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Just a short run 3/26/2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

WOW, this weekend is going to be difficult to summarize.

A year ago 10 of us participated in the run and we had such a great time we decided to discuss it in a forum, and BAM - before we knew of it there was 79 people in the group, and this weekend 40+ (including coaches Nancy and Nicole) came together in Pittsburgh to run 'just a short run'.

There were four distances - 5k, 8.1 miles, half marathon, and 30k, and despite the hill everyone hated - everyone did phenomenal. Some did their first event, some did their first HM, some did a PB, but I think at the end of the day, many of the participants moved themselves out of their comfort zone, and felt as the went home - they went home with a sense of accomplishment. A sense of accomplishment - physical and emotional.

Many got to meet SP friends they have communicated with for a long time. Many of us learned a lot from each other, many of us were able to encourage each other, and at the end there was a sense that we will be back next year.

I have read some of the blogs after the event and I want to thank everyone who came from the bottom of my heart. The fact that you were there, you helped define the weekend and make it a resounding success You may have been shy and not interacted as much as you wanted, but that is OK, you were still there, and the fact that you overcame obstacles and actually were there - speaks volumes.

I would also like to mention the people who traveled long distance to be part of this event - the furthest came from OR. We even had an international contingent - Ontario, Canada .

Before I start rambling I want to - from the bottom of my heart say - thank you for being part of this. I want to mention Anne/Bobbie, Lynn and all you did to make this event a reality.

If you want to be there next year - start planning!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIGGER622 4/8/2011 12:10PM

    So great to meet you in person!!! Hopefully I'll see you again in 2012! And of course I'll be hounding you for more knowledge as my tri training ramps up :) Have a great weekend!

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    I will have to plan for this in 2012 - desperately want to meet you

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ROOT4HOME 3/31/2011 12:05AM

    Jan - it was SO great to meet you! Here you are thanking us for coming to JASR from out of town and its you, Bobbie, Anne and Lynn we are thanking because you made us all feel right at home and included! emoticonfor a remarkable & memorable weekend w/friends!

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MIAMIA7 3/30/2011 8:07PM

    What an amazing time it was, wasn't it? I left Sunday with such a overflowing heart. To see what people are capable of and what people can achieve is so wonderful! Thank you so much for your input on my health issues and I appreciate you taking the time to talk with me about it! Can't wait to see you and Kathy again!

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JOYCERN12 3/29/2011 10:01PM


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BOBBYD31 3/29/2011 8:35PM

    jan first thank you for all your help with the group, your advice, insight, organization and friendship is cherished. that was a great blog. i am so glad you went back to help bill in, that was my intent however things did not work out so well for me to do that. it is wonderful to spend time with like minded people and i can't wait till next year.
give cathy a hug from us, hope she feels better soon

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ON2VICTORY 3/29/2011 4:38PM

    wow, that sounds incredible and over the top cool!! I am really wanting to do something like that and be at a big Sparkmeet..

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IRISHLASS117 3/29/2011 1:40PM

    Great way to celebrate your birthday Warrior!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 3/29/2011 12:23PM

    Sounds awesome! emoticon

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DEEJ4FITNESS 3/29/2011 12:16PM

    Thanks so much Jan :) you are in your blogs as you are in person, a beautiful soul with a heart of pure gold!

I'm tearing up right now as I envision you carrying water to Bill as he ran on to victory!! That act in & of itself describes the "spirit" of Sparkpeople!!

I'm grateful for the opportunity JASR 2011 gave me to meet you, as well as so many others who share a common sport & a special bond!!

Till next time... keep the Spark burnin' !!

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LAURIE5658 3/29/2011 11:07AM

    Jan, I feel different somehow after spending such a glorious weekend with some of my closest Spark friends. You are indeed in that group. You have been a source of comfort to me when I was feeling very low. You have been a great teacher when I needed help with training. You have been and always will be a very special friend. Thank you for everything you did to make JASR 2011 Spark Style possible. Thank you for being YOU.

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BILLALEX70 3/29/2011 10:42AM

    Jan, you and Bob are like my Spark "dads" and I'm ever grateful for the guidance you both give.

