Aren’t Doctors Supposed To Know How To Stay Healthy?
I was amazed when I looked at myself when I was 38 years old and I was 250 pounds. I was at least 75 pounds over weight. I hated myself. I looked at my wife and wondered, “how she could have been attracted to me when I was so fat.”
My back was always killing me and I could not even keep up with my 5 kids. I was in my second year of my Emergency Medicine Residency. Yes, a doctor who is morbidly obese. How can that happen? Aren’t doctors supposed to know how to stay healthy? Aren’t doctors taught everything there is about nutrition?
The reality of it is that I, like most of us, had been hit with multiple stressors over several years. To include becoming a disabled United States Air Force Veteran, a herniated L5-S1 vertebral disc, a reconstructed ankle, getting divorced and remarried, moving from Charleston, South Carolina to Lubbock, Texas, starting medical school, graduating after 4 years of grueling school and then moving to Columbia, South Carolina and at this point in time 2 years of grueling Emergency Medicine Residency and the birth of two of my 6 total children. There were a lot of great times and some very hard times. But life as we all live it is never stress free.
When we are stressed two things immediately get pushed aside, how we eat or how feed us and how we “move our bodies”(exercise). As I looked at myself in the mirror one day and said, “I can’t do this anymore”. I realized after 6 years of medical training I had no clue what to do about my nutrition. Should I do a “Low-Carb Diet?. Should I do a “Low-Fat Diet?”. Should I do a ”High-Protein Diet?. Most doctor, according to a recent Congressional hearing, get less than 3 hours of nutritional education in their entire 4 years of medical training. Most people spend that amount of time watching TV each and every day!!! So I tried Atkins (Low Carb), Sugar-Busters, Slim Fast, The Zone and essentially lost a little bit of weight but then put it right back on. I started to learn and research everything I could find about nutrition and the science of Obesity and how to treat it. Yes, OBESITY, that is what I have as a diagnosis. I will always have it.
Obesity has been defined by just about every medical organization including the World Health Organization as a Chronic Relapsing Medical Disease and I have it. As I start these Podcasts/Blogs I will explain to you the concepts I have learned about treating myself and thousands of patients for Obesity. The science of nutrition, what is the right combination of Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats. How much and when should your nutrition be eaten. It is not as easy as many people think. If it was we would not have a country and world that has become obese. After I realized how little I knew about my own nutrition and treating patients for Obesity for several years. I realized that all these patients had one thing in common. They need to be shown what, when, and how to eat. For myself as well as my patients there were several common themes. Not eating often enough, Not eating enough, and a term called Food Amnesia. The beginning of my concept for “CarbEssentials” was born.