Missing in Action

February 27, 2011 § 1 Comment

(a beautiful platter I made for a visiting friend…pieced together some medjool dates, brie, manchego, smoked gouda, marinated and roasted garlic, and olives)

I can’t even remember the last time I posted, but I can almost guarantee that I was closer to my weightloss goal than I am right now.

Residency –

Residency has been pretty hectic/bizarre.  I’ve been at the VA for the past two months so it’s been relatively easy going, but if you’ve ever worked at a VA medical center (God help you if you have or currently work there) you’ll understand why I’m having a hard time describing it.  It’s the most inefficient medical system, hires rather inadequate performers (at least this one does) and stresses DOCUMENTATION rather than sound patient care.  There are hazing rituals that occur here which would never occur at my home-base training site, namely abusive M&M’s (morbidity and mortalities – where you talk about flaws in patient  care), VA CPRS documentation “police”, and harassment (luckily I haven’t been the abusee of any of these wretched people yet but my time is coming shortly as I advance to second-year) by completely incompetent attending physicians.

Monday afternoons are likely the most stressful periods for my senior residents who have to present our morbidity and mortality cases; luckily in the ICU we’re pretty damn strong, but some of the other residents REALLY get the mental pummeling of a lifetime for their so-called “piss poor care”.  It’s a hairy and malignant system, abusive, abrasive and quite frankly I can’t stand it.  It really wears you down to hear your seniors get beaten down for simple oversights made by their supervisors but such is malignant medicine – if your supervisor practices poor medicine, you’re bound to be treated and trained  poorly, taking the brunt of the consequences from both the families and peers.  Because of the intense nature (and unfortunately minimal patient care superseded by endless hours spent SITTING and DOCUMENTING your “patient care” at a computer all day) I haven’t left work on time for the past few weeks…leaving very little time for me-time, and most importantly…catching my much needed sleep.

All of that being said, I’ve been doing my best to maintain a sense of calm and the only ways I know how are to

1) partake in as much outdoor activity as I can; i.e. snow-shoe-ing with my very out-doorsy amiga, Laura

2) dancing around my kitchen with my itunes and a wooden spoon, revamping some of my favorite recipes, and

3) working out when i have the time which has been hard as HELL this month.

4) meeting up with my tight knit group of incredible co-interns (which, surprise – none of them are internal medicine interns…if that tells you anything about my personality. PS – this will also be the focus of a future post – how I’m itching and scratching to switch residency programs because i’ve grown very weary towards internal medicine)

5) shopping – as pathetic as it sounds, I’ve been meeting my sister for many-a-shopping sprees lately b/c it’s been such a wonderful release.  Mind you, I haven’t purchased much and most of these meet-ups are at the local Fresh Market, but the thought of buying FRESH produce to cook with or a brand new cast iron is very exciting and brings me peace.

Residency and my Gut –

I haven’t been to a weightwatchers meeting in months or a weigh-in for a few weeks. my weight has increased by about six lbs and it’s not muscle and I’ve been pretty down about this. Just last month I was about five pounds from meeting goal and thats when my second VA month started and that’s when the real fatigue set in.  I had been incredibly successful combining P90x LEAN with a few classes at the gym (body pump and Spin), as well as cross training – but lately I’m just dead by the time I leave work at 10pm  and barely even have the energy to throw my gym clothes on.

My appetite has also been CRAZY.  I know that the new PointsPlus system allows you to eat most fruits without the weight of extra daily points, but I’ve been eating fruit galore (waaaay more than I had been on the old plan) and my weight is just compounding.  On the average day I’ll have 1-2 bananas, 1 pack of raspberries or blueberries, and at least one cup of grapes in between meals.  My meals, on the other hand, have been upsetting as I’ve been craving salts and of all things, pulled pork.  Being that I can’t have pulled pork for every meal I’ve been gorging on other salty and usually fattening meals, such as frozen lean cuisine and SmartOnes – check out the sodium in those bad boys!  They’re quick and fuss-less so they work well for the VA.  If I don’t take a frozen brick, I typically take some left over small portion of the previous night’s dinner which usually consists of bulgar or soup.  The weekends can be messy though – I typically use my weekly points here or I even go overboard and have EXTRA points, which make way into my exercise points. Hence, I’ve been over points each week for the past month, thus making my weekly at-home weigh-in very stressful.

Luckily I recently found out that a fellow local foodie also goes to the same location for weekly WW meetings so this has been a motivator.  Food PLUS weightloss PLUS friends is usually a win-win game.  I’m hoping to get to more meetings for some real motivation, and get back on my exercise regimen….wish me luck!!

How does you all deal with a period of weight gain and legitimate lack of exercise time?

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