A doc, a diet, a decision

This post owes its rantiness to a recent entry from Deja Pseu on her menopausal weight struggle.

I went to my doctor yesterday for a routine physical, and though in excellent health, she said losing some weight would be good for my heart. This was delivered in an as-your-doctor-I-have-to-say-this tone, and she admitted her own battles.

Sidebar: my resting pulse, blood pressure and cholesterol levels are perfect, and I do not have a history of heart disease in my family.

She reduced hers over the past year (though she looks the same to me).
I asked her how she did it, and she said she eats very little meat, no fruit, no starch, no sweets and a mostly raw diet.

I felt my spir
it sink; I cannot face nearly 40 more years (if I live as long as my mother) without a blueberry pancake, a truffle or a plate of real pit bar-be-que. Enchiladas. Sacher Torte. Risotto.

Weight Watchers like to say Nothing Tastes As Good As Thin Feels. Which is fine if a size 10 is what you live for, versus the next size or two. But I say, Lots Tastes As Good as Twenty Extra Pounds Feel.

Because I have been thin, naturally in my 20s and through diets later. The As Good As Thin Feels was buying into a norm that was, as Deja Pseu says, impossible and anxiety-inducing to maintain. At a higher weight, I feel fine.

I left her office, walking briskly, and joined my DH and one son for an Indian buffet dinner.
I did not have a beer, only a conceptual serving of chicken curry, and heaps of veg. And quite a lot of garlic naan. Papadams.

There was ice cream in alluring flavours: pistachio, strawberry, almond with cardamom- I had a scoop, strictly for the calcium.

I went to bed contemplating Noreen, my doc, for whom I feel gratitude and affection. I want to be a good patient, but I am going to be her Amy Winehouse case: yes, I been bad.

My goal is not a weight number, it is instead for 20% more discipline, smaller portions, and borrowing a guideline from the Michael Pollen book, In Defense of Food: If you grandparents did not recognize it as food, do not eat it.


I don't think you actually live longer on the no meat, no fruit, no starch, no sweets and raw diet--it just feels like an eternity.

The more I restrict myself the more obsessive I become. I find that all that I think about is food and body at the exclusion of everything else.

My grandmother lived to 101 and never ate a vegetable in her life that wasn't cooked in bacon fat. She really didn't get the concept of a salad.

I could lose some weight, but I find I lose weight when I am passionate about my life and so busy doing what I want to do that I am not that concerned with a cookie. I will not diet again. I have better things to do with my psychic energy than obsess about my weight.

I am really enjoying the posts that were inspired by Deja Pseu's great post. Great food for thought. Thanks, Duchesse! ;-)
Anonymous said…
duchesse, my concern is that any doctor whould advise you to avoid fruit, which is one of the basic most easily digestible and natural foods and sources of natural carbs and loads of essential vitamins. This is especially worrying as she is advising raw food, so fruit would be a natural choice for this.

In fact I would say that your doctor's advice does not sound like a well balanced diet in any sense of the word and would result in sheer misery. If I had to live the rest of my life without fruit I think I'd rather go tomorrow!
Duchesse said…
Belette: The restrict/obsess thing, isn't that a weird dynamic? Happens to me too.

Greying Pixie: That's her diet, not one recommended for me, thanks be! And I said the same thing, "No FRUIT?"
Anonymous said…
I woke this morning thinking of your blog. You see, I am a great advocate of Weightwatchers, but not as it is prescribed to users.

Just we are encouraged to be individual in our interpretation of fashion, so I have found that the same applies to WW. It helped me rediscover the elegance of food so that smaller portions of really tasty healthy food have now become the norm for me.

I have a close friend who has reconstructed her life after starting AA three years ago, and never ceases to express her relief at no longer feeling that need for a drink. In much the same way I'm so relieved, after years of yoyo dieting and constant deprivation, to be able to approach my food with a healthy psychological attitude.
Susan B said…
duchesse - I've learned that few docs really have much grounding in nutrition. And your doc seems to have bought into the extra pounds = heart disease mythology, regardless of other risk factors. (And statistically the highest longevity is among those who are a little "overweight.") I personally think beyond avoiding crappy, overprocessed junk food, that optimum health and happiness comes from eating a variety of delicious, well-prepared food.
Anjela's Day said…
I want to join your club.
I have eaten my way to putting on 30 extra pounds on a tall but thin frame. My feet ache.
I could site moving house. Best friend dying. Pet dying. All in the last 6 months but I would still have eaten the same amounts. I can't 'blame' anything except my hand which loves tempting my mouth.

I can easily get the weight off if I run on the tredmill every day and reduce crunchy french bread and organic butter.

Every year when I went home to Ireland I frantically lost weight- I felt I had to get back to where I was 27 years ago as a fashion model. I could lose 30 pouds at the drop of a hat- People would say "Jaysus, you have foud the fountain of youth"
Once home (in America)I would use the tredmill as a laundry hamper and indulge again in Weetabix with milk and bananas. Mashed potatoes with bangers. Bread and salads with dressing. Not huge portions but, nibbled my way very quickly back up to where I wanted to be. I look at other women (and yes, I am straight.....) I see women who are full figured as being very beautiful-a part of me wants to be one of those women) I aspire to being that person. Not the slim 30 pounds less woman that men are interested in and women seem to envy.
I have become all but invisible.
I don't have to go home this year so I am at my peak of weight.
I long to be looked at at times. Long to see men screech to a halt or back up their cars or stop and stare and leave me feeling amused. Now the screeching brakes are because they are lost or need an overhaul. Ahhhhhhhhh
Duchesse said…
Anjela: oooh, your experience reminds me so much of my gorgeous GF M., who was a traffic stipper. She'd drop 30 lbs in 6 weeks by ordering injections from Mexico, damn the risk. Finally (with all that yo-yo, inevitably) gained 60 lbs and came to see me in tears: my butt is thesize of Cleveland.
Took her shopping, Marina Rinaldi plus a few other boutiques. The deal is getting clothes that fit.

For me there is
1. My old pre-children, pre-menopause weight: unachievable
2. An OK ample... my husband thinks I'm sexy at this weight and my MD scolds
3. Out of hand: can feel myself shaking, butt or belly, when I move; this is not good.

Right now at 2 and want to hold there.

It's hard to lose getting looks.

I remember my friend's Engish mother describing one of her contemporaries, a woman who starved herself on cigarettes and salad: "One of those terrible thin women."
Anjela's Day said…
Yes, I think I do the same thing with work-I love to make order out of chaos:)
I have to tell you a woman who works for me lives on coffee and nicorettes. I have asked her if she would like to at least go out and have a decent lunch break. No, she never wants to take a break even. She stops long enough to open a new pack of nicorettes. She is thin as a whippett but looks hungry-

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