Thursday, November 28, 2013

I have been at the doctor's office a LOT lately. I'm having elbow surgery on Tuesday, and my opposite arm has tendonitis in the shoulder (rotator cuff). Both hips hurt me, but they have ruled out arthritis. I have been taking pain pills occasionally at night, but they give me a "pill hangover" the next day. I hate taking pills, but sometimes I'm too uncomfortable to sleep otherwise.

On Tuesday, I talked with my doctor about my weight. I told her all about my struggles over the past 15 years, and all the different diets, workouts, strategies, therapies, and mindsets I've tried. I told her I'm determined to get fit and healthy, but admitted to total fear that I might not be able to do it. I feel paralyzed by past failures.

She was great. She empathized, and agreed that I really cannot gain any more weight since I am pre-diabetic. She agreed that my hip pain is likely exacerbated by the extra pounds. She suggested that I try medical weight loss, and she offered to be my support while I drop some weight via a low-calorie, high protein diet.

My gut tells me I need to do it. For the first time in my life, I do not feel well physically, and I am scared of diabetes. The doctor will monitor my potassium levels and vitals, since the diet will be very low calorie.

But I'm nervous. After years and years of dieting, I'm finally in a place where I don't really believe in diets and deprivation anymore. I've been trying to love my body as it is, and reduce my portions by paying attention to the hunger scale, and mindfully eating. I'm trying to be kinder to myself with regard to weight loss. This way of doing things feels more nurturing, more body affirmative, and kinder to myself.

So I'm struggling with this decision, because from a health perspective, weight needs to come off as soon as possible, and despite my best attempts and motivation, I have actually gained weight over the past couple of years, resulting in pre-diabetes. For these reasons, I want to do the medical weight loss program. But I do worry about the feelings of deprivation, the high-protein (I am a near-vegetarian), and, well...just doing something that feels extreme.

Has anyone else ever been in this position?
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  • IXCHEL23
    emoticon and emoticon from everyone that posted. I think as you mentioned it would be a good jump-start. I tried a medical weight-loss program a year ago. I was weak and very miserable. The first 2 weeks I couldn't even eat vegetables and here I was prior to that program eating every color in the rainbow vegetables and eating clean. I had to stop the program, it didn't make sense to me and felt totally unhealthy. I can understand if you have some life-threatening condition and/or will be having a surgical procedure. You know that you have to lose the weight to change from being pre-diabetic and to take the stress off your joints, doing it the healthy way is best where you don't feel deprived and you can learn how to change your lifestyle to a more healthy one to continue long-term. Visiting with a registered dietician helped me, I did that years ago and learned alot then modified what she taught me later on. It's your decision ultimately, we'll support in every way, keep me posted! emoticon
    2562 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/29/2013 8:44:10 PM
    I knew that if I posted my thoughts, some wonderfully smart people would "listen" and offer some incredible words of advice and encouragement. THANK YOU, all three of you. TINAJANE76, my concerns are very similar, and it's so good to hear you give voice to them - I so appreciate your thoughtfulness and honesty. FIT-RAW-TURTLE (I adore your name, btw! Ha!), I appreciate the support in taking a more loving, patient approach to weight loss, and I absolutely need to get out of the failure mindset (not quite sure how, but I know I need to target that!).

    JULIAMOONCHILD, first of all, I'm so sorry you had to re-post your comment, and I thank you for taking your own precious time to offer words that are SO insightful. You're right - I did connect with my doctor because I felt like she was the first MD to actually LISTEN and HEAR me. I needed to hear that I have control of this decision, and that likely she will support me and help me through no matter how I decide to proceed.

    Right now I feel so validated that I am on the right path by viewing food, food addiction, and self-care in a more patient, nurturing, kind way. I will keep you all updated, but right now I'm thinking I will talk to my doc about some sort of hybrid medical weight loss plan that will be more of a "kick start" than a long term diet (ugh, diet). Maybe I can do this calorie-restricted, high-protein thing without dropping below the 1200 mark (totally agree with you, TINAJANE), keep this limited to dropping the initial 10-15 pounds, and then transition back toward a more intuitive eating system. I dunno, but I do feel very encouraged that I can make a good decision after hearing all of your feedback.

    THANK YOU! Truly, thank you for taking the time...

