Thursday, June 21, 2007

Giving Slimming Saloons a Run for their $$$!


The charming nurses on duty at the Weight Managment Clinic in Alexandra Hospital.

Eating breakfast in the midst of greenery. Alexandra Hospital is well known for its beautiful and well landscaped gardens.

The dietician, Yvonne Ban, giving tips on healthy eating.

A free shuttle service to take visitors to the Queeenstown MRT Station.

I trudged to Alexandra Hospital, feeling a little curious! The staff at the Weight Management Clinic had sent me two sms to remind me of my appointment with them at 8.00a.m. on 20th June 2007. How efficient!

I was greeted by charming nurses who asked me to fill in tons of forms. I was told that the wieght program consists of 4 doctor's consultation, 4 sessions of deitetics counselling, 4 execrise sessions and 3 behavioural therapy appointments which will all be completed in 4 months. The total charges are $445.71 with the government subsidising at $217.71, thus leaving $228/-. As I am a regular blood donor, I get another $50 discount, leaving me with a nett payment of $178/-.

The clinic is very thorough. I was asked to fast the night before so that I could be given a blood test. The nurse took my height and weight. I was asked to remove my shoes and socks and I told the nurse she must also "pump out air from my body" as I laugh a lot and have become fat from laughing. The nurse smiled and said I brightened up her day! The doctor on duty, Dr. Chua Han Boon, was not feeling well, and still came to work! He is meticulous and explained the program in greater detail. He challenged me to lose more than the minimum of targeted weight of 8 kgs in 4 months. I was told that I would have to submit one whole day of urine collection as the clinic wants to test my hormones. I was thrilled to learn that if the hormones are not balanced, it would also contribute to weight gain! I was asked to take the free breakfast of coffee and buns after the blood test. How thoughtful of the clinic! I was given an ECG and X-ray to make sure that my heart and lungs are strong before the clinic embarks me on an exercise program.

The deitician, Yvonne Ban, explained to me the necessity to take certain foods in limited quantities as they are detrimental to the health. There was even a cooking demonstration to show patients how to cook delicious yet heathy food.

I was given a pedometer which I had to clip on to my clothes. The little machine will note down every step I take. The ideal is at least 10,000 steps a day. I was thrilled at the end of the evening - the reading showed 15,208 steps! I started the pedometer at 12 noon. Hence, with the amount of walking I do everyday, 10,000 steps a day should not be a problem. Mmm...must be the hormones that are the main culprit for my obeisity! Let us hope so... but the fact remains that I must be determined from now onwards to do something about my weight and to lead a healthy lifstyle.

I am writing this article because I am sure there are many who do not know about the Weight Management Clinic at Alexandra Hospital. Perhaps many of you are like me. I dislike signing up with those beauty saloons which charge exorbitant fees for their weight loss programs. It is ironical that one has to spend so much money to lose weight when half the world is dying of hunger!

My siblings and colleagues are very concerned about my weight, and now with so many people on the know, I am even more determined to shed off the unhealthy kilos! From time to time, I will keep my readers posted, and hopefully at the end of the 4 months program, I will post a before and after picture of my weight loss. :-)

Cheers to healthy living!

Gan Chau
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