September 17, 2010 § Leave a comment
The Gist – short
I’ve had a rough time balancing life and my health for the past few months. It’s a work in progress. So is my fitness.
Recap – long and full of details.
It’s been a rough few months. With the start of residency came not only job performance stress as a newbie intern, but very little sleep, very little energy, and nearly no time to sit down to a healthy meal. I wish I could say this was a gross over exaggeration. My days consist of pre-rounding at 5am and working until anywhere from 4pm(rarely) until 6 or 9pm. After work all I ever want to do is come home and prep a dinner that the food pyramid God’s would admonish, read a few pages from Harrison’s or NEJM, and spend at least an hour on the elliptical with my favorite punk bands. Instead, much to my chagrin, I somehow have about 6-7/10 energy level when I leave work and progressively decline to outright sleepy on the way home. Driving has always been a sedative for me -yeah, watch out 😉 -and I think it might be from the subtle vibration of the car. Neither here nor there. I feel exhausted when I finally reach the driveway. I’m left eating from a 4 – 6 pt Lean cuisine or Smart Ones box, reading a few poorly written clinical summaries on UpToDate, and maybe finding time to do a few push ups before I throw myself at my giant cozy bed with every intention of reading a few review articles…..but my eyes are too heavy. I’m sure this schedule isnt’ that far off from many other folks out there, but it does get a bit tricky with 24 hour calls and overnight shifts thrown in the mix.
Don’t get me wrong, I can say with pride that I love every minute of my job. Every stinking minute. I love teaching, I love examining my patients, that my mentors LOVE to teach, that I’m grateful to Vishnu, Shiva, Jehovah, Allah, what have you -that I’m in this particular residency program which I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid, I love meandering over to radiology to talk about some obscure CT, practicing a slight smile all day to show my appreciation for work, socializing with my co-workers in the halls with the occasional wink or high-five, really, I love it all. I just don’t love the fact that it does terrible things to my metabolism, patience, emotional capacity, cognitive abilities, and above all; my waistline. Worst of all, I was getting so frustrated over my crappy schedule because I wasn’t finding time to make it to a weight-in. No bueno. This started to make me resent my choice of occupation and I would find myself getting less motivated to stick with Weight Watchers because JUST as I’d get ready to leave work for a weigh-in, I’d open my giant mouth to ask someone if he/she needed help with something and I’d land myself a new patient admission. Again, no bueno. This is my ASS we’re talking about people, my hips, my thighs and my gut! And it was all seemingly larger than a few weeks prior.
I gained nearly 4 pounds during that time period and potentially a bit more, ahem, “subcutaneous tissue” around my midsection. I know what this is attributed to. It took a few Twitter exchanges with Christina Williams and lots of head scratching while pouring over my food log to figure out why I had veered off my climb to Mount Everest and landed on the Oregon Trail. Minus one sheep.
What I learned about myself
So here I was thinking that it was simply the lack of time and energy that was crimping my success on weight watchers. It dawned on me that while my life has changed significatly over the past few months, there is no reason for me to lose control over it. I don’t have an excuse not to eat well. Not at all. I carefully select my groceries weekly, scrutinizing labels and separate portions. So why was I letting myself become lazy – buying lunch from the cafeteria (did I tell you we have a giant SUSHI bar??) or grabbing lunch at a local bar or festival with fellow interns on the weekends (which by the way I refuse to stop doing because my sanity depends on it)? I was not making terribly poor choices but what I was doing…….was tracking AFTER I ATE. SUCH a poor idea for me. This is exactly the opposite of (1) what I should be doing (2) what I had been been doing. I let the EXCUSE of my hectic schedule get in the way of holding myself responsible for my points.
