Two Very Different Visits

stethescopeAfter my third child’s birth I lost my usual 15 pounds and was depressed to realize I would once again be gaining weight and heading further into the 300’s. I felt so out of control and incredibly unmotivated. In early ’97 I went to the doctor for a check-up. It was right after that visit that my desire met action and my weight loss efforts finally kicked in and I got started. It took me 14 months from that visit to lose 150 pounds.

Late the next spring I went back to the doctor for my annual exam. I hadn’t seen the doctor since my last embarrassment on the scale.

I walked up to the receptionist, signed the sheet and sat down. Only one other person was in the waiting room at the time, and he was soon called back. I waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, the door to the inner sanctum opened and the nurse stuck her head through the crack in the door. She looked at the chart, looked at me, glanced around the waiting room and shut the door. Confused, I looked anxiously at the door, wondering where she had gone. A few seconds later the door opened again and the same nurse called my name. As I was walking across the room towards her she said, “You are Diane aren’t you?” I nodded. She said, “I looked at the chart right before I came to get you and noticed the weight. When I opened the door and saw you sitting there I thought I had the wrong chart!”  I said, “I’ve lost some weight.”  “SOME WEIGHT!” she exclaimed, “I would say so.” This time, when I got on the scale I felt a feeling I had never felt before. I felt proud that I finally was the weight I should be. As we walked to the exam room, she told everyone she saw, “She lost 150 pounds!”  For a change, I didn’t mind that appointment!

The doctor just about fell off his chair when I told him I had lost weight using good old fashioned diet and exercise. He told me, “I honestly thought you would end up having to have some kind of surgical procedure, or just keep gaining weight.” Needless to say he was quite happy with me for a change.

Experiences like that help reinforce to me that weight lost and weight maintenance affect all the experiences we have in our lives. Although I didn’t put off going to the doctor because of my obesity, I do know people who do. I would encourage you to get regular check-ups, etc. Every time I visit the doctor these days I’m so thankful that despite any other problems I may have, obesity isn’t one of them. 

Question:  Have you ever avoided the doctor because of your weight?  Diane

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  1. What a great post! I always dread getting on the scale when I go to the doctor. But now I’m more proud about it because I have lost some weight. Although I did have one doctor that didn’t care that I had lost 20 lbs, she just said, “Keep going.” Like 20 lbs was nothing. I let doctors get the best of me sometimes and make me feel like a failure, but they don’t know the whole picture! I don’t let it stop me from going to the doctor though.
    .-= Alissa´s last blog ..Summer Challenge =-.

  2. If I hadn’t brought up my weight my doctor would have never said a thing. As it was after I did on subsequent visits he never brought it up unless I was actually in for that reason. I stopped liking him many years ago when I realized that docotrs should be more preventative maintenance instead of only reactionary fixer uppers.

  3. Wow, what a fantastic feeling that must have been…I also loved going places after losing weight and seeing the expressions on people’s faces….

    Never avoided Dr due to weight…as only suffered from my weight for 5 years and in those years I never needed a DR…thankfully!! ( or plainly avoided going )

    Re-comment in my blog
    If I’m teaching a beginners class I am the most patient teacher as I know that is the level of participant – but after 5 years of teaching the same group one would expect I would have brought them out of the beginner level and taken them into intermediate level…

  4. I think your doctor’s comment was kind of strange, though maybe it’s a bit out of context there. He said, “I honestly thought you would end up having to have some kind of surgical procedure, or just keep gaining weight.” What about helping you lose it without surgery? Or doing something other than sitting back and watching you keep gaining? That was a very strange comment to me, especially since it came from a doctor!
    .-= Tracey @ I’m Not Superhuman´s last blog ..Antisocial Behavior =-.

    • Tracy – it was strange. Throughout the years I was obese the doctors NEVER tried to help me lose weight. The only thing a doctor said one time was, “If you just ate a piece of chicken for dinner and took a walk you’d lose weight.” That was the extent of the medical advice I got.

      I think doctors now are a bit more proactive, but I’m not sure.

  5. I don’t think I avoided going to the doctors when I was way over weight but I was definetly embrassed by my weight when I had to weigh in. Like you Diane nobody ever tried to help me lose the weight.
    Now days the concern has been my blood pressure but it was down in the normal range even under stress last week at my dr’s appt. losing the 9 pounds I have has made a difference.
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Fitness Blogging Resumes =-.

  6. Yes. I put off my annual mole map one year because I just could not imagine being examined head to toe with just a little paper gown on. Sigh.
    .-= Karen@WaistingTime´s last blog ..42 Minutes =-.

  7. Diane, that “good” visit. How wonderful you must have felt!!! Very cool!
    .-= Jody – Fit at 52´s last blog ..What, Not Enough Time to Exercise!!?? =-.

