, but something happened today that I feel needs to be shared.
The facts relevant to this story: 1) I have huge, unwieldy boobs that have bothered me for a decade and 2) I am fat. I am around 5'6 and weigh 192 lbs (approximately 15-20 of which is pure tit), which evidently brings me to around a BMI of 31.
Today I went in to see my family doctor to ask to be put on the wait-list for a breast reduction surgery. I waited a decade to do it because I thought I may want kids some day and it would possibly make me unable to breast feed. My husband and I have decided that kids aren't in our plan, so it seemed silly to continue to live in near constant pain in case I change my mind later on. I went to his office, happy to finally be taking a step towards better health. Then things went wrong.
After taking my height and weight, he informed me that the cut-off was a BMI of 30. If I want the surgery, I need to lose 10 lbs before my consult with the surgeon.
Easy enough, you might say. Hit the gym and eat better. 10 lbs isn't that much right? And that is where, for me, you would be wrong.
I can't lose weight. I have never been able to lose weight. I couldn't lose weight with an eating disorder (which I have thankfully recovered from). I couldn't lose weight rowing 5x a week as the captain of my highschool team. Right now my diet consists of around 60% fresh organic vegetables, 25% protein from grassfed animals and free range eggs and the remaining 15% is made up of good fats, a little fruit now and again, and the occasional treat. I am active and strong. When other people eat like me, they all lose weight. My husband dropped 20 lbs when we got married because he started eating like me. My cousin lost 15 when she came to visit me for 2 weeks. Everyone loses weight when they eat like me, except me. I have been tested for thyroid issues and a whole host of other possibilities and nothing has come up to explain it. All the women in my family who have the same shoulder:hip ratio as me are fat. All the ones built differently are thin.
So now I am left in an absurd predicament. In order to get the medical care I need, I need to do something unhealthy. The past has told me that the only way I can lose weight is through a crash diet that drops a bunch of water weight temporarily. If I do that for a couple weeks before my consult I might just be able to make the cut-off. But that is absurd. I shouldn't have to do that. If they had decided on a BMI of 29 instead of 30 or if I had weighed 200 instead of 190 that option wouldn't even be available to me. And many women who need this surgery are in that boat.
I am frustrated and let-down. I believe so whole-heartedly in socialized medicine. Healthcare is a human right, as far as I am concerned. But I am being told that my pain is less important than someone thin's pain. My health matters less to society because I am fat.
I understand that the reasoning behind this policy is that being fat presumably makes you more likely to gain weight in the future and have your breasts grow again. But that's unfair. Thin women get fat as they get older too, but they aren't being turned down. Evidently I have shown that I can't be trusted with food and responsibility (which is horse-shit, as I eat better than almost everyone I know).
But by far, the most absurd part of this story is that if I had breast reduction surgery, my BMI would be under 30. Riddle me that.