It Happened to Me: I paid a Doctor $2200 to help me lose weight, and he failed

So, obviously my weight problems are not something new. I’ve struggled for a long time.

When I was around 19 my family doctor suggested I try and lose weight. After years of fad diets, lifestyle changes and whatnot, I never saw much change. Responding to his suggestion, I asked him for advice. I remember his reaction clearly. He leaned his tall frame back on his stool and clasped his hands. “Well Jessica,  I would suggest Physicians Weight Loss, otherwise nothing will help you. I was pretty shocked at his attitude and pretty much went on the immediate defensive. We never really discussed it again.

Cue a few months later: My weight was noticeably getting worse and I saw a passing article for the same company my Doctor had recommended. There was this whole piece about how they guaranteed a 35lb weight loss in 2 months. I was game. The first thing I did was grab my phone and called a friend. She’d been looking for a miracle too and I convinced her to go with me!

We managed to schedule back to back appointments. Lucky us! – Though now that I look back I only ever saw one other person there. The first appointment is like any weight loss center. You talk about your previous attempts, your goals and hopes. The major difference is that the people there are (supposedly) medical professionals. There are a battery of tests, questions and assessments. They even do blood work. It took my girl 45 minutes to even stick me properly. I was poked, prodded and promised I would see AMAZING results. My next appointment would be with an actual doctor, but in the mean time I would be given a diet to follow based on my goals, protein supplements and a millions papers.

Then came the discussion of money. The program cost roughly $2200 including doctor fees, weigh ins, blood work and the food. I totally did NOT have that type of cash as a party time worker and full time student. This is where they promote their credit card.. 13 months no feels. I knew I didn’t have enough credit to be approved (I’d never had a credit card, monthly bill or  loan, so you see I was one of those “empty” portfolios). Luckily my friend J did. She paid for them both on her new credit card from the company and we agreed to pay monthly into it together.

At my next appointment I was informed I was deficient in nearly all of my needed nutrients (wth?) and was given B12 shots, and supplements that looked like sand squished into pill forms.. yum.

The meal plan they gave us was multi tiered. In  the first weeks we followed the lowest form, but used the most supplements. The booklets had lists of approved foods and how many from each category you could choose per meal. I followed my meal plan to the letter. I’m good at following rules if someone is there to hold me accountable. At the middle of each week we went in for weigh ins and discussion of progress. After my first month I had lost 11 lbs! The next month, a new plan was handed out and we chose new supplements.

They were all protein based: pudding, cocoa, shakes, juice, soups, coffee add ons. They were mostly disgusting. I remember convincing myself it was necessary. I had my awesome little shaker cup and I was off.

That was the last time I saw any specific weigh loss progress there. I’d lose a pound and gain 3. I was belittled for my lack of progress. I began to notice that there was rarely anyone else there except for some young giggling skinny women that posed as nurses.

When I voiced my concerns I was usually assured my progress was normal, the doctor was at another site and unable to see me or that I just needed to try harder. I finished out my promised 2 months with roughly 9 lbs lost (after loss/gains) and a debt of $1600 in remaining payments.

For a while after I stopped going I received a lot of phone calls urging me to come back (for an additional $2200 of course)

To this day, 8 years later, I still get harassing pre recorded calls from them urging me to go my nearest center for a protein supplement party. SERIOUSLY?

I’ve emailed, called, written and threatened to sue them if they did not stop harassing me. I blocked the numbers at first, so they switched to numbers that were in towns my family members lived in, now they just come up as unavailable.

So that’s one of my total fails.

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