  8. Well, I haven’t necessarily avoided the dr b/c of my weight, but I have many times avoided not looking at the scale, b/c I didn’t want to know what I weighed. I actually did that the last time I was there. Work in progress…
    But I’m happy for your experience. I’m sure it’s a really nice feeling. :-)

  9. Avoided the doctor? Hell, I avoided leaving the house many days. This is a great story Diane, and what this on-line community is all about.
    .-= Emergefit´s last blog ..Change: Strength, Strength, And The Difference Between The Two =-.

  10. Very proud and exciting visit! I have definitely avoided the doctor because of my weight. When I first started seeing my doc, I was only 128 lbs. At 200lbs, I was too embarrassed of my own self to go see him. I was afraid of what he was thinking of me. Now I just don’t get sick and haven’t had to see him in for ever! LOL.
    .-= Karyn´s last blog ..Hurry up! =-.

  11. Barbara says:

    I haven’t avoided seeing the doctor because of weight and the doctor has never mentioned my weight. I was about 35 lbs over weight so I guess they didn’t bother. But it bothered me and I worked on myself. Now I do have some health issues, but obesity and the whole set of complications that go with it, aren’t part of them. So I can relate to that part of your story.

  12. My last appointment with my gynecologist was an interesting one…it really perturbed me. I had lost about 30lbs since that last time I saw her. She commented on that, I informed her I was doing Weight Watchers and then she proceeded to push for me to see a nutritionist downstairs (this is student health). I had done that once before and the nutritionist was a moron. She lived only by the pyramid and couldn’t understand why my IBS was flaring up. In the end, it was too much insoluble fiber. Anyways, I was not happy with my gynecologist and her “suggestions.” A little praise and a “keep doing what you’re doing” would have been nice. Luckily, I won’t be a student much longer and I can go find my own doctor. I totally understand why someone would want to avoid the doctor if they are overweight!
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..No weight loss week 16 ~ Dave =-.

  13. Hi Diane – seriously, you ask the best questions.

    I did put off seeing my doc for quite a few years. Then when I finally did go b/c I had no choice, I wish I hadn’t waited. I now go (as obese as I am) every year, booking my physical in advance. My doc is very proactive,and isn’t a pill pusher/cutter. She is pro-WW, and very encouraging, but not pushy. I just count myself blessed to have her. I’m looking forward to seeing her this coming July, so she can weigh me, and see the weight I’ve lost this past year. :)
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..Good morning Puffy Face =-.

  14. The last time I went to my family physician before starting with my OB. He had put me on phentermine, which I took myself off of about 3 months before he wanted me to. His only comments to me were “I thought you wanted to finish losing your weight before you got pregnant” and “How long have you not been taking the pills – I know you stopped because you have put on a few pounds since your last visit.”
    Um…I actually LOST weight ON MY OWN the last time I had seen you, even more than I did ON THE PILLS….ever think I might have put on a few pounds because I am now Pregnant???
    The only other thing he mentioned was returning to him after the baby is born and we’d look into a lap band. I can’t wait to go back to him and hopefully have a jaw dropping experience like you did with your doctor. That is my dream!!
    .-= Pam´s last blog ..Happy Hump Day! =-.

  15. From what it sounds like, doctors don’t really get much training in preventive medicine and weight loss and nutrition – and all they seem to know how to do is hand out pills. Pretty sad… It did make me feel good when I went to see my gynecologist about 8 years after having my last baby and she was very complimentary about all the weight I had lost in the meantime (about 30 pounds) and said I looked fit and healthy and to keep doing what I was doing!
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..Most Wobbly Treadmill EVER! =-.

  16. Never avoided the doctor but BOY, DID I HATE THAT SCALE! :) Great story, Diane! So encouraging! :)
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..…May 3rd… =-.

  17. Great post Diane. I love it that you completely perplexed the medical staff.

    I “sort of” avoided doctors but, eventually, I had an allergic reaction and I had to face the music and Dr. Girlfriend certainly didn’t mince her words…
    .-= ‘Drea´s last blog ..No Shoes Required =-.

  18. Hmmm, no. I never actually avoided the docs, although I used to dread getting on his scale! And any exams (esp. the gynae stuff) were always more of a problem than they needed to be. Me… take some clothes off? Shudder!

    Sometimes though, I felt that whatever problem I had wasn’t taken seriously ‘because my weight was too high’… and rising.

    Still, it was a doctor who finally did listen to me when I said I was serious about losing a lot of weight. He got me an appointment with a dietician. She wasn’t all that much help (I always felt I actually knew more about food than she did) but at least a doctor had listened – not just dismissed the fat woman.
    .-= Deniz´s last blog ..Some days… =-.

  19. I have other medical conditions that are not related to my weight that made me go to the doctor but I would always push them off as long as possible. Now I enjoy doing in and having them tell me I’m normal and I am doing well.
    .-= Cynthia (It All Changes)´s last blog ..Sometimes Just Listen =-.