    2563 days ago
    First off, I am truly sorry that you have been suffering so much with pain that it has affected your sleep unless you sometimes resort to pain medication, which, as you say, gives you the “pill hangover” the following day. Surely in that situation, even the sleep you are getting cannot be completely restorative sleep, and followed the next day with the hangover feeling, it must often feel as though you are living in a twilight zone. A million years ago, when I was a kid and suffered severe allergies, I felt the same way with the only drugs prescribed back then for my problem. Could not sleep without them and couldn't function the next day (optimally) without them. It was hell … and when you live in hell it is extremely difficult to see the beauty in sunrises and sunsets. You know, the days when people are commenting what a gorgeous day it is outside and you wanna punch their lights out. OK, that was just me and not you. But, anyway, when I was drugged out, you can bet your bottom dollar I wanted some kind of comfort in my life … and what could be more comforting than …….food.

    Ah, but food is not our enemy and we should not see it as so. It is vital to our very existence … but not all food. Not the food that shouldn’t even be called food. The stuff we call junk … or crap … and then inhale it like there’s no tomorrow.

    So, you talked with your Doctor and as you stated here, “she was great”. Why was she great? Maybe because she listened to what you were actually saying and how much you have struggled over the years. Perhaps this high protein, low in calorie program she has suggested, (which you didn’t say was all protein and you did not indicate how low the calories), is but a very short-term goal intended to get you ‘off the edge of the cliff”, so to speak, and to, perhaps ‘jump start” your resolve to then follow the more sensible approach to daily eating that you wisely prescribe to. It is a great boost to morale, I think, even after a person has lost only a few pounds – If they start to feel better … they sometimes want to then feel much better … and because they have seen results are more apt to believe that they can continue on a healthier disciplined path.

    Also, no matter what approach you take … long-term and/or short-term, high protein for a while, or whatever, do not believe for one second that you are giving up the position of Commander and Chief. Nope, you are still in charge, girl, and you can change course at any given moment. The truth is, any program that you go on is not a life sentence … but how you take care of yourself overall is. And, I surely believe that you have the where-for-all to make the best decision for yourself that you can in any given moment and have the wisdom to know that any decision you make will not be a static one, since all things can change whenever we are determined enough for them to do so.

    So, my long winded comment is here to say, I support you in whatever you choose to do regarding your Doctor’s suggestion. It sounds to me like she has your back and that you feel some connection with her … enough connection that you have spoken to her candidly about your past struggles and your present concerns. Lastly, I don’t think she was suggesting handcuffing you to her idea, but with respect has left the decision in your hands. It is not a do it or I will wash my hands of you – Right? – So, ponder your thoughts, address your fears and concerns …. and then try to put them in a realistic context. Sounds like you kinda have a substitute Spark Buddy in your Doctor, even if you decide NOT to go her suggested route, and that in itself is an awesome relationship to have.

    Please let us know what you decide to do and know that whatever route you take, we support you all the way!!!

    2563 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/29/2013 12:26:08 PM
  • no profile photo CD14253479
    You gave yourself your answer in this blog. Your program is doable. It does take some patience. You do need to let go of the failure addiction. The slower the weight comes off by a sensible approach to eating and exercise, the longer it will stay off. It is more than food and exercise, it is in letting go of the past habitual emotional roller coaster ride of fear, guilt, grief, resentment. So, find a plan that does not ignore this chatter, but looks at it all with LOVE instead of fear, peace instead of hopelessness.

    Doctors ARE NOT nutritionists. Their advice is the same as a stranger's on the street.

    2563 days ago
    I haven't been in your position before, but have had a long history of weight struggles that I've only recently been able to get under control. Although the program you'd be following would be medically supervised, I'd have a few concerns that I'd want addressed by the doctor: 1) Is it really necessary to go on a super low-calorie diet? Not only would it lead to feelings of deprivation, but you'll also have much less energy and conventional wisdom and research seems to suggest that going under 1,200 calories for most healthy, adult women can actually put your health at risk. 2) If you do go on this plan, what happens once you lose the weight? Maintenance is hard enough if you've followed a more moderate plan, but having to transition from being extremely restrictive to a plan that you can live with forever can seem insurmountable. Wouldn't a gentler program, even if it includes concrete goals and benchmarks, make that transition a bit easier? 3) Will following this program take exercise off the table? Exercise has many benefits beyond just helping you to lose weight and if you're eating so few calories that you have to be monitored for nutrients, it doesn't seem like exercise can be part of your mix. A big part of successful weight loss and maintenance is the emotional component and exercise is a great mood lifter and motivator.

    Your concerns might be different from mine, but these are the red flags that I would see. Good luck going ahead and let us know how it goes!
    2563 days ago
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