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Say What?

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

So, I went to the endocrinologist today. You won't believe what he said. I'm having a hard time believing what he said!

I walked in with my labs. He glanced at them, glanced at my paperwork and said "so you're here because....?" I said that I'd been diagnosed with insulin resistance about 10 years ago, I've had increasingly hard time losing weight, haven't been feeling good for awhile and I'm tired of being tired. He asked what I'd done to try to lose weight. I told him, WW. Supervised medical fast. Exercise. Counting calories. Jenny Craig.

And he said......

"You know, I just became a distributor for Medifast, it's a great program and you should give it a try!!" I said, um well, I've done one supervised fast and it was the same problem, I can lose about 20 pounds but then it stops. His response?

"Oh but the food is really good now!" and went on about what options there were with food and how tasty it is now. I replied, look I can't afford it.

For the next 40 min he asked me all the questions I had already filled out on the paperwork in front of him (which he did not look at). He looked over my labs and said "well, it's all within normal limits". He asked me if I tracked my food/exercise and when I mentioned Spark, promptly told me "all those programs grossly overestimate your calorie burn and calorie intake. Mostly useless".

He mentioned Medifast 22 times. I counted. At the end, when I again, firmly said I can't afford that, he said......

"Well, if you won't try Medifast, then I want you to cut your calories to 600-800 a day, eating 100 to 200 calories at a feeding. (he kept using the word feeding, which I found bizarre). I also want you to cut your exercise out for about a month, because you are going to be really hungry and working out will just make it worse. After about three weeks or so, you're body will start to burn fat. How about you come back in two months and we'll see how you're doing. If you decide to try the Medifast, just give me a call and I'll get you hooked up."

Honest to God. That's what my appointment consisted of. The 30 min drive back to the office, I alternated between being angry, being flabbergasted and feeling despair. I talked to a trusted friend, and I talked to my partner. Both were pretty horrified at his suggestions.

Hell, I'm horrified at his suggestions! Really? You want me to stop exercising for a month and starve myself on 600-800 calories a day? I lost 2 hours of work and paid you a copay to hear that "advice"?

So now, I'm thinking, what's next? What do I do next, where do I want to go. I believe strongly that I need to do exactly what I'd been doing, cutting wheat/grains, processed foods, etc. I need to eat 6 small meals a day, and I need to keep exercising. I need to be patient and I need to celebrate the small things like feeling my stomach lose the bloat I get from wheat/processed foods. Maybe I'll never lose all this weight, but I'll feel good.

Hours after the appointment, I'm still shaking my head and thinking, really?? Is this a joke? am I on Candid Camera? Wow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NAYPOOIE 6/6/2012 8:17PM

    Obviously, he's making money from it. I would definitely go elsewhere, he's not that concerned about you.

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IAMFRANSGIRL 6/6/2012 10:48AM

    Wow! I'm so sorry you had such a nincompoop for a doctor. Good luck and stay strong.

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    That's insane! I'm happy for him that he's a distributor of Medifast, but that doesn't make it right for you. If you said no, then that's it - no. AND what kind of doctor recommends not exercising?!? Excuse me, but WTFudge? If you're still angry, I'd agree in reporting him. That's not okay, and he needs a little more education.

P.S. SparkPeople works just fine, as you know. You can adjust it to what your doctor recommends. If he'd try it, he'd already know that.


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SUSIEQ911 6/6/2012 8:46AM

    All I can say is WOW!

I'm sorry that you had a bad experience.

I also read your follow up blog and even I'm anxious to know what your PCP says.

Stay strong and stick to your plan. And remember we're all here if you need someone to talk to or talk you down. My suggestion is that you do a ton of research. Read everything you can get your hands on.


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EGALITAIRE 6/6/2012 12:34AM

    Hey - I know very little of your situation - only read of a couple of your recent blogs, so not really qualified comment. I can say my personal opinion is that professionals in all areas work for us and we can demand/expect a high quality of service. Which means we may have to kiss a lot frogs before finding the person who fulfills our needs. I think it is incumbent upon each of us to keep trying - our health is too important to either leave in the hands of the incompetent or misguided or to give up on the process.

Which also means it is incumbent upon us to educate ourselves in alternatives and not just accept conventional wisdom. You have already reduced sugars and wheat which is probably a very good start. Continue researching and tweaking your nutritional plan.

