It was a rainy Spring day as I sat in Dr. L’s office. Dr. L was an endocrinologist at the largest Upper East Side medical facility in New York.
After she went over my results, she glanced down at my feet. “Cute boots,” she said.
“Thanks,” I murmured.
They were bright orange rubber rain boots with cute little white flowers. A drag queen had given them to me the year before. Usually I would jump right into the random “only in New York” story behind the shoes, but I couldn’t. I was too busy trying to maintain composure despite the lump in my throat. This was a new doctor, but these weren’t new results….
She had run so many tests, drawn so much blood, and there was still no explanation. I am 100% healthy, no diabetes, no high blood pressure, no nothing. Everything about my body is perfect… except that I am overweight.
She went into the age old suggestions: Exercise… Portion Control… Fruits and Veggies…”
I sat there nodding mechanically. Tears began stinging my eyes. I felt an eruption of emotion and I’m not sure if I was speaking to myself or her but I heard myself saying “I do those things, and… it’s not working!”
I couldn’t make eye contact, I found myself fixated on my boots. Last week Dr. L saw me wearing nothing but a blue paper jacket, but in the statement I just made, I felt truly naked.
Dr. L took a pause and looked at me, her eyes softening. She sat down on the edge of her desk, “Well,” she began “we need to explore other options.”
Then Dr. L mentioned something that had never crossed my mind, “weight loss surgery”.
My mind began to race… Wasn’t weight loss surgery for people on the Discovery channel who were confined to their beds for years at a time?? I was a young, fashionable, active girl who still took dance classes weekly (and rocked it), I easily trot up the stairs when exiting the subway and I walk just as briskly as the next New Yorker… do I really need surgery to reach my goals?
“Absolutely not.” I replied, “No.”
Dr. L smiled “Good, that’s what I wanted to hear. I really think you can do this, now– we have a program that I think may work for you. Its been very successful…”
She wouldn’t tell me much about the program, just that it would drastically change my eating habits and calorie intake. She signed me up for an informational meeting the next week.
Though it was still raining, I left her office in a sunny mood. I tucked my jeans into my rain boots and walked through Central Park on my way home. Might as well get a head start on (yet another) weight loss journey.