So, this afternoon I went in to my NEW general doctor to read an MRI report I got because I had hyper extended my knee in a basketball game about 6 weeks ago. (Yeah, it took that long to get an MRI thanks to my terrific HMO) Anywho, I went into the exam room, and the nurse did her thing: weighed me, took blood pressure, took temperature, the usual. She leaves, and 2 minutes later, the doctor comes in. He reads the report as says I have three options:

  1. Surgery – We both agree I’m too young for that right now because the pain and the arthritis in my right knee isn’t bad enough.
  2. Cortisone shots – Which I was happy to hear because they literally take the pain away from your arthritic joint immediately.
  3. Weight loss – Tell me something I DON’T know.

Doctor: I really think you should follow my Five Bite Plan. Have you ever seen Extra TV?
Erika: Extra TV? Ummm.

Doctor: It’s an entertainment show that comes on TV and —

Erika: — Oh! Yeah! Extra.

Doctor: Well, I was on there talking about my plan.
(insert silence)

Doctor: Do you know who Rick Dees is?

Erika: Yeah, he used to be on 102.7

Doctor: Yeah, and now he’s on Movin’ 92.5

Erika: Yeah.

Doctor: Well he talks about my plan all the time cause he followed it and lost 35lbs. in weeks. Erika, on my plan, you can lose 15lbs. in ONE WEEK.

(Inside Erika’s head): That can’t be healthy.

Erika: Okay?

Doctor: Erika, have you ever been bowling?

Erika: Yes.

Doctor: Are you good at it?

Erika: I’m alright (lol)

Doctor: I’m horrible. When I go with my wife, my kids… I’m awful. But so you know what it’s like to hold one of those balls right?

Erika: Yeah.

Doctor: They’re heavy right?

Erika: Yeah.

Doctor: How would you like to walk around with one all day?

(Inside Erika’s head): Oooohhh, I know where this is going.

Erika: Umm, it wouldn’t be comfortable. (lol)

Doctor: Well imagine that with every step you’re carrying a bowling ball…… Now imagine with every step you’re carrying two. — You’re carrying three bowling balls Erika. And with every step (mimicking grinding into the knee with his hands) it’s hurting your knee.

(Inside Erika’s head): (Shit, am I THAT FAT?)

Doctor: Erika, as you lose weight, I want you to be what?

Erika: Healthy.

Doctor: Fabulous. Now, you look great. You really do.

(I smile)

Erika: Well thank you.

Doctor: But I want you to look fabulous. I want you to look like Tyra Banks…

(Inside Erika’s head): Is he serious? Has he seen Tyra lately? And does he know a big girl just won America’s Next Top Model? He must not watch that show.

Doctor:  … or Halle Berry and be able to lay out on the beach this summer. I want you to be tight (he places his hands on his hips, sucks his stomach in and tilts his shoulders forward like the typical high fashion stick model) and slim. With my five bite plan, you can do that.

Doctor: You’re at what, 160lbs. Erika, how do you feel about one…one… one fifteen?

Erika: Ummm, well I was 125 in high school sooooo, I think 125 will be good.

Doctor: 125 so that’s 35lbs lost… I want you to consider losing 45lbs. I really wanna see you at 115. You’d be beautiful. Amazing. You have these doctors suggesting to these morbidly obese people to undergo gastric bypass surgery which shrinks your stomach so that you can only have 3 bites per meal and rapidly lose weight. So if they’re suggesting that surgery for largely overweight people, then why can’t something like that work for someone on a smaller scale?

(Inside Erika’s Head): OMG! Is he telling me I need gastric bypass surgery?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Doctor: Well my five bite plan is essentially the same thing except without the surgery.

Erika: OOOOHHH, Five Bite plan. I thought you were saying, “Fly by plan.”

Doctor: No, Five Bite Plan. Basically what it is, is you eat five bites per meal, two meals per day.

(Inside Erika’s head): WTF?!

Erika: Uuuhhhh —

Doctor: Erika, it’s not so much how much you burn during the day, but how much you put into your body. Do you know it takes more energy and your body burns more calories digesting food, pumping blood through you body and breathing than running on a treadmill for an hour?

(Inside Erika’s head): I don’t know if that’s 100% true.

Doctor: Isn’t that amazing? Your body burns more calories involuntary than you do, voluntarily.

(Inside Erika’s head): But I burn like 800 calories at the gym. I don’t think my digestive system and my beating heart burns that same amount per day… Am I stupid?

Doctor: You know you have these (he gestures a large woman with his hands) big people eating salads all day and saying, “Why haven’t I lost the weight. Why can’t I lose the weight?” And to that I say, “You’re on the same diet as a hippo. And you know what they look like right? Hippos and elephants. And they have to eat tons of grass to get all the sugar they need. Erika I would rather you eat a Snickers bar than 45 carrots because there is more sugar in those 45 carrots than there are in that Snickers bar. We are human animals. Our bodies are made to preserve fat and hibernate just like fish, just like bears just like penguins. We were known to be hibernating animals only a couple hundred thousand years ago. Can you believe that? — Do you know how long the largest person can go without eating? A year… – A man in India once went 408 days without eating.

