All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. ~Anatole France
Many of the members of ASDAH are healthcare professionals; and they catch a lot of flack for their propounding the Health at Every Size(R) approach. (Some researchers have actually been told that doing HAES(TM) research is a “career killer”!)
Why do they face so much resistance? Is it just because of the big pharmaceutical companies, weight loss industry and bariatric surgery boom?
Some of the ASDAH folk had a different outlook on why other professionals still cling to “fat equals unhealthy” in the face of so much evidence against it. Perhaps it’s because they are afraid – afraid that during their whole professional career they have actually been giving harmful advice to their patients.
Can you imagine how devastating that must be to a person who went into medicine to help people? Who honestly thought that they were giving good medical advice? Who thought that with a little “tough love” they could turn around a patient’s life by making them lose weight?
And, you know, they’re not at fault – well, not completely at fault. This is what they have been taught in the medical schools that they fought so hard to get into; where they sweated and slaved to learn good medicine – so they could help people.
When we learn new things, it is often hard to give up on the lessons that were so hard won. After all the work to become a doctor or nurse, would you want to have to rethink everything you had been taught? Especially when there are still plenty of people out there convinced that the old lessons are still the right lessons? Would you want to look hard at the people who are agreeing with you to see if maybe they were biased (for monetary or other reasons)?
So while many healthcare professionals out there are truly asshats, and will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the future (and some will simply refuse to go at all); some deserve some patience and compassion.
When you are pushing your stone up the hill, only the bravest will help you. The rest stand by and watch. Once you get your stone to the top and it starts to roll down the other side, everyone wants to believe they knew it could be done the whole time.
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Mahatma Ghandi