Exercise only affects 5% of weight loss… WTF?

First, the good news.

I got my pathology results today and there was no atypia or malignancy identified in the tissue that was removed. So that’s a huge huge HUGE relief. My incision is healing fine and everything there looks good. The THINGS are truly NO MORE! I go back in six weeks for another check. After that I’ve been instructed to be checked every six months, with every other checkup being a mammogram. They want to keep a close eye on me.

The other news isn’t bad. But it’s weird and I need your opinions, thoughts, etc. But first I have to back up a bit.

Wednesday last week I woke up with a sore throat and a headache. It wasn’t horrible, just annoying. Then the morning of my surgery I woke up in a coughing fit. It subsided by the time I got to the hospital but I let them know anyway. They weren’t concerned after listening to my lungs and finding them clear. I was pretty much fine till Sunday when I started coughing again. I proceeded to cough during the night, and had several coughing fits Monday. My throat has been hurting off an on all week as well.

No one else is sick in my family. No sore throats. No sniffles. I don’t even have a sniffle. Just this weird and annoying cough and the occasional sore throat.

I mentioned the cough to Dr. S (the one who did my surgery) at my post-op appointment today. He said if it persists I should see my regular doctor. I then asked him about Dr. D. (the one who was supposed to do my surgery but got sick and canceled). It turns out Dr. D got really ill with a cough. It was so bad she had to be hospitalized (she’s pregnant) and put on medication. I just saw Dr. D the week before and now *I* have a cough. Interesting.

I asked Dr. S if he knew if Dr. D’s cough was viral or not. He wasn’t sure. Then he caught on to why I was asking, so he joked and said, “Who got who sick? “Maybe YOU got HER sick?!” Who knows? Who cares? I was just asking out of curiosity since that is a coincidence and it’d be nice to know if she had a virus that was contagious. (No I haven’t been to Mexico.)

But that’s not the weird part.

While I’m still talking to him about this cough he cuts me off and asked if my regular doctor is working with me on my weight. This was completely random and out of the blue. I stammered a bit and eventually said no, but I starting a walking routine recently and…

He cut me off again and said “walking won’t help”.

Jack and I both gaped at him.

I replied, “it’s not just walking, it’s a full cardio workout.”

Dr S. replied with a wave of his hand, “exercise doesn’t do anything. It only affects maybe 5% of weight loss”.

Again Jack and I gaped. Only 5%? WTF is he talking about? This is a DOCTOR and he’s telling me that exercise isn’t going to help me lose weight? So I asked him if he meant I needed a diet change.

He was pretty vague in his answer. He said that people rarely lose weight on their own and usually need some sort of program. He said I should talk to my regular doctor about it.

It’s bugged me all day. And I can certainly understand now why my sister didn’t like this doctor.

How can a doctor who claims to have 26 years of experience say exercise won’t help me lose weight? I’ve tried to wrap my brain around it and I can’t. It could be that he means that exercise will help me lose weight, but unless I exercise forever it won’t stay off? I know it’s hard to keep the weight off and maintain. I know this quite well as I’m a yo-yo when it comes to my weight…

Or maybe he was trying to tell me that he thinks I overeat and no amount of exercise would help me? Maybe he’s one of those kind of people who just assumes all overweight people sit on their ass all day and eat as much as they can stuff in their mouths? Or maybe since he’s a surgeon, he was hinting at some sort gastric bypass surgery or something?

He then went on to tell me that with the history in my family, losing weight is something I should really think about as breasts don’t like fat. (I thought breasts were primarily fatty tissue, but HE’s the doctor…). He pretty much was all about talking about my weight after that.

Jack and I were so shocked that we didn’t really get to ask any questions about the surgery, including the most important one: why did I have these clogged ducts and masses in there. I know the answer would have likely been, “who knows with these things” but I still would have liked the chance to ask. Instead I felt like I was being accused of something and felt a little offended. I really wanted to tell him that my sister was not overweight and she got breast cancer, asshole.

So what do you guys think? Especially about this exercise thing? Were we justified in being shocked at what he was saying? Do I have a right to feel slightly offended? Or are we completely missing something (besides that we both know I’m overweight)?