This weekend was amazing, but if you'd not come back to meet me with that water I might still be out there! LOL

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DDOORN 3/29/2011 10:08AM

    Thank YOU TOO, Jan! I know you were a BIG part of the success of this super event!


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RENLA6991 3/29/2011 8:44AM

    Thank you, Jan, for this fantastic blog. Lynn, I'm so glad I wasn't the only one tearing up over here! This was such an incredibly special gathering. I will forever cherish the memories of this weekend, and I'm looking forward to the next time I can see you all!

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LYNNANN43 3/29/2011 7:19AM

    I too, was amazed at how our JASR SparkEvent had grown in just one year!

So many memories were made this past weekend. I miss everyone so much already!

And thank you again, Jan, for being there for me at the end of the race. I'm tearing up right now, just thinking about it again. You were there for so many of us when we needed it most!

I did my JASR as a picture blog, but had to give you a personal shout-out in it:-)


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Listen to your body

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Some of you have seen my complaints related to my URI the last couple of weeks. Well, last night I got all of 4 hrs of sleep - I was coughing, and coughing AND ... coughing.

I made an appointment with a doctor today, and with her stetoscope and a maneuver I have not seen before - she said what I feared ... 'you are wheezing'. To make a long story short - it is the 'leftover' from a mycoplamic pneumonia I had last year.

I walked out with two perscriptions - one for an inhaler ... and one fore 5 days of prednisone (looking forward to that - not!).

The morale of the story - listen to your body, and take appropriate action i.e. see a professional. Not doing so may impact your able to achieve your goals, or (for musculo-skeletal issues) get you hurt.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DJS-DEBBIE 3/18/2011 7:09PM

    Hope the prednisone is working ~ at least it's only 5 days.

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B-N-ME 3/17/2011 6:56PM

    Feel better soon!

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DDOORN 3/17/2011 4:03PM

    I think it's a "guy" thing...I often err in the direction of waiting too long to get help.

Be well soon!


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69NURSE 3/17/2011 3:52PM

    Good luck Jan - hope you are feeling much better SOON. emoticon

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ON2VICTORY 3/17/2011 2:18PM

    like i should talk but take care of yourself buddy! sounds like we are taking a real hit. hang in there.

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PAPAMIKIE 3/17/2011 12:32PM

    Yes in many things we do, we can do better if we really stop and just listen to what we are telling ourselves.

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    Jan I am so sorry to hear you are so sick. Take care of yourself, take your meds, and get well.

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GRACE612 3/17/2011 10:33AM

    Ugh!! Feel better soon and glad you went to the dr!!

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RUNTRILAUGH 3/17/2011 9:17AM

    Glad you went in and got diagnosed!

Hope its ALL GONE soon!


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IRISHLASS117 3/17/2011 4:59AM

    We keep thinking we'll feel better tomorrow, we'll give it one more day then pretty soon it's six weeks and a visit to the doc is the only answer.

Feel better Warrior. Do you need anything? Cookies? Irish Soda Bread?


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L3DESIGNS 3/17/2011 1:33AM

    Yes... I understand putting off trips to the doctor... Good reminder to listen to our bodies... I will start running again Friday - went out for a walk today and felt great! (after our trip/sore throat)

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ETTEZEUS 3/16/2011 11:31PM

    I'm another who is guilty of putting off seeing a doctor. Except for when I had my foot injury. I was all over that one.

Hope the meds work quick!

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BOBBYD31 3/16/2011 11:19PM

    i always put it off too. feel well

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Spokes of hope (2010) - warning may be emotional

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Some of you know I am involved with a project called Spokes of Hope . Tonight a 15 min video from the 2010 SOH was released and should you want - to watch it (Warning it might be very emotional for some).

Spokes of hope is a grassroots movement traveling on bicycles to cancer centers giving hope to people with cancer hope. The majority of the cyclists are cancer survivors, but care givers (family) and care providers (doctors, nurses etc) are part of the ride as well.

We need more spokes in out wheel ...

As Cindi says - We love cycling and we hate cancer.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IRISHLASS117 3/10/2011 9:54AM


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NURSE_FAWN 3/9/2011 7:37PM

    Wow! What a powerful video. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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MNOT2THICK 3/9/2011 10:51AM

    Wonderful, thanks for the link and for being a blessing.

