I bit the bullet today. I made an appointment to talk to a Doctor about going on a Ketogenic diet.
From what I can tell, it’s very complicated to get the nutritional Ketogenic numbers figured out. A certain amount of protein, balanced by a percentage of fat, along with a limitation of carbohydrates – it’s so much work. Just tell me what to do. Which is exactly what I was hoping this clinic could do for me.
Please just help me to figure this out.
I do know that since I’ve had Lyme disease, my metabolism has been trashed (along with my immune system.) In the 2.5 years I’ve had Lyme disease I’ve put on about 30 pounds. Some of it is not exercising (who can exercise when you need to crawl up stairs) and some of it is an altered metabolism. Talk to many long term Lyme patients and you’ll hear story after story of added pounds.
I need to do something to get this weight off so that I can exercise with less pain. But I can’t exercise until I lose weight and I can’t lose weight until I exercise – this is the nowhere land in where I currently reside.
So today I visited a local Medical Weight loss clinic. First I had to fill out pages of forms asking everything from how often I eat to where I eat (sitting down? In front of the TV?) The forms asked me to put down my current weight – I briefly thought about skipping that question, but decided that that would be defeating the whole purpose of going there in the first place. I put down the weight I was at my last LLMD appointment in November (which I might add was my all-time high, so I was able to skip the next set of questions.)
When it was my turn, I was ushered into a room where I had to take off my shoes and socks to be weighed. The reason for this partial nudity is that the scale “shoots a current through your body in order to come up with some body calculations.” I’m not sure what I expected for a “consultation” but if I knew I was going to be weighed fully clothed (but with naked feet), perhaps I wouldn’t have worn two (2) shirts and my heavy jeans.
Oh hey, but guess what? I weighed in at 3 pounds less than I did in November. I’m definitely off to a good start.
Next, I was sent down the hall to the Doctor’s office to wait for her. When she opened the door I was a little surprised. This is a weight loss doctor who is …. overweight – by a lot. Isn’t that kind of like going to a pulmonologist who smokes? But because I looked in the mirror this morning, I’m really not one to judge.
I don’t binge. I don’t eat sugar or processed food. I don’t even snack and yet look at the boat (battleship) I’m in – I decided to listen to what she had to say.
“Good news,” she told me, “you qualify for appetite suppressant medication.” Oh yay me, I didn’t know whether to be pleased that I had “won” or go into a sudden and deep depression.) Although tempting (who wouldn’t want a pill to make you not hungry) after reviewing the side effects (high blood pressure, headaches, insomnia, heart attack) and finding out that insurance doesn’t cover it (but the pharmaceutical company will help with the cost) I decided to say no.
I explained that I had Lyme disease (I don’t think it’s gone, I think it’s being managed) and that what I want to do is lose some of the weight I gained while having and being treated for Lyme *while* eating healthy food. Is that really such a hard thing to do? My body is still traumatized by all the antibiotics and bacterial damage – I don’t want more drugs, I simply want guidance on eating a healthy diet that contains a healthy amount of good fats.
She wasn’t too impressed with my having been treated and having antibiotics for a year. Really, even with so many articles out lately that point to gut bacteria as a source of health (or disease?) Not even a mention of probiotics?
It looks like I’m on my own again with regard to Lyme disease. Sigh.
Even though most of my symptoms have gone, I continue to have constant muscle twitches in my legs. My working theory is that my leg nerves have been irritated and the extra fat will help to calm them. (It’s a little more complicated than this and uses the term demyelination but suffice it to say, that in my case, I’m convinced that less fat-weight and more fat-diet will help me.)
After trying to get me interested in “bars and shakes” (no thank you, I don’t even want the “sample” being offered) she finally realized that I really did want to know about Ketogenic. “Basically, it’s the induction phase of Atkins,” she told me. “You only eat meat and meat products for 2 weeks, that’s it.”
Well at least I have a never ending supply of eggs to eat while I’m doing this.
I still wasn’t completely sure that that’s what the Ketogenic diet was, but at least she had thrown me a plan to follow. I went to the book store and picked up Dr. Atkins New Revolution Diet. The induction phase is meat and egg heavy but it also includes salad greens, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, and cheese. I can live with that for two weeks. Once I’m done with the induction phase, I’ll transition to Paleo/Ketogenic (which is basically a clean diet with good fats, plenty of protein, and no grains) and then we’ll see what happens.
Although most people are consistent with weight loss when they have appointments every 2 weeks, (at $100 not–covered-by-insurance a pop) the doctor reluctantly told me it was up to me to decide when I would be coming back to check in. “At the rate we discussed, you would lose 12 pounds in 4 weeks, and 18 pounds in 6 weeks.” All righty then, I’ll return in 6 weeks to see how well I’ve done.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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