After sharing Shira’s horrific eating disorder treatment experience, we received countless messages, emails, and tweets that made one fact abundantly clear: Shira’s experience is the norm in recovery, not the exception.
So many of you shared your own horror stories. The scope of this is hard to capture in words.
Putting it bluntly: Eating disorder recovery centers are failing their patients in larger bodies. And their inability to treat patients of size has done immense harm on a scale that just can’t be understated.
Many of you asked, “What can we do? I backed the GoFundMe, but how do we fix this for everyone else?” I asked myself the same thing.
The long game, obviously, is dismantling fatphobia wherever it exists. But there are people in treatment right now who need support. So, with the input of Shira and some fabulous babes in recovery, I created this printable letter that patients of size can give to their providers.
Explaining what shouldn’t have to be explained is painful. It’s traumatic to have to outline the most basic information just to secure dignity in treatment.
If having this letter handy eases that burden, and educates providers along the way, I’m hoping it’s a step in the right direction.
You can download it as a PDF or a PNG image. The letter is below:
While this doesn’t dismantle systemic fatphobia, it does offer an advocacy tool for this immediate moment. The most important thing was just getting this resource out into the world for anyone who needs it — which unfortunately was far, far too many of you.
I hope that this can help ease the unfair burden that folks are facing in treatment. You deserve the very best in recovery.
Please know that I won’t stop fighting for that until it’s a guarantee.
Allies and especially providers: If you appreciate the resource and have the ability to do so, please donate to Shira’s GoFundMe for treatment, and share among your networks.