I promised in my last post that I’d share my own experience with the never ending “Weight Gain Battle” because I’ve been “At that Age” as long as I can recall.
The “Weight Gain Battle” is a topic that interrupts our world everyday. Think about it. EVERYDAY! WEIGHT comes up in casual conversations, our thoughts, a doctor’s appointment, a billboard, television, advertisements, the gym……Below are a few comments I hear from others in some form every day.
- Ughhh. I need to lose a few pounds.
- My annual physical is coming up soon. I know my doctor is going to tell me AGAIN that I need to lose weight.
- Vacation is around the corner. I still need to lose ?? pounds.
- I’ll get back to my diet on Monday.
- People decide losing weight is a must around special occasions such as Weddings, Class Reunions, Vacations, Birthdays, etc. versus choosing to live every day in Healthy Mode.
The “Weight Gain Battle” does not discriminate. It invades OUR lives no matter our lifestyle, skin color, how many kids we’ve had or not, our race, culture, etc.
Being over weight is not just about the extra pounds you carry, It’s about putting yourself at risk for serious illnesses and diseases.
Some of you have battled with weight gain your entire life. Others don’t experience struggles with weight gain until later in life. I personally have had to work hard at maintaining a healthy weight my entire life. My battle turned into a regular part of my life. It’s just as routine as brushing my teeth twice a day everyday. However, the battle began to feel less like a battle and more like a wonderful part of my life with time. I loved how I felt after a fitness class, tennis match or a walk in the park. On the other hand, the “Battle” feeling did come back during times when changes in my body made it harder to get the results I wanted.
A small amount of weight gain can turn into much more if we don’t go to war with it sooner than later. You can Win the “Weight Gain Battle”! You can Look Good! More importantly, winning the “Weight Gain Battle” and maintaining a Healthy Weight brings US so much more than just looking good. It brings us energy. It extends our lives by lowering our risks to many Cancers, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes and the list goes on.
Now back to my toughest “Weight Gain Battle” which began about 3 years ago. The first year I gained 4-6 pounds. Then I gained a few more the next year. Before I knew it, I’d put on almost 25 pounds.
When I asked what I could do to lose the weight that I wasn’t already doing, I would get the same old answer from different doctors…. “It becomes harder to maintain weight as you get older BUT you’re now in Menopause so it’s even harder”. “DUH! I know that. And?” No answer. One doctor in 2016 said, “just keep doing what you’re doing. You’re in good shape.” I politely said Thank You and then I stated “gaining 4 to 6 pounds per year can’t be healthy. Right?” The doctor just gave me a blank stare and suggested I make an appointment with a Nutritionist which I did. In the mean-time, he said “I’d suggest we do some blood work and take a look at your Thyroid Levels”.
- I received Blood Work results in the mail within a week after my Doctor’s Appointment versus some other personable means of communication.
- Thyroid Levels (TSH)- a handwritten note stating “Thyroid Function is normal”. My response to the note…..TOLD YA! No surprise there. It has been checked many, many times.
- Triglycerides Level: High (my comment to the piece of paper with my results…. (DUH! Unfortunately, I inherited “naturally high cholesterol) from my Mom. Thanks Mom. I guess that’s not noted in my medical records)
- Another handwritten note from a BLOOD TECHNICIAN GURU who knows Absolutely nothing about me stating “Get plenty of exercise and eat a well-balanced diet”. OMG!!! This is Fricken HA-LARIOUS! Sooooo…. being the mature person that I am I scream at the piece of paper with the nice handwritten notes “I TEACH GROUP FITNESS CLASSES 4- 5 TIMES PER WEEK and PLAY TENNIS 2-4 TIMES PER WEEK and EAT A WELL BALANCED DIET”, most of the time. Not sure how much more I can do”!
This type of communication from physicians’ offices makes me furious. We pay a lot of money for healthcare so we should get quality ATTENTION. Not a handwritten note on test results we paid for from a person who doesn’t know us.
I’ve commiserated with friends about my frustration with the “Weight Gain Battle” and vice versa. Most have said to me “Welcome to my world. This is just how it is Tina”. I bet you’ve had these conversations also. I have not accepted that way of thinking and you shouldn’t either. I truly feel that we live in a world where there is so much more available to us that our Moms and their Moms didn’t have. There has to be something or someone that can help Us.
In February of this year, it finally happened!!! I found the right doctor who had answers to my weight gain.
A woman with whom I was commiserating with one day mentioned an acquaintance who is an “Anti-Aging” Doctor, Dr. Pacholec. This woman had not had experience with Dr. Pacholec personally but had heard great things about her. I did some research and decided to make an appointment. My interest in Dr. Pacholec was peaked because her approach to patient care combines “Integrative Medicine” with “Conventional Medicine”.
