I was just reading an AP story that says “doctors are being told to get serious about their patients’ obesity.” I couldn’t help but have a visceral reaction: anger, frustration, fear. I hate going to see my doctor as it is because I feel she just doesn’t “get” how difficult it can be to shed weight, that there is a huge, complex, emotional component. (Yes, I do need to find someone new but I haven’t gotten that done yet.)
I am right now back up to pretty much my heaviest, and I hate it. It makes me depressed, frustrated with myself, and embarrassed. I feel like I should have better “self-control.” But I don’t right now. I just eat whatever and am having a tough time saying no to anything, even when I’m full. The stress levels in my life are uber-high right now, and I am ridiculously busy and definitely overburdened and overscheduled. So I’m right back to my food addiction. And it makes me feel horrible about myself.
So hearing that doctors need to do “better” about talking to patients about obesity fills me with horror and dread. The only bright spot in the article was that they are supposedly trying to do better about providing real help and support and resources to those who need to lose weight. Because shaming and pointing out the obvious sure as heck aren’t gonna do it. One woman quoted in the article was told by her doctor that she just needed to eat less. Her reaction was the same as mine and everyone else’s out there who eats because of stress and emotions, rather than just to satiate hunger: “It just devastated me,” LeBlanc recalled. “He was saying, ‘It’s all in your mind.’ I was thinking, ‘If I could do that, don’t you think I would have done it by now?'” Uh, yeah. So she switched doctors and has been in a program that includes counseling and has lost 40 pounds.
In my current state of mind (stressed, crazy-busy, and depressed about my weight), I will just smack any doctor or other person who tells me some simplistic and completely insensitive answer that indicates they have no idea what it’s like to walk in my shoes.
I want to know that a doctor will be understanding and sensitive and provide some useful ideas and resources. For me right now, I’m kind of feeling that it will be impossible to lose weight until my life quiets down a bit (senior daughter graduates and is done with band and everything else, for one). It takes serious work, focus, and time to overcome something like this, so it’s not something I can do casually.
Even so, I still exercise because I enjoy it and feel better when I do. It’s a longtime habit and at least I can tell myself that it’s something. I’m not eating like crazy AND being a couch potato. I’m also making myself an appointment with a hypnotherapist. Yes, that’s right. Hey, I figure it’s worth a try.
If you sympathize, please comment. If not, please do not post any “advice.” You don’t want me biting your head off.
I'm a book reviewer, editor, and writer with four daughters and tons of projects always keeping me hopping. I blog at Life and Lims and run the book review site Rated Reads.