Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Are men really better at losing weight?

I can’t believe how time flies.  It has been a long time since my last post but at the urging of one of my readers in Florida, Caroline; this one is dedicated to you. 

To those disappointed that I took so long between posts, I am truly sorry.  I started chasing too many rabbits only to realize that by the time I caught one, it was too lean to eat.  My analogies tend to annoy my wife enormously, but as you may gather from previous posts, I am a visual

Not unlike the book by John Gray, Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, I think that the issue differentiating men and women with regard to successful weight loss is a matter of taking turns.  When I make lunch or dinner for the kids or the family for that matter, not that this occurs often mind you, but when it does, I notice a significant difference from what happens when my wife Anita prepares meals.  In contrast to my wife who as we start to eat still runs around the kitchen frantically serving, or cutting up fruit for dessert, I am actually sitting with everyone during the meal.   Another way of looking at it would be to imagine a family boarding a train.  The dad gets on the train first while mom on the platform hands him the suitcases and the kids to load onto the train.  As the train starts pulling away from the station, she is buying snacks for the kids at the concession stand still making sure that everything and everyone ishappy, instead of making sure that she has also boarded the train.  Now imagine this happening train after train.  The problem with this altruistic behavior is that it perpetuates the belief that everyone else’ needs come first.   Is this really the message we want mentor for our children or publicize to the world? 

What are we instructed to do on board an airliner as the oxygen masks pop out of the ceiling?  Place the mask over your mouth and nose, pass the elastic band over your head, pull the ends snuggly and breath comfortably, THEN, ASSIST  YOUNG CHILDREN AND THOSE NEAR YOU WHO MAY NEED ASSISTANCE.  If you are incapacitated, while trying to assist others before you put on your own oxygen mask, no one survives.  The assumption made at the train station is that mom can always catch the next train, what if you are going away for one week, and it’s a weekly train? I know what you are thinking; that’s one way for mom to get a break!  Not the point I am trying to make here. 

My recommendation is take your turn first so that you can best help others.  I have been taking
Wednesdays off since the day I opened my practice.  I am in solo practice, it has been this way
since the beginning almost ten years ago.  Twenty four hours a day, I answer my phone.  No answering service screening my calls after hours, nights and weekends, no cross coverage.  In the beginning, I didn’t have any patients on Wednesday except the occasional hospital patient, but by principle I didn’t go to the office on Wednesdays.  Since the practice got busier, I round at the hospital and see emergencies only on Wednesdays, but that is all I do.  The rest of the time I go sailing.  When I need to go to the hospital and round on Wednesdays, I dress very casually, shorts and T-shirt, and I stop in on my way to the boat.  The way I dress is not meant to be disrespectful, but rather serves as a reminder to myself and others that this is still technically my day.  I still get teased by staff members at Saint Johns, who used to kid;  ”you  don’t need to take Wednesdays off, you don’t have any patients yet.”  But the rule is no work on Wednesday.  I also shared the fact that once you start making money on Wednesdays, it’s hard to stop.  Weekends tend to be devoted to family obligations, so without Wednesdays off, I would burn out.  By now, my patients know not to call me on Wednesday unless it is an emergency; they too recognize that I am a better physician to them if I am able to take care of myself FIRST. 

This is not an original thought on my part.  It’s a hybrid from the first law of savings; first pay yourself, then pay your bills.

So whether you are starting the diet, or an exercise plan or a new hobby, take your turn first.  There
will be a lot of resistance, but change always brings resistance, we are creatures of habit.  Stick to what you need and others will respect your determination.  Make it a rule and if you need to justify it, use the line from Dangerous Liaisons when John Malkovich says: “It’s beyond my control.” 

1 comment:

  1. To all thinking about going on the Brentwood Diet:
    I am finishing my first week and have lost on average 2lbs per day.
    The first 3 days were touch and I felt a little weak, but was told that was the effect of the sugar out of my system. I have since overcome that stage and am feeling lighter and not as hungry between meals (notwithstanding the grab bag of vegetables).
    I look forward to my second week to more energy and continued strength to finish my 3 week program!