Starting Over. Again.

September 26, 2012 § 5 Comments

I have a wedding dress that I have to fit my ass into in  just EIGHT short months!!!! YIKES!!!

The last time I blogged I was adamant that I had established a sound plan and that I was determined to lose weight for my wedding.  I failed.  I tried making the little “to-do” boxes that work so well for me in other aspects of my life.  They worked for a while but I got tired of working out.  It made me so tired.  What was happening?  I usually feel so good after a good work out, so why do I feel completely run down and lifeless now?  I may never know the answer, but I know I still have that awful feeling.  So long story short, I’ve actually GAINED several pounds on top of the mound that i weighed already. Makes me so unhappy.

I feel like shit. plain old shit. I feel like a failure everyday. And what’s not so interesting is that I feel like that at work, too.  Clearly, my major depression is back and this time it’s BAD.

I saw these changes in my mood, behavior, and saw that I was just falling apart.  I’m up one whole dress size and essentially back where I was when I started my weight loss journey in March of 2010.  I feel disgusting. Only failures let this happen to themselves, I thought.

I am on vacation and decided to work on the depression and spend more time reading about POSITIVITY.  In addition, my new therapist has given me an excellent book that I’ve been working through, which is chock full of life learning points that he actually reinforces in my sessions.  I know these changes take MONTHS but I’m ready to clear the fog and make way for brighter days.  I’m so tired of feeling pity, feeling angry, being a slug, feeling like a nothing, and perpetually feeling like a failure at everything I do.  I know a large part of this is my depression and another part of the proverbial pie is that i’m NOT EXERCISING.  I’m not giving myself time to clear my mind.  I’m not giving myself time to enjoy the air, wind, colors, and smells of my favorite time of year.  I’m not giving myself precious ME time. I’m spending days on my couch waiting for motivation to strike.  Motivation’s not gonna strike if I’m comfortable.  I’m breaking out of my comfortable shell.

Just yesterday I was at my wits end.  I was feeling hopeless about my lack of motivation and I reached out to a few twitter supports, and here’s the advice I got…..

Alan ‏@sweating_it_off :@MSFitMint if you want to talk it out let me know, we can Skype or google hangout or something

  @MSFitMint I know it hard, especially when feeling depressed. Often times I try no to “think” about working out I just get dressed and head out the door and hope for the best.

@MSFitMint No planned mileage or plan to run. Just walk. & if I run a little, so be it.

Susan @SuziStorm : @MSFitMint My therapist last night told me to put on my running clothes & go for a WALK.

  

@MSFitMint for me doing something I love (water exercise) is key! Its therapy for my body & mind!

@MSFitMint I attribute getting active to curing my lifelong depression. Activity helps your mood/mental state so much. It’s my therapy

 Sheryl Yvette ‏@bitchcakesny : @MSFitMint The toughest part is getting dressed. Srsly. Put on your clothes and start. You *will* feel better for having done it

THE COMMON DENOMINATOR HERE: 

Put on your clothes and start!!!!

That’s all I freaking need to do! I need to throw my clothes on and get out of the door.  No more dwelling about who will make dinner, how hot and sweaty I’ll get, how tired I’ll feel, how long I’ll be out and will this leave me with enough time to read for work. None of that crap has helped me.  I seriously need to get my shit together and take care of myself because no one else will.  I can’t expect health and fitness to fall into my lap, or for my depression to magically disappear.  It just won’t.

Another list of things I need to do while I’m on an easier month of residency:
1. get weighed in EVERY SATURDAY, no exceptions.  Things will change with my next rotation but that’s okay. I’ll find another day and it’s okay if I don’t go on the same day every week.  As long as I put my clothes on and show up. To keep myself accountable I will post a blog update with each weigh in, regardless of what the scale says.
2. cut out coffee.  First of all it’s disgusting. I drink it for social reasons.  I love walking into starbucks but I actually cannot tolerate the taste of their burnt coffee.  I do, however, enjoy the green tea lattes. I will get one occasionally, and allow myself to sweeten it. No more coffee. Not even from Dunkin’.
3. I really need to get dressed and walk three times per week.  I will come up with some sort of reward system for myself if i do this. Manicure, pedicure, etc, at the end of the week.
4. I really need to, and will, limit my sweets. At least one small amount per day is okay and is healthy.
5. continue tracking on weightwatchers
6. yoga or meditation at least once per week
I really think these are doable.  I wish my blog was more popular so there was more accountability to the masses, but so be it.  I need to make myself a happier, healthier person.  I can’t keep on with the incessant cycles of guilt and self pity. Time for some action.
Finally, a HUGE thank you to the twitter folks who helped me out the other day.
-M
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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?

How do you do it?

September 23, 2010 § 4 Comments

This post will be sort of a hodge-podge but the meat and potatoes are in the middle…it’s my deconstructed Shepherd’s Pie, if you will.

