I’ve had two doctors appointments in the last week. That’s normally the number that I have in a single year! I’m not sick, I’m just planning to get even healthier.
You see, I turn 40 in a few months, and my gym has just scheduled a 12-week weight-loss and exercise program that will conclude on the day before my birthday. I took it as a sign to give myself the gift of improved health, of losing a few more pesky pounds that will be even more difficult to fight off once the big 4-0 rolls around. The program sounds great–three workouts a week with a personal trainer and one meeting a week with a nutrition counselor. I know myself, and that kind of structure is going to be great for me.
I’m visiting two of my doctors before the program starts to get their input on healthy goals, a starting point for cholesterol numbers and other blood tests, and all those “seek input from your physician before starting any new exercise program” kind of things. Because, of course, the number on the scale isn’t the only important number when it comes to weight loss. I’m lucky that my primary care doctor is working with me, encouraging me to be healthy and fit.
Some women aren’t so lucky.
In the July issue of Prevention magazine, several women talk about the shame, guilt and embarrassment they have felt when their doctors called them “fat.” The article even refers to research that shows more than half of doctors think less of their overweight patients.
The article is the first of two articles focusing on “Women & Weight in America,” and it was incredibly eye-opening. My doctor–one who encourages me and partners with me in my efforts to be healthier–sounds like the exception rather than the rule.
I’ll be keeping an eye on my mailbox, anxious to read part two of this series. By then, I’ll be thinner, fitter and have the cholesterol of a woman half my age. At least that’s my plan.