Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Weight Loss Surgery and a Functional Doctor

As you all know, I'm trying to get healthy and lose weight.  And now with my upcoming nuptials I'm trying harder than ever.

Truth be told, the last 15 years or so has been me trying to lose weight in some form:  Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Richard Simmons, Body for Life, South Beach, Lose It, and good old fashioned writing it all down in food journals and calorie counting.  I've tried them all.  I've had my resting metabolic rate tested.  I've gotten my thyroid tested.  I've met with a nutritionist.  I've gotten advice from doctors.

I've run, lifted weights, ran some more, did double workouts, did cross-fit, played racquetball, went spinning, tried p90x, rowed, walked, flirted with pilates, tried step aerobics, the Firm, Tae-Bo, kick boxing.  I've worn heart rate monitors, Fit Bit, pedometers.

I've done a lot. 

I don't lose weight very fast.  I never have.  Ever.  In fact, I like to say that I maintain.  I'm pretty sure that if I didn't do all of these things I'd probably be 100s of pounds overweight.  That's no joke.  That's how easy it is for me to put on weight.  And all of that work I've listed, that's also how hard it is for me to take it off.

And over the course of 15 years I've learned a lot about myself and this whole weight loss thing.  I've learned that I work hard, that I'll try anything, and that I probably won't ever stop trying. 

And for whatever reason, the thought of getting married and not having figured out the "key" to my personal weight loss puzzle is driving me crazy.  So I started 2014 throwing everything I had at it.

I started the year with a Whole30 and, quite frankly, I've continued - with the addition of a few Paleo/Primal tweaks here and there.  I feel very confident about my food choices and that I'm on a good road with that.  In fact, dare I say, I feel like the lifestyle change has taken place.  I've never been a horrible eater but every now and then processed foods, soda, and treats would enter the picture.  And over the course of a year, I feel like I've found my place with eating and I'm really happy about that.

I tried a new workout using the Drop 2 Sizes workout and now I'm heading towards Insanity/DDP Yoga.  Working out, for me, is just something I have to do.

So a couple of weeks ago I had a moment of reckoning.  I was doing the work, I was eating the right foods in the right amounts, and I was exercising.  And it was like I felt my body give out on me.  What little weight loss I could usually squeeze out just wasn't working anymore.  I don't know how to explain it but for the first time I felt like it was out of my hands.

So I went to get a physical.  I figured, first things first, lets see where you're at.

I went to my primary doctor.  I've had her for 10 years and in 10 years I've seen her maybe 5 times.  Maybe less.  All I know is that I haven't needed her for much (knock on wood).  I go in and sit down with her to answer the obligatory medical family history questions and the next thing I know I'm asking about my weight loss.  And before I know what hits me, she wants me to get surgery.  Gastric Bypass to be exact.

I'm about 45 pounds overweight right now. 

And I just sat there.  She went on about how it has nothing to do with how hard I'm trying it's just that what she's finding is it's genetic and there's nothing I can do.  She said why spend all that time and energy when you can just do this.

It wasn't a very nice feeling.  I felt deflated.  I started wondering if everyone who looked at me thought the same thing?  Did my friends, co-workers and family members look at me and think "poor thing.  There's nothing she can do.  She should just go get weight loss surgery."

Then I started thinking maybe what I'm doing is a fluke.  Maybe I'm not working out as much or as hard as I think.  Who cares what my heart rate monitor says.  Or how many steps I took in a day.  Or the fact that I was running 6 miles a day at one point.  That doesn't mean you're doing it right or in shape or healthy.

Maybe I wasn't really counting my WW points the right way, or I wasn't adding my calories right, or I was eating and not realizing it.

So I did the tests, got my blood taken and went to meet my fiance.  I didn't want to tell him what she said.  But I did anyway.  And he was flabbergasted.  We've been together 6 years and he's seen the work I've done.  Hell, he does it with me.  And no, he does not have a weight problem.  I don't see how he possibly could with doing all of that with me :)

So I called my mother.  I actually was nervous she would agree with the doctor.  Again, flabbergasted.  I started feeling a little better.

I had one week before I had to go back and get the results of my blood work.  I didn't want to go back to her.  But while I didn't like being told that surgery was my answer, I knew that the reason I went to the doctor was to get help and I still needed to find help.

So I went to look for another type of doctor.  A Functional Doctor.  What's a Functional Doctor?  Basically they treat you by trying to figure out what is CAUSING the problem.  They don't treat the symptoms.  They try to get to the root of whatever is ailing you and then work with you to treat the system (the whole body).

I found a woman.  She was down the street from my apartment and in her profile she said she specializes in resistant weight loss.

So I called her.  Long story short, I went for a consultation.

I'll be honest, I didn't have high hopes.  I don't know why.  I guess I'm used to nothing working.  But it was exactly what I needed.  We talked about food, and my family history, and my medical history and we found some things that need some fixing.   She actually is trying to figure out WHY I'm not losing weight.  She also told me that her professional opinion is that I should not get gastric bypass. 

That made me feel better.

So am I fixed?


I'm kidding ;)

My blood work came back from my physical.  Everything looked good as far as vitals and organs, but my thyroid looked a little strange to my primary so she is running another test.  I took my results to my new doctor and she agreed that it needed to be looked at further.  Yes, I've had my thyroid tested before and they gave me the thumbs up that it was fine.  Oh well.  So I'm waiting on that test to come back.  Once that does, I'm going to try to move everything over to the new doctor.

I'm working with her right now to just get more data.  We're running a couple of tests and that combined with my medical history apparently made complete sense to her.  It was funny.  I was telling her my story and things that I hadn't thought of as being related to my weight loss struggle were just these clues to her and she kept saying "yes, that makes sense".

Long story short, as odd as it sounds I'm really glad my doctor suggested surgery.  Yeah, it made me feel horrible but it was an amazing catalyst to get me to find someone else.  I don't know if she's going to be able to make my body work the way it should.  But I really would love it if she does though :)

I'm also really glad I got my blood work done.  My numbers were good but I definitely think they could be better. And I think working with this new doctor, I'll be able to get it done.

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30 Days to ... by JH is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.