  20. I dread getting up on the scale at the doctor’s office.

    Last year in October, I had to go to the doctor’s office because of strep throat. They weighed me in. I weighed 324 pounds. I was horrified. I had never wanted to be 300 pounds let alone over 300 pounds. Finally in November I hit rock bottom and decided to do something about it. However, it wasn’t until the end of December (or just before New Year’s) that I actually started actually doing something about it.

    Great post!!

    .-= The Chubby Girl Diaries´s last blog ..Be realistic with your weight loss journey… =-.

  21. I get this all the time at the doctor. Before it was like, you are too fat and you need to lose weight – why not consider surgery? Now it’s like, wow, you have lost a lot of weight, which is OBVIOUSLY a very good thing (duh?).
    .-= Tony the Pink Panda´s last blog ..Tony, You Don’t Need to Lose Any More Weight =-.

  22. I don’t avoid doctors because of weight. I choose alternative healing methods instead . I do not believe in the management of symptoms through chemicals, but rather the healing through the treatment of the root cause. I have lost numerous family members to the “treatment” methods with modern medicine and have been mis-diagnosed often enough to do everything in my power to totally avoid mainstream medicine.Your own experience with your doctor’s amazement at your weight loss through common sense kind of illustrates what I believe to be so totally wrong with conventional medicine.
    .-= Diane´s last blog ..Wonders will never cease =-.

  23. Almost my entire life, I’ve dreaded the doctor because of my weight. No more! Might dread her for other reasons, but never that…never again! One of the best NSV’s. :)
    .-= Sunny´s last blog ..Change, She is a Comin! =-.

  24. My doctor has been trying to help me lose weight for years. I listen to all of the advice, but not just until recently have I started to actually use it. I do not avoid the doc, but sometimes (since the scale is right in the hallway where everyone can see!!) I have refused to get on the scale.

    That must have been a wonderful day for you! :)
    It was sure inspiring to hear about!

  25. That is such a great feeling. I just had it happen when I went to see my endocrinologist, he looked at the chart and looked again and then said you’ve lost some weight. Yes finally someone noticed.

    Hope your family is surving the floods I’ve been watching the news about the rains in TN and wonderd how you all were doing.
    .-= cindy´s last blog ..SMILE =-.

  26. That is a freaking great visit if you ask me!! I agree with Tracey’s comment, it was an extremely weird comment coming from your doctor. It is a shame to think that medical professionals have such little faith in their patients that they automatically assume surgery is the answer to their weigh problems. Help a little! Don’t just chalk it up to surgery!!

  27. What an awesome story! I love it so much :-) It’s going to make my whole day happy!
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..More than halfway to goal!!! =-.

  28. I loved reading that story. You have had an amazing journey.

    I have avoided seeing the Dr because I didn’t want to face the scale and the weight gain!
    .-=´s last blog ..This Little Piggy =-.

  29. LOL, no never because of weight. I do avoid doctors however :-) because they like to tell you things that scare you! Once this happened to me, I became very careful not to do that to my patients unless it was needed to motivate change, not for a very rare possible diagnosis over the common ones.
    .-= Dr. J´s last blog ..Lab Notes: DC Approves Medical Marijuana; Parents Say New Pampers Dry Max Diapers Dangerous =-.

  30. I had one midwife give me a hard time about my weight during pregnancy (then she got mad when I didn’t GAIN enough!) and she was excited for me when she saw I’d lost some weight, but the very gradual creep of progress for me tends to help me avoid the notice of the medical establishment. So few of them comment on it, loss or gain, with me. I don’t know why, except that maybe I have always projected happiness and confidence and it kept them from bringing up the topic?

    Either way, what a nice, satisfying feeling to show the doctor up – especially given what he was thinking and NOT saying!
    .-= Taryl´s last blog ..Itty bitty bloggy hiatus =-.

  31. Awww, this is a great story Diane :) That must have been such a proud moment!
    .-= Lara (Thinspired)´s last blog ..Cinco de Compromise =-.

  32. Diane- absolutely! I avoided the gyn, my cardiologist, and even going in for a flu shot because they always weigh you in. I finally just went and saw everyone last fall and determined that the next time I saw them, I would weigh considerably less. It was also nice to see them at the beginning of the journey because they did tests to tell me that everything was just fine (thyroid, liver, kidneys, heart) so just go forth and get fit! They’ll be happy when I see them again in the fall!

  33. No I haven’t avoided the doctor. But it’s so interesting when people see you after not seeing you for a long time. ‘Umm, Michelle?’ they’d query. Yep, that’s me :) It was such a surprise I think for some people, but I understand that for many people the idea that someone could lose the weight and keep it off is so shocking…because so many people don’t do it.
    .-= Michelle @ Eatingjourney´s last blog ..Are You An “A,B,C or D” Type? =-.