"How much do you weigh?"

It's a question I'm sure we've all been asked everytime we go to the GP, for me, it was a question either myself or my mum was asked for 23 years by multiple GPs and other hospital doctors.

The one occasion that really sticks in my mind is from late June last year, about a month before I joined this forum and started to actively lose weight. In March, I had been to my GP to get a refferal for bariatric surgery and, at that point, weighed 28st 2lb (from my conversion from the NHS metric measurement of 178.7kg), at this second appointment in June, the doctor had the scale reading faced to him, after stepping off the scales he asked me the question "How much do you think you weigh?" I'd guessed I'd have gained a pound or two in the time (only about 13 weeks) so I said "28st 4lb", he said "You've gained 5kg in 3 months, that is 9lb, you now weigh 28st 11lb" it was at this point that he made the decision to refer me for the surgery.

I was shellshocked, that was my quickest gain in a short period of time, I had feelings of shock, anger and pure upset.

Would anyone else care to share any shock GP appointments?

Have a good afternoon

Rob :)

Last edited by

25 Replies

oldestnewest
  • Hi Rob, 

    Thanks for sharing your experience.  It sounds like it was a shock moment for you when you realised how much weight you'd gained within a short space of time, and definitely had an impact.  

    I haven't got any GP related experiences that I can share, but I do have an experience of when I went to one of those 'pop-up' health check type things, and was weighed and measured etc, and they told me that I was obese at that time.  They then launched straight into telling me that I should lose weight, and it seemed they were being quite 'critical' in their language (or at least that's how I perceived it at the time) - but what they didn't ask me was anything about my history - i.e. the fact that I had already lost a stone, and was therefore already trying to do something about my weight, and was already on the road to a healthier lifestyle. They also did one of those print-outs that gives 'metabolic age' and I similarly felt really shocked that it said I was nearly 20 years older than my chronological age - and yet it was based purely on a machine that measures it via you stepping on the scales, and inputting a few bits of data about your body frame etc.  

    Thinking back on that situation, I feel I could have done with some validation and encouragement.  Maybe that's why I love this forum so much, as it's a helpful and supportive environment where people understand the issues of being overweight, and changing to improve our health and well-being.

    Hope you're having a great week Rob, and thanks for this thought-provoking post.

    Lowcal :-)

  • Hi Lowcal,

    It most definately had an impact - you know my story, but I'm 22st 7lb now, just over 6st lost in 9 months overall. I knew I was essentially killing myself and needed to change.

    I felt that even my GP was often quite cold. "You're morbidly obese", "You're going to die unless you improve you lifestyle". My metabolic age was 34 at 23, and I had more than an 80% chance of getting diabetes before I was 30. It's now 27 at age 24, with now a 15% chance of diabetes by 30. Not great but I am now much more pleased than I was then.

    I like it here, I think it can be more therapeutic than any doctor or psychiatrist, it's just a little more personal and everyone here is going through what we're helping each other with, I wonder how many doctors and psychiatrists have ever been obese?

    Have a great week Lowcal,

    Rob :)

  • I've had both harsh experiences and constructive experiences regarding being told I was very overweight and that it was affecting my health. But I didn't really feel I could make the change until I was told by someone who really listened to my circumstances and made some sensible initial suggestions. My best moment was when I joined a new GP surgery and asked them to weigh me so I could have the correct weight on my records - they were shocked that the figure was 20kg less than the records were showing. I hope you'll be able to be the one delivering a shock (rather than receiving it) with your ability to make the change yourself too :)

  • Hi Ruth,

    I think it sometimes depends on the GP you get, I had a locum once who was so much more understanding and helpful than my usual GP.

    I suppose though that they have to be cruel  to be kind. The GP that I'm talking about left the practice at the end of last year, but I'd like to be able to go back to him now and show him me 6st 4lb (40kg) lighter I do think that they expect the world from you sometimes. As I have said to Lowcal above, I wonder how many medical staff who preach to us about losing weight have actually been there?

    Have a good week

    Rob :)

  • Regarding your last point, when my firstborn was a baby, the lady Health Visitor who " lectured" me on feeding routine, healthy foods etc , was herself obese ....around 20st !!! And whenever I visit someone in hospital, I am shocked that there are often several quite overweight nurses .

  • I know - the number of overweight NHS staff is unbelievable!

  • I don't know if my experience was shock or embarrassment, Rob.

    I was mortified as a pre-pubescent 11yr old to be told by my GP, that he was going to refer me to a dietitician, for weight loss, after suffering from migraine stomach aches! Not an experience any child of that age wants to go through!

  • No Moreless, definately not and experience any child would want to go through!

    I always remember any childhood doctor's appointments for any reason my Mum would be told that I was obese everytime no matter the reason I even had the appointment, as I've said above, doctors can be cold and expect the world.

    I remember a school weight check once, in primary school, I was the biggest kid in my class. We weren't shown the measurements but  I saw the nurse write in big red letters on the paper "OBESE" the next kid saw it and that was it - the bullying began. Thank God I left most of them the next year when we moved to High School.

    Have a good afternoon

    Rob :)

  • It's bad enough being an overweight adult, but being an overweight kid is an absolute nightmare!

  • Exactly :)

  • I had a similar experience with a school medical age 13. I was very upset by it . I was already 5ft 3 I think, and weighed 10st something or other. Nurse said I was too heavy ( this was in 1965 ) and sent me home with a diet sheet of sorts. ..I think it probably just said no sweets or potatoes. I don't know if my mother took it very seriously ( she still made delicious meat pies and crumbles!), or whether I just cheated, but I do not recall losing any weight !!

