“But maybe it would be good for your self esteem”

I am feeling really good, you guys. Good enough to… get back into blogging. Good enough to go to a kink event wearing very little and genderfucking. And to actually cook rather than just putting stuff in the oven. And to tell my mother about the potential physical effects of testosterone on my genitals.

So, yeah. My mum was here today, and it was mostly very good. We talked of many things, including transition and elements of physical transition I think I want and why I’m seeing a psych until my GIC (Gender Identity Clinic) appointment. And we got, a couple of times, to the really shitty doctor’s appointment I had last week- I went in asking for something recommended to me by another doctor at the same practice, and was treated with the patented doctor disdain of anyone ever mentioning the words “I looked it up” or “online” to a doctor (the phrase mentioned was “online CBT”- I was asking for an NHS created programme of online CBT). I had a couple of other questions, he spent most of the time doing a “health review” which seemed to consist of  checking my weight and making inaccurate assumptions about my diet from this and telling me to exercise more EVEN when I said that I hadn’t been able to because of depression. Which is unsuprising.

So, I’d got onto it with mum while talking about the CBT stuff, and we started talking about Health At Every Size. And as an illustrative example, I used this doctor making assumptions, and tried to explain that while I do want to get more exercise this year, I don’t want to lose weight for losing weight’s sake as it will probably have very either no impact on my health, or a negative one.

The response was: “But maybe it would help your self esteem”

My mum thinks or has thought many odd things about my self esteem. She has thought I’m transitioning because of low self esteem. She has thought that telling me that if I got pregnant, social services would take the baby away was the best way to react to the fact that I was having sex. Oh yeah, and she’s thought that when I gained a vast amount of weight after two years of disordered eating the best thing to do was to keep on telling me I should eat less.

Here are some lists:

Things that would probably not help Melusin with his self esteem by themselves:

  1. Losing weight

Things that would or do help Melusin with his self esteem:

  • Transition
  • Changing thought patterns/some form of therapy
  • Being recognised as his gender
  • Bodily autonomy

Things that definitely would not and have not helped Melusin with his self esteem:

  1. Having it assumed that he is lying whenever he talks about eating healthily or doing exercise
  2. Having it assumed he is a weak or bad person
  3. Catcalling, especially people’s responses to him eating in public
  4. Food policing
  5. Being encouraged to hate his body, and having it assumed he does.
  6. Being encourage to lose weight by any means necessary.
  7. That thing that he does (and has been conditioned into doing) where he doesn’t eat all day until he’s incredibly hungry and dizzy and unhappy, because he doesn’t feel he deserves food and the idea that he should eat less has been suggested to him so many times, which leads to him not enjoying the food he’s eating because he’s just so hungry.

I just find it fascinating, and deeply sad that it is thought that changing an arbitrary number on a scale/ratio of adipose tisssue on one’s body has miraculous effects on self esteem all by itself, even when I’m already talking about being fat shamed. That the response to me not wanting to do something potentially bad for me is to suggest it would improve my mental health.

So I said no, and talked about how transition’s been really good for my self esteem. Because it has, including in terms of accepting my body type. Which is a subject for another post.


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3 Responses to ““But maybe it would be good for your self esteem””

  1. Gayle Force Says:

    I wanna make a list!

    Things that I think about Melusin:

    – He is awesome
    – He writes the best comments ever
    – There is no one I would rather sit around and watch movies or TV with and then discuss them and break them down into their tiniest little elements with

    Also, I have not met your body, but it contains you, so I love it, the end.

  2. Melusin Says:

    Aww, thank you. I would love to sit around and watch movies or TV with you as well. (At some point we should do a live chat or roundtable on something) And you are awesome.

    Also, you’re last comment gives me an idea for a blog post on fat acceptance and disability and various narratives.

  3. Ethyl Says:

    OMG so much this post. I had a really distressing conversation about weight and self-esteem and some associated stuff with the cutie from work last night. He has such issues and hurts so much, and I can’t, unfortunately, force him to change his mind, so I’m just working on modeling body acceptance for him. It’s hard, though, because that’s such a journey for me as well. Anyway, keep writing Melusin! I loves it!

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