This week in our Weight of Living series, we sat down with Adrianna O’Regan to talk about her life story living with obesity.

Adrianna’s Blog Post

My name is Adrianna.  I’ve been an educational assistant for Edmonton Public for 5 years now working with Special needs kids and I absolutely love it.

How do you perceive your body? Do you feel like your perspective differs from that of society’s? How does it influence you and how you feel about yourself today?

I perceive my body as just that – my body.  I have my good days and bad days about how I look and perceive myself but I have learnt that everyone is different and there is absolutely no point in comparing myself to others as it will just bring me down.

Can you tell me about a time when you experienced or observed discrimination or judgment because of your (or someone else’s) weight or size? Why does this particular experience stand out in your mind?

Biggest discrimination I receive about my weight was right after I had bariatric surgery and I was super sick throwing up.  I went to a health centre and was told that I was throwing up because I needed to lose weight. It stands out in my mind the most because it turned out that my bowel stopped working and I had to have emergency surgery the next day.

If the fear of weight discrimination were eliminated, what would your life look like?

I try not to let others thoughts about my weight bother me…. this is my body. So I don’t know if there would be much change in my life.

Do you feel that your weight has created barriers for you? For example, have you ever given up an activity you really loved because of your weight? Or are there other ways that your weight has hindered you?

I try to not let my weight stop me from experiencing life but there are times I have to be realistic and know that I can’t do some things because of weight restrictions.

How have your opinions and beliefs about weight influenced the way you see other people? Why do you think this is?

I don’t like to be judged so I try my best not to judge others.

What do you think are some of the most common misconceptions regarding obesity? How do you think stigma contributes to these misconceptions?

That people do this to themselves and that people with excess weight are lazy and don’t want to change.  

Where do you see a need for Obesity Canada and what do you hope we can achieve together?

I see a need to better educate the public in regards to obesity and its causes.  This is definitely not a ‘one size fits all’ kind of issue.