Don’t Address Me Unless It With Four Letters
Don’t Address Me Unless It With Four Letters – Thousands of people are using these cards, and doctors’ offices, hospitals, nutritionists, therapists and personal trainers are handing them out to empower patients who choose not to weigh themselves unless medically necessary.
Due to the unexpected demand for these cards, we have decided to charge a fee to cover both printing and mailing costs. While it was our intention to make these cards available free of charge to support everyone (and we did so for two years), the current demand means that as an organization we need to ensure that we can cover the cost of making these cards so that we can Keep sending it out!
Don’t Address Me Unless It With Four Letters
Because we live in a fatphobic society, many people feel stressed and embarrassed about gaining weight and talking about it. Many people feel anxious about seeing a doctor and avoid going to the doctor to avoid quantity.
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We want to support you to request healthcare that is free from its weight. Weighing is an informed choice that we have to make with our doctors. We don’t have to automatically step on the scale just because someone asked us to.
Our “Don’t Weigh Me” cards are a polite and respectful way to communicate your preferences at the doctor’s office and obtain informed consent if weight is required for care and treatment. It’s okay not to automatically step on the scale when asked.
Weight gain was a huge stressor for me when I was recovering from an eating disorder. I started investigating if you really have to weigh yourself every time you go to the doctor. And I found out that most of the time you don’t. Not weighing myself unnecessarily helps me feel less stressed when I go to the doctor, which supports my recovery and ultimately my health.
I created the card to provide something useful to the eating disorder recovery community and it took off. I put it in November 2019 and now have thousands of cards worldwide.
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People tell me they appreciate the empowerment, and the cards support them, questioning the assumption that you should weigh yourself before every doctor’s visit. Given the huge demand for these cards, there’s clearly a need for resources to help people speak up if they’re uncomfortable with weighing – and there are a lot of us! What happens next is between each person and their doctor, but these cards are an effective vehicle for helping people who feel overwhelmed meet their needs in a gentle and powerful way.
I think we all deserve the honor of having a say in our own health care, and if something is stressing us out, I don’t believe we have to be docile and compliant. We can talk and at least find out what our options are.
This card is a very polite way to open a conversation with healthcare providers about whether they really need our weight. And if they do, we can make an informed choice about it. The difference is that now being weighed before a visit can be a conversation rather than an assumption.
I am not a doctor and even if I were, this is a personal discussion between the individual and their doctor. The real purpose of cards is to open up possibilities and start conversations.
Don’t Weigh Me’ Cards Designed To Empower People To Skip The Scale At The Doctor’s Office
Personally, no, I don’t think most of us need to be weighed before every doctor’s visit, and this was proven during COVID-19 when many health care visits went virtual without negative consequences due to lack of weight information.
Doctors sometimes need your weight, often they don’t. And yet in the U.S. (this is not a global practice) we are still asked to tread heavily, regardless of the purpose of our visit. If you’re seeing a doctor for carpal tunnel syndrome, a cold, or a sprain, weight loss is unlikely to improve care. And we know that the stress of stepping on the scale and expecting an unhelpful lecture about weight keeps many people from going to the doctor. It’s just not healthy.
Of course there are situations in which it is necessary, but weight is not at the center of many health care conversations. But every person should talk to their doctor about it. It is a personal decision. I’m just opening the conversation and we don’t need to just put our heads down and comply when things look bad in the doctor’s office.
We can ask questions and make informed choices. I believe we should all feel empowered to use our voice when we visit a health care provider. And I believe doctors can handle this conversation with their patients!
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If we lived in a different society, weight wouldn’t matter. It’s just a number like height or shoe size. But we live in a society that hates fat and blames people for their weight, over which we have very little control.
Current estimates suggest that about 10% of people have or have had an eating disorder, and about 80% actively struggle with disordered eating and poor body image. It can start from the age of 5 years.
Starting every health visit with a weight is a trigger and barrier to care for many people, and I frequently hear from people who say they haven’t been to the doctor in years because they don’t like stepping on the scale.
Weighing before each visit is a relatively new development in healthcare, and yet we know that BMI is not an effective indicator of individual health except in selected cases. Many people living outside the US do not understand these cards because they are non-issues in many other countries. Whatever the reason, it’s not a global phenomenon to take a massive step before every visit.
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I see no evidence that getting people’s BMIs before every visit has improved our health or reduced our collective weight, and I see plenty of evidence that it harms a significant portion of our population.
We have some deep social and health care issues that these cards can’t solve, but at least they open up an important conversation about dignity in health care.
If we lived in a society that didn’t hate fat and blame people for gaining weight, it would be different. But since we do, most people who are overweight and/or gain weight feel ashamed and as if it’s their fault. Our societal bias against weight can be something mild—stepping on a scale—turns into a highly stressful situation.
What we see is that many people have significant increases in heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol, sometimes for days and even weeks leading up to a doctor’s appointment. In fact, many people tell me they avoid appointments at the doctor’s office based on fear of stepping on the scale.
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It would be beneficial if we had data showing that weight stress has health benefits, but the opposite is true. Although we have evidence that weight stigma is harmful, we have no evidence that weighing patients before each visit improves health.
Stress is toxic to our body and mind. And yet we maintain a known tension where we should be healthy. It makes no sense to me.
There are many people who don’t care about being weighed in the doctor’s office. And that’s okay! They don’t need these cards. Weigh in – it’s great for me!
These cards are for people who have eating disorders or disordered eating, feel they are being discriminated against based on weight or don’t agree, or are stressed by the practice of weighing themselves before every appointment.
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These cards will be especially helpful if you follow a Body Positive, Health at Every Size®, or non-diet approach to your health.
Most orders from the US in, but I have also sent many cards to the UK, Canada and Australia. These cards are worldwide at the moment. I have sent them to places like South Africa, Botswana, New Delhi, Peru and Thailand.
Most orders are for individuals, but I also get a lot of orders from doctors’ offices, hospitals, registered dietitians, therapists, and other health care providers who serve their clients. I think it says a lot that doctors give these cards to their patients. Many clinicians recognize the lack of evidence or value of BMI in assessing individual health, and are aware of the enormous hurdle that weight-ins can pose as mandatory/assumed care.
Yes And I think that’s really interesting. All cards say I will not be weighed unless medically necessary. And they say if it’s medically necessary, let’s discuss why I can give my informed consent.
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To me, that’s not controversial at all, and how can it be dangerous? All people have