If you haven't looked into it yet, I would recommend visiting Mark Sisson's blog at and read some of his information about diabetes, insulin, metabolic syndrome, etc.

Gary Taubes' book "Why We Get Fat .... " is also a good source of alternative information.

Stay Strong

Comment edited on: 6/6/2012 7:51:46 AM

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GRACEMCDOG 6/6/2012 12:29AM

    What???? That's just inexcusable. I would report him to the medical board, too. He sounds like a quack...and it's alarming that your PCP recommended this guy as the best around. That low calorie intake is deadly for someone in your position. What that would do is jack up your reverse T3 and you wouldn't be able to lose any weight at all because your body would go into starvation mode and hold onto every molecule of glucose and fat for dear life. Literally. I just looked up Medifast and came across soy, wheat, and...fructose! as ingredients in their food. The stuff is crap and it's low fat/low carb...a recipe for disaster and failure. I'm so sorry for your disappointment. That's just awful.

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BECKYSRN 6/5/2012 10:19PM

    I would find another endocrinologist. This guy is ******* loony tunes! How dare he try to push something on you so he can make money? You should report him to your state medical board.

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Today's the Day....

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Today is the appointment with the endocrinologist to talk about my metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance, possible polycystic ovary syndrome, basically 'pre-diabetes' stuff).

Why am I nervous? Well, I have about 25 years of unsuccessful attempts to get help.

In the late 80s, when I was having periods that would last 48 days, stop for 12 days and start again....I heard "oh, there's something wrong! we'll get to the bottom of this!". Thousands of dollars and everything "within normal limits" later - the neurologist they sent me to handed me an Rx for lithium and said I was "depressed or maybe bioplar". After two 10 min visits, he is qualified to tell me I'm bipolar???? Well, maybe I was depressed, but if HE had had periods that never stopped, betcha he'd have been depressed too! (later longterm work with a psychologist told me no, I was definitely not bipolar, I had PTSD).

When I went to the doctor saying I couldn't lose weight, was tired all the time, etc. and got my initial diagnosis of insulin resistance/metabolic syndrome, they did blood work. When I came back, the doc said "you have insulin resistance. It's basically prediabetes and you're at a greater risk for stroke or heart disease." I said, what do I do? and as she walked out, she said "lose weight". That was 10 years ago, and I've been trying - unsuccessfully - to lose weight ever since.

18 months ago, a doctor (who unfortunately left the area) DID give me some reasons: My hormones are out of whack, I have way too much estrogen. If I don't control my carbs, the insulin resistance is going to continue pretty much unchecked.

So what am I worried about? I'm worried he will want a million dollars worth of blood work to tell me "there's nothing wrong with you" or as the one doc did, say "lose weight" as he walks out the door. I. Can't. Seem. To. Lose. Weight. That's why I'm here.....Will he (like the one doctor who listened) say the only way to help myself was to go to a radically different diet (no grains, no potato, no rice)? While I've managed to cut a lot of that out, cutting it 100% has proven very difficult for me. I end up having one of those daily, despite my best intentions, or because of a very tight budget, I'm having a bowl of cereal for dinner kinda stuff.

Of course, I'm not losing weight doing it either. It would be motivating to keep working hard at it if I was losing. But to work freaking hard and lose nothing for weeks in a row? Very difficult to maintain my motivation.

Sooo. I'm a little nervous. On top of the warning by my primary care that he didn't want me to mention that I'm gay to him...because, and I quote, "He's really the best in town at what he does, but I'll be honest he's sort of a jerk and he's very conservative. I don't want him to treat you differently because you're gay".

Really? Gee, no that doesn't make me the least bit nervous. There are other endocrinologists in my town, but not covered under my insurance. I figure, I'll go to this guy to start and only have to pay a copay. If he is intolerable, I'll save up the $$ to go to the ones that aren't covered by my plan.

