Is your doctor part of your weight loss team? He or she should be, even if the team is just the two of you. There are a number of reasons why you need to work with your doctor on this journey and that’s what I want to talk about today.
Even though I am not a fan (to say the least) of most diet plans, they almost all tell you to consult with your doctor before beginning them. There can be medical reasons why you shouldn’t make major changes. There can also be medication reasons. For example, you decide to start eating healthy and you want to start with a nice grapefruit for breakfast. Did you know if you are on certain types of medications (like Lipitor for example) you CANNOT have grapefruit. I am on lipitor (hopefully not for too much longer) and it has a big label right on it telling me that. There is an enzyme in grapefruit that will totally negate any benefit from these medications. There can be others as well.
You also hear that you should consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Also a good idea for a lot of the same reasons. There may be medical or medication reasons why you cannot do certain exercises. You should always talk to your doctor about these BEFORE starting.
There are some more practical reasons your doctor should be part of your team. I just read a report that said a recent study from Australia said that of 220,000 patients surveyed only 22% of them had been weighed by their doctor on a recent visit.
Now I know you probably have a bathroom scale and that’s great, but I am willing to bet your doctor’s scale is more accurate. He should also be recording your weight over time so you can track your progress.
The last time I went to see my endocrinologist, he joked that with my continued weight loss, next time I see him, there will be an empty chair.
It is good to get encouragement from your doctor, but it is good to get the occasionally “slap on the wrist” too when we are making bad choices. This brings me to another point. Be honest with your doctor about the choices you are making!
There is not point in saying “Everything is fine” when you plan to swing through the drive through as soon as your appointment is over. In Canada, the obesity rate has tripled in less than 30 years. Stats Canada most recent numbers are from 2008 and they indicate that 37% of Canadians are considered overweight and another 25% are obese. That is a combined total of 62% of our population is either overweight or obese.
This is especially shocking in a time when we have whole channels dedicated to food and cooking, where cooking reality shows are the rage and chefs are the new rock stars and yet most people would still be hard pressed to boil water.
I understand how it is when you go to the doctor and he talks to you about your weight. I hated hearing it too, but guess what? His job is to look after your health and this is part of it. Your weight effects so many other areas of your health.
Did you know in Canada, businesses lose as much as 7 BILLION DOLLARS each year to the Obesity Epidemic through associated medical costs and lost productivity? Can you imagine the strain this is on our already over taxed medical system?
So you know you need to talk to your doctor before starting a new eating plan (I hate the word diet) or exercise plan. What about after you have started? I am talking to the men especially. Most men I know, including myself, don’t like to go to the doctor unless there is a limb falling off.
You need to talk to him or her. You need to ask their advise. If you want to see a registered dietitian in BC, and I am sure in most of Canada.
Don’t be ashamed to talk to them about it. You may have had an experience like me where you stepped on a high number scale and topped it out and now you are thinking “What have I done?” I used to work in the addictions field many years ago and there was an old saying that the first step in dealing with a problem is to recognize that you HAVE a problem.
Please don’t ignore it. It will not just go away.
I am now 56 years old and I kick myself every day I didn’t get this message myself many years earlier. I missed out on so much with my kids, but I now have a grand daughter and will not miss time with her. I have had friends with so many serious medical issues related to their weight and poor diet.
I have said before that I am a professional entertainer (ventriloquist and comedian) and many of my friends in the field are now paying for a lifetime of road food.
I don’t want to lose any more friends to something that IS preventable and reversible. Remember the doctor is not trying to shame you, and if they do by the way, it is time to find another doctor.
Many of us have been made to feel ashamed for so long that we assume everyone is trying to do it, but in this weight loss battle, your doctor can be one of your biggest allies.
Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!