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FUNFROG79 3/9/2011 9:52AM

    Wow, thanks for posting!

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ACURVYLADY 3/9/2011 8:58AM

    What a awesome cause. Keep up your great work!

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DDOORN 3/9/2011 6:32AM

    Duly Dugg & Tweeted...! What a wonderful undertaking!


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REM-CYCLES 3/9/2011 1:38AM

    Awesome stuff Jan - thanks for posting the video - glad to see you and these folks helping. I have a number of family members who passed from cancer, two are survivors.

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TXGRANDMA 3/8/2011 11:37PM

    You are right, very emotional but at the same time, a ray of hope for the people involved with the disease of cancer.........
Patients and caregivers alike. How neat that the cancer survivors can give hope to those now going through treatment. Thanks so much for sharing and informing us of this wonderful organization! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LILPAT3 3/8/2011 11:24PM

    Beautiful. Thank you and bless you!

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ON2VICTORY 3/8/2011 11:14PM

    wow, that was a VERY moving video. I can see why you do what you do. you are a giant.

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primarily for my marathon, triathletes, cycling friends

Saturday, February 26, 2011

When I was on my bike this morning, I was listening to a podcast, and it dawned on me that some of you guys who run and cycle longer distances, do multi sport event would be interested in in a podcast from (you can subscribe through the website to podcast).

This is a variety of interviews, information about endurance athletes, and on a regular basis the host will have s nutrition specialist on the show.

I have to admit some of it is beyond my league (since I am not an Ironman), but I find it interesting to listen to and if the topic does not appeal to me - I just delete it.

Happy listening and let me know what you think.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LILPAT3 2/27/2011 1:23AM

    Sounds good! Great info!

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BOBBYD31 2/26/2011 10:51PM

    thanks jan, i will check it out

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DDOORN 2/26/2011 9:17PM

    Thx for the tip...never know what might take hold! :-)


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BILLALEX70 2/26/2011 9:17PM

    I'm amazed that any of it's over your head!

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JILLIANPRNCSS 2/26/2011 2:59PM

    Thanks. I love to listen to podcasts when I run so I can zone out or listen.

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NOELLIEMAE 2/26/2011 10:27AM

    AWESOME!!! I'll look into it for sure... I listen to books and podcasts all the time when I'm out and about ;) Thanks :)


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ON2VICTORY 2/26/2011 10:13AM

    thanks for sharing, gonna check it out now. have a great day Jan!

** just checked it out, really cool stuff here worth stopping by to check out!

Comment edited on: 2/26/2011 10:24:11 AM

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I have a question for you ...

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Recently I read a great blog by coach Nancy which was related to health care providers and attitudes towards patients who are obese. If was an interesting blog, and as a healthcare provider an eyeopener in many ways.

So, here is a HYPOTHETICAL question. If I was your health care provider who you were seeing as a part of improving your health. What would your expectations be to me - in addition to being compassionate (goes without saying). If you don't want to post it in public, sparkmail it to me and use the subject line 'health care provider'.

Reason for my question - just curious.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2WHEELER 2/24/2011 11:50AM

    I want my health care provider to tell me the truth, to probe and ask questions, and to do it with some compassion. I want them to listen and give their full attention; not rush in and rush out like I'm an interruption to their day (I've only had that happen on a couple of occasions). I'd also like it if I could see one physician, not any one of the team who is available. I'm showing my age, but I recall the good ole' days when you went to a family doctor--he knew you, your parents, your siblings, etc. I've read articles that say for the best health care, develop a "relationship" with your doctor so that you can feel comfortable sharing all pertinent information. It's almost impossible to build a "relationship" these days for routine health care.

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BELLEFAITH42 2/22/2011 10:54AM

    What I want from a health care provider is RESPECT. I want to be treated like I am the one that knows my body, so therefore I know what isn't right - even if I don't know what that is - otherwise I wouldn't be talking to you (the health care provider). I just want to be treated like I am intelligent, and I do actually know something. I don't expect the health care provider to know all the answers, but to try and find the answers, and engage whatever specialists or tests are required to find the answers.
Edit - great question - thanks for asking.