But it's all combining, the history of no help and the warning to not be myself, have me ...... nervous. I'm sure I'll be letting y'all know how it went, LOL....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRACEMCDOG 6/5/2012 1:24PM

    I know you're on the Wheat Belly team here so I'm assuming you read the book and are familiar with Dr. Davis. I read his FB forum page a lot and he writes directly to people there almost every day. He seems like a really good guy, honest and sincerely desiring to be a healer and a help to people. I am always surprised at the blatantly negative things he has to say about endocrinologists and their typical ignorance and ineffectual approach to the medical problems you've written about yourself. I don't mean to say anything discouraging to you (lord knows none of us need any more of THAT!!!!) but...just saying...please don't let this doctor throw you for a loop because, chances are, besides being a bigoted individual he's probably not going to be able to give you good advice medically.
If you can bring yourself to read through Dr. Jack Kruse's blog articles I think you may find some information that will be helpful to you. Sometimes his writing is so technical I have to read it through 3 or 4 times before I begin to feel like I'm 'getting' it. And prepare to have to google or use Wikipedia to look up terms and acronyms. His site is called The Quilt and it's at Also, if you haven't checked out Mark's Daily Apple, Mark Sisson's blog, there is so much great information there. And also go to Jimmy Moore's podcast site Livin' La Vida Low Carb and select some interviews to listen to. I haven't seen you mention a thyroid problem but I'm guessing, from what I've read, that you probably have low thyroid function. If so, is one of the best resource sites for that. I's such a lot to face but the information you need to put your personal health puzzle together are out there if you are willing to do the work to put it all together. Not easy, for sure. I'm really hoping you'll get some good info from this doc you're seeing today. Please let us know how it went.

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SUSIEQ911 6/5/2012 9:10AM

    I agree, stand your ground!

I hope his "conservativeness" is limited. We all deserve the best care and he needs to keep his personal views out of medicine.

I would think there would be someone you could report to if he does try to treat you differently. And if you have to find another dr maybe you can talk to your insurance company and explain the problem with the dr and they can help.

Good luck today! emoticon

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BECKYSRN 6/5/2012 8:57AM

    Hope your appointment goes well.
As to the weight loss--you said that you haven't lost, but have you had any other signs of getting in a little better shape....more toning, lose an inch here or there, or something? That would be encouraging as well.
And you're true to yourself, which is the only thing that matters.

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1CRAZYDOG 6/5/2012 8:48AM

    Oh my dear . . . stand your ground. You are much more than a # . . . you need to be heard, your SYMPTOMS need to be heard loud and clear . . . those are more important than the bloody #'s! I went through that, too. I just said, "Alrighty then, it's normal to feel like death, have a pulse in the 40's, loosing gobs of hair, NOT have the energy to do ANYTHING for me or my family) but my labs are alright. Well, I am NOT alright!" Finally did find an endo who listened. Started my thyroid med right away. The other piece of the puzzle . . . my type 2 diabetes . . . went undiagnosed far too long, but now with those two hormonal imbalances squared away I HAVE lost the weight! My main message . . . it's NOT your fault!

I will say, however, that you're going to have to be a little open minded re: your diet. Type 2 diabetes IS a carb intolerance, so if you eat simple carbs (white rice, white flour, white rice, processed foods), it WILL affect your blood sugars, which will affect your insulin levels, which will cause the vicious cycle of hunger, eat, hunger, eat.

Take it a step-at-a-time. My dear, if you advocate for yourself, you'll be on a road to a healthier existence.

For what it's worth, I think it's TERRIBLE for a Dr. to be morally judgmental on any issue like sexuality! We are NOT all clones. Thank goodness there is such diversity in this world!

Hugs, and wishing you luck.

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Charity 5k, check!

Sunday, June 03, 2012

I walked a charity 5K this a.m., Heaven Can Wait - a fundraising walk for a local breast cancer program. Along with roughly 4,000 others, I walked a 5K (3.1 mile) course.

I've done this walk probably 5 years in a row. This was the first year I didn't train very well for it...and wow, did I hurt when it was done! Definitely felt some regret that I hadn't been diligent in training. But, it's done and after a couple Advil and a nap, I'm mostly recovered.

Finally got that hair cut I've needed so badly, and feel better already! Those simple acts of self care really do add up...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TERRYT55 6/4/2012 8:00PM

    YAY for you, Lisa! I need to do a race too........

I had my hair cut last Friday and I felt so good. You are right self care acts do add up!

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IAMFRANSGIRL 6/4/2012 11:13AM


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HEALTHY4ME 6/3/2012 8:55PM

    I do my first charity walk next sunday a 5k for arthritis. CONGRATS!

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Do You Feel Pretty?

Saturday, June 02, 2012

If you're a woman - "pretty" might have loaded meanings.