I had gotten in the habit of using my 35 Weekly allowance points every day…of course not all at once, but I was slowly chiseling at them daily. Prior to this, I had been saving my points for a dinner out or special occasion. Well that control was trampled. The scale was moving up and I was feeling more an more miserable. I sat down that night of my ( for lack of a better word) revelation, and wrote down exactly what I was going to eat the following day. I also decreased my daily points allowance by 2pts. I needed to not only give my giant butt a kick start, but I had to re-train myself to stick to a daily regimen. The following day it worked. I resumed packing my lunch and making my coffee at home (with my beautiful new Keurig – just to save money thru the year), leaving my wallet in the car so I wasn’t tempted to buy what I didn’t need around my waist. I didn’t go over points AND I had my skinny COW dessert. Win – Win. This is exactly how I’d been running the show since March and was pretty successful, and here I was again, finding a way to save myself from falling back into old behavioral patterns.
While I need a regimented menu, I also struggle as a fatty-bo-batty who loves…… (sorry I was distracted by the ridiculously hot guy walking his dog down my street)…both quality and quantity in food. Hence my need for weight watchers to begin with. Keeping my new regimen in mind, I do allow myself to go off schedule for 1-2 days per week, usually when I’m going to a community event with friends, and I will enjoy a beer or three with some sort of ethnic treat. So that issue is settled. I need to live with my regimen but I never lock myself into it for the sake of my sanity and social life.
Much Ado About My Giant Ass
So now that I figured out how to control my food again, now it was back to square one with my exercise. What the hell was I going to do about my energy and time? This is one I haven’t quite figured out yet. I have been lucky enough to have been on vacation and outpatient clinic for the past 2.5 weeks so things are nowhere near as hectic as they had been, so I’ve had ample time to work out multiple times a day. The question is how I’m going to handle this once vacation is over and I head back to the hospital.
My favorite work outs involve Spin Class every other day, yoga/Bikram, Pilates, elliptical, occasionally running (I had been working on the couch to 5K and hit week 6 but had to tone that way down b/c of my hips, knee and shin splints…despite having a gait analysis for proper sneakers and orthotics) and, as of this week – the 30-Day Shred. I’m also waiting to get that P90x video in the mail that I was supposed receive back in July…we’ll see how that works out. I’ll hammer something out soon.
What’s my motivation (rewind to late 1990’s Sprite commercials)
Not to add a whole new level of creepy to the blog, but I not-so-recently started following (god, not literally) Bitch Cakes and her blog that feels like a big shoulder to lean on. Better yet, what I really wanted to write was that she ALSO follows me now…I know, lame…but she’s BitchCakes and rides her HK cruiser AND has made LifeTime, so yeah, I got a little excited. After having many days feeling that I was just bound to put all of my weight back on, I’d occasionally flip through one of many blogs I read for my little desperate moments of motivation. It was a breath of fresh air to see that like me, all of these fine ladies have struggled to stay on plan and incorporate activity in their life. They’re all had ups and down’s. This is not easy. Never has been and I don’t think it ever will be, but it’s a work in progress. I’d have to say that’s why I’m stoked about Twitter. For as annoying as it is to keep up with 140-character blurbs about everyone’s lunch (including my own until my POS Blackberry’s phone chose to revolt against me), random updates about where everyone is (ahem, me at starbucks all of the time), what they’re drinking (my non-stop mentions of the #PSL), the weird and random sarcasm, who they hate, (hmm, sounds so much like my twitter feed), and loss of productivity, the aspect I find most useful is the fine group of fitness tweeters who help get me back on track. High-five, you sexy bitches! You helped me get back on track. Cupcakes for everyone!
So where has all of this thinking, tracking and tweeting led me?
My schedule switched over on September 1st and it’s been much less hectic b/c I’m in an outpatient clinic. I’ve been back at my previous level and frequency of exercise. This consists of 60-min of spinning every other day (>78% max HR and an average of ~450 cal/session), with 60 min cardio and weights in between. I’ve recently started the 30-day shred but I’m definitely not doing this every day – maybe every other day.
