The Diet and Exercise Prescription
Published Online: Thursday, April 26, 2012
Pharmacy has undergone an evolution like virtually no other profession. From the grinding of herbs to clinical pharmacy, it has sent off branches in every direction. Now, I am in the process of building a new limb.
As I'm sure you all know, obesity, especially pediatric obesity, is a serious national problem. What you may not know is that pharmacists can play a role in treating it that goes beyond dispensing amphetamines. The best first-line treatment for diabetes and hypertension is one that is seldom used and in desperate need of increasing—diet and exercise (DE). When that prescription is written by a doctor, who should be there to fill it? It would be a crime if it wasn't a preventive medicine trained pharmacist.
"What is a preventive medicine pharmacist?" you may ask. I am, and I believe I am the first of my kind. I use DE to lower blood pressure and glucose numbers and to produce positive patient outcomes. Now, all I have to do is get the third parties to cover it.
In reality, it shouldn't be that hard of a sell. A good pre-transplant, Dick Cheney bypass will run you an easy $150K. For just $30K, I can transform an obesity case over a 2-year span into a person of ideal body weight, equipped with a lifetime’s worth of positive reinforcement and good habits. In some cases, these former couch potatoes will even end up running marathons.
I'm sure that you are wondering where I got my education in this area. The answer: I am self-taught. As of December 1999, I weighed 306 pounds. I decided enough was enough and made weight loss a central goal in my life. In just over a year, I dropped down to 188 pounds. I used DE to transform from a Santa Claus-like stature to a finisher of the October 2001 Steamtown Marathon, in 3:24.38. I eventually became accomplished enough to qualify for and run the Boston Marathon. I even ran 2,000 miles in one year, including a 4-day jaunt from Scranton to Philadelphia, which raised money for Children's Miracle Network. I never had a coach.
I now weigh 220 pounds. I realize that I am also 12 years older and on Geodon, Lamictal, and Wellbutrin (classic manic bipolar), which makes the weight really hard to lose. I'd be thrilled to get back down to a nice even 200.
Since I have now explained my situation to everyone with an Internet connection, I imagine that this will make me more accountable. It is a shame that I require that amount of motivation, but since I am 20 pounds heavier than I want to be, I must need it. I want to get back into marathon shape even though my beloved speed of my early and mid-30s has vanished. I'll let you know how this is going every other post or so.
Thanks for reading. Peace.