100 lb. Club - Dr. Who?

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09-12-2007, 07:53 PM
Well, now I understand the "consult your doctor before beginning any weightloss or exercise program" comment.

I had a complete blood work-up not to long ago. My heart is great no arterial damage, yet. I figured okay let's get this program rolling.


Me: So Dr. I need to lose 100 pounds. I am eating 1850 calories a day or there about and I am trying for a half hour twice a day on the treadmill. Does that sound good to you?

Dr: No. You kill yourself! (spoken in a thick bubbly Phillipino accent)

Me: What? I thought I was taking it nice and slow.

Dr: No, you kill yourself! Look at you, you can't walk you groan to pick up your bag. You kill yourself dummy!

Me: Then what do you suggest?

Dr: I suggest you talk to me.

Me: Um, that is what I am doing. (pulling at my collar now, knowing that beady little look of consternation)

Dr: Yeah, now you talk to me. You hurt don't you? Course you do. No more treadmill, you kill yourself! Go for walks in the moonlight and stop eating so much. You learn to not eat then you learn to lose weight. No more.

Me: Doc, don't those go hand in hand? (I am really confused at this point not to mention on the verge of tears from holding in my laughter of being yelled at with that accent. No matter how she tries to look and sound mean, she looks and sounds like a popple.)

Dr: No, you learn one thing at time. First you learn to eat right, then you learn not to eat so much, then you learn to lose weight, and then you learn to keep it off. Stop being dummy head, one thing at time!

Okay, so maybe she didn't actually call me a dummyhead, but you know, I am sure she was thinking it. Anyway, I am now on a 1200 calories a day, (yes I am going to starve to death, sign up here if you wanna be left in the will), and 15 minutes stroll on the treadmill.

See, she has a nifty little chart there reminding her that I fell out of a my semi not to long ago, pulling liagments in my ankle, hyperextending my knee, and wrenching the **** out of my shoulder. All of this on one side mind you.

Sigh, yeah go talk to your doctor, but duck when you tell him/her that you already started.

09-12-2007, 08:09 PM
I could never live on 1200 calories a day, yikes. Does your health insurance cover for a nutrionist? I think that is who you need to see, because your doctor is giving you advice from years and years ago.
Good luck with whatever you do,but personally I would get a second opinion.

09-12-2007, 08:24 PM
1200 calories a day at your weight? No way! I wouldn't last more than a couple of days on that. Your doctor may be well-intentioned, but she is not giving you up-to-date research-based advice.

09-12-2007, 09:01 PM
Doctors get very little training in nutrition. If you can, see a nutritionist or registered dietician. As the others have said, 1200 calories just isn't enough. Start higher, then as your weight loss stalls, reduce the number of calories. If I took this doctor's advice, I'm positive I would never have stuck it out for the long haul, which is what you want.

If you look at all the successful people (and to me successful means losing AND keeping it off) here at 3FC with your similar stats, I'm betting none of them started their weight loss journey eating 1200 calories a day.

09-12-2007, 09:56 PM
I live on 1200 calories a day and do just fine. I also exercise 60 minutes a day at least 5 times a week. If you concentrate on lean protein and veggies, you can be perfectly satisfied on 1200. I started at 292 lbs. and I've been doing it since the end of May and haven't had any trouble at all. It's not for everybody but I've lost 66 pounds without even the hint of a plateau, my blood pressure is down to normal and my fasting glucose is now in the mid 90's.

Frankly I think your doctor is a bit of a moron. Twice a day on the treadmill at a reasonable pace isn't going to aggravate any of your injuries. It certainly is a lot safer than taking a walk in the "moonlight" where you can't see the rough spots and the holes in the sidewalk. And there certainly is no reason why you can't handle changing your eating habits and getting some exercise all at the same time. You're an adult for goodness sake; I'll bet you handle more than one thing at a time constantly.

She really sounds kind of patronizing and not that well-informed.

09-12-2007, 10:01 PM
I agree with the others... I would think you need to start at a higher calorie range and then decrease it as you lose weight along with adding exercise (gradually of course). Most data I've read indicates that a healthy diet should include a minimum of 1200 calories per day (unless of course they're following a medically supervised diet that incorporates B6 (or B12??) shots, etc.). You want to start out with enough calories to allow you to decrease it the smaller you get. So if you don't want to consume 1850 calories, try dropping it down to 1750 or 1700.