I’ve lost exactly 5.2 pounds since sept 1. Talk about ecstatic and satisfied. I haven’t used all of my additional weekly allowance points and I haven’t felt like I’m starving, despite decreasing my points allowance by 2. I’ve lost a total of 24.4 lbs total Since march, but this has included ups and downs with the occasional 5-lb fatty bastard that sneaked into my plump physique. I somehow lost 10 pounds prior to WW so I’m at a grand total of 34.4 lbs so far AND I’m about 10 lbs from goal but I think I’d like to push beyond that. One day at a time. (Side note* here’s an article I posted on Twitter recently that I thought was a beautiful representation of everything we go thru on our journey towards fitness)
Food – Oh is there ever food. As ya’ll know, I LOVE to cook. Details aside, I love food so much that I read about it, subscribe to several foo-foo shi shi cooking mags, and even received a Canon Rebel xs for graduation because everyone knows that I love me some food photog. And as my life goes, I, of course, have no time to sit down to read those mags more than 2x/month anymore, ergo, I don’t cook anything fantastic anymore. At least nothing from Bon Appetit or Food and Wine anymore…it’s somewhat time consuming. But boy do I miss the aromas and the relaxing little place it takes me. All that nonsense being said, I have taken a few photos of my half-assed lunches, dinners and other crap I’ve made while working on lighting…and seasoning. I’ve mainly been figuring out a way to make a boxed meal (low points) into a fab meal.
Lunch #1: mixed salad, mixed fruit and, of course, a Kind bar for snack.
These were just little tid bits of my daily meals…I’ll post recipes on another page.
This is all a balancing act, complete with successes and failures. Some may come in the form numbers on a scale, an ill fitting outfit, over indulgence but in the end there are all things we can learn from. While I’m sure I’ll trip and fall again, but I’m sure I’ll find a fellow twitter friend who can help me brush off and get to my next goal post. My failures have helped me succeed thus far. (Side note #2* While This article from Success Mag is about Bouncing back in the business world, it’s important to realize the essence of the article is about making a comeback in life. Getting back on your feet once you’ve hit the proverbial wall.
A few random notes that are not in any way related to my post
1. Eat Pray Love – shouldn’t we all? – My current read. I relate to it on so many levels…most of which I’ll keep to myself. Read it if you have a few hours to spare and I’d love to chat about it with you.
2. Latest rump-shakers – I have a tiny obsession with music and constantly revamp my work out lists. I have a tendency to make mixes that are on-the- spot with the intervals I’m doing – I mean to the second! To spare you my obsessive compulsive mannerisms from henceforth, I’ll just list some of the songs on my two latest mixes. There’s some over lap but I think you can handle that. Let me know if you like this stuff 🙂
Mix 1: This is for either elliptical, running, walking – when I’m feeling ridiculously ghetto. I’m ususally in the >75% Max HR with this mix
- rapture – Alicia Keys
- Memories ft Kid Cudi – David Guetta
- Supernova – Jason Darulo
- Dynamite – Taio Cruz
- Krazy – Pit Bull
- Feel it – Thee-6-Mafia
- poker round (fristy remix) – flo-rida
- Bad Romance – Gaga
- Come Fly away – Benny Benassi
- Up – the Saturdays
- The Fame – gaga
- Cyber Love – Jason Derulo
- break your heart – taio Cruz
- gettin’ over you – David guetta
- Forever – Chris Brown
- Turn it up – stereos
- la Musique – Riot in Belgium
- Meet me half way – Black eyed peas
- the way I are – Timbaland
- Sweet dreams – Benny Benassi
- Satisfaction – Benny Benassi
- Can’t stop me now – pitbull
- gettin over you – david guetta
- shots – LMFAO
- sex, lies, Audiotape – DeadMau5
- Love is gone – david guetta
- Hey! – Laidback luke
- Sleepy Head – passion Pit
- Finger Food – Benny Benassi
- Satellite – Lena
- Beat dat Beat – Dj Pauly D
- I need a miracle – fragma
- take it off – kesha
- calabria 2007 – Enur
- you make me sick – pink
- thong song – sisqo (you know you love it)
- remedy – little boots
- outta control – peter andre
I admit, a lot of these are annoying but, hell, if you listen to the beat and ignore the lyrics you’ll be OK and survive. there are a few others but I’ll spare you.
Mix #2: Hotter and better. Love it. I also occasionally listen to this when I feel like a bad ass. I’m usually at <75% max HR with this list. Elliptical and walking.
