Become your OWN Self-love advocate!
Trigger warnings: Weight and body shaming, some swearing because I wrote this right after it happened and I kept it real.
Made an appt for an MRI today (I'm fine just establishing baselines) and asked the rep for the open MRI. She said they do not have open bore MRIs. She asked me height and weight and I told her. She made the appointment and then at the last second she said with a tone I have to cancel this appt because of your weight. (Face is flushing red) She said I have to look for a large bore MRI, not just the regular MRI and "it's because of your weight." (She keeps repeating it, the world is closing in and I feel literally dizzy. The guilt, the instant fuckin' shame that plays out every single time. She kept repeating those words. "It's because of your weight." So many things could be said here. Let's find a machine that will comfortably accommodate you. I can hear honesty. This was judgy. This was different.
She asked me again how much I weigh. It was the 3rd time minimum and I said I already told you and it's in your file. She said if it's less you can stay on this one otherwise you "can't fit". She said can you go step on the scale and make sure? She asked me a couple of times to step on a scale. I told you what I needed to tell you. She said well we can FIT you in this one if you step on the scale to make sure.
I'm mortified, traumatized by all of the things. This is all to do with my unhealthy relationship with own body size, I totally understand my issues but she was aggressively triggering it. ALL of my fears are just straight up happening in real-time. MY shame, blame, weight is yet again another PROBLEM in the world and the way this rep is talking about it my face is flushing hot with humiliation. I feel big, I feel ugly, I feel like I'm in the fricken way AGAIN.
It's this whole process. I can literally vary in weight 6 pounds in a day. Today I might fit on the small machine, tomorrow I might be a pound over. If it's that serious why are we even HAVING this discussion? GET ME THE BIG ASS MACHINE...LIKE I ALREADY ASKED for already in the beginning! I already told her what I needed. She wasn't listening.
I stop. I pause. I breathe... I REMEMBER that I am not the word morbid meaning disturbing and unpleasant. I am not the words they choose to use to describe women that don't fit within their BMI box. . There is nothing WRONG with me because I don't fit in someone else's idea of a standard. I am NOT a problem. I am not unworthy of love. I am beautiful. I am not ashamed of myself. I am not disappointing. I am not taking up too much space and there is enough room for all of us. I know my struggles, I know who I am. I accept me where I am at. I will keep loving myself no matter where I am at. I am worthy of love. I will advocate for my needs.
If I could go back in time this is what I would say...
"We will not talk about weight one more time on this call. You will provide me with a larger, more spacious, more comfortable machine for a body that is wonderfully designed like mine. I don't try to FIT or minimize myself in small spaces not designed for me. Get me the most comfortable machine you can find because that's what anybody deserves going through this already uncomfortable process."
While I continue to work on loving myself through a life time of trauma brought on by situations similar to this then I ask you to train your reps to have sensitivity and compassion around weight. I understand that you don't understand why we "just don't lose weight and I really don't care that you don't understand. You do however have to understand that we are just not all the same and that it's ok.
Recognize YOUR biases around bodies that are different from yours. We must keep calling out the blame, shame, guilt, body shaming tendencies. Especially women to women and especially in medical type situations when you are already put in nervous, vulnerable and sometimes even painful scenarios.
UPDATE: I spoke to another staffing rep to try to reschedule to another date and I told her about this conversation. She told me that there is a weight protocol but it there should never have been a discussion about it. She said when the height and weight are identified then they just find the 5 out of 8 MRI machines that would “comfortably accommodate”. She was very upset by it and said they do not have official or specific sensitivity trainings regarding this type of discrimination. She escalated this conversation to her manager and have them pull the call and listen to it and will be having discussions regarding sensitivity training. I thanked her and told her what you won’t hear on that call is my face turning bright red with humiliation or the 20 minutes that I cried about it after the fact.
She profusely apologized on behalf of the other rep and avidly reminded me that I am a special person and to please continue to be a self-love advocate and that she will continue to work with her management to address these types of shaming scenarios. I believe her on all counts.
Can you imagine if we all actively became our own self-love advocates and continued to have these conversations in the world. We could really change things, starting with US.