I’ve struggled with my weight ever since my senior year of high school.
For this, I blame working at Burger King. Fresh french fries on demand and creamy milkshakes are not good for anyone’s waistline. Ha! However, usually I was able to get back to where I wanted without working too hard to achieve my goal.
When my wedding dress didn’t button up the back just weeks from the big day, I embarked on a strict regimen of eating only salads and walking a ton until it fit again. With my four pregnancies, I was usually able to lose the baby weight and to get back to my normal range within a year or so. With my last child, two years postpartum, I could easily fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes and some of my jeans even fit better.
I’ve never been super skinny but I’ve always been comfortable in my skin.
That All Changed About a Year Ago…
Last fall, when I attempted to put on my jeans that had always fit, they didn’t. Neither did several others. I chalked it up to pre-menstrual bloat and didn’t worry about it. I had chucked my bathroom scale into the garbage several years ago. I bet I’m not the only one who has done so or at least has been severely tempted to. The only way I had to gauge my weight was by how my clothes fit and how I felt.
In December, when I braved stepping on my friend’s scale, I saw an outrageous number. One that I’d only seen when pregnant. I was still in denial though, big time. In fact, I adamantly insisted that my friend’s scale must be broken! However, I started noticing that more of my clothes didn’t fit right anymore and I hated how I looked in pictures. I also noticed that I was foggy headed and tired all the time, so I wanted to figure out what was wrong.
The Doctor Visit
In January, I made an appointment with my primary care physician and requested that he order a full thyroid panel before the visit. It seemed as if I had signs of hypothyroidism, an overactive thyroid condition.
I had the blood test. Then I went to see the doctor, who told me that my thyroid numbers were in the normal range. I’ve learned since then that your thyroid can be working improperly even if your numbers appear normal.
When he saw that according to their scale, I had gained about 30 lbs. in 14 months, he asked whether I wanted “to sign up for a class on portion control.”
He said this to me without even asking me what my eating and exercise patterns were. I’ve always been a pretty healthy eater. I don’t indulge in fast food or eat lots of sweets and junk. I also exercise regularly. Many days, I even forget to eat if I’m super busy.
“I really don’t think that is the issue,” I said. “In fact, lots of days I probably don’t eat enough calories.”
His Take on My Weight
He then responded with, “Yeah. Most people say that, but when I ask them what they have for breakfast, their response is 12 eggs and 6 strips of bacon.”
You can imagine all the jokes in my household now whenever we are out of eggs.
I was appalled that he was talking to me like that. He wasn’t listening to me, he wasn’t questioning me to find out what could be wrong. He was simply looking at the number on the scale and judging me as a woman who lacked will power over food.
I told him, “I really don’t think that is the problem, what else could it be?”
“Well, it could be cancer or a liver problem,” he said. Don’t you love his compassion and tact? “Most women think it’s a hormone problem, but that’s usually not the case.” I found out later that he was wrong.
I left his office in tears and called two of my best friends to vent about how mistreated and confused I felt.
Finding a Silver Lining
I can say one thing, though, about my visit to Dr. Dreadful. He lit a spark in me to prove him wrong. I was not lazy nor did I need to learn about portion control. The problem was deeper than that.
Since that visit, I’ve researched how hormones affect my ability to lose weight and how hormonal imbalances can even cause me to gain weight. What I discovered has amazed me. What I’ve learned has really helped me! I’m sharing my story and research in hopes that it may help others.
This is the first in a two-part series. Tomorrow, I write about my own research and what ultimately has worked for me.