DR. HOOK- No magic pill: Get off the couch and exercise!

Coffee is hot... well, as long as it isn't iced coffee. We all know that. I recently picked up a cup of coffee at the coffee house, and it felt like a sizzling curling iron on Project Runway. So why would anyone put coffee between her legs– while driving– and sue the restaurant for her burnt crotch? Crotchety old lady!

Microwaves cook food. I know they say in Vietnam they eat cat, but even they don't microwave them. Yet here in the US, someone microwaves Sylvester the Putty Tat, and sues the microwave's makers for the death of the cat. C'mon! Doesn't anyone take responsibility for their own actions?

I don't know how many patients have fired me because they don't lose weight while under my care and then blame me. In LA, there's a billboard counting all the trees being killed in the Amazon. Maybe I should create a similar billboard, "I fired Dr. Hong because I'm not losing weight, and it's his fault. Where's my magic pill?"

Trust me, I know how hard it is to exercise and eat right. I hate working out at 7am or 9pm. Sometimes I want to throw my skates at my ice dancing coach when she yells, "Push, Faster, Move!" when I am close to needing a ventilator. The dumbbells stare at me and laugh, "Ho! ho! ho! We're heavy, and you're going to struggle!" My elliptical rider looks like an iron maiden to me.

In fact, my father tells me I'm stupid to exercise and eat right when I could simply take medications for diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. (I already do take medicines for hypertension and cholesterol– it's genetic, darn it! But at least they're well controlled with my lifestyle modifications.)

I give all my patients an "instruction sheet" at the end of their visit, so they know what drugs they're taking, why they're taking them, their blood pressure, etc... and their current weight and target weight. 

I sometimes think I'm a fool to include the body weight and target weight. In fact, the majority of doctors never address weight. I see why. Many patients hate you for it.

"Well, I haven't weighed that since I was an embryo!" "I'll look sick if I lose that much weight." "I never ever eat, but I can't seem to lose weight." "I look at food and I gain five pounds."

But then I go the extra mile– the long lonely mile to the graveyard with some of my patients– and ask, "How much are you exercising?" Stop the presses! Did that S.O.B. just utter the word exercise? It's godless and un-American to exercise. 

So I try to come up with plans for exercise and write down on my "instruction sheet" what they can do for exercise. Many people respond with comments like, "I don't have time to exercise." "I walk around all day and I'm too tired to exercise." "How can I sit on the couch, drink beer, and eat potato chips if I'm on the treadmill? Are you stupid or what?"

Hey, I understand. I'm working 60-80 hours a week myself, but I exercise because it makes me feel better, and I know it helps reduce my risk of a heart attack and stroke. Since I don't farm or do manual labor all day, I have to go out there and exercise whether it's going to the gym, skating, playing racquetball, or riding my bike with my dog.

I don't like being blamed for someone else's obesity. There is no magic pill. It comes to diet and exercise– everyday. I know if every obese or overweight person went on Survivor (fewer calories in, more calories burned off), they would lose weight like Richard Hatch– minus the skinny dipping.