Comment edited on: 2/22/2011 10:57:59 AM

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LUNADRAGON 2/22/2011 9:35AM

    I would want my health care provider to be up front, with the ability to listen and feedback proper information back to me. I am blessed to have a great allergist who probably has helped me more than my primary care, who is still very good at what she does. My orthopedic doctor is awesome! They all maintain a health conversation with me that is not a one way street.

I expect my health care provider to give me answers. When I went to my primary care when I began my fitness journey, she told me just what my limits were regarding what I do and using my heart rate monitor (I have a heart murmur and HBP). This helped me to know just what I could do safely.

It is important to find a doctor that can maintain a health conversation without leaving you in the dark.

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UROPA40 2/22/2011 6:02AM

    I want my health care provider to be competent and honest. Do not care if they are compassionate or have empathy. If they do not have the answer then send me to someone who can find the answer and if there is no answer let me know. I have a PCP who is all these things and since he is overweight he asks me for advise. I am also a health care provider and while I do not feel I have a bias when treating overweight patients I do have a problem with patients not willing to be compliant with medications and behavior changes. There is no magic pill for weight loss and good health and even when you do eat well and exercise it does not guarantee anything. FYI I am a physician assistant and have worked in a pediatric urology practice for the past 19 years. I do look forward to meeting you at JASR. Suzy

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JIBBIE49 2/22/2011 2:02AM


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DAVEINSEOUL 2/14/2011 7:56PM

    I want to feel that my health care provider is compassionate, but also truthful and competent.

About two years ago, when I was at my heaviest weight, I had to go to the ER for what ended up being "walking pnemonia". Not only did I have to force the issue on a chest x-ray, but the health care profession decided 1) That I had asthma (even though I have been symptom free for 30+ years), and 2) that my weight was not a health issue (even though I knew better). He kept telling me that everyone has a 'set point weight' that their bodies will try and find, and there was not much we could do to fight that. He told me that when I weighed over 300 pounds - and I could tell that he was quite overweight himself.

When I found out that I did have pnemonia (because of my insistance that they do a chest x-ray work up), this same health care provider came back an apologized for the mis-diagnosis. While I give him some credit for being honest about the mistake, it didn't do anything about my perceptions as to his competence. I certainly also don't belive in his theory of 'set point weight' either.

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SEEHOLZ 2/11/2011 5:16PM

    I think advice is good if it is motivating! So, if you can tell me some story of how you can relate to my story... not necessarily through you, but other people and you take me seriously.
I would also love for you to share little tricks that work for people-- or you!

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BARBIETEC 2/9/2011 6:10AM

    Supportive, understanding, tell the truth, encourage me and tell me NOT TO QUIT! KEEP GOING! :)

My doctor once told me that I had two choices when I was feeling a bit tired of this weight battle.

"You have two choices
1. Quit and live your life as you did
2. Keep going on even though it is going slow (the weight loss)" then he added "You know what will happen if you quit" and gave me this look :) heheheh..

I often think about this conversation..

He was truthful and told me like it is and made me realize that I must keep going :)

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SYNCHRODAD 2/5/2011 11:20PM

    I want the doctor to be truthful. Compassion is secondary. I want a smart doctor. I don't care if I get eye contact, but it is nice. Empathy where possible works too. I have probably seen my primary care physician (I am in an HMO), for a total of a couple hours over the last 5 years, thank goodness. He is quick thinking, sharp, but also know there is another patient waiting and I try to honor that. Regarding obesity, I was on the edge, and my blood pressure was elevated. He asked if I'd consider medication. I told him I was planning on losing weight and he said "good, but until you do..." He is supportive.

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ETTEZEUS 2/5/2011 10:24PM

    I want you to look at me when you talk to me. I've gone to too many providers who stick their noses in their charts or computers while taking notes and NEVER look at me. If you can't look at me, it just tells me your not concerned. How can you tell what I'm actually feeling if you don't look at me and see my expressions, fears, etc.

My DH is in the health care field and we've had discussions like this many times.

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BOBBYD31 2/5/2011 10:02PM

    be honest and don't run out the door.

