While many obese people may be leading their lives free of major medical issues, many others suffer from chronic conditions that eventually require medical treatment. For example, Marlene has frequent back pain that keeps her awake at night. If she has to sit still for more than an hour, walk more than a couple of blocks, stand in line for a long time, or drive long distances, her back pain gets worse.
Marlene, who weighs over 300 pounds, accepts that her back hurts because of her weight. She knows that her back would probably feel better if she could lose the excess body fat. But she is embarrassed to talk to her doctor about her back problems because she fears that he will lecture her about eating and exercising.
So Marlene endures the back problems. Eventually, she may lose the ability to bend over, keep a full time job or even walk. She tries not to think about those things.
Sandra and her husband have been trying to have a baby for five years. Sandra, who is 65 pounds overweight, read that obesity might lead to infertility or difficulty conceiving. Like Marlene, she dares not mention her fertility issues to her doctor. He attributes everything to her body fat problem.
Running on Empty
Joe has been more than 100 pounds overweight for almost twenty years. He can’t remember the last time he was able to run.
Now Joe can’t play baseball with his son. He can’t shoot baskets, race to the beach or ride dirt bikes. When he sits in the bleachers, he has to bring a large seat cushion and even then he has to get up and walk around every twenty minutes. Joe can’t bring himself to tell his son why he can’t always go to see him pitch. Sometimes, he’s just too tired.
Discomfort Isn’t a Medical Problem
Most obese people suffer more than others from summer heat. We also develop osteoarthritis sooner and the pressure on our joints can be intense when we walk. Getting up from chairs and couches can be very difficult with weak joints and extra pounds of body fat.
Remember, many people assume that fat people deserve their discomfort. We don’t carry signs that explain our slow metabolism, defective thyroids or genetic history. We must endure in silence in a world where obesity is equated with gluttony and laziness.