- Heads will Roll – yeah yeah yeahs
- Good ol’ Fashion Nightmare – Matt and Kim
- magic – B.o.B
- Kill me Carolyne – The Whigs
- Dashboard – Modest mouse
- I can talk – two door cinema club
- Whoo! alright – the rapture
- This is your life – The killers
- Clark gable – The postal service
- Sleepy head – Passion pit
- Memories – david guetta
- supernova – jason derulo
- Bad romance – Gaga
- Break your heart – Taio cruz
- rebellion – the arcade fire
- dog days are over – florence and the machines
- what ever you like (single version) – anya marina
- DJ Got us falling in love again – usher
- Use somebody – Kings of leon
- Until we bleed – Lykke li
In closing, thanks to all the fine ladies who have helped me past my pity party a few weeks ago. You rock my socks off. Truly.
How do you guys push past through plateaus or those rough patches?
August 30, 2010 § 1 Comment
I finally went to a weigh in after 5 long weeks. Up 3.6 lbs. Left with a curled lip and almost a tear in my eye. Let myself go so badly. Can’t wait to start working out again. I suppose I can’t emotionally abuse myself too badly for this one, after all, I’m still down multiple pounds and I’ve been busier than I’ve ever been in my life so a few pounds will be easy to take off if I readjust my POINTs and pep up my work outs during this month “off”. I’ts ok.
Might start it off with spin class tonight and some Yoga. I need Bikram so bad.
I really want to be a foodbuzz Blogger. Unfortunately I don’t think I have enough entries on food or recipes so I guess this month I’ll be experimenting with healthy versions of the recipes in this months issues of Bon Appetit, Food and Wine and sticking with what I find in Cooking light. I think I’ll also describe more of my restauranting, post pics of me and my cohorts enjoying our rare bits of time off, and post more pics of the upcoming Mount Snow Brewer’s festival on Saturday as well as the Saratoga Food, Wine and Ferarri festival.
Let me know if there’s anything I can do to make this a more interesting read and bulk my visit numbers. 🙂
August 22, 2010 § 1 Comment
It just hit me that after this week I’ll be more-or-less vacationing for one month. Planned on taking a trip to Cali and doing nothing but relaxing my mind, hiking, and wine tasting. Perfect.
That also made me feel OK about the way things have been going with my weight over the past two months. I haven’t been to a weight watchers weigh in for four weeks now although I’ve been occacianally (OK, daily) stepping on the scale to chastise myself for the previous days’ gluttony. I’ve lost. Not much, but I’ve lost weight and I think some muscle mass has been replaced by adipose. Oh well. With the easy peasy schedule I have for the next four weeks I’ll be able to work out DAILY and continue watching what I eat. Hopefully I’ll finally make it to goal weight by the end of the term. 🙂
August 16, 2010 § 1 Comment
It’s been days since I’ve worked out. I’ve gone on a run but I haven’t been able to keep up with my C25K. I thought it was hard to exercise while working nights but this….THIS nonsense is just insane. Working upwards of 80 hours/WEEK…yes, WEEK makes it damn near impossible to get a decent work out in. I typically wake up at 4:15 am, get my self all gussied up, grab my coffee, head to work to round before 7am. The fatigue. I’m perpetually exhausted, but not in the miserable way that I was at the VA last month. This month has been awesome because I can actually use what minimal brain cells I have, but I digress.
I’m feeling super sluggish because of my zero booty shaking. I haven’t done any yoga recently, I was going to start P90X but my lady-friend still hasn’t mailed it to me yet(we’re over a month late on that ), I have barely seen the gym doors, no pilates, no weights, no walks, just a few random jogs. My legs feel like giant 1000 lb LOGS. I do my best to shake my ass when i can, luckily my sister is in shape and loves to run so she’s a great buddy to have.
Luckily eating has not been as much of an issue. I’ve lost some weight but my gut is becoming a bit more protuberant. Bluuurp. I really hope my double chin doesn’t make a comeback. yuck.
All for now. Feeling gross. Also haven’t been to a WW weigh in for 3 weeks. nice, right? Whenever I’m able to make it their doors are locked. Boo.
July 13, 2010 § 5 Comments
After all of my endless whining I had my weight in today and was down 1.6 lbs! I couldn’t really believe it; I thought for sure I was either steady state or up a few tenths of a point.
