Posts Tagged ‘weight’

No Hope?

In Diet and Weight, Family Doctor, Self Image on December 13, 2013 at 2:23 pm

I was performing minor surgery on a pretty young lady’s upper arm recently.  As always, I warned her about her chances of having a scar from the procedure and offered to send her to a dermatologist who could probably make a prettier scar than I could.

She said without pausing to think about it,” Oh, don’t worry, I never wear short sleeves anyway.  I hate my arms.”

I said “Ok,” and finished the procedure.  I told her how to care for the wound and when to come back to have the stitches removed.  We parted ways and I went on to my next patient.  That brief conversation really stuck with me though.  I thought about it the rest of the day.

She is a pretty, healthy, 31-year-old mother and wife that has gotten so used to being overweight that she never shows her arms and never plans to.  That just kills me to hear, giving up on health at 31.  Throwing in the towel and surrendering to a weight which will ultimately rob her of health and seems to have already taken her self-respect — it’s a terrible thing.

I wish I knew how to give her some hope again.  I certainly want to help those who haven’t lost all hope push ahead and reclaim their health.

Any ideas out there on how to re-kindle hope for her?



In Diet and Weight, Family Doctor, Food Diary, Food Truths, Food Lies, Junk Food, Mindful Eating, Self Image on January 5, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Scale on doctorfoodtruth

One was almost angry, the other almost completely resigned.  Two still-young women in my office in back-to-back appointments recently, both with one thought on their mind: “That scale can’t be right!”

Both are busy moms with teens at home, days filled with errands, work, worry and everyone’s needs but theirs. These ladies are why I (usually) love being a family doctor and get excited about helping people.  These ladies are why I (sometimes) loathe being a family doctor and feel exhausted at the end of the day.  See, frustration all around.

Both Sara and Tara (not their real names) are here to see me about their weight.  These women aren’t asking me for a way to lose ten pounds either.  Both are about 100 pounds away from being healthy and they know it… and they hate it.

Sara really just wants Adipex.  Tara tried reading Food Truths, Food Lies but got discouraged by the challenge and quit.  Sara tried an app to count calories and is sure she doesn’t eat more than 1,500 a day but still gains weight.  Tara struggles with her normal-sized husband bringing home chips, cookies and other bad snacks even when she asks him not to.

See? Frustration.  How do I help them?  I’m not sure.

Sara hasn’t read my book yet, hasn’t yet found out all the ways her food habits are making her feel sick and gain weight.  I don’t prescribe Adipex (ever!) for a whole bunch of reasons but I did agree to check her thyroid along with some other hormone and vitamin levels.  I asked her to read my book — she really has a lot to learn about diet and nutrition.  I’ll see her again in a few weeks, we’ll go over her lab tests and I’ll start trying to help her change 30+ years of eating habits that are making her sick.

Tara is easier to talk to but harder to help.  I’m afraid she has given up on herself and is just calmly waiting for me to tell her she’s got diabetes, bad cholesterol, or whatever else will eventually go wrong.  Which brings me to the real source of our frustration.  I can’t make anybody want to change.  I just can’t.

The good news is that Sara can absolutely lose weight and take control of her health without ever taking Adipex.  Tara can absolutely find new hope and energy in little changes like eating a high-protein breakfast and skipping the orange juice and soda pop.  All of us can always change, improve, and renovate our health with two little words: “I will.”

Change Your Food, Change Your Life!

Don’t Buy New Pants!

In Diet and Weight, Gluten-free, Mindful Eating on October 10, 2011 at 11:56 am
Trousers on doctorfoodtruth

I’ve had many patients ask me about my weight and eating habits over the years.  Many assume that I’ve never had to worry about my weight and am just naturally slim. The truth is that I have terrible genes related to weight and other health issues.

I have family members on both sides that weigh over 400 pounds.  No one on either side of my family seems immune to struggle with weight and many have more struggle than success.

Personally, I have gained over 15 pounds in one month and know I could become overweight if I’m not careful. The month I gained so much weight was my first as an intern at the hospital.  Anyone who has every watched ER or Scrubs has some idea how much we make our brand-new doctors work and I was no exception.

The hospital I worked at was very generous with our food allowance.  There was no real limit on how much or how often I could hit the cafeteria.  So, exhausted and stressed, that’s what I did!  The omelet and waffle station was my favorite (this was before the whole gluten thing came up) and I paid as little attention to my diet as most 20-somethings.

By the end of my first month I had worked over 400 hours, eaten a bajillion calories and gained 15 pounds. I’m not a big scale-watcher, so the first hint of a problem was when I swapped the blue pajama scrubs for slacks to do my first office rotation. They didn’t fit!

Oh, I squeezed into them and made it through the day. Right then, I made a decision. I had fit that waist size since college and couldn’t afford new pants.  So, no more waffle-and-omelet 3,000 calorie breakfasts.  It took about three months but I lost those 15 pounds, fit my old pants again and latched onto my “weight alarm system.”

Ever since then, if I feel my pants start to tighten, I review my eating habits, find the problem and fix it before I have a “bigger” issue!  That’s what I mean by not buying new pants.  I firmly believe we all need to have something outside ourselves that will warn us if we head the wrong way.  For me, my waistband works great.  I encourage you to find your warning system and let it keep you healthy!

Change Your Food, Change Your Life!