Sharing our successes?

Doctor E, I hear what you’re sayin’ about healthy eating, but I’ve been trying to lose this weight now for years…I don’t eat that much, and when I do it’s usually healthy stuff…

It’s usually at this point that I begin to think of sharing… 

I felt the exact same way for years also.  College and medical school (living with other guys who were recreational eaters just like me) and residency (where I took to heart the surgeon’s mantra of "Sleep when you can, eat when you can and stay away from the pancreas"…mainly the eat when you can) and all sorts of other lifelong influences and eating habits slowly but surely packed on the pounds.  I barely squeaked through the Navy body fat standards when I was in, and now that I was out, I didn’t have a big motivator to keep the pounds off.  I have recently become very interested in nutrition – Dr. Willett’s books on nutrition and eating healthy, the Omnivore’s dilemma, we belong (at the insistence of my bride) to a CSA and get a box of wonderful fruit and veggies every 1-2 weeks…and still, I couldn’t make a dent…

Doc, I exercise – I go to the gym three times a week for an hour, I play ball on the weekends…that’s about all I can do – I have to work…doing any more would take away from my family…

Yep…martial arts are my thing…I enjoy running, though not greatly, I play soccer occasionally with my kids…I’ve gotten in much better shape in the past 2-3 years…yet the weight kept going up, and my knees were suffering…there’s no way I can get to the gym for the now-recommended 90 minutes 5-7 times per week…

And, Doc, it sucks to be on a diet…I just REALLY like food.

Lemme tell ya brother…ain’t nobody likes food more than me…Ok…maybe some do, but I do REALLY like food.  I dream about it, I think about it, I revel in it.  I’m adventurous with food, pretty creative when cooking (though not always to success) – I consider it a true gift to humankind.  And it’s one of those things that you need SOME of, just not too much.  And there, as they say, is the rub…

And…I just get so frustrated…I’m never going to get anywhere with this, so I think, "Why bother?"

It’s hard not to respond to the emotion here…and so I begin sharing…but not without trepidation.  Doctors aren’t supposed to talk about themselves a lot…there has been study on this issue.  But there is also discussion amongst us about the power of positive role modelling.  So I don’t tend to disclose my modest success without really feeling like it would help.  Usually, I wait for similarities to my situation to come up – trying to lose the same weight for years, general pattern of healthy eating and exercise, but a "stall" in weight loss, and a LOVE of food…

Listen, I definitely understand where you’re coming from.  I just recently was able to lose about 25 pounds using these AIM-HI and Am I Hungry? strategies we’re talking about in our practice now.

You know, I noticed you looked thinner…but I didn’t want to say anything…

I am a little thinner, but I’m also just happier eating this way…I feel like I have more control without feeling like I’m missing something…I think our circumstances are very similar, and I was able to do it.  I feel like the Am I Hungry? approach worked really well with me, since I like food…I can enjoy what’s in front of me, but not feel like I have to eat ALL of it all the time…and the best part is when I feel hungry, I can eat…It sounds like something you could try too….

And so it goes…Hard to know if my sharing helps anyone else, but I believe the times I do share feel powerful because I’ve selected them carefully…only time will tell, I guess…

2 thoughts on “Sharing our successes?

  1. John,
    You are living proof that small changes make a big difference! Sharing what you’ve learned with your patients is another small step that can make a big difference for them too.
    Michelle

    Like

  2. Bob Wheeler

    John:
    This is a bit late certainly but let me add- your small steps in nutritional changes and exercise habits make all the difference. I’ve seen many situations where it’s all about consistency- not drastic change. This should provide your patients and friends with that motivation that big change and transformation that is successful will occur with small, patient steps- like a stonecutter.

    Like

Comments are closed.