You're Fat

You're Fat

I decided I was done with chronic pain. I had experienced several years of gradually increasing discomfort—and I found myself changing the way I moved to do simple, everyday things, like putting on my shoes or my underwear. No more.

3 min read

I sat down on the bench in our mud room and bent over to put my biking shoes on. Instantly, my back reacted, sending waves of pain throughout my body. I slowed my movements, grabbed my leg with my hands, and lifted one leg over the other—then slid my shoe on and tied it before reversing the process for the other foot.

I took my shoes off—the same way I put them on—went upstairs to the computer and made a doctor’s appointment. For the next year, I went through doctor after doctor, spent months in physical therapy, and finally ended up in Dr. Little’s office in downtown Boise. Dr. Little was the best back surgeon in the region, and his physician’s assistant assured me I was a perfect candidate for his lifesaving hands.

As I waited in his exam room, I marveled at how long it had taken me to get to this office. My hopes were high that he was going to be able to solve whatever my underlying issue was and get me back to skiing, mountain biking, fishing, and running without pain.

Dr. Little walked into the exam room in scrubs and bare feet. I thought that was odd but didn’t say anything. He introduced himself, took a quick look at my MRI on his computer, turned to me, and said, “Sorry, I can’t help you. You’re not a surgical candidate.”

My heart dropped and I stammered, “But your PA said I was qualified.”

“You don’t need me,” he said. “You have a little arthritis, but that’s not your problem.”

“What’s my problem?” I asked.

“You’re fat.”

I immediately argued with him.

“Well, I’m big-boned.”

“That’s what fat guys say,” he replied.

“But I work out three times a day. I ride up and over Brundage Mountain twice a week. How can I be fat?”

“You’re out-eating your workouts. If you want to eliminate your back pain, you need to lose 50 pounds and do yoga every day. It will take you a year, but if you do it, you’ll come back and thank me for changing your life.”

He walked out the door, and I made my way to the car, stunned at what had just happened. Somehow, I wasn’t mad at him, but I was bewildered. How had none of the previous doctors mentioned my weight and flexibility as problems?

Fast forward one year, and Dr. Little was correct. I’ve lost 40 pounds and incorporated yoga into my daily practice. My back is great, and my athletic pursuits are easier and more fun than ever.

To say it’s life-changing is an understatement.

This is my hope for you this summer—not that you lose weight or start practicing yoga—but that you have an experience that touches you deeply. Maybe you pick up a new sport. Maybe you have a moment on the lake or in the mountains that clarifies or solves a problem for you. Maybe you just find a bit of peace that has been elusive. Whatever you’re looking for, McCall is the place to find it.

If you want to read the entire Summer Issue, you can access it here.

Have a great summer!

 Rodney J. Auth