Changes I made this week that may have contributed:
-continued with C25K
-added a yoga session after my run or just a few extra minutes of walking
-instead of hopping on the elliptical on my cross train days like I did in the past, I started adding spin classes into the mix. Three days this week. I still have slight saddle anesthesia, too. 🙂
I haven’t had AS much to eat at work (still eating at night tho) but the only big difference is my my liquid intake. I’ve been trying to save more money so instead of my pre-shift stop at S-to-the-bucks I’ve started brewing my own jasmine or pomegranate green tea. I make it about 30 min before work, add ice to my 32 oz travel jug, add a stick of honey with some Stevia and I’m on my way. Getting that extra fluid really does stave off some hunger.
Thanks for the comments on the last post. Having that extra bit of motivation when I’m feeling defeated by the scale really helped push me to my ultimate 1.6. Thanks 🙂
Side note: while I was at WW for my WI today I noticed they had some chocolate shakes and immediately thought of a new concoction I might try; 1 packet WW chocolate smoothie mix, 1 mini banana, 1 tsp almond butter, 1 tsp instant coffee, 1 packet Stevia. 1/2 cup crushed ice + blender. I actually will try using chocolate almond milk instead of the mix because I ended up buying the pomegranate blueberry smoothie mix instead, with a box of the ranch crackers. I’ll try ’em out and make a few comments later.
totally random, but as I was searching for images to add I came across this little clinical gem and it reminded me how much I love fiber.
July 11, 2010 § 5 Comments
I feel so gross. Residency finally started and I’m working night float so that means I’m not really eating much because I’ve never been a night eater, right? I thought that when I shifted my sleep schedule that I’d also eat much less and I’d be busy enough to stave off cravings. I couldn’t have been further off. The only accurate part is that I’m not, or at least I didn’t think I was, a nighttime snacker. Working nights has made me soft, literally. Some how I’m hungry every hour. I have been trying to stick within my WW points and pack little 4-point almond butter and banana sandwiches, apple, greek yogurt with granola and fruit, and by sticking to my all bran in the AM. I have even stuck with my eating every three hours rule and have an eating schedule planned out in my head. None of this is helping. For some reason I’ve re-developed my love handles and my abdomen looks like something I’ve only come across on maternity units. My measured weight is actually continuing to decrease while my image in the mirror is NOT what is was when I graduated last month.
I’ve been eating so much more…and not just when I’m at work, it’s mainly when I wake up in the afternoon. I’ve completely let myself go to the point I had TacoBell two times last week while hanging out with the little bad influence Runt-my sister. I hadn’t touched bad-for-you-nutrient-deplete fast food in months. MONTHS. Then she introduced me to the crunch wrap supreme. 12 fucking points. 12!!!!! Mind you, this was at 1 a.m. It’s been downhill from there. I had tiramisu, went to a wedding and had cake and a cannoli, multiple sweet mixed drinks, I’ve even gone back for more TacoBell.
I miss my last few months of people making fun of me for eating so healthfully and for my self-control around desserts/junk at work. I’ve never had control like that before. As much as I say I want to get back where I was with my self control i feel like it won’t be as easy this time because i don’t have a particular goal. Last time it was that I didn’t want my classmates seeing me as a fatty at graduation. I haven’t been able to find a new short term fitness goal. I know this is what works best for me.
The only thing I’ve go going for me lately is that I’ve been exercising A LOT lately. I’ve been doubling up on spin and running; a little speed-junkie I guess. The only thing I really miss is my hot yoga… and I guess pilates. I’m pretty sure those were the two things that really helped me tighten up and tone…the only issue is that I can’t afford the Bikram anymore and I have no patience for pilates. It’s just not what I need these days. I’ve got to get back into it.