As far as exercise - well, she is a doctor but I have to say that I don't agree with her view on exercise either. If I were just starting out, I would think that walking on the treadmill would be a lot safer than walking in the pitch dark with only the moonlight to guide me around the potholes, cracks in the sidewalk and/or stressed out workers driving home half asleep after putting in 12 hours of work. But then I am accident prone, so what do I know??? :dizzy: :woops:

P.S. There's nothing wrong with 1200 calories if that's what you want. You can eat a lot of very healthy foods in that range. I just personally think it's best to work your way down until you find a calorie range you can live with. :)

Goddess Jessica
09-12-2007, 10:03 PM
I feel the board is not being very supportive! I think the doctor gave you some great advice! (And since I'm not looking at her chart, the history of her injuries, I'm going to trust the doctor may know she's talking about)

Learning one thing at a time is a great plan because so many people go into with the all or nothing mindset and when "ALL" doesn't work, they fail.

I think 1200 calories with a sedentary lifestyle (and your 15 minute walk) can certainly be acheived with the right choices - you may want to see a nutrionist to help you with these choices. But if you feel deprived after giving it a whirl, you may want to increase your calories and check back in with your doctor. In the meantime, I recommend keeping a food journal so that when you do go back you can talk intelligently about your current eating.

I'd also like to gentle remind people that just because your plan worked for you doesn't mean that it works for everyone.

09-12-2007, 10:18 PM
Boy, and again my idea of being a famous comedian has been splatted. Da post was posed to be funny peeps:P

My doctor is a certified nutritionist, and she does know what she is talking about. But alas that was not the point of this post, it was meant to put a smile on your faces. So, again, backto the drawingboard. No wonder I am fat I spend all my time coming up with not so funny funny stuff.

:P my DH thought it was funny:D

09-12-2007, 10:29 PM
I think most doctors see two extremes with overweight patients who want to lose weight. One who doesn't want to change any of their habits, but still want weight to just fall off (hey, doc couldn't you just give me a pill or something?) and those at the other extreme who go gung ho with an overly ambitious program with an unrealistic diet and exercise regime. They don't succeed either because their expectations are too great, and they get frustrated, or injured and give up.

Your doctor doesn't have any reason to believe you're not like every other person she's seen who has tried what you're trying. Her response, to start with small changes that are doable and comfortable, and then move on as you're able to achieve the smaller goals is very reasonable advice. I think one of the reasons weight loss has such a dismal "success" rate is that expectations are set so high that "failure" is inevitable. Very few people are able to stick to a regime that includes an hour on the treadmill every day, from the very start. Reducing your calories even further to 1200 calories is also a drastic change that most people cannot jump right into and have long-term success with.

That doesn't mean you might not be one of the elite few who are able to do so, but it would mean that you're in the smallest minority (less than 1/2 of 1 percent, likely). You may not like her advice, and you certainly don't have to follow it, but it is sound advice, and if you find that you can't sustain the pace you've set for yourself, you might consider trying it.

09-12-2007, 10:30 PM
I thought it was funny. Your doctor sounds adorable. Though I eat tried the 1200 calories a day thing for awhile and it was just too low. Now I'm at 1450 average (Wendie Plan) and it's much easier to maintain. I work out pretty hard, though, so there's that.

09-12-2007, 10:31 PM
Mmm, I missed your post as I was posting. I have to admit that if the post was supposed to be funny, I didn't get it.

09-12-2007, 10:31 PM
I can not believe that she told you to eat 1250 pounds. That is crazy. First you will starve your body and then you will not lose because your body will think that it has to keep all its fat, kinda like anorexia. 2nd I am really surprised that she didnt suggest you talk to a nutritionist. You should stay at 1800 and call the dr and ask them to recommend a nutritionist. I can understand the tredmill especially if you already hurt yourself. That is crazy.

09-12-2007, 11:16 PM
Sorry, I don't get the joke. Did your doctor say those things to you, or not?

If she did....I still feel that 1200 is a *very* extreme change, and most people with 100 lbs to lose would not be able to manage that starting out. Sure, a small minority can, we have a couple of members here who are doing just that, but going back to the success stories that another poster pointed out, from what I know, the majority of successful members who have lost *and kept the weight off* did not start out at 1200 calories. 1850 is totally reasonable.

