Since my surgery was on November 2nd, I recently had my one year physical with Grand Health Partners. I don’t know how other places handle this, but I usually get to see three people at once. This time it was first the dietitian, then the behaviorist and last but not least the physician’s assistant. The first two are group sessions with 3 other 1-year-patients and the last is of course an individual examination.
First up, we have a new dietitian – and I don’t think she is all that great. She was going through the regular stuff – they have those printouts/check lists and she really didn’t have to contribute much. Then she asked if we have any questions. Well, I did because when I exercise really hard, like a 62 mile bike rid, I never really know what to eat. So, we are supposed to eat 60 grams of protein considering a 1000 to 1200 calorie diet. Now if I exercise that much, I need to eat more – do I have to proportionally increase my protein or is 60 grams it?
And here is where it went downhill with her, I don’t think she had a clue. The biggest bullshit she said was that for 50 miles on the bike (which takes me maybe 2.5 to 3 hours of fairly fast riding) I get to eat an extra 100 calories. Yes, I did not forget a 0, she said 100 calories. That’s just crap. I think a lot of calculators and web sites seem overestimate the amount of calories burned. I am using My Fitness Pal to track food and exercise and RunKeeper to map my routes. Both also calculate calories and they are usually fairly high and I wouldn’t dare to eat that much. But I do admit that after a 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 hour bike ride, I do eat more (and more junk). I checked a couple of times with her, asking if she was sure and yes – she insisted. At one point she said she’d check with the exercise dude Andi, but when she came back she didn’t really say what he explained and told me that she will talk about it after the scheduled stuff (but she never did). After she left the room, I checked with the others and while they have never exercised that hard, they all said that 100 calories is way not enough.
I actually went to see Andi myself afterwards and asked him and he kinda defended her saying that maybe she didn’t know how fast I go or so. In all honesty, even if I ride 50 miles at snail’s speed I still burn more than 100 calories. Heck, if I stand in a corner for 3 hours I probably burn more than 100 calories. MFP tells me that for 227 minutes of Bicycling at a speed of 14-16 mph I burn 3092. That seems extremely high. RunKeeper tells me I burned 2607 calories, and since they are based on GPS, it can include the climbs which IMHO should burn a hell of a lot more calories.
Anyway, back to my annual – the other three patients were gastric bypass patients, and they all had lost more weight than me. I don’t know their starting weight but they had both lost around 100 pounds since their surgery. We were all very happy with our surgery – one lady had to be hospitalized several times but said she’d still do it again because pretty much everything else was better. She had some kidney problems which probably contributed to the hospitalization..
The behaviorists – well, what can I say? I think he’s not that well suited for me. He also had his spiel and kept saying how important it is to log food and exercise and at one point I said the we all are logging anyway – I knew that from the dietitian session. He was talking about Addiction Transfer which I found interesting, but have not seen in me. I don’t believe my eating was that much of an addiction to start with, so nothing to transfer. So, all my bad habits are the same as before sans eating.
Last but not least I saw the PA Randy and I really like him. I had a different one before who in my opinion was a real dud. Randy is nice and went with me through a few things. He was fine with my weight loss and said that if I exercise at this level, my more athletic build will rank higher on the BMI chart vs. a person who doesn’t exercise. Just a side note, at the peak of his body building career, Arnold Schwarzenegger would have been classified as “obese” so really, if you are more muscular and fit, the BMI classifications don’t work that well anymore.
Randy also had all my lab results and I saw them for the first time and asked for a printout. So, everything is perfect – for the first time, my cholesterol values are ALL perfect (Cholesterol 168, Triglyceride 91, HDL 63, LDL 87). I am great on all vitamins and liver and kidney function is great. But he scolded me for my protein. The good range is 6 – 8 and I clocked in at a 5.9. Shame on me, but I knew I was getting sloppy so I am taking to the protein shake again, just to make sure.
That was it for the visit at the surgery place. Now, I was also due for an annual physical exam. My PA there had not seen me since before the surgery and was floored. She is really nice and I like her a lot. Everything there checked out fine too, BP was 115/75, urine sample was clean and for the male readers I’ll spare you the rest but those results come later.
So, everyone was happy, I am happy, and while I was bummed out because I would have liked to lose 100 pounds. Recap after a year: Surgery was the best thing I ever did.