Monday, May 03, 2010

Far from Fine

I am blessed. I have a great family, healthy children, a loving marriage, a career that I (mostly) love, and many good friends. But I still have things that I worry about, there are still things that are far from fine with me. Despite a 22 pound weight loss on my previously mentioned program (woo!), I am still obese and now that I am "graduated" from the program, I find the bad habits slipping back in and pounds creeping slowly back on. I eat when I am stressed. I am stressed a lot. Therefore (logic 101) I eat a lot. I wish I ate a lot of vegetables, or even a lot of fruit, but mostly I eat a lot of pasta. It must release some kind of serotonin, because it calms me like nothing else can (except wine, and I *really* don't want to go down that slippery slope, you know?)

I'm worried about our country's path, our future, my children's future. What the hell is going on with our politicians...all of them? Our government is so perverted from what our founding fathers originally envisioned. It is almost laughable, but worse, it is scary. I am scared to death about freedoms and rights that are being stolen from us right beneath our noses in the interest of some kind of unrealistic, Utopian "greater good." Many of my friends "get it," but there are also many that don't understand what I am saying or seeing, and it drives a wedge in these friendships.

I am worried about the future of my profession. I can see what is coming down the pike in the coming years. It is ugly and is going to get uglier, and I'm pretty sure that physicians had a hand in sealing the demise of our profession as we know it by being the types of people that physicians are...altruistic to a fault. While I'm doing what I can on a local level, I feel helpless to change the runaway freight train that is the bureaucracy surrounding what should be built on a case by case (patient to physician) basis.

So, I fret, and rage against the machine, and beat my head against the wall trying to get people to understand what they refuse to try to understand in both my personal and professional life, and I eat. I recognize that I am self-medicating...but what? Frustration? I'm not clinically depressed. I do have some anxiety and OCD tendencies, but nothing that has been interfering with my daily life. I am just using food as a crutch, instead of healthy sublimation like exercise, I am raising fork to mouth to push down my feelings, my fears. It isn't working for me. So today, after having pasta for breakfast after a particularly harrowing weekend call, I got off of my arse and went for a walk. The hardest step is the first step out the door. Right?


Diana said...

I'd be interested to hear what you have to say about the state of medicine in terms of politics and how that relates to OB/GYNs. My personal cause is promoting homebirth, and from my vantage point both midwives and obstetricians are stuck between a rock and a hard place. In terms of OB's, it seems like they are getting blamed for practicing defensive medicine (leading to the skyrocketing c/s rate, for example) but then blasted with lawsuits if they DON'T cover themselves by doing so - not a fun place to be. And the direction the country is going politically adds even more problems to the situation! I'd love to hear your opinion.

Anonymous said...

Oh man, do I hear you on this one. I am seriously overweight. I make horrible eating choices. I know I make these choices and do it anyway. Totally screwed up I know.
I have no suggestions, only empathy.
Amy in OH

Sylvia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sylvia said...

my husband is just finishing up ob residency (but not soon enough. ug!) and has gained about 30 lbs since first year. he had his cholesterol checked last week, and it's ottathisworld high.
you can get back on track! and i know my hubby can as well. best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Right. Any exercise, but especially, I think, walking will help you physically but will also clear your head most wonderfully.

KarenM in NC said...

I know you are pressed for time and are under a lot of stress, but whenever I read a sentence like this: "I am scared to death about freedoms and rights that are being stolen from us right beneath our noses in the interest of some kind of unrealistic, Utopian "greater good"", I then wait for an explanation. Rarely does it come.

Can you elaborate on what this sentence means? It seems esoteric to me. Does most everyone else understand it? Am I the only dense person here?!

I do hope things get better for you.

KarenM in NC

Unknown said...

I am a stress eater as well so I just think of it in terms of baby steps and try to snack on healthier things that I still like and try to drink more water or diet drinks or chew some sugarfree gum. I've also tried some Shirataki noodles (pasta made of tofu) which I thought was okay but my husband thought it was nasty and threw the leftovers away so maybe it's not the ideal solution.