I can understand cautioning you to ease into exercising, especially given your injuries.

The best advice I've received is to see what works for you. That is what the successful members have done. They've created plans that work for them with their bodies and way of living. Myself, I am eating between 1600-2000 calories a day and am losing weight. I have gradually increased my exercise level over time. I'm pretty much at the max exercise level for the time I have to devote to it, in the scheme of my other responsibilities. It would be laughably low for some, and admirable for others.

09-13-2007, 12:18 AM

Yes she told me these things, but the way I presented it was posed to be funny. I trust her and I doubt I can do it, but oh well.

09-13-2007, 12:37 AM
Don't worry, I'm sure that many people would have totally gotten the joke but apparently they are all skinny people and don't hang out here. :)

As I said above, do what works for you. Just don't be afraid to try new stuff. 1200 could work great for you, as it does for me. Or it could be impossible. You don't know until you try it. A few weeks to see how it goes is not going to destroy your metabolism despite what some think.

If you go fairly low, use Fitday or something like it to track your nutritional values. I actually enjoy the challenge of getting the nutrition I need on a limited number of calories but I'm very careful I get everything I need to stay healthy.

09-13-2007, 12:37 AM
Comedy sometimes gets lost in translation, I guess. I've noticed the two things that don't come across well on the Internet are humor and sarcasm. Maybe that's why emoticons, although annoying, work pretty well.

GJ, yeah, you're right that many of us weren't being supportive. But, man, I just feel so strongly that it was bad advice from the doctor when you consider long-term maintenance. However, that certainly doesn't mean I should project my stuff onto someone else. Mea culpa.

09-13-2007, 02:00 AM
It wasn't meant for long term maintenance. I didn't realize there would be such an up roar, I just figured people would chuckle. Let me explain.

The calories are just for loosing weight. Period, by the time I have lost some weight I will add to those until I am at maintenance weight.

The moolight stroll is not outside in the moonlight (those tons of women walk here after dark because that is the time they do it) . She meant, by that, to turn the treadmill down and walk realxed for 15 minutes. That way I am getting my body used to moving but not hurting the messed up joints.

The 15 minutes is only to start, when I can do that without the pain then I add 5 minutes.

She said I could eat 1850 a day, but without the exercise I just won't lose weight that way. I promise my doctor does know what she is talkign about. I just didn't present it vety well, because as I said, I was trying to be funny, not trying to present my medical facts.

I think her idea of doing this in steps makes alot of sense. I can only do one thing at a time, because if I try it all I am going to fail, I know that much abotu me, as does my doctor.

Anyway, I am very sorry for the misunderstanding. I guess I really do need to lay my humor to rest because it is dying a slow painful death, alot like my resolve not to eat that darn pile of cookies that are callign me fro the kitchen. Did ya'll know that Keebler cookies have an Irish accent?

Later folks

09-13-2007, 04:39 AM
If it makes you feel any better, I thought the original post was pretty funny. I find her advice very interesting as well, especially as you say that she is a certified nutritionist. And Robin - I hadn't realized that you were so low on cals and that was part of the plan you were using to speed through the weight loss. It's all given me much to think about. But no, Kati, I didn't know that Keebler cookies had an Irish accent. I guess that makes sense, given the similarity between elves and leprechauns. But I never really gave them much of a chance to chat with me when I was eating them - and now, they are no longer welcome in my house. So, I'll just take your word on the accent.

09-13-2007, 05:35 AM
Kati -

Don't doubt you can do it! There is no harm trying it her way. People were just concerned because lots of us have tried that 1200 calorie way and may have had some short term success, but it is really hard to substain and those of us who have a lot to lose have a long path ahead of us. That being said it's not impossible... some people can. When you increase your exercise you may want to think about adding in some of those calories so maybe your upto 1400-1500. If your finding the 1200 too hard to stick with.

I think my net calories is only around 1200 too, but I eat more like 1400-1700 because of the exercise I do.

Easing into it is a great idea though... Lots of people jump in too quickly and hurt themsleves so she's just looking out for your best interest, but no one knows what your comfortable and capable of better then you. If you think she's under estimating you based on her experience with other people... well you know what I mean I'm not going to tell you to not listen to her advice, but if walkng 2mph is getting you nowhere... my point is just make sure you increase as your skill level does.

