Posts

How to Advocate for Yourself at the Doctor’s Office

My client walked into my office. We’ll call him Bob. I had not seen Bob for 2 weeks because I was on vacation. Bob has recently decided to quit dieting. Yes, after 50+ years of trying every diet known to man AND undergoing bariatric surgery (of which he gained back most of the weight he lost) he decided he needed to finally address the true underlying reasons why he was overeating.

 

Emotions.

 

Namely sadness and loneliness with a dose of frustration thrown in there.

 

But Bob knew that no matter how much his doctor told him he had to lose weight because he has diabetes and other chronic conditions, the diets just did not work. He was able to follow the diet for a short time and then an emotion would hit, and he would numb out with food. The diet was over.

 

Is this a familiar story to you?

 

On this night when I saw Bob in my office he had only been working with me on intuitive eating for about 2 months. But he was doing a great job at rejecting the diet mentality. So I was surprised that this night when he walked in, I can tell by the way he was speaking that he was slipping back into diet mentality.

 

I asked him what was going on. He shared with me that he was having terrible back pain and all the doctors he’d been to over the last 2 weeks while I was on vacation told him to lose weight to heal the back pain. He was seriously considering starting a diet, although I pointed out to him that he was already restricting (a.k.a dieting) which I could tell based on what he was sharing with me.

 

He looked me straight in the eye and he said “you’re right. I didn’t realize my actions were actually dieting”. Yet, he was still so shook up by the doctors prescribing weight loss to him AGAIN, that he was desperate.

 

Bob is a physical therapist and I asked him how he would treat one of his patients who complained of back pain. He laid out a physical therapy protocol. I then asked him “Bob, wouldn’t this protocol be appropriate for you?” And he said yes.

 

And then he realized what’s really going on!

 

He was embarrassed by his doctors, ashamed that he had gained weight again, that he was forced to get on the scale and that his doctor’s only treatment prescription was weight loss when there were a slew of other treatment options they could have suggested.

 

Unfortunately, this is not uncommon.

 

One of the biggest fears I hear from clients about going to a doctor’s appointment is hearing the words:

 

“Get on the scale”!

 

And then the chills, the heart racing, the stomach sinking…and the words that follow:

 

“Lose weight and your blood pressure and blood sugar will come down”.

 

Well, dear doctor, you’ve said this a thousand times before and where has it gotten your patient?

 

I’ll tell you! A lifetime pass on the diet roller coaster ride.

 

What to Tell Your Doctor

  1. It’s time to take a stand. To let your doctor know that you will not be fat shamed.
  2. That you will no longer take “lose weight” as a solution to your current health issue.
  3. That you will not let your health evaluation be determined by a number on the scale.
  4. That you want to know what treatment options he gives his patients who are in smaller bodies – that’s the treatment options you want to discuss.

 

Listen, I realize it’s not always easy to advocate for yourself. I get that. But you know by now that weight loss and dieting is not the answer you are looking for.

 

I want to help you get off this vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting so you can learn to focus on habits and behaviors, not weight loss.

 

Please join me for a free webinar:

 

“THE 5 STEPS TO BREAK FREE OF DIETING”

So You Can Make Peace with Food, Enjoy Guilt-Free Eating and Get The Body You Love

 

======> Reserve your virtual seat here

 

You will discover…

  • The 3 essential ingredients you need to never diet again.
  • Why diet and food restriction are not the answer to long lasting weight loss.
  • The #1 reason why changing what you eat is keeping you spinning your wheels.
  • My 5 step system to finally achieve the body you love (that you can start using right away).

 

You will walk away from this training with the knowledge you need to get started so you never have to be afraid of the doctor’s scale again!

 

Click here to register now!

 

Bob called me the next day. He called to thank me for caring about his health and wellbeing. And for guiding him on how to advocate for himself at the doctor’s office. He reported to me that his back pain was hardly noticeable that morning. That’s the power of CARING SUPPORT!

 

Hope to see you on the Webinar. Join us here!

 

Say NO the Next Time Your Doctor Prescribes Weight Loss

It’s sad for me to write this but many doctors deepen the diet mentality of those struggling with their body and their relationship with food. I don’t think they do this to purposely harm, as they have taken an oath to “do no harm”. They just don’t know better.

 

But it’s time to wake them up!

 

Theresa is a chronic dieter, she has been on every diet imaginable to lose weight and mold her body into what society deems acceptable for her. She did lose weight on most of those diets, heck she’s a great rule follower, always was as a kid. But her weight loss was very short-lived. She always gained that weight back plus more.

 

I know you can relate.

 

But this time is different. She has PCOS and insulin resistance and her doctor is telling her to lose weight. He referred her to a nutritionist who will help manage her insulin by putting her on a special diet!

 

Theresa’s inner alarm went off! NO!

 

You see, Theresa has been working on changing her relationship with food through learning intuitive eating. And while she is still at the beginning of her journey, she is totally convinced that diets don’t work. Moreover, it’s the diet and diet mentality that have caused her to enter what was the never-ending restrict-binge cycle. So, the fact that her doctor recommended yet another diet for her really pissed her off.