Luckily I’ve had plenty of time to blog over the past few days.  It’s given me an alternative way to unwind in ways that exercise and my daily prancing around the stove have been (unusually) unable to.  Somewhat of a side note – I had initially planned a flight to Sacramento which would allow me about 3 days in Lake Tahoe and 3 days of wine tasting in Napa.  The plan was set but man, I had a VERY difficult time parting with money that I had saved.  So much time, sweat and sleep deprivation had gone into making that money that I couldn’t part with it.  I know, I know. This seems foolish because I know I’ll burn out before my next vaca, but I’ve developed a little bug in me that already wants to start saving for my childrens’ education (mind you, I have ZERO children/pets/nieces/nephews/godchildren/not even a pet cockroach and no potential to have any in the next few years). So I’ve spent some time doing a little local travel and mainly spent my time put-sing around the kitchen, trying out new recipes and taking in as much of the local fare I can.  Festivals and farmer’s markets galore!  With all of this free time and writing also came time to read some blogs that I had never read…

On to the meat

Being a sort of successful weight watcher’s gal, I tend to stick close to home and read the blogs of fellow WW girls.  I can commiserate with their struggle, get ideas on snacks and healthy lunch or dinner items, and get some fab work out ideas.  Overall I find this soothing in a way; knowing that I’m not totally alone in this battle of the bulge.

This time off from work has made me curious  and I’ve been able to read through the blogs that I’ve never visited…I won’t name names – they’re excellent blogs), but what I’m finding is….they’re pretty impressive!  There’s an astounding number of people who can challenge weight loss on their own.  How do they do this?  How/where do they find the motivation?  How do they figure out what’s right for their body and what limitations to set?  In other words, how do they do this on their own?  Many of these “independent” fitbloggers don’t point this out.  I’ve tried elucidating this from the “about me” sections but they seem to be similar to mine – meaning that they basically felt some sign or urge to make a general change and just moved forward.  What made one turn to weight watchers and the other turn to him/her self?

now the potatoes

Eating healthy and exercising seem incredibly simple if you have a little motivation and time but in reality, it’s really not.  Not at all.  I’m sure you’re reading this thinking “Good job, little doctor.  Your 1/4 million dollar education seems to have really paid off (giant eye roll).”, but here’s the thing, medical school doesn’t teach us HOW to be healthy, it actually does quite the opposite.  I will rant about this in a later post.  In all of my years of schooling I of course knew that calories burned must exceed calories consumed, but I could not practice this for a multitude of reasons.

  1. No motivation,
  2. Literally never took the time to take care of myself because I’m disgustingly competitive and felt the need to study for 10-16 hrs/day (and FYI I was no where near as successful as most students who were just as intense and obnoxious as I was…probably because I never took care of myself – didn’t sleep more than 4 hours, didn’t eat well at all, ever, and was just miserable…you get the ugly picture).
  3. I didn’t have a supportive network by any stretch of the imagination,
  4. I wasn’t willing to take the time to prepare healthy meals.  **Message to pathetic old Me, how much time does it REALLY take to make and pack a sandwich, as opposed to the daily nonsense of stopping at Panera/subway/Moe’s, etc  for almost every meal?  Hello – waste of $$$$ that you don’t have!**

Back to my original thought….

If I didn’t pay someone to basically teach me what I already knew about health and wellness, to weigh me weekly, or  to set limits for me in terms of exactly how much I was allowed to eat daily, I would not have lost 35 lbs. I know it.  Not on my own.  I just don’t know if I have that determination in me.

How do you self-propelled people do this?  What triggered your mind to become structured and to stick with it? How did you determine (aside from the clear calculations of kcal/kg/day along with carb/fat/protein breakdowns) how much and what to eat daily? How do you not just give up when you don’t have a monthly WW bill hanging over your head? (Mind, I know WW has helped me to this point and it’s not only about paying to lose weight..some days it is, but 90% is wanting to be healthy and to look/feel like $4 x my tuition).  I really give you all a lot of credit for being so successful on your own.  I wish I could harness an ounce of that determination to succeed on my own.

Another thought. I wonder if long term success rates differ between self-propelled and weightwatchers people.  I wonder if I would have stuck to a plan this long if I hadn’t been shelling out $40/month to get my self in gear.

Any feedback or thoughts? (about that pesky topic of medical school and nutrition, more on that in another post)

Now for something fun and random

Also, I thought if I had time I’d start posting new recipes in the body as opposed to a separate recipe page.   I love my new camera and have been making great use of it (in the kitchen) so why not share the photos and the food?

I had some left over potatoes from a previous meal along with some carrots and a new BAG (hangs head in shame) of butternut squash.  I had been craving butternut squash soup as it’s healthy and nicely accents the new seasonal changes underway.  I typically only use squash and potatoes but having the carrots on hand was a great change.

Spiced Butternut – Carrot Soup


  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsp light olive oil
  • 2 cups frozen (preferably fresh) butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 cups carrots (or parsnips), chopped
  • 1 cup peeled boiled potatoes
  • 1 cup LIGHT cream
  • 1 and 1/2 cup fat free, reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger root
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • s/p to taste

*hand held mixer or food processor

My Method

In a 5 quart pot, heat oil and add onions and carrots.  Once onions develop translucency, add squash and potatoes and heat until squash becomes soft.  Add cream, stir to incorporate, and add broth.  Allow to simmer for approximately 15 min.  Carrots should become soft at this point.  Now either remove mixture and add to food processor or blend with hand held.  Consistency should be that of farina o…or to your liking.  At this point add herbs and sugar. Allow to simmer for another 15 min.

I garnished with toasted Thomas’ Bagel Thin (cinnamon raisin- with a light spray of light olivio and sprinkle of cinnamon/sugar) crostini, a dallop of light cream cheese and chives.  It definitely hit the spot.

I also found a great deal on some organic figs and figured the best way to celebrate the season was so preserve them to enjoy all week month long.I ended up making a cinnamon fig/apple/walnut jam as well as a raspberry/nectarine jam infused with orange.

Such beautiful figs

decorating a piece of Manchego

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