(insert awkward silence)

Doctor: Amazing isn’t it? Amazing. It’s about control. With my plan, taking five bites per meal, two meals a day. And in three weeks, you will have lost 45lbs. Three weeks.

(Inside Erika’s head): He’s fucking crazy.

Doctor: Go to Outback and order a steak. But only take (he holds up 3 fingers) three bites. Listen, why do we eat? One, because we like to taste the different wonderful foods that are out there; and two, to nourish our body. What’s the difference in the taste between the first and second bite? Nothing. It still tastes the same. So what’s the difference between the first and third bite? Nothing. It still tastes the same. And my plan gives you FIVE bites.

(insert awkward silence and my blank stare to his crazy smiling face)

Doctor: So order the sirloin steak and have three bites. And then have two bites of the key lime pie.

(Inside Erika’s head): Mmmmm, key lime pie…. Does he expect me to throw the rest away?

Doctor: You can be on the treadmill for an hour and lost what, maybe 200 calories?

Erika: I just pay attention to what my machine says and I lose 800 calories when I workout for about an hour.

(He then proceeds to wave his hand past his face as if to say, “Girl, that ain’t nothing).

Doctor:  Don’t even work out. Sit on the couch. Have a regular Snickers bar for breakfast, cause that’s about 5 bites, and a Snickers bar for dinner and that’s all you need. You can take a multi-vitamin because you’ll need to get your vitamins and nutrients for the first three weeks. When I tell people to only do it for two weeks, I don’t usually recommend the multi-vitamin. But since you’re doing it for three, I’m gonna say take it. You don’t even need anymore protein because the Snickers bar’s got it for you with the peanuts they have in them. Will you be hungry? Of course, but only for the first (he holds up 3 fingers) three days. Listen, the thinner you are, the healthier you are.

(Inside Erika’s head): Oh shit. I can’t believe he just said that.

Doctor: Erika, you’re 5’5″ which means you should be somewhere between 109 and (he thinks for about 10 awkward seconds) 135lbs. Now do you think it’s healthier to be closer to 135 or 109?

(He doesn’t give me a chance to answer).

Doctor: “109.”

Erika: But won’t I be losing muscle if I don’t get enough calories?

Doctor: No, that a big misconception.

(He then proceeds to quote some medical journal by page #, paragraph, and then sentence about how the body stores food.)

Doctor: You’ll be losing fat, not muscle. Our society has designed diets that only allow you to lose the weight if you’re on that diet forever. And socially too. We’re socially active eaters.

Erika: Yeah, that’s why I never dieted. And I was able to go from 210 to 135.

Doctor: Well congratulations. That’s great that you were able to do that. But I want to get you to 115 so you can REALLY look great. And you’re gonna do it in just 3 weeks.

Erika: You know it didn’t take me that long to lose the weight the first time I lost it in high school. It took about 3 months. And I just started working out regularly and eating better about 3 weeks ago and I’ve lost 5 pounds.

(BTW, this guy is definitely a sales man because he never lost eye contact with me and I’m pretty sure he only blinked four times.)

Doctor: Keep doing the elliptical like you’re already doing with my five bite plan and you’ll probably even lose the weight in 2 weeks Erika, two weeks….. I wanna see you in three weeks. And I’m telling you Erika, you’re gonna look GREAT. — At the end of the hall at the reception desk, grab one of my cards. It has the whole diet plan on the back. And if you’re really serious about the plan, you should buy my book.

(I don’t remember the name or if he even said the name).

Now, I should have known something was up before I even saw this guy and here’s why:

  1. Right below his name on the lobby directory it said, “Slimming Solutions”
  2. Just before he came into my exam room, I heard him say to another patient, “So I’d like to see you in 2 weeks at 110 okay? 110. (But I thought to myself, he CAN’T be talking about 110 POUNDS because no normal size adult should weigh that much.) Clearly, I was wrong.

Afterwards, during my 35 minute drive to Pinkberry and 73 bites later, I thought of several different ways I could have handled that conversation to make that doctor look and feel like an idiot. But he caught me so off guard. I was too amazed by his ignorance and curious as to what he would say next. I also didn’t want to piss him off because I still want that cortisone shot.



Posted on May 16, 2008, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. mymyshelookgood

    This is the BEST story I have read in a long time. It’s amazing to me that he has a real MD. Unreal. I suppose by his theory, I have 6 bowling balls to carry. Wow, just wow. I think you totally handled the situation properly. You would not have been able to change his mind and you would have left without this amazing story because you would have been too angry.

  2. I agree. Thank you for posting this visit. I have an appointment to see a Dr. who specialty is weight loss w/o surgery, and I’m going to run the “bite” diet by him. Hope your knee feels better!


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