“Diet and Exercise to reduce BMI”

Keebler Cookies

I ate six Keebler elf cookies on the way to work this morning. It was THAT kind of morning, you know, when you find yourself absent-mindedly perusing the mail left on the table and come across some information from the doctor you saw last week for bronchitis. Remember that story? The hot, older, South African doctor who treated me kindly and prescribed an in-office breathing treatment for my acute bronchitis after taking a walk-in same-day appointment from a stranger who had never been seen in that clinic? Yeah, it was a letter of discharge notes from that visit, that rambled on about my acut sinusitis and bronchitis and the medicine he prescribed. And then, there it was, at the bottom of the list of treatment recommendations:

Diet and Exercise to reduce BMI= 30.1 (bolded added by me)


A lovely little note from a doctor I’ve met once, with instructions written instead of verbally given (or even inquired about) with the general statement of “hey fatty, why don’t you eat less and get some activity to lose some weight.”


Way to ruin my perfectly good morning.

And it just got me to thinking about all things weight related. Now, I understand that I could stand to lose a few pounds, but what that insensitive line didn’t ask, or inquire about, was WHAT AM I DOING or WHAT HAVE I TRIED or ANYTHING about my current diet or weight situation. Because, he doesn’t fucking know me, so he wrote on a piece of paper that I need to change my eating habits and get some exercise.

I am annoyed and embarassed because it was handled so poorly. I actually wanted to cry, which is why I ate those cookies. But seriously, this issue has come up before and I want to talk about it.

Before Potamus was conceived, I had reached this ghastly weight of 230 lbs. Somewhere in my mind this had been the weight that I told myself “geez, if you ever reach 230 you need to put the pizza down and start figuring some shit out.” So I did. I lost nearly all of that weight in hopes of conceiving our child, which was done a few months later. I lost it slow and steady with a combination of eating low-fat options and walking, sporadically. As a woman who is over 6 feet tall, I figure that if I were 200 lbs I’d be okay with my weight, and if I were a solid 185 I’d be SMOKIN’ HOT.

The BMI says I should weigh 160, though, which is what I weighed as a adolescent volleyball/basketball player who worked out 3 hours a day for 9 months a year. I don’t think that will EVER happen again. Seriously.

But what this doctor’s passive aggressive note about diet-exercise didn’t take into account, the things that I am doing to lose weight and the struggle it has been to get the baby-weight off. I did Weight Watchers around the beginning of my maternity leave, and nothing happened. I have only lost 20-25 of the pounds that I gained during pregnancy.


It’s been 14 months people and the weight has not ‘dropped off’ like they promised. I guess I’m following in my mother-in-law’s footsteps, where the weight didn’t come off until after she weaned. I am committed to breastfeeding even if it doesn’t help me lose weight. And I have been eating healthy, eliminating dairy and watching portion control, and exercising (ala 5k training pre-bronchitis days). And I mostly avoid those cookies-in-the-car binges.

I don’t know what else to do. I am not about dieting, and I have been getting exercise. And someone who wants to judge me, like the doctor, without forming a relationship and asking what I have tried and trying to create a plan for change, is not helpful. At. All.

I know that I want to lose the weight, especially since we’re planning on trying for baby #2 in the near-ish future (another post for another day), I don’t want to balloon to an unmanageable weight.



Thoughts? Advice? Funny stories of junk-punching a-hole insensitive doctors? Anything?


  1. i know this goes against everything that dr. oz and magazines will tell you, but i have found it to be true and scientific research backs me up. dieting and restriction will DESTROY anyone’s attempts at being healthy. it appears as though dieting (which your body views as starvation) suppresses the resting metabolic rate, for survival, and repeated cycles of starvation result in a more permanently suppressed metabolic rate despite adequate energy intake during non-starvation periods. the solution is don’t restrict yourself.

    for someone who is prone to eating disorders (like me – i suffered with it for 2 years) dieting will never be an option. but it’s not a good idea for anyone else either.

    there is a complex interplay of many facets that will provide people with long and healthy lives: community, strong friendships, stability, resilience, a smattering of luck, genetic input, higher socioeconomic status, regular activity, regular routine, interest in learning and doing, and a sense of purpose.

    • Yeah, I HATE dieting and the whole dieting culture. I actually have pretty good body image, despite emotional eating issues. I like eating and am trying to do it mindfully for ethical issues and not for dieting issues. I know that I too often reach for the cookies to deal with stress and that’s not good!

      I like your comment on genetics, too, because I am built just like my dad. We are tall, solid people.

      • BMI is a big old lie. people are built so differently. i found a series of studies concluding that the healthiest people (as far as longevity and protection from disease) were actually those in the “overweight” category (BMI 26-30). obese people (BMI 31-35) were not as healthy as the so-called “healthy range” (BMI 19-25) but they were still healthier than the underweights. my mind was a little blown.

  2. Um. I would have eaten the whole damn bag of cookies, and then stopped off for more. So yeah, your restraint during this binge is applause worthy. I just did my bmi calculation and it says I’m overweight. We just started portion control, eating healthier, and mandatory walks after dinner. We also try not to eat past 8pm and I’ve been trying to drink a minimum of 3 liters/day. The only thing I’d suggest is to try and add weight-training into your routine as muscle burns more calories at rest than fat. And, being toned trumps anything, even being slim. I would rather be toned and “normal” than skinny and flabby. Good luck mama! And yeah, nursing did nothing to act as the magical unicorn of weight loss for me either. 😉

    • thanks 🙂 Yeah, I’ve heard weight training is good…though I don’t have access to a gym (and I think doing baby-reps holding Potamus is silly), BUT when I used to do yoga a few times a week (from home DVDs), I got really toned with long muscles and felt great. I would really love to get back to doing that, but always find some darn excuse (like sitting here blogging 😉 )

  3. I have no magic words or secrets to reveal, but I hope you can shake off that doctor’s note soon. Your running is coming along so well, your attempts to MINDFULLY change your diet for a variety of reasons is logical and healthy, and your family, friends and simple self are what make you beautiful. Chin up! xo

    • Thanks for your encouragement! After I ate the 6 cookies and got to work I was (mostly) okay. At other times in my life I would have let it ruin my whole day or self-sabotaged saying “you wanna see fat buddy, I’ll show you fat!” and then eat myself into a stupor.

      I’m enjoying making lifestyle choices for morals, not for weight loss!

  4. I’ve always been an emotional eater. That doctor’s form would have sent me right to the cookies as well. But, unlike you, I’m not training for a 5K. So kudos for you to taking steps to improve your HEALTH, not just lose the weight. There are plenty of skinny people who are not healthy. I think most doctors rush patients in and out so fast that they don’t see them as a WHOLE person. Sorry that you had such a bad experience.

    • Yeah, I know BMI isn’t really the best judgment of overall health, but it’s so darn hard to not pay attention to it when it’s used as the standard! I would like to begin seeing a naturopath doctor or someone who isn’t as steeped in the 7-minutes-per-patient routine. How can anything good be accomplished in that short of a time period with someone?

  5. I spoke to my fiance about my stupid BMI “overweight” c;assification last night over dinner and he said BMI is one of the most stupid forms of analyzing proper weight. He told me I should deduct 10lbs right off the top for my milk jugs (I’m still nursing almost exclusively) because it doesn’t factor in how “top heavy” I am at the moment. There were a lot of other reasons he doesn’t like the BMI, but he said if someone truly does want to go by that type of calculation, to have a doctor take calipers to different areas of the body and then assess.

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