I have to admit that her Turtle way is a bit extreme in the other direction, but hey she went to med school I didn't. :)

09-13-2007, 06:49 AM
I'm chiming in a little late here. I thought your original post was cute. I think Sheila's right - those little smilie things do add a touch of humor.

Anyway, I like Robin41, have been consuming about 1200 calories for months and months now and that's with lots of exercise. I eat an enormous amount of filling, satisfying, healthy, highly nutritious food for the amount. And I absolutely never feel deprived, never. That's not to say that I haven't been a little munched from time to time, but that was because of boredom or stress or what have you. Nothing at all to do with actual HUNGER. 1200 calories is certainly not starving oneself. Not even close and has nothing at all to do with anorexia. It provides more then enough nutrition and energy to live a healthy, full life. Humans require less food then one would think *sigh*. I'm a mere 5 feet tall and my body just doesn't require an abundance of calories. I've heard of people losing their hair from weight loss and brittle finger nails. My hair is growing faster then it ever has. And I am constantly having to trim my nails. I have never had so much energy in my entire life. In fact, I am shocked, simply shocked and AMAZED at just how much energy I have. I spend much more hours awake and MOVING now.

I hear of people eating 1800 calories and I am amazed that any one could lose steadily on that amount. That's not even my maintenance level. Not even close. We really are all individuals with individual needs. Now don't get me wrong, I truly wish I WERE able to eat more calories and maintain a healthy weight - but it's not possible and I accept that and am perfectly fine with it.

Granted though, when I started and weighed 287 lbs. I didn't start at 1200 calories. I started higher and brought it down to that number a good few months into my journey.

I personally think that your doctor may be wrong here :shrug:. I do think it may be possible for you to lose weight at a higher calorie level. There is absolutely no way on earth anyone can tell you for sure, just what the "right" level for you to lose on would be. I don't care how many degrees they have. It's a trial and error thing. A doctor is a doctor, but it's your body and no one knows it better then you. If I were you, and I'm not, I would probably see what kind of results you get with 1400 -1500 calories. IMO, a few weeks at that will not do you any harm, but of course that's totally your choice. It certainly won't harm you to try the 1200 calories either. But please make sure that you are satisfied with that.

And hello, if those darn Keebler cookies are calling your name, why not toss them out of the house - let them call someone ELSES name. Why make it harder on yourself?????

Everybody has to find their own way. And I'm sure you will do just that. I'm sorry that you got misunderstood. It happens. Please keep us informed. We want to know how you're doing! And please, DO keep up that sense of humor. You certainly put a smile on my face a couple of times. But I'll reserve the biggest smile for when you tell us that you're feeling marvelous due to all the exercise that you are able to do and that you've reached a healthy weight. :)

09-13-2007, 03:37 PM
rockinrobin, can you please give me some ideas of food that you cook? I will be cooking for myself my 8 yo and 2 yo. I don't want to cut their calories so much as myself and the baby needs the fat of course. I would love some ideas. Thanks so much!

09-13-2007, 04:16 PM
Granted though, when I started and weighed 287 lbs. I didn't start at 1200 calories. I started higher and brought it down to that number a good few months into my journey.

That's always made really good sense to me. If you stop losing after eating 1,200 calories for a while because your body got so efficient, where would you go from there and still maintain good nutrition and enough food so that you wouldn't be hungry all the time? I really, really don't like to be hungry--it creates major problems with me staying on my program. For me, when I've stayed really low for a while, usually because of illness, I've had a great weight loss, but once I start eating back up at what usually is a weight-loss amount of calories, I always gain weight. I lost the majority of weight while following the Weight Watchers program, and, luckily, all that's built into the program so it took the whole issue out of my hands. Now I'm obsessed by Fitday and balanced eating. :) But it's a good obsession.

I'm curious if you've discovered how many calories more to eat to maintain, Robin. Have you found it's about 200-300 more than you were eating to lose? More, less? I know it's different for everyone, but where did you start when you were in the maintenance phase?

09-13-2007, 04:25 PM
It must of sounded really cute with her accent:D

I don't know much about the difference between 1250 -1800 calorie intake.
I do know that there are a lot of whole healthy foods that can leave you more satisfied then others i.e. fiber foods compared to say empty calories. So maybe you could find foods that you like that give you more bang for your buck. I eat 6 times a day small snacks but all with fiber and protein and my carbs come only from whole grain.

