Allison Ibrahim has lived with obesity for more than 30 years. Having access to good information, supportive systems, and properly informed healthcare professional is essential – but difficult to come by, even in higher-income countries.
Here is her story:
Hi, I’m Allison Ibrahim. I’m here because World Obesity Day is right around the corner. I’m very happy to be participating with the World Obesity Federation and I wanted to say to you, as a person living with obesity, that it has not been easy to make the kind of choices that I need to make or have the kind of opportunities that I would need in order to live a healthy lifestyle.
I have been obese for many, many years: probably over 30 years. I gained a considerable amount of weight with my first pregnancy. My son is now 31. Since then, I have lost 60lbs, and I’m very proud of the hard work that I put in in order to do that.
But it doesn’t stay that way if I don’t continue to work; without supportive systems in place; without healthcare professionals who understand the needs of a person living with obesity and other chronic conditions.
If you have a medical team that works with you, and you are an advocate for yourself, doing some research and having some education available, you can try to live a somewhat healthy lifestyle. I am able to do that, although I would like to do more. Without help from the global community it’s a challenge – and that’s me coming from the United States and Kuwait where there’s an abundance of opportunities for me.
Please, we need everyone’s help and everyone’s understanding. Weight stigma, weight bias, is not acceptable. And please, to healthcare professionals; training and understanding about obesity being the disease that it is will support all of us. Thank you.
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