He Said She Said (Why can't they agree?)

Last year, after I had lost 70 pounds, I went to see one of my doctors who is monitoring my thyroid and was told that I still had about 10 to 15 pounds to lose. He was very happy I had lost all that weight, but felt I still needed to lose more.  His opinion was based on the Body Mass Index calculation (BMI). It is a calculation based on gender, weight and height. That pronouncement by the doctor really discouraged me because I felt like what I had done had not been good enough (voices from my childhood baggage). I was sort of pissed off and went through a period of self-pity and really struggled to keep dieting.  I finally got my act together last month and I'm now back on track and following the same regime that I had followed before. 


I can't say enough how having a diet routine with respect to monitoring your food intake and your progress is really critical to success.  It truly helped me to get back on track. The plan works if you work it.  It's crucial to hold yourself accountable by logging your food and checking your progress weekly so your hard work is validated and so you can make adjustments, if needed. 


I was annoyed about that doctor visit but decided to be patient until I could see my primary care doctor at the end of April. I wanted to hear what she had to say about my weight. I was hoping to get a different opinion. In the meantime, I was going to try and lose more weight before my appointment. It wasn't until the end of April so hey, at this point, I still had six weeks, I could maybe lose those ten pounds if I tried.  


I have to say that my husband can be very thoughtful. When we retired, we decided to have the same primary care doctor, so they would know us as a family. We found one when we moved here but she moved far away, so last year we had to start the search yet again for another one. We found one we liked but I could not get a new patient visit for 14 months. Yikes.  This was a slight problem because I must have a primary care doctor's referral to go see any kind of specialist, even though I've been seeing that specialist for years.  These referrals expire every year, so they have to be renewed. Given that we leave Texas for the summer, I was anxious to get my referrals squared away before we left for the summer so I could get in to the doctors I needed to see this year. My husband fared better than I did and got an appointment earlier.  


He went to see our new doctor and had nothing but good things to say. He even took the initiative to ask if she could see me sooner than then end of April. The doctor told my husband she would have her office call me and see if they could get me in sooner. Sure enough, they called me a few days later and managed to get me in the first week of March. Oh well... those ten pounds I was planning on losing were staying right where they are, apparently. 


I went to see her this past week. I think she's a great doctor. I like her a lot. The reason I like her is that she spent a lot of time going over my medical records with me and she explained scientifically, in her opinion, why I do not need to lose any more weight. She discussed my muscle mass and my age and told me she is perfectly happy with my weight, because should I wind up in the hospital, she would like me to have some reserves to battle whatever medical problem is happening.  She said that she was fine with it if I wanted to lose more weight, but only if I wanted to be thinner.  She then cautioned me that she was not giving me permission to go on a weight gain spree, either, that it would be best to focus on maintenance.  I assured her I did not want to put back on all the weight I lost.


My other doctor looked up a chart on the computer and told me I needed to be ten to fifteen pounds lighter. My age and muscle mass were irrelevant to him.


I would like to lose more weight because I feel like I still have that hard to lose fat around my middle, and that is the unhealthy visceral fat. However, I feel like a lot of pressure has been taken off my shoulders with respect to dieting. For the first time in 30 years, my primary care doctor is happy with my weight. 


I wish that there was more consensus about weight and body mass. The fact that I got two different opinions with respect to my weight from two doctors who actually know each other, is frustrating.


For several years, my thyroid hormone was out of range, and I knew it, because I always looked at my blood test results. I never asked my doctor about it (my fault entirely). I assumed it was okay because my doctor never brought it up during my appointments. I figured if she had a problem with it, she would have said something. She never brought it up because she didn't see it or overlooked it. It wasn't until we moved, and I had to get a new doctor that it was finally flagged, and it ended up with me needing a thyroid scan and biopsy.  It was very scary.


I think this illustrates the fact that we all have a responsibility to take charge of our health. Prepare for your doctor visits. Don't be cavalier with respect to any doctor visit. Make sure you have a list of questions and understand all the medication(s) you are taking and what they are for. Bring up your health concerns and symptoms.  Please don't leave anything with respect to your health blindly in the hands of a physician. When you have medical tests and blood work, read the results, look up what you don't understand and ask as many questions as you need to.  Make sure if something is out of the range of normal, that you bring it up with your doctor if they don't discuss it. You pay for their services. Ask "why" when you are unsure. It's your body and your choice.


If your doctor gets defensive for you asking questions, that might mean they are not a good fit for you (I'm being polite....find another doctor).  


(Photo courtesy of Tima Miroshnichenko)







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7th Decade Redhead
7th Decade Redhead

I'm 60+ years old female retiree who is finally figuring out why she's been struggling with losing weight her whole life. I want to share the lessons I learned so others can help themselves with their own weight loss struggles earlier in their lives.

60 Pounds by 60 Years
60 Pounds by 60 Years

My final weight loss attempt after 40 years of different diet failures. No shakes, no supplements, no surgery, no crazy food, no purchased meal plans, no fasting. Creating a healthier relationship with food and facing the painful truth about my relationship surrounding food. No BS, just common sense. And it worked.

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