The Physician Face-off

“You were losing weight – what happened?”

That’s what I heard this morning at my monthly weight management check-in, when my doctor’s scale revealed I gained three pounds since my visit last month.

Unfortunately, I was asked the same question by my doctor’s physician assistant last month, when I had gained two pounds since my September visit.

Obviously, I’m experiencing an unwelcome weight gain.


While the “what happened?” question is unpleasant, it’s a necessary and fair one for the doctor’s staff to ask. After all, I have been on their weight management program about a year, and consistently lost weight every month until last month.

So, this morning, I yammered a bit about the busy schedule that’s prevented me from working out and preparing healthy meals, knowing full well how flimsy and common that excuse is. The truth is, I’ve been on an ill-fated pasta kick and simply gotten lazy. I got down to 130 lbs. over the summer, felt gratified, and started taking liberties with food and exercise.

Meanwhile, my doctor’s weight management program is pretty simple: you discuss weight loss goals, she prescribes a 30-day supply of Phentermine, disseminates a few pages of information about diet and exercise, and requires a monthly check-in to track progress and overall health and evaluate the effectiveness of the medicine.

While the Phentermine does help curb my normally voracious eating, it fails to stop my brain from wanting Cheetos or ice cream when I *do* eat. The information about diet and exercise was helpful (if not new), but it doesn’t get me up every morning to work out.

We all know it’s up to us to follow through on our ambitions to lose weight and be healthy. But the doctor’s involvement has helped me well enough up until these last couple of months. And my weight gain over the last couple months is directly related to making poor choices about what I do eat, and getting lazy where I used to be motivated every day to get fit with my friends Jillian Michaels and Tony Horton.

So why do I believe the doctor’s been helpful, despite my 5-pound weight gain in the last couple months?

Because she holds me accountable. Every day, I think about my monthly appointment with my doctor and what I’ll have to say for myself if I’ve been a bad little weight management patient. More often than not, that daily rumination is pretty effective. Going in with too much weight gain says I disregard the help she’s offered and the potential health problems I face from being overweight. Having to answer for that is reason enough for me to reconsider my choices. I’ve had a little setback, but I trust my doctor will continue to be of some help.

Your doctor might also have some kind of weight management program. If you’re serious about losing weight, he or she may be able to guide you in the right direction. Ask your doctor’s office to make an appointment for you to discuss weight loss. Let your doctor know what has and has not worked for you in the past, and what diet(s) or exercise regimen(s) you’ve already tried. Bring a little knowledge of your family history with you. Ask them to check for health conditions, like thyroid disease, that might contribute to undesirable weight. Alert your physician to any physical limitations that might prevent you from cardio or weight training. Have a reasonable weight goal in mind so you and your doctor can work together toward milestones instead of drastic leaps (my doctor and I aimed for 140 lbs., and we achieved that milestone; we’re working our way even further now that we know progress is possible). Ask your doctor for help formulating a daily or weekly meal and fitness plan aimed to achieve goals.

With that, I am going to return to a little indulgence tonight before I get back on track tomorrow. I’m having some mozzarella sticks and a beer while I watch some old Law & Order:  SVU episodes. I hope the scale is kind to me when I return to my doctor next month, and that I don’t have to answer any uncomfortable questions.

The product(s) and program(s) detailed in this blog post are not endorsements, suggestions or recommendations for those interested in weight loss. Nothing mentioned here should be confused with medical advice, as I am not a health care professional. Always check with your doctor before trying any new weight-loss regimen, medication or supplement, and before trying any new fitness program. 

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2 thoughts on “The Physician Face-off

  1. I admire your diligence, you have done a really good job of it! You look really great, however I always have the motherly concern of your overall well-being. A happy, healthy life is so much more important than dropping 2 dress sizes to me. I don’t want your Dr bullying you about gaining a couple of pounds. You are loved for who you are on the inside, not what you look like on the outside. Please always remember that.

  2. This is so true!! I did the Phentermine thing and lost about 30 pounds. Then I got lazy and with eating and exercising too. So proud of your blog!!

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