During my first visit with Dr. Pacholec, I had a complete physical. My blood pressure was checked. I had an EKG. They drew blood to do a comprehensive blood test. (It would take a couple of days for the blood work results to come back) I was weighed on a scale that also measures Body Fat Percentage through Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis. (Now that’s a different approach to just measuring your weight)
What is BMI? Most people overlook this important metric, or the measure of fat mass to lean tissue, including bone, muscle, ligaments, tendons and organs. Higher body fat percentage has been linked to an increased incidence of diabetes, high blood pressure and other heart risks. In other words, your BMI is a more important gauge for whether or not you’re within a “Healthy Weight” range versus just how much you weigh. BMI can be measured in many ways with a DEXA Scan and Hydrostatic (underwater weighing) being the most accurate.
I was approximately 25 lbs heavier than my ideal “healthy weight” when I had my first appointment with Dr. Pacholec. That weight was still considered to be within the range of what is considered a “Healthy Weight” for my height. I knew I was with the right doctor immediately because she didn’t say to me “you don’t have a weight problem” as other doctors had in the past and she didn’t dismiss my concerns.
Dr. Pacholec looks at your health holistically. She talked to me about how there are many underlying issues that can contribute to weight gain. Besides my medical history, we discussed my lifestyle, family history, support and the importance of having a healthy gut.
“Obesity, cancer, anxiety, weight gain/loss and depression all may be influenced by the type of bacteria living in the gut”.
Dr. Pacholec spent a good hour with me during my first office visit with her. I never felt rushed then or in any follow up appointments with her. She allowed me to ask as many questions as I wanted. She agreed that small incremental weight gain that I was experiencing needed to be addressed. “If it’s not addressed, the small incremental weight gain will into a problem.”
Dr. Pacholec was confident that my hormone levels, or lack there of, played a part in my weight gain but wanted to review the results from my blood work before moving forward with a plan. She did suggest that I start taking a probiotic because of the importance that a Healthy Gut plays in our overall health.
As you read further, think of your body as a car. Your car comes with maintenance schedules for a reason. There are certain checks and balances that NEED to be depending on how many miles you put on the car. The motor isn’t going to run properly if you don’t get your oil changed regularly. These maintenance checks will help your car run efficiently longer than if you skip the maintenance check-ups.
Your body should be maintained regularly the same way you do your car or any other machine. Let me re-phrase that. YOUR body should be treated and maintained more often than any car/machine.
I received a call from Dr. Pacholec a few days after my first appointment to review over the phone the results of my blood work. WOW! That’s a nice change. Remember my comments about receiving my test results with handwritten notes from a lab tech who doesn’t know me in the mail? Not Dr. Pacholec’s way of treating her patients. She talks to you. She made me feel important.
Without boring you with all of the details of my blood work results, the deficiencies we discussed mostly were low levels of vitamin D, low hormone levels, high triglycerides (despite my exercise routine and healthy diet).
Vitamin D: Did you know that not having enough Vitamin D in your system can result in weight gain, brittle or thinning bones, weak muscles, anxiety, depression. This can also lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular issues, rheumatoid arthritis and certain types of Cancers.
February 2018 – My first appointment with Dr. Pacholec. I weighed 153 lbs and my BMI was 24.1%.
June 2018 – I weighed 130 lbs and my BMI was 21%. I still weigh 130 lbs today.
There was no fad diet involved. I continued with my normal diet which is mostly healthy. I continued with my same exercise regimen. I added supplements and a prescription based on Dr. Pacholec’s suggestions. They all had a positive effect on my metabolism. Raising my vitamin d levels, stabilizing my triglycerides and addressing hormonal deficiencies were all part of the plan to get my weight back in check and to keep my body from continuing to slowly pack on unwanted weight. Everyone’s weight battle is Unique. I’ve referred a few friends to Dr. Pacholec. She approaches every patient differently by providing education on Healthy Lifestyle changes to help you.
I probably sound like an advertisement Dr. Pacholec. (Please know that I’m not being paid to talk about her practice) I am so happy about finding a doctor who feels the way I do about living a healthy life and want to share my knowledge and experiences with YOU. We don’t have to accept the curve balls life throws at our Health as the gospel. Today, we do live in a world where there are options available to help us achieve the Healthy Life we are supposed to live. We just have to feel in our heart that we’re important enough to find the right people to get us there.
To learn more about Dr. Barbara Pacholec, please go to her website.
Being Healthy is not just about your weight. Eating Healthy and Exercise may not always be the answer but it definitely helps. If your body is deficient of things it needs to be healthy and it isn’t addressed, you will fight an uphill battle.
Being Healthy means that every single part of your car/body has what it needs to perform at it’s best.