Is it the trappings of trying to fit into a patriarchal society? Is it vanity? Is it the stereotype of femininity? Is it trying to keep a deathgrip on youth in a society obsessed with youth?

When I was young, I loved all things makeup and beauty. Adored it, enjoyed it, I liked using cosmetics, playing with my hair, etc.

Then I came out as lesbian, and the very first lesbian friend I made had very different views. She felt using makeup and fussing with your hair was only for women trying to attract men's attention. She suggested I cut my hair, stop using makeup etc.

I tried, but that didn't last LOL.

Today, I'm back to the makeup and long hair I love.

Except, sometimes, I don't feel pretty. Yes, yes, beauty comes from within. Blah blah blah.

As a woman pushing life is changing. My kids are growing up, 2 of the 4 are adults living their own lives away from me. The teens left in the house enjoy poking fun at how old I am (Civil war and dinosaur jokes, etc).

This week as I've looked in the mirror, I see aging. My hair desperately needs to be colored - the gray roots blink like strobe lights under the fluorescent lights in the restrooms at my work. The fine lines - from laughter and worry - are clearly visible to me.

I've not felt pretty lately. The beginnings of menopause are changing my skin, and I often wonder "who is that?" when I look in the mirror. My face is no longer young and taut...but softer.

My weight doesn't help things.

I'm not a vain person. I don't base my self worth on my appearance, usually anyway. I'm living my life as fully as possible - today. Wrinkles, weight, graying hair, and all.

I wondered this a.m., what would make me feel pretty? Well, my nail polish is a few specks on some fingers...I could re do that. I could make the time to get my hair cut so that I could color it and not have my eye drawn to the gray every time I see a mirror. I could make sure that clothes I feel good in are clean and pressed and ready for next week.

Love myself as I am? Well, that's been a lifelong project and it's not over yet.

Thanks for sticking through to the end of my thinking out loud on being "pretty". Tell me, if you lasted through the whole thing, what makes you feel pretty? If you're a guy, you can tell me what makes you feel good about your appearance. Or what makes you feel pretty if you're that kind of guy, too. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PIDJEN 7/30/2012 9:52PM

    I am so glad I came across your blog post! The "pretty" question is one I'm asking myself about lately. I was down to my goal weight two years ago, but have since gained the weight back. The issue is that I've never really felt terribly bad about my body, so whether I'm at my heaviest or my most slender, I still basically feel the same inside--just kind of in the land of in-between--not to bad, not too good, but ok.

When I've felt my prettiest hasn't ever depended on my weight, but like you, I do love playing with make-up. I feel at my prettiest when I have my face played up with pigmented eye shadows and liner (I love mineral makeup powders--so easy and colorful), and I feel wonderful in the perfect shade of blush.

And, I always feel at my prettiest when I have super short hair--even though my husband doesn't necessarily like my short hair--I know he prefers it long. I just feel perkier with short hair, more energetic, more playful, and THAT is what makes me feel at my prettiest. It's that energy factor.

I don't always "love myself as I am", that's for sure. I still feel chunky, I feel like I'm quite a clumsy person, and I can point out a hundred physical flaws (at least). But, even when I have the extra weight, putting some color on my face, some sheer lip gloss, and getting my hair cut short makes me feel confident, energetic and funny, and those things make me feel pretty, or at least pretty enough. :)

Also, I think you're lovely, for what it's worth! :)

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TERRYT55 6/4/2012 8:12PM

    I do feel pretty! I think being thinner and much more fit help so much. I think when you feel well it's easier to feel pretty......maybe the feeling is coming from the inside and making me feel pretty on the inside. I have no idea if this made sense........loved your blog!

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GOPINTOS 6/3/2012 5:28PM

    I am starting to again. Feel like wearing something other than the biggest baggiest whatever I can find. It is funny though, still in some plus sizes but it just feels different for some reason. Recently I have bought a couple new shirts, the other day some new under garments, and they just look nice and gives me more confident which exudes more sensual/sexuality. Confidence alone is a sexy attribute. Sexy and pretty are too different things, but I am getting both back :)


Smile and Enjoy the Rest of Your Day!
Melinda (gopintos)
Wheat Belly Team

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HISTORYRUNNER 6/3/2012 12:55PM

    No Regret, an honest and interesting post. Thank you.

GraceMcDog, I'm curious about how you would have to overcompensate with other women. Does that mean you felt you'd have to be overly friendly or complimentary of their appearance, or am I missing something?

