Thursday, November 15, 2007

Doctor, Doctor.

I am 5'10" (5'11" if I'm feeling good about myself). My weight has ranged from 205 to 220 in the past year. Which is a BMI of about 29-31 (OBESE). However my waist to hip ratio is in the "healthy" area, and while I could stand to lose a few lbs, I am a lower bf% than most folks (16-17% last time I calculated). In short, I look like a rugby player. The wife is better proportioned than I am. Her BMI is lower, and nearly as lean (which puts her in very good shape as a female) her resting heart rate is somewhere around 5 or something ridiculous, in other words, she is muscular and fit, where as I am a bit more.. sturdy.. lucky me.
The wife has had some issues with doctors. I won't get into the gory details without her input, but the long and short of it is they simply look at her weight and decide that having less of it will resolve all of her problems. I never get treated this way. My BMI puts me at obese, but because I am a male I never get told that my weight is an issue. My resting heart rate is higher, as is my blood pressure, but no mention of losing weight. We are both muscular and athletic, but because I am a male, even though my BMI, heart rate, and blood pressure are higher, she gets told her weight is a problem, and I don't.
I am amazed that medical professionals don't have the understanding of human energy systems of a Small town High school wrestling coach (let alone a true conditioning professional). I used to cringe every time the wife would come back from the doctor with another story of being told to "lose weight." It would appear that she is not alone.
The site makes for shocking, but very interesting reading, and while I have mixed feelings about "fat acceptance," medical professionals should be helping people meet their goals and make educated decisions, and not chiding patients if they don't hold up under scrutiny.
Someone's appearance is not something that should be judged (let alone influenced) by outsiders. If someone accepts themselves as they are (fat) then we as outsiders need to deal with that as a part of their personality. Just as we deal with people who smoke, swear or wear bad ties. If someone is looking to make a change, then support them (or not) but trying to instigate change in another adult seems to me a mistake.
Just as being sedentary and ignoring markers of poor health is another. No one has to have 6 pack abs, or be able to run for miles, or squat 1000 lbs. Everyone should be able to get some form of exercise every day.. or at least every other day. You should be able to break into a run if you need to, you should be able to carry 1/4 of your bodyweight from the car to your house without issue. You should eat your fruits and veggies and lean protein, and you should have dessert from time to time, but not every day. I am pretty sure if people followed those guidelines there wouldn't be an "obesity epidemic" nor would there be "fat acceptance." Then again that might make too much sense for the general population.


Christine said...

I made the mistake of going to a regular doctor with hip pain and being told it was my weight (I was around 215 and 6ft at the time). I went to my chiro and he told me it was bursitis and gave me some stretches to do for it, all better.

Christine said...

Oh, and your wife should get a different doctor. I personally see my chiropractor for everything first, then I go to the regular doc. But I'm a bit of a weirdo.

Kate said...

Maybe if I just put the doctor in a headlock next time... but really, if you're going to write about this, you should also address the doctor who told me that I "must be anorexic" because "big girls don't run marathons just for fun."

J. B. Zero said...

well there is that too, and as you well know lots more..It's not really my place to tell your stories, that's for you to do.