    Pleased to say, 50 years further on, I am finally about 8 lbs lighter ..lol 😃😃😃

  • Oh well done Elliebath, I've never been lighter than I was then! :D

    I had to have time off from school to attend the dietician's weekly! I was mortified that the teachers knew why I was absent and it wasn't easy making different excuses to my peers for a weekly absence! :o

  • Oh dear, that would have been very humiliating for you ....

    Let's hope today's school nurses ( where they still exist) tackle things more tactfully for kids .

    Fortunately OR unfortunately, we have evolved to be a bit bigger in frame and height over the years. I recall my mum in her mid forties weighing nearly 11 stone and she had to buy size 18 back then. Today it's probably more like a size 14. ... but in my opinion, manufacturers vanity sizing has done us no favours as it has simply normalised ' overweight' .

    Good luck with your final steps 😊

  • I agree, when I weighed 10st and wore a then size 14, I was considered overweight! I will be within healthy BMI when I reach 11st 2 now and will be wearing a size 12! I forgot, I'm also an inch shorter now! :D

    Thanks for your support and encouragement :)

  • It is always more than we imagine, isn't it? 

    My doctors and medical staff have been very understanding and it was a medical person that helpfully told me about the NHS 12 week plan, for which I am very grateful.

    My last routine annual check up was the final straw for me, I weighed in at the highest I have ever weighed and I knew I had to do something about it.  I am really looking forward to my next annual review in August - it is going to be good!

  • Hi LessToLose,

    It really hit home for me at my GP's appointment. As I say I knew my weight was out of control and it was basically killing me.

    I think it's luck of the draw when it comes to doctors. Some are alright some aren't so good.

    Have a good evening

    Rob 😃

  • I have had good and bad experiences, it seemed whatever was wrong with me my weight was ALWAYS the cause 😕  but my orthopaedic surgeon is great. He just gently pointed out the extra  strain the weight was putting on my joints, and said 'the nearest you get to a normal weight the better', in other words, not expecting perfect just better. 

     My practice nurse is also very supportive, battling weight loss herself. 

    Whilst GPs cannot be good at everything, there is so much misunderstanding about weight issues, they surely should know the basics? 

    Well done on the weight loss RobLandsdown91 😊

  • Hi Anna61,

    Even when I went with something stupid like an ear/throat infection it'd always be "Oh, losing weight would help the situation" everyone gets infections, it's just an excuse for them to get you to lose weight.

    I had both my knees replaced last month and of course the osteoarthritis was caused by my weight. I got to the weight I needed to be to have the op - my surgeon was very helpful too.

    I'm sure they must know some of the basics - they just like to make it as awkward as possible.

    Thank you.

    Have a good evening

    Rob 😀

  • Yes!! Exactly!! Grrr 😕 

    When I first went to see GP with my ankle he just snapped 'it's probably arthritis, lose 3 stone or they won't even see you, you need to eat less than 1000 calories a day' 😞 When I finally got a hospital referral two painful years later it was nothing at all to do with my weight. Like I said before, consultant is lovely, he's done what he can, but I will need further (major) surgery, and the longer I can leave it the better so losing weight is my effort to postpone.  I also had complications whilst under anaesthetic which really frightened me, and knowing I will need further surgery, decided enough is enough. Every day gets me closer to a normal weight, but I also focus on the now, on the process  😊 I'm also doing lots of reading on the psychology of it all, recognising my triggers etc it's all helping 😊 

    Good luck with your journey 😊

  • I have a similar story. I went to my endocrinologist (I have a metabolic disorder) and they weighed me. I walked in an the first thing the doctor said to me was "well you look very overweight" then told me I need to lose 8 stone or else she wants to refer me for gastric band surgery. I'm only 21!

  • We moved from towny Berkshire to country Herefordshire last year and had a "meet the GP" intro and were weighed. I was a lumpy 104.5 kg probably the biggest I've been and a stone or more than I thought I might be!

    GP gave me the normal advice, lose a few (lol) pounds, drink and eat a bit less and exercise. Didn't really follow his advice (at all) but did walk a lot more. 7 months later I bought some scales and found I weighed a paltry 4.1kg less despite feeling quite a bit fitter. That was pretty much a similar level of shock and disappointment as the GP weigh-in as I was sure I'd be well into the low to mid 90 kgs. :-(

    So joined here 3 weeks ago, felt genuinely inspired by the success stories and encouragement. Changed my eating habits completely and walked a bit longer and quite a bit quicker and sought out hills rather than avoided them (irregular heart rhythm = hills are the enemy) and have lost 6.6kg in 3 weeks.

  • Hi Rob,

    When I went for an appointment with the nurse a few months ago I didn't even register on their scales. I bought heavy duty scales from the internet and weighed myself. I was 31 stone 4 pounds. That was a shock. I made an appointment with my doctor and pleaded with him to allow me to get a gastric band, but he refused, telling me that the only way I would be eligible was if I had diabetes. So without any help or support from my surgery I have decided to do this myself, obviously not the surgery bit, as I would need to be awake and my wife would tell you that my DIY skills are ,well, not skills at all. I started watching what I ate and lost a few pounds here and there but I needed motivation and I needed to have my head in the right place to give me the mental strength to succeed. I found this forum purely by luck and I'm grateful that I have. I'm on week three of the 12 week plan and have lost 11 pounds to date. First mini goal is to get below 30 stone. At the moment I weigh 30 stone 5 pounds or 425 pounds so I'm not far away. It's great to see that you had the support of your GP. That must have been reassuring. I wish you every success with your weight loss journey.

  • Good luck with everything Kenny :)

  • Don't think I've ever been asked that. I get asked how much I've lost now. I don't go to the doctors (a limb would have to be severed before Id go) so I've never had a doctor ask me that!

  • :)

You may also like...