I gained 75 lbs in a short period of time after I quit smoking. I've had every test in the world, and no one can figure out why. I'm also getting unexplained rashes and staph and yeast skin infections in areas I never have before. My cholesterol has shot up. My BMI is 35, putting me well on the track to adult-onset diabetes (I'm already showing signs of insulin resistance).
I have life-long and only partially-treated sleep apnea that the weight is aggravating. I can't breathe because of the extra weight on my ribcage (verified by a pulmonologist). I have an acid reflux problem that the extra weight is aggravating and that also affects my sleep quality (and for which I medicate). I have an iron transport issue that causes the Restless Leg that and also affects my sleep qualtity (for which I supplement, but that only goes so far so I also eat an iron-rich diet). I'm Vitamin D deficient (for which I prescription supplement) which aggravates my tiredness. The ever-present exaustion caused by sleep problems, Vitamin-D deficiency, iron-transport issue, and toting around 75 extra lbs manifests daily in new dimension of horror and frustration: An anxiety/paranoia problem (pharmaceutically treated) and borderline depression (managed without pharmaceutials).
In general, my health is in trouble.
Exercise is dramatically difficult for me because of the (1) 75 lbs of extra weight I'm hauling around (2) the difficulty in breathing because of the weight and (3) the lack of physical energy from the ever-present exhaustion.
I've been eating a lower-fat, iron-rich, whole-food (i.e. lowest level of industrial processing possible), high-vegetable diet as a matter of course for the last year. That stopped the gain, now I fluctuate between 215 and 225 depending on the time of the month. This plateau is slowly killing me. So I went to my General Practioner and told her, "I apparently can't do this. Now it's in your hands."
My doctor referred me to a dietician. If this doesn't work, the next step is the Methodist Hospital Weight Loss Program. Yikes! I guess I'd better take this seriously, eh?
So, the dietician my doctor referred me to talked to me about my eating and exercise habits for five whole minutes, as far as I know never looked at my history, then wrote me this (see right) laughable eating plan that stresses portion control and has me eating the same foods day after day after day. She also ordered me to vigorously exercise for 35-45 minutes a day 5/days per week, excluding the almost three miles a day I walk back and forth to work because I'm "already used to it." Every single food I asked her about was "No." When she disallowed fruit juice, I asked her what to do when stuck, needing sugar, and all I have is a convenience store. "Crackers." And that works, exactly how, with no nut butters and only whole grains? No actual answer, just "You should plan ahead."
The entire meeting was exactly that level of helpful.
Check out the eating plan. Click it to see the readable version. Tell me if you think this whole "plan" is as absurd as I do. I can't imagine how I'm supposed to find the energy to do this level of exercise with the low-meat-iron diet or how I'm supposed to prevent stomach acid from erupting from my mouth like a volcano with only this tiny amount of food to soak it up. I don't even LIKE fish or turkey, and, I kid you not, those are exactly two thirds of my meat choices. How is a person supposed to stick to a diet of less than 10 foods, every single day, for six months?
No wonder our nation has an obesity epidemic, if this is the medical help available to those fortunate enough to have access to medical help! The living stick-figure that gave me this plan might as well have said, "Here's your unusable advice. Good luck!"