Mitch said...


I can only name a couple of things here...but they are good starts...

1. I no longer have a choice of who my lender is for medical school student loans. The government took over the entire industry.

2. Soon, we likely won't have much choice when it comes to healthcare insurance.

3. Doctors already have little autonomy in how they practice medicine. Insurance, government, and lawyers seem to have more to do with healthcare decisions than physicians that spent the better part of a decade dedicated to nothing but learning their trade...not to mention the Continuing Medical Education they do every year if they are worth their salt.

To me, that is scary. I really don't like the idea of business folks making decisions about my healthcare.

OMDG said...

I was also curious about that sentence.

As for food, maybe you could try beans instead of pasta? They're pretty carby like pasta, but they tend to expand in the stomach, making you feel full sooner.

You just need to break the pasta addiction. Try to resist for 2-3 days. It is hard at first, but it will get easier.

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KarenM in NC said...

Hi Mitch,

Here is my understanding of the answers to your questions:

1. You can still obtain educational loans from private lenders; one need not depend on the government. The new legislation simply cuts out the bank as the middleman for government-backed student loans. It's a good switch. Savings figures vary, but are in the neighborhood of $68 billion over the next eleven years.

2. I can only speak for my family on health insurance provider choice. We have no choice presently; it's BCBS or nothing! We do have a choice on the level of coverage, i.e. 80/20 or greater.

3. I wonder if most doctors feel this way where is their advocacy for this? The AMA supported the recent health care reform.

You do know that insurance executives and their various committees already make the bulk of medical decisions already, right?

There are continuing changes that will need to be made, but I feel what has been done is a huge step forward for the American people.

Change is difficult for everyone...even doctors!

Val said...

I hear where you're coming from...
I've been filled w/a low-level sense of dread about the deep dark hole our country is digging itself into, w/out any hope that "We" can turn this around. [Yes even during the Bush years!]
Our current course is unsustainable, yet our elected leaders et al are more concerned w/playing politics than FIXING THINGS.
I am depressed that my son will likely have far fewer opportunities than I did, by the time he reaches adulthood. Amongst other things!
But on a more positive & personal note, I have found that cutting down on carbs has greatly reduced my cravings & "automatic eating" habits. [Still hasn't done much to get me off my own plateau though]

Katie said...

I'm sorry. That's a lot to think about.

And it makes me want to eat more pasta.

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RoseAG said...

I think those are all perfectly reasonable things to worry about. Things do seem to be a big mess right now.

Every time I see a Medicare-aged protester calling for less government and lowered taxes I feel my blood boil.

So we're all in agreement that the nation is going to you-know-where in a hand-basket.

It's not a reason to, in the words of another politician, dig your grave with a knife and a fork.

Maybe you'll never be that 110 pound girl you once were, but you can work towards making your body as strong and fit as your obviously able mind. Set a good example for your children.

Turn the TV off, go to bed on time, get outside and try for 10,000 steps a day.

If we're gonna sail through this crummy storm we all need to be in good shape!

And - great post on Kevin MD the other week.

Laura said...

The South Beach diet approach has really saved me. I've realized I can't even have one bite of simple carbs or I can't stop. Sad, but true. The payoff is that I feel a million times better eating this way. The first three days were tough, but the payoff was well worth it. Hang in there. It's scary times for all us grown-ups. (ps-- I wish the pr flacks would vacate the premises)

KathyC said...

Thanks so much for your blog. I am truly encouraged in knowing that there are physicians like you who "rage, rage" against the establishment and seek to do what's best for patients. All anyone wants is a
safe baby delivery
, yes? And, by the way, I really enjoy your writing style too - I read a lot of medical blogs for the general public, and yours is really engaging.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Whoo,
Please don't give up on your blog. Your posts may just be the highlight of many of your readers' days!