Also the whole taking it one step at a time I learned for me that is I have an extreme personality and need to do everything at once, meaning my diet needs to be perfect from day one, with this technique I have just failed. This time I have gradually made changes, each week I set a small goal to add to my diet, like more water then only whole grain simple things like this. This way has really helped me with the whole making this a life change. So it really depends on you. I think the important thing is not to kick yourself when you don't hit your goals exactly, just keep trying. I know you can do it!!

09-13-2007, 04:27 PM
I am confused, the doctor said that 1850 calories was too low, but then gave you a 1200 calorie diet? Or she told you not jump into dieting, but to eat a balanced diet and start exercising more gradually, so you dropped your calories by 2/3 and cut your workouts in half?

It was kind of hard to tell from the first post whether you respected her advice (funny or not), and then you said that she did know what she was talking about, but why then the drastic calorie cut? Ok, I am mixed up here.

rockinrobin - 1800 calories actually is a little low for a maintenance calorie level. Unless you're extremely inactive, you might want to have your thyroid checked.

You can diet at the lowest calorie level you're comfortable with and then have to elevate it for maintenance. Or you can diet at the highest calorie level you're comfortable with and lower it when and if you stop losing before maintenance.

Since I tend to binge when my calories are too low, I now tend to follow the second path. I figure it starts me out with the same skills I will need for maintenance. I've mostly dieted following the first path in the past, and I failed over and over. This way is a lot slower, and sometimes it drives me crazy, but because I already consider my eating part of what "maintenance" will be and a goal in iteself not just a means to a goal, there really is no getting frustrated and giving up. There isn't anything to give up.

09-13-2007, 05:06 PM
Kaploids, I've had my thyroid and everything else checked. Thank G-d everything is in perfectly working order. And I am quite active these days, I'm happy to say :). I'm not the only one who's body needs less then 1800 calories in order to maintain. Several of our longterm maintainers also need to keep it under 1800. Then of course there are those who CAN consume more then 1800. And Kaploids, I also tend to binge when my calories are too low, but mine aren't too low. I get lots of volume with my calories.

Sheila, I tried my hand at maintenance this summer. I would say that 1500 -1600 calories would be my maintenance level. WITH at least an hour of exercise daily. I've been trying to lose a few again, so I'm back at 1200. But again, I am truly not hungry at 1200 calories. Believe me, there is NO WAY that I would stick to this if I were. I've been at 1200 calories for months and months and have not plateaued at all. 1200 calories is not considered a low amount when you're 5 feet tall. It more then fills my nutritional needs.

Kati, here's a rough breakdown of a typical day for me.

Morning - 2 fat free/sugar free yogurts with 1/2 cup Fiber One cereal - or KAshi Go LEan cereal with skim milk or oatmeal with an egg white omlette - about 200 calories
Snack- 2 egg white omlette with 2 -skinny multi grain rice cakes - about 70 calories
Lunch - Veggie burger type product and 3 cups of cauliflower, or tuna in water, no mayo and a huge salad - about 300 calories
Snack - apple or berries or grapes - about 100 calories
Dinner - chicken breast or salmon with stir fry veggies or spaghetti squash or acorn squash or roasted green beans- about 400 calories
snack - yogurt and cereal or fruit or veggies (grape tomatoes, baby carrots, cucumbers) - about 100 calories

Kati, I do yummy things with chicken breasts - lemon mushroom chicken or taco chicken - or grilled chicken with grilled pepper, onions and tomatoes.

Experiment, play around with different cooking methods, sauteeing, grilling, baking - no added fat. Use lots of spices. Try different veggies and roast them. Make up new salads - I love and eat tons of a thinly tomato, cucumber, red onion salad with an vinegar/pepper/oregano dressing and a dollop of oil.

