Fatphobia is still present in the medical community, but we all need to go to a doctor every once in a while.
It’s hard to know how to tell someone to take care of themselves and see a doctor without crossing any boundaries.
Redditor ZombieEmu encountered this very issue with her roommate. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“WIBTA if I told my roommate to see a doctor?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“I (F23) have a roommate (F25) that I consider a friend. She’s a plus size model/influencer/sex worker, and she’s very content with her beauty.”
“Her appearance/weight is basically her job. She’s into the Health At Every Size movement.”
“I don’t agree with the movement, but I’ve never told her that I disagree with it because a) I don’t think she cares what I think and b) it would be rude and unnecessarily awkward.”
“As I said, she’s very proud of how she looks and of her weight. However, recently she’s been experiencing what I believe to be health issues that might be linked to her weight. She’s around 300 lbs now, and has issues sleeping.”
“She suffers from sleep apnea.”
OP gave a more clear example.
“The elevator in our building was out of order for a few days and she could barely get up the stairs. She sees a doctor annually but never listens to them because she believes the medical industry is fatphobic.”
“I do agree that fat people are given worse medical treatment and that doctors think everything pertains to their weight, but some of her objections are just ‘they say obesity is a medical problem!'”
“The last time she saw a doctor, the doctor told her she was prediabetic. She hasn’t changed her diet or lifestyle habits at all. I’m worried for her. I don’t want to be the one who tells her to lose weight, because I’m thin. But I hate seeing her suffer. WIBTA if I told her to see a doctor?”
OP added some edits.
“EDIT: I’ve previously clarified this in the comments but initially failed to articulate it here. I don’t want to mention her weight, just to tell her to see a doctor. She also vents to me about her health issues a lot, and it’s weighing on my mental health.”
“EDIT: I think I’ve come to a decision. (Thank you everyone for your wonderful advice!) I’m going to talk to her about seeing a sleep specialist so she can get a CPAP machine for the apnea. I’ll tell her that, if she wants to see a doctor for the sleep apnea, I’m happy to accompany her to help her in a hostile space.”
“If she wants to make a list of non-fatphobic doctors, I’ll be happy to help her with that too; that will appeal to her activism. If it makes her more comfortable I’ll go with her to the sleep specialist appointment. I repeat that I will never mention her weight or the term doctor. Just a sleep specialist, particularly in regards to the apnea.”
“Our dynamic is also kind of codependent and she tends to guilt me a lot.”
“We have a lot of mutual friends so I don’t want things to end badly (also I don’t want her or her followers to dox me). I don’t want to abruptly end the friendship because I’m afraid she’ll send her followers after me but I’ve started dating someone recently.”
“He’s been bugging me to move in. It might be too early in the relationship, but I can always tell her I’m moving to be closer to him (even if I don’t move in with him per se). That way, it won’t look like I’m moving away to avoid her specifically.”
“Thank you guys so much for your help and patience! I appreciate it so much.”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“You’re NTA for your concern, but if you talk to her about it you’re probably only going to sour your relationship and give her fuel to make some ‘fatphobic roommate’ posts on SM.”
“If her doctor can’t convince her she needs to lose weight, she’s definitely not going to listen to you. She’s an adult and she’s the only one who can decide she needs to change.” ~ QuixoticLogophile
“NTA. You’re showing concern for your friend. I think the best thing is for you to address her concerns.”
“Roomie: ‘My back is killing me.'”
“You: ‘That could be serious. Your doctor will want to know about it. When are you seeing them next?'”
“If you’re roommate keeps complaining about medical issues and not doing anything about it (as you stated) it can wear you down emotionally. That’s fair to address as well.”
“Roomie: ‘My back is killing me.’
“You: ‘The last time you mentioned that I suggested you see your doctor because it can be serious. When you tell me about your medical concerns and don’t take action, it causes me to worry a lot for your health. For my own sake, I have to ask, if you’re not planning on seeing the doctor and getting treated, can we agree you’ll please keep your medical concerns to yourself because I really need to minimize stress right now.'”
“Regarding if you want to help your friend with stamina, try somethings that involves her in a fun way. If you’re both having coffee in pjs Saturday morning, turn on your jam and grab her hand and tell her it’s a pj dance party and you guys have to dance to it. Just make it quick…maybe the length of one song. That will give her a taste of cooperative, fun activity. Something to be built on. You can plan stuff like that IF you’re interested in taking part. It is not your responsibility.”
“You sound very sweet and sometimes we need help in learning how to help our family/friends. And sometimes we need help understanding we have no power in the situation. Good luck, OP!” ~ Peri_Colosa1
“The thing is, a person who is 300lb can be healthy at that size and weight. They do need to eat well and exercise to be healthy just like everyone else, but diet and exercise will not guarantee weight loss or size reduction. HAES means that you should not judge strangers based on their size.”
“As a personal example, my dad is plus size. He is on the keto diet and he does medium to intense cardio every week-day and goes on long walks on the weekend. He has been doing this for years, and he always played tennis and went sailing his while life. Even so, he is still plus size. He is not unhealthy.”
“I have a friend who is skinny as a rake, she eats McDonalds a lot and drinks lots of soda, and she takes a lot of drugs.”
“She has never been told by a stranger that she is unhealthy and needs to improve her life, but my dad has been told that.”
“So like. Butt out of strangers’ lives.”
“(Since OP is a roommate, it seems fair to expect her to know more about her friend’s life, but suggesting that her friend try to get fit is different from suggesting that her friend try to lose weight).” ~ knightfrog1248
It’s normal for OP to be concerned for her friend.