 

“Doesn’t he realize that his “prescription” of weight loss has not and will never be the answer to managing my PCOS and insulin resistance”, she asked me?

 

Well one would think, but I guess not (sigh!)

 

I encouraged Theresa to go back to her doctor and ask him what treatment he would prescribe for a woman in a smaller body that has PCOS. That’s the treatment she wants.

 

When you go for your annual physical, the nurse tells you to “get on the scale”. You have every right to decline. Do not feel pressured to be weighed, even if the nurse says “I won’t tell you”. Nope! As one of my clients recently told her doctor: “I don’t want my health evaluated based in part by the number on a scale.” Bravo!

 

Betty went to her doctor for her annual checkup. All was well, her labs and blood pressure all great!

 

Doctor said “You should lose a few pounds”.

Betty: “why”?

Doctor: “You gained a few pounds this year”.

Betty: ” Well, last year I was restricting and had an eating disorder”.

Doctor: “Oh”.

End of visit.

 

Stand up for yourself when you go to the doctor. If you have health issues, insist he/she address them from a weight-neutral perspective.

 

What has been your experience with weight discussions at your doctor? Please share below!

 

 

 

Can Intuitive Eating Lead to Your Natural Healthy Weight?

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday Question comes from a new member in my online community:

 

“Can intuitive eating lead to a natural weight?”

 

This is a great question. The short answer is yes, I believe that it could. But the longer answer requires us to have a bit of a conversation.

 

What does ‘natural weight’ mean to you?

 

Do you mean that if you “do” intuitive eating, will you lose weight? The truth is, some people lose weight, some gain weight initially, and some people’s weight remains stable. Keep in mind that the process of becoming an intuitive eater is NOT a weight loss program.

 

I’m going to repeat that. Intuitive eating is not a weight loss program. And if anyone tells you that it is and promises you weight loss, then run the other way.

 

Intuitive eating helps you change your relationship with food and your body, it helps you regain the trust in your inner body wisdom to guide your eating. You have this ability deep within you, it’s just buried under years of dieting and trying to interfere with what your natural weight is.

 

Back to the question…what is a natural weight?

 

A natural weight is the weight your body will maintain with ‘normal’ eating and ‘normal’ movement. This means no food restriction and no boot camp exercise regimes pushing yourself beyond your limits.

 

The problem is that your natural weight may not match the weight you have in your mind that you desire, which is likely influenced by the surrounding diet culture, current fashion, celebrities and even recommendations of your doctor to lose weight to an unrealistic number based on outdated height and weight charts and calculations.

 

So take a moment and ask yourself if you are chasing an unrealistic weight or body size. A lot of clients that I start working with are. They have a number or vision in mind of what they want to look like, but that is not realistic for them. And, let’s add to this equation your genetics. Genetics also plays a role in determining body size, and this may not match up to the weight or size you have in mind.

 

I do believe that your body will balance out at your natural healthy weight by practicing intuitive eating consistently, respecting and caring for your current body, and practicing self-care.

 

How long will this take? No one knows. Just enjoy the process as it’s happening.

 

 

Trash the Scale

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday Question comes from Kay, a woman who has been working on overcoming emotional eating. I received an email from her that said the following:

 

“Sometimes eating healthy is easy. But sometimes eating healthy and losing weight feels like a struggle. I had to stop weighing myself recently. The scale was showing that I am going up and down around a pound per day.  I was getting worried, and it seemed like all of a sudden, I was struggling more (emotionally.)

 

This early morning, I went out to the backyard to water my lawn on my watering day, and my pajama bottoms almost fell off me. I wanted to go back inside and weigh. But if I did, and the scale didn’t show less, I knew that I would be upset.  How can I give up worries about how much I weigh?

 

This is such a great question and I know it’s something you are thinking as well. As a chronic dieter, you’ve used the scale to measure your success. Each day you’d get on the scale to see how you did the day before and to determine your plan of action for the day ahead. And, if we are being real, you probably go on the scale more than one time per day.

 

Let’s look at a few scenarios.

 

Scenario #1: You get on the scale in the morning and the number is a “good” number. Your mood for the day is happy.

 

Scenario #2: You get on the scale in the morning and the number is a “bad” number. Your mood for the day is depressed, even angry.

 

Both scenarios can trigger overeating, whether it be celebration eating (“I lost weight, I can have a treat”) or consolation eating (“I was so good and didn’t lose any weight. Why bother trying”.)

 

Other self-talk around the result of your morning weigh-in might sound like:

“I ate horribly yesterday, and I still lost weight. Thank goodness, I don’t have to starve today”.

“I only lost ¼ pound, it wasn’t worth it”.

 

This self-talk is the talk of a dieter. Without a doubt, weighing yourself keeps you in diet mentality. It fuels the body worry>food worry vicious cycle of emotional eating and dieting. If you truly want to be break free of this cycle, you must start with throwing away the scale.

 

Do you let the scale dictate your mood? Are you ready to throw it away?

 

Watch this video (click image) as I discuss this topic further and comment below with your commitment to stop weighing yourself.