I need some tips and encouragement/motivation ASAP.
happy Eating…. 🙂
June 27, 2010 § 6 Comments
Sometimes I wonder if I’m on the Truman Show. Same thing, day in and day out. I am sitting here yet again, on my little pink exercise ball, typing away with the sound of lawn mowers down the street and splashing from my neighbor’s pool just outside of my window. Prepped dinner, tidied my room a little, and stressed about internship starting this week. Besides that one nagging thought, some of the others running through my head are mostly pointless and fleeting, such as; “hey you know Husband and Wife next door pretty well. Why not just invite yourself over for a swim?” Or “I thought I’d get some more color while I was running, dammit!” Hoping I’m not late for work tomorrow, or, wondering why my raspberry green tea tastes like I drained it out of the men’s urinal of an outhouse. Damn, you crystal light! But the one I’m going to do my best to bore you about is the sense of accomplishment I feel about the way I’ve burned a few calories this week.
Last night I had a little bit of insomnia so I stayed up watching “Losing It” w Jillian. While I find her obnoxious with that weird sense of control and the cheesy way she breaks people down (just to build them back up) I still really enjoyed the show. It’s great how I can watch that show and totally relate; the sense of letting go, having a massive bump in the road that brings you down, ultimate self pity and fear of change and comfort. I got it. Watching the May family struggle their way from heartbreak, loss of control, heart break that the children felt for their mother, actually had ME excited to see their transformation after eight weeks. That was an inspiration. It seriously helped me plow my way through the workout. It was one of those “If they can do it, I can do it” things. Worked – and I feel it in my thighs, but it’s a good feeling.
C25K – week one in rear-view mirror:
I just finished my first week of the C25K program. I was a little nervous about starting to run again after so long but I did it. I was afraid of how my hips, knees and feet would ache, afraid of my shin splints attacking me while I’m busting my ass, or if I’d just not benefit from it at all; maybe staying stagnant in one phase of the program. So far so good; my knees have hurt a little and my shins only develop a slight ache but what I tried training myself to do was focus on my form rather than my fear of pain. As I mentioned in my previous post I’ve been reading a good amount about chi running so as I run i try focusing on my hip/shoulder/clavicle alignment. I might look kind of like an ass while I’m adjusting my form several times mid-run but I kind of don’t care. Being that I’m extremely self-conscious and uber critical of everything I say and do, I had to coach myself a little; a little pep-soliloquy:
- who cares what you look like to Joe Shmo who’s sitting on his front porch slugging down three beers and slobbering on his grease stained shirt. If I’m getting my overweight and unshapely ass out there to teach myself a better way of health then I really shouldn’t care what Mr. Obese thinks about my chameleon form. So what if I look stupid in these positions.
- try your best to ignore the pain. A 5/10 is tolerable but a 10/10 and constant popping is disgusting and I’m going to stop running – and it will be acceptable. I can’t force my overloaded knees to handle this if they’re feeling finicky.
- No excuse to feel tired. Done. I need to move and it’s normal to feel tired during a run.
- push your self-imposed fatigue limits. If Jillian can make a 350 lb man who hasn’t exercised in 15 years run and dance, I better not get lazy and give up on myself. Not acceptable.
- And finally, refrain from belting out to “Bad Romance” in public. Not cool.
- FOCUS ON FORM!
With all of those little bits of self encouragement I started day three of week one. Can’t lie that I wasn’t tired, but man it felt good to push myself to run quicker when I felt my shins act up and when I felt tired. I’ve never really done that before. Run through shin splints? yes. But run through fatigue? No. That was pretty awesome. I think it helped that I was listening to “Krazy” by Pit Bull at the time, but whatever…I felt bad ass!
I suppose I should pose a question or two. Things I’m trying to figure out just to compare and contrast my newbie running experiences with others:
(1) How do you guys work past your leg fatigue and/or pain when you run (dare I ask about shin splints?)? I’m only asking to make sure that I’m not just needlessly harping on the fear of leg pain that I feel. And no smart-ass comments about seeing my doctor lol.
(2) how much fatigue is “normal”, especially for a beginner who is in pretty decent cardiovascular shape? Is that a dumb question? Any marathoners or daily runners who can share their experience? Also, this may sound really weird, but where do you “feel” your fatigue the most (especially the type that makes you stop running)? Is it mainly in your breathing, your chest as a whole, whole body, or legs/feet?
(3) what keeps your running?
Thanks for reading!
Happy running 🙂