I’ve been working on losing weight lately. And by working on, I mean cutting back on as many carbs as possible, taking a Zumba class once a week, and going for the occasional walk around my neighborhood. In the past 4 months or so, I have lost 10 pounds. Nothing drastic, and I still have a good 30-40 to go in order to be a “healthy weight” (i.e. pre-first baby), but it’s better than the direction it had been going previously, which was up. No bueno.
Last week I had a doctor’s appointment. A yearly checkup for my girly bits that, honestly, I had not had in over 3 years. And yes, I know, I know. But I got busy and it just never seemed that important. But, finally I bit the bullet and called for an appointment. Unfortunately, my normal doctor (who I had not seen in years but had gone to every year prior for about 10) would not be available for many months. Knowing that I needed to get in there, I told them I would take anyone available. A midwife was available. They assured me that she could do everything the doctor could do for this type of appointment, so I said fine.
One of my least favorite parts of a physical is all of the preliminary info they need to gather before the doctor sees you. Blood pressure, height and, most significantly, weight. I do not like stepping on that scale, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that feeling. But, it is required, so you do what you must. Obviously, I had to take off my big clunky shoes before stepping on the scale, as they weigh a good 5 pounds themselves. The doctor’s office scale showed me to be about 3 pounds more than my home scale. But then again, I was fully clothed and it was in the afternoon, after I had eaten a small, but still significant, lunch (at least, that’s what I’m telling myself).
Once situated in the exam room, covered by that oh so fancy paper blanket, the midwife entered and introduced herself. After the preliminary introductions, one of the first things she asked me is what my fitness routine was and whether I ate healthily. I told her what type of activities I do, and said that I was indeed trying to eat healthily, mostly eating fruits, veggies, salad and fish. Although, the occasional chicken nugget and tater tot may sneak in when I’m making dinner for the kids. She then told me that I should really try to keep as active as possible and stay away from the tater tots if possible, because . . .
You want to be careful to avoid diabetes, heart disease and other complications from being overweight.
I was momentarily taken aback. For a minute, I thought she was punking me. Either that, or I was on some sort of new Biggest Loser Candid Camera reality show, and that Jillian Michaels was going to jump out from behind the curtain and tell me to give her 20!
Because, while I am admittedly overweight, I am nowhere near obese. Those are the words you use for someone who is dangerously close to having health issues because of their weight. Not to someone who just has some extra pounds to lose, and is actively attempting to do so. I was shocked. And then I was angry.
Towards the end of the exam, she once again brought up weight loss, and “helpfully” suggested that I might try weight watchers, as she had “heard that works for a lot of (her) patients.” This, coming from someone who weighs 98 pounds and who’s waist I could encompass with one hand!
Yes, oh scrawny one, I am familiar with Weight Watchers. I lost 30 pounds prior to my wedding on that program. When I calculate what I’ve eaten in a day, my mind still goes back to the “points” that are contained in the foods I consumed. You could say that Weight Watchers and I are intimately acquainted, thanks.
At this point, I informed her that I had lost 10 pounds in the past few months, to which she seemed surprised. Yes, twiggy, because I’m a big fat ass that is obviously scarfing down Big Macs and fries from Mickey D’s while sitting my massive derriere on a hoveround, tooling through the aisles of Walmart, throwing party sized Funyuns and 2 liter sodas in my cart.
Once I had a day or two to let this whole experience settle, and was able to ruminate on this “medical professional’s” advice, I decided that she was right. Oh no, not about the Diabetes or Heart Disease, because seriously. But, she was right that I could be doing more to be active and lose the excess weight.
So, I decided to take a page from my friend Andrea’s playbook. She had recently started wearing a pedometer and walking every single day. At the end of each day, she would tally her steps and post them on Facebook. And not only was she walking and counting her steps, she had taken it a step further. She created an entire walking outfit . . . complete with cape and chest symbol! She was like a Walking Superman. A Walkman!!
Seeing her progress, I decided to become more proactive with my walking as well, and took a very brisk walk around the neighborhood twice last week. Twice!! As opposed to the previous week’s tally of . . . zero. Yeah.
Maybe it will go better if I also get myself a cape. Not sure I’m ready for the lycra walking suit quite yet, though.