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DDOORN 2/5/2011 8:49PM

    Although you say compassion goes without saying...that is the crux of the whole matter!

If I as a patient don't feel that my health care provider has compassion? Game over...I'm not going to get very much from dealing with such a provider.

My preference is for a provider to be straight up with me, use minimal technical jargon or at least explain it to me, and tell it like it is. *IF* I'm feeling like the compassion is there I can "hear" any message better when it's delivered in such a manner.


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  Some people want advice, some don't. Its hard to tell which ones do and which ones dont especially in the ER. If they ask or bring it up, or the condition that brings them in is obviously weight related, most of our providers will very briefly address it.

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B-N-ME 2/3/2011 11:09AM

    Open honest conversation about their concerns from a medical perspective without being judgemental. I think sometimes (I haven't experience but have heard) people assume because a person is overweight, they are lazy, don't take care of thiemselves, etc when sometimes that isn't the case.
A healthcare provider shold be able and willing to suggest resources, not put the person off by just saying you know what to do...obviously the patient may not! One who is willing to listen to feelings, and work with the person to try different measure to address the issues brings a positive light and helps the patient feel there is hope.

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FUNFROG79 2/3/2011 8:14AM

    I would want them to be direct and honest. I know that I'm overweight and so does the doctor. I know I"m in danger of a lot of diseases and need to take care of myself, no need to sugarcoat it for me!

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LILPAT3 2/2/2011 10:56PM

    I would want you to be open and share some diet and exercise information. My PA-C is an ironman competitor and she used to talk to me about her marathons and then about her triathlons and then cycling and finally she pushed me to learn to swim. It worked!

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DJS-DEBBIE 2/2/2011 9:40PM

    I would want my provider to address my obesity in a caring way. For many years, no one said anything to me and it is easy to convince yourself that 'it can't be too bad' because the doctor didn't say anything. I definitely don't want a somewhat overweight person telling me 'you have to lose weight' and that's it.

Last year when I went for a blood pressure check, I saw a different doctor in the practice. He praised my weight loss several times, asked how I lost weight, and took the info about SparkPeople to pass along to others. That is the kind of provider I want to see.

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EDWINA172 2/2/2011 9:31PM

    When I was "obese", my primary doctor asked me, in a very nice way, if I was doing Pilates or any aerobics. He also planted little seeds, in my mind, of things that I could accomplish if I continued with my healthy habits.
If you were my health care provider, I'd want you to be THE example for me to look up to. I'd want you to break things down into easy managable steps. Cheer me on when I achieve a goal. I suppose that is too much to ask from a health care provider.
My doctor did confide in me that he was being sued by a previous patient because he told her she was obsese. Its such a tricky area for physicians. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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IRISHLASS117 2/2/2011 9:20PM

    The weight issue needs to be addressed and when done in a supportive manner with a concrete plan I'd be good with it. I don't like to be told I need to improve then shown the door. It would be a grand office visit if you were my practioner, I'm just saying.

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JEN-LOVES-LIFE 2/2/2011 9:12PM

    I would want a cheerleader (which my doctor turned out to be). To know that my doctor is excited for me to lose meant a lot. I am actually looking forward to my follow up appointment in May.

Another thing I would like to know is how have I extended my expectancy and the quality of my life by losing weight. Had I not lost it, would my risks for different diseases be higher? Things like that. Reading and learning those things help, but to hear it from a health care professional would have a greater impact, at least for me.

As I am traveling on this journey, I have time to think back about different doctors and nurses I have encountered in the past. I never realized how many in the medical field are unhealthy. That is kind of shocking to me now. I would hope that more would lead by example.

Those are the first things that popped in my head as I was reading this.

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ANDERSONH98 2/2/2011 9:08PM

  I guess it really depends on the person. My bestfriend and I are completely different. We are both obese. When she visits the doctor and he mentions that she needs to loose weight she if embarassed. The word obese offends her. I on the other hand know that I am and try not to fool myself. If my doctor didn't mention the fact that I needed to loose weight I probably would have thought that 1. he didn't care or 2. he didn't think I could. One of the best feelings I got is when my doc praised me for loosing 10lbs. It was nice that he noticed, cared, and commented.

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