Dietetic Internship Rotation #1: Tufts Weight and Wellness Center (WWC)
1 pound = 3,500 kcals.
My day centered around this simple fact. One pound lost requires 3,500 calories worth of effort. It's no small accomplishment.
Today I started rotations at the Tufts Medical Center Weight and Wellness Center (WWC). The WWC is a clinic solely devoted to the treatment of obesity. Patients with obesity are treated through several programs, including medically supervised weight loss groups, meal replacement programs, and surgery (gastric bypass or gastric-band). Obesity is treated as a clinical diagnosis by a team of doctors, surgeons, dietitians, behavior therapists, exercise physiologists and nurses. It truly is an amazing approach and has produced significantly successful results.
Now I am sitting on my couch organizing my notes and getting ready for tomorrow. I stop and recognize the faint sensation that has been brewing in my mind all day. Respect. Today I have gained a new respect for individuals of size. Gastric bypass surgery is no small decision. Imagine having a stomach the size of an egg. Imagine a life without sugar. Exactly. In pursuing this surgery, these patients have a motivation that I don't own. The patients I met today had humility, to listen to clinician after clinician tell them what to do and how to change. Many of these individuals are preparing to live a new lifestyle. I respect the 7 patients that I met today, and I never want to forget the lessons I learned from them.
*note: In gastric bypass surgery sugar and fat are not completely eliminated from the diet. However intake may produce uncomfortable side effects such as dumping syndrome.*
The conversations from today linger with me. Although I will not see these patients again, I truly wish the best of luck for all of them. I hope their surgeries are successful, their weight loss prolonged and consistent, and their lives improved in health and happiness.
Tonight my thoughts are for them.