It takes some getting used to. And I do tweak here and there. But it's become a hobby/obsession/passion of mine. And I love every minute of it. My new ACTIVE, fit, healthy sized 2, sometimes a 4, body makes it all worth while. :)

09-13-2007, 05:27 PM
Rocknrobin, That's great. I wasn't judging. It's just a good thing to have checked. I wasn't saying that there aren't people who maintain on less than 1800 calories, it's just on the low end of the spectrum, so it's a red flag for thyroid problems. It's how my mom discovered she had low thyroid. Her doctor just wouldn't believe that she wasn't eating more than she said she was eating. She switched doctors, and the new doctor believed her and had her thyroid checked. On thyroid medications, mom's able to lose weight again. I also wasn't judging your calorie level, or implying that 1200 is too low. There are actually days when I eat 1200 calories and am satisfied, not many, but there are a few.

I think what is key is for people to learn to understand their individual needs. The common expectation of losing wieght in this country is for someone to seek out and follow someone else's example. Find a weight loss book or plan or program or center. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with following WW or Southbeach, or Volumetrics, or whatever, but you can't take your individual personality and needs out of the equation and just try to force yourself into someone else's "diet mold."

I don't think we stress enough that this is all a trial and error approach. You aren't worthless or stupid if you "fall off" the wagon. You may just not have found the right wagon, or might have to build your own.

09-13-2007, 09:47 PM
Aww, have a little more faith in yourself, try, and try hard for a while, and if you can't do 1200, then talk to her again, and see if she will up it for you. I thought your post was kinda funny, Gotta love accented docs!!

09-13-2007, 09:47 PM
I think your post was funny too! The accent you threw in there...it made me think of that stand up routine by John Pinnette. He is a VERY LARGE man who said he and his friends from Overeaters Anonymous or Weight Watchers (or something to that effect) would leave their meetings and hit the Chinese Buffet where they would spend hours. He said the owner would come over and using his best Chinese accent he says "You go now!!! You been here 4 owas! Buffet cwosed!! Have you ever seen this? He was not being offensive toward other nationalities....he was just doing the accent the best he could. The same goes for your post. So, that having been said...keep up the humor! :) Life is too short not to appreciate good humor. Hours go by in my daily life until I actually utter a SERIOUS word. LOL

09-14-2007, 01:02 AM
Robin, thanks for the info. I'm going to try 1600 for maintenance and see what happens. Hey, I hear you on the 1200 calories. When I'm trying to lose, I usually stay between 1200 and 1300. Although I'm larger, I'm older and in menopause so my calorie needs are less plus when you don't have that much to lose, something's gotta give. My activity is usually 60-90 minutes so I have to ramp things up in order to lose a pound a week. I'm always happy to hear that others are starting this healthy journey much younger than me because it does get harder as you age.

I try never to let myself get hungry--nowadays, my only hunger seems to be "head hunger." Today I had a great sandwich using Sara Lee Delightful wheat bread, oven-roasted turkey, lots of grilled onions and peppers, and an ounce of shredded lowfat cheese, then I put it in a nonstick pan and grilled it. When I calculated it on Fitday, it was 240 calories and quite filling. It's amazing what you can do with lots of veggies, lean protein, whole grains and the great low-calorie, good-for-you food available today. Gotta love that Sara Lee!

09-14-2007, 02:51 PM
Since you have all these injuries have you tried working out in water? Its alot easier since your not having to really support yourself but you have the resistance of the water.

09-14-2007, 07:31 PM
I thought your post was cute and funny!:encore:

Personally in the past if I eat to few calories I stall out really really quick. I did WW and am trying it again and lost 40 lbs in 16 weeks but I had to stay to the very top of their recommendations or I wouldn't lose. But having said that everybody is different.

Good Luck!!:goodluck:

09-14-2007, 08:39 PM
Gah the closest indoor pool is 30 miles away and you have to join the Y in order to use it. Not in the cards right now.


I got a video today. I paid a whole .75 for it. It is Yoga, for old people. Okay so I am not an old person, but I figure if they can do it with their joint problems I can do it with mine and it will strengthen the messed up joints and stuff.


I got another video today , agian .75, about eating a no, or low fat diet. The video was teaching me how to shop, at a real grocery store, for low and no fat products. Butter, chips, pasta (gobs of pasta), ice cream, bread, all kinds of yummy stuff that are no and low fat. I had no idea!

Anyway I am trying and that is the best I can do. I have to get my mind off of a diet because the last two days I have eaten more than I have in weeks because of the word DIET. I can't do that.

I am going low fat, and trying to eat proper portions. I can only start somewhere and end up somewhere else if I give it my best.