Friday, July 13, 2012

Not what I wanted to hear: Visit with my endocrinologist

I had a visit with my endocrinologist today. I was stressed out for several days before the appointment that he was going to give me a big weight lecture, so I went ahead and brought it up first.  He went back through his notes for the two years I have been a patient.  He looked at my weight (which, despite my conviction that it has gone steadily upward over this time, had actually stayed fairly stable). He looked at my blood pressure, which has been good. He looked at my doctor notes from the other doctors in the Toledo Clinic system, since they can all share data.  He looked at my labs.

He told me something that wasn't quite what I wanted to hear, but in my heart I think he's right. "There is something to be said for accepting the reality of your genetics." He said that I am actually doing well. He told me about a Danish twin study that found that adopted children resembled their birth parents, not their adoptive ones, in weight.  He said that it was no excuse to give up on my efforts to be healthy, eat right, and exercise. He said that chances are, if I wasn't working this hard, I would have gained instead of staying within four pounds of my weight two years ago.

It was all very kind. He said that of course, I could "become obsessive about it" and beat my genetics but it would be difficult and probably not very fun.

I guess the question is how much more I am willing to do. If I'm willing to do more to maintain a thinner weight, I can. If I am happy with my current lifestyle, this is probably the way I will look.  I can work at being more active and more consistent with my planned exercise. I can regulate my diet a little more strictly. But I do want to be able to have a splurge now and then. I have been telling myself that I should focus more on my behaviors than on my weight on the scale. It's probably time to really do that. For real, and not just "I'll pretend I'm not paying attention to the scale and see if that works."

I am getting a higher dose of thyroid medicine. I am also cleared to fill it as a generic instead of taking Synthroid, which costs 6 times as much, because the latest studies show the name brand has no proven benefit over the generic.  He didn't think any of my other meds -- the birth control, the allergy meds -- were the problem. I am still going to talk to the allergist, but I'm less hopeful that will be the magic bullet.

I was telling my husband about this, and said that "I guess what I really wanted for him to do was say, 'Oh, you really want to lose weight? Let me get the magic pill I keep in the storeroom. I was just waiting for you to ask.'"

You mean there is no magic? Rats!


  1. This is sort of the conclusion that I have come to, as well. Both my parents seem to carry weight in their midsection. That said, I am healthier than I have ever been (and am not on prescriptions for BP, cholesterol or sugar, etc.)...I am strong and eat very healthfully (emotional overeating aside, which I am getting better and better at catching myself at...okay that's a poorly constructed sentence but I don't feel like fixing it LOL). I am focused on what I want, which is health, strength, contentedness, joy...and I've been able to maintain the 40 to 50-pound weight loss I achieved several years ago.

  2. You know, I wish my doctor had told me this 20 years ago. Here I am, old enough to be your mother and still struggling, still looking for the magic, still thinking if only I did THIS or THAT I could get back to where I once was.

    But where I once was (a normal BMI at 135 lbs.) lasted about five minutes. The weight has steadily crept back on and I've been maintaining the gain for years now.

    Accepting what IS and not fighting it just might be the magic. If not for weight loss, then for peace of mind. Kudos to your doctor.


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07