Here is one guy's perspective on what makes me feel good about my appearance. To me, if I'm on my exercise and nutrition, then my body feels good, and I feel good about how I look. I don't have a weight problem, but it's mostly about whether things feel balanced and healthy inside or not. I don't have to dress up for work so I am pretty casual (but clean) about how I dress. The only thing I'm somewhat self-conscious about is some psoriasis that I have been battling for years. I try not to unveil too much to the rest of the world.

Hope this helps! emoticon

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GRACEMCDOG 6/2/2012 4:03PM

    Nicely written piece. Pretty? Hmm. There were times in my life when I both loved and hated how pretty I was. It got me a lot of attention. But it also caused most people to make wild assumptions about me that, if they got to know me, they would discover were based only on preconceived prejudices, i.e., a beautiful woman is never intelligent or witty or NOT self-centered. I hated how my physicality caused many men and some women to immediately objectify me sexually. I hated always feeling that I needed to overcompensate with other women so they wouldn't envy, resent, dislike me. Once you hit 50 or so, especially if you're overweight, you become invisible. That took some getting used to but now, most of the time, I love how liberating it is to exist outside the game of Attraction Power Politics. I care absolutely NOTHING for clothes, jewelry, makeup (maybe wear a little once a year or less). I LOVE my silvery hair and would never even consider doing anything to alter it to make me look younger. My wrinkles don't phase me. But I hate being fat and not feeling healthy. Health, being slender and strong and feeling really good are everything to me at this stage of my life. I chose to live in a very rural setting, work physically hard on our property for as long as I am able and work with dogs. My designer clothes are all gathering dust at the back of my closet. I never think about feeling pretty or attractive. That part of my life is in the past. I am grateful that I am as fit and healthy as I am at 61 and enjoying, as my friend Norah says, embracing my inner crone.

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ALIHIKES 6/2/2012 12:17PM

    Interesting blog post! I do like to try to look my best -- hair colored and styled, clothes that fit and flatter my figure, and light make up on. I have strong features, and as I've gotten older with more lines on my face, I'm aiming to look as nice as I can (short of heavy makeup and plastic surgery!). I don't think I've ever felt "pretty" but I try for "attractive" and "friendly".

Loved your belly dance video!

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SUZBOISANNE 6/2/2012 10:42AM

    Hmmmm.... being thinner makes me feel good inside and out. I love to wear nice clothes and do my hair and make-up. I like to take pride in my appearrance. It could be some vanity in there too :) But I figure why not look as good as I can if that makes me happy and confident?
It's part of taking good care of myself..... physically, emotionally and spiritually. Enjoy your day!!!

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So, this is me, bellydancing

Monday, May 28, 2012

I post this because I want other large women to know, YES you can too bellydance!

I've been working on the costume, and this was a run through to help me see what else needs to happen with it before the second week in June. The dance? I had a hard time remembering the choreo, LOL. I can see myself thinking thinking thinking....

Is this my best ever performance? Nope. But here it is anyway. If you are obese, or you are over 40, or you have some reason that you are NOT doing the things you dream it anyway. Life is short. Just do it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TERRYT55 6/12/2012 8:47PM

    I watched this video days ago and realized that I never made a comment. You are a fabulous dancer, look terrific and are beyond brave! I can't imagine putting myself "out there" like you do and being judged too. You ROCK, Lisa

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KATCHAGIRL 5/30/2012 12:14PM

    THAT WAS FREAKIN' AWESOME!!!! :) You ROCK!! Thanks for putting a big smile on my face this morning!!! Very cool. Keep it up and I LOVE the outfit, very nice.

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SHAMILTON311 5/28/2012 9:31PM

    That looks like a lot of fun. You looked very professional,just how I pictured a belly dancer, and the costume was gorgeous, too.

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IAMFRANSGIRL 5/28/2012 11:17AM

    Thanks so much for sharing, I know it wasn't easy and you're amazingly brave to put yourself out there like that!
I left a comment at the youtube link. You totally rock!

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GLITTER60 5/28/2012 10:16AM

    sounds like fun. life is about enjoy yourself.

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KELLYDRESCHER 5/28/2012 9:49AM

    Look at how strong your body is! That's awesome. The smile on your face is worth it all. You look so happy out there. Kudos!

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