11 thoughts on “Exercise only affects 5% of weight loss… WTF?

  1. I do belive I might have hit that doctor. Everyone on Earth knows that you can’t loose weight with either eating right but no excercise, or excercise but not eating right. Hello, they go hand in hand that’s why all the “programs” out there that he was refering to teach you how to do both. What the heck was up with him?

  2. I hate doctors like that. They blame everything on your weight. Likely, had you gotten the chance to ask he would have told you that the excess weight was the cause of the lumps. I agree with Denise, it is a combination of the two that takes off the weight. I finally have a doctor who is helpful and understanding about my goal to be healthier, not to diet, not to try some fad or program, just simple old fashion healthy foods and excercise and in a year I have lost 70 lbs. I have a long way to go and I seem to have stalled so my next appointment, for once in my life, I will ask my doctor about next steps instead of them nagging me at every appointment “lose weight and you will feel better”. Well, duh, I know that and I wish it were that simple.
    Wow, guess you hit a sore spot with me and sent me on a rage. lol
    I am glad to hear that the lumps are gone. I hope they find out the real reason for the cough and fix you. πŸ™‚ I think your beautilful no matter what you look like, lumps and all.
    Love you bunches. *hugs*

  3. Thanks for your replies and opinions, Cathy and Denise. It’s STILL bugging me that he would say such a thing and I really wish I would have had the wits about me to challenge him on what he was saying. It was just so unexpected!

    And thank you for the compliments, Cathy-friend. I’m so so proud of you for losing that much weight! You go girlfriend!

    I guess I just need to find a doctor who knows what the heck they’re talking about and doesn’t want to just blame everything on my weight.

    It still makes me really wonder just what he was getting at though…

  4. okay, so I gotta chime in here… The doc’s a quack.
    Exercise couldn’t possibly ONLY account for 5% of weight loss.

    Sure, proper eating habits and proper diet help, and yea, a program may help too, but saying that exercise only accounts for “5% of weight loss, if that” is like saying only 5% of bees will sting you if you piss them off, at least that’s how I sum it up in my mind.

    Watching my wife eat properly and exercise nightly in one fashion or other (Wii Fit, DDR, Biking, Walking, Steps, and a host of other stuff) she’s managed to lose 20lbs since January, and is continuing to lose weight daily. It’s not a fast process, that’s not healthy. It’s steady, and the routine is never the same. If you never change the routine of exercises it causes plateaus… and that can least to frustrations, depression etc…

    Anyway, I’m rambling… point of my reply is that Doc is a quack. His exercise knowledge indicates to me that he’s probably still reading the New England Journal of Medicine Circa 1950. I am pretty sure there’s better documentation to show that exercise has actually has far more impact on weight loss that that. I’m too lazy to really look into it, but if my wife’s weight loss is any example… that’s good enough as far as I’m concerned.


    • “His exercise knowledge indicates to me that he’s probably still reading the New England Journal of Medicine Circa 1950.”

      ROFL.. That is almost EXACTLY what Jack said yesterday. That he must be stuck in some old school, 50’s mindset.

    • Just try doing different things on different days, or some days do the same thing twice. Mix it all up, never do a straight routine like “monday is walking day, tuesday is situps and steps, wednesday is wii boxing etc…” mix it up.

      Same goes for food, don’t eat exactly the same thing everyday, try to mix it up some.
      look for different meals, etc. and start a ‘diet program’ not a diet diet, but a nutritional diet, where you ensure that you’re eating the proper portion sizes. Eating healthy and exercise isn’t enough from what I’ve witnessed. It’s a lot to do with portion control. (Not implying anything), just noting what I’ve seen.


  5. Glad to hear your results were great Tracie! That’s good news. And I too agree with the others that this ‘replacement’ doc is a nut-job. He MUST be stuck in the 50’s or something or he subscribes to some celebrity magazine where everyone is skinny as a toothpick.

    Either way, do what you feel is right for you and everything else will fall in place. The main thing is to be comfortable with yourself no matter what. Get your head wrapped around that and the world will take on a better glow. πŸ˜‰

  6. Pingback: Facebook killed this blog… « Jack 'n Tracie ~ Life

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