Thursday, August 16, 2012

Looking back a moment....

Okay, stats for this week, down 3.2 more! WAHOO!!!! Planning does pay off, huh? Who'd a-thunk, right?

So..... I was sitting at the meeting this week and speaking with another member. She mentioned that she'd heard part of my story, and as we were talking, she said, "Wow, I bet your numbers at the doctor's office went way down." I said, "Well, I don't know..... my numbers were usually pretty good to begin with, no hypertension, no diabetes, none of the usual things. But then again, I didn't go for annual physicals, just whenever I needed to. I hated the doctor's office." She looked puzzled and I said, "Well, if I'm in there with a cough, I'm not there to be told that I need to go on a diet." She nodded, laughed and said, "Yeah, true....."

I hated the thought of going to a doctor's office, knowing they were going to put me on a scale. It finally reached the point that I simply said, "I'd rather not, that's not why I am here." The "nice" thing about a small-town family doctor who'd treated you most of your life is that they didn't put up a fight. Of course, that's the same reason that a few years later, I changed doctors, but that's another story.

At one point, I even told one of the Wheel of Doctors (an ever-rotating group of younger GP's who didn't stay too long in the practice) this: "I'm here because my face feels like it's about to explode. I've had enough sinus infections and sinus headaches to know what they are. If I could write myself a prescription for a Z-Pack, I would. I know I'm overweight and I know I need to lose. Okay? But that's not why I am here."

The odd thing is that now that I'm way smaller physically, I'm spending more time and energy in doctor's offices. But I don't mind. I no longer fear going. Rather, I look at it as finally being a participant in my own health and well-being........... something we should do no matter what our size is.

And while doctors and medical personnel do need to help their overweight patients, they also need to meet the person where they are at that moment, and recognize when the person is really truly ready to make a change. They need to be honest and let people know where they stand, without scaring the absolute bejeezus out of them, and offer real solutions...... not a pamphlet with an 1800-calorie diet and say, "Best of luck!" (Can't count the times that happened). I was lucky enough to have a doctor -- not even my primary care physician -- do that for me. He met me where I was, at my worst place, explained how my weight was impacting my health (at least for what I saw him for), and gave me options to make it possible. WOW. Imagine that..... working with a patient instead of herding him/her through like another cow in the stalls.

And if you are overweight and scared of the doctor's office ..... don't be. I know, easy to say. But you have to own your health and work your butt off to improve things wherever you are. My family jokes with me and say, "You know, you've had more health problems since you lost the weight...." and I think, "I could be dead right now. No thanks, I'll take needles and labwork, and doctor's visits, and using 3-4 days of PTO a year if I have to just to stay on the road to wellness. Worth EVERY moment, every dollar, and every breath."

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