I was compensated by Med-IQ through an educational grant from Novo Nordisk, Inc. to write about the realities of obesity as a chronic disease. All opinions are my own.
This Is My Body
I don’t always love my body. Even though I appreciate all of the things it has been able to do. As much as I know how strong and capable my body is, there have been times, there are times, when I don’t like it.
Getting older. Birthing two babies. A body changes, you know?
As it changes, though, and I get acquainted with what it is now, and learn to love it in its present state, I’ve discovered that nobody knows this body better than me.
I’ve had a few health issues
Last year I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes. I could tell something was going on health-wise with me. Over the years I’ve learned how important it is to listen to my body’s cues.
By the time I went to see my doctor, I was able to present a list of challenges I’d observed. She and I talked about the weight that I had gained, and how I felt about it. I even asked for a few specific tests to be prescribed.
My doctor was more than happy to take my word on what was going on. She asked probing questions about my weight gain rather than make assumptions. Most importantly, she recognized that I knew my body and honored that in our interaction. Of course, she also offered up some helpful advice, and it was her suggestion to get my levels checked for diabetes
Your doctor should listen to you
More women need to know that we have a right to ask for support in being healthy. Having a doctor diagnose you as overweight without taking the time to determine the underlying cause is unacceptable.
A doctor should be asking questions about your sleep habits, and finding out more about your lifestyle and home situation. Before they prescribe treatment, you’ll want to have a conversation about your mental state. How are you feeling? What’s really going on in your life?
Obesity is a chronic illness, and it manifests in different ways in everybody. There isn’t a unified treatment plan. Anything your doctor recommends needs to be personalized to you and your situation.
Stress, medication, and lifestyle (specifically having a sedentary job) were factors in my obesity diagnosis. For other folks it might hereditary, or be tied to another medical condition.
How to talk to your doctor about weight
I’ve been working with Med-IQ, an organization that works with both patients and medical professionals. They provide free continuing medical education to healthcare providers, and give all of us the tools to be able to communicate better about the diseases and treatment.
Here’s some advice from expert faculty about how to make sure your doctor focuses on your individual goals and is a good partner for your weight journey:
- They ask questions about your personal weight gain journey.
- The care your provider gives (or refers you to) is that includes the options of psychological counseling, approaches to dietary and lifestyle modification, and medical or surgical treatments
- Keeps up with your weight management journey
Nobody knows my body better than me
Since being diagnosed with pre-diabetes, I’ve taken the suggestions from my doctor, done my own research, and come up with a health plan that works for me.
Walking, changing my eating habits, and minimizing stress by a lot has helped tremendously.
No one else is going to care about this body more than me. Nobody else can speak up for me better than I can.
Learning how to talk to my doctor about weight, being educated about what to expect from weight discussions, and a partnership with a doctor that truly cares about my health is a big piece of that puzzle. But I know that’s not easy for everyone. Again, my partners Med-IQ can help. They are committed to helping doctors and patients understand each other.
For resources and community support for self-advocacy, and to learn how to talk to your doctor about weight, check out OAC .
Share your thoughts about obesity
Med-IQ is conducting an anonymous survey and would appreciate your input. The survey, which includes additional education on this topic, will take less than 15 minutes to complete.
Survey responses are shared only in aggregate. Your responses to these survey questions will provide Med-IQ with important information about your experiences with obesity and your care team, which will help them develop future educational initiatives.
Once you’ve completed the survey, you will have the option of providing your email address to be entered into a drawing administered by SOMA Strategies to win 1 of 10 $100 VISA gift cards.
If you choose to enter, your email address will be used only to randomly draw the winners and notify them of their prize and to send a follow-up survey as part of this same initiative.
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