My Story: Learning to Feel Comfortable at the Doctor

By Anne Dufault —

LS shares her advice for finding information, creating community, and feeling comfortable with her body at the doctor’s office.


OBOS Today: Is there anything I guess you wish you knew like growing up like in regard to this—like if you could like talk to your younger self.

LS: Um, I think first of all I would say, “You do not need to be losing weight or trying to lose weight.” And also, I would say, “All these diets that you’re putting yourself on, they’ll never work so stop doing it. It’s a waste of your time.” And I would also say that “Just because your doctor says something doesn’t mean you have to do it and you don’t have to engage in conversations with your doctor about your weight or changing your weight if you don’t want to.” And I would kind of just try and I would say to myself like, “You’re empowered to stop the conversation when you want to, like they’re your doctor, like they’re there to help you in theory so like you should be the one controlling the conversation.”

OBOS Today: Yeah yeah, but we all know it’s that’s so hard when you’re talking to like an authority figure. 

LS: Yeah, especially when you’re young like and then especially like you’re in the room with probably one of your parents, like I was always in the room with my mom, and I could tell that she was like agreeing with a doctor and it just adds like a whole other element. And I think going to the doctor alone, when I started going to the doctor alone, probably around like sixteen. I felt a lot more comfortable honestly because just having less eyes watching me in that conversation and like seeing me feel ashamed felt better to not have my mom like see me be told by my doctor that I needed to lose weight was like another element.

OBOS Today: Yeah, that makes so much sense. Um, I was wondering if there’s anything like you find helpful or have found helpful in regard to like body image.

LS: Um, I feel like first of all like talking to people who have gone through similar experiences has been really helpful because it kind of makes me feel validated in all like the shameful feelings I’ve felt, like, “Oh that’s not that’s not your fault that you felt that way or like you shouldn’t put that on yourself that you felt bad for all those years.” And also, honestly like TikTok has been really helpful because I follow a lot of like influencers that talk about body image, body weight, disordered eating, etc. And kind of hearing their experiences and hearing their strategies, like I didn’t realize that you know you don’t have to get on the scale and you don’t have to see your weight if you don’t want to at the doctor until I saw something on TikTok tell me that, so just like random little places to learn things like that.