Thursday, November 15, 2012

Something's Gotta Give

   I've always been a stress eater.  In fact I'm the type of person who eats for comfort after a long day, even if the day was good.  It just makes me feel good.  And I can't control myself.  It's my drug, I'll admit it.  So every now and then I need to go to rehab, aka go on a diet.

   Depending on how long you've been reading my blog, you may or may not know that back in 2010, I lost 30 pounds through diet and exercise.  I was taking a class on nutrition at UCLA, and learned a lot about healthy eating, as well as the fact that I was borderline obese based on my body fat measurement.  That was a wake-up call.  Using all the tips I learned from my nutrition class (taught by the amazing Dr. Heber who wrote What Color Is Your Diet), and with some moral support from my friend J who also went on a diet with me, I was quite successful in getting down to weight which put me in a healthy BMI.

   I kept that weight off for two solid years... until boards.  Boards rolled around and I crept up 8 pounds-ish.  Normally, I fluctuate a good 5 pounds or so at any given time, but this weight was staying on.  And then my surgery rotation hit - another 8 ish pounds on top of that.  And since then, I've been about 15 pounds heavier, and holding this weight.

   I refuse to get back into an unhealthy weight.  So that's why I have to do something about it before it gets out of control.  I think the major wake-up call for me was trying to put on some jeans a few weeks ago, and none of them fit.  NOT EVEN MY FAT JEANS.  When you wear scrubs all the time, it's easy to ignore the weight gain.

   Since my jean-nightmare-wake-up-call, I've been trying to "diet" again, but I put that in quotes because I have been extremely undisciplined.  I last like one day and then eat horribly again the next.  It's very hard battling between my logical reasoning of needing to eat healthy and my emotional longing for a good box of mac n cheese, especially when my brain is fried after a long day.  It's too easy to make bad decisions.

   So today, I went jogging with my friend E, who has recently decided she would like to get down to her own healthy weight.  She was telling me about her recent discovery of keeping a food diary to keep herself accountable for what she eats.  I used one in the past when I lost all my weight, and it was extremely helpful and motivating.  I think I've been resisting it lately because I thought I could lose the weight without it, but obviously I can't control myself.  So I've decided I'm going back to food journaling.  It becomes tedious sometimes, but it's often a necessary self-check, and makes you reflect in the moment, "Do I really need to eat that entire box of mac and cheese, when that's the calories allotted for my whole day?!'  Also, it's nice to have someone else who is going through the same thing I am, so we can motivate each other.

   Hopefully this works... because I'm getting really frustrated.


  1. It's good that you have a friend to help! It's kind of the nature of the beast, I think. Sleep deprivation, hard hours, and brain frying beget bad eating. I also gained some weight during 2nd year and Boards and I know it's because of hospital food eating and not "pushing" myself during my regular workouts. Since being on a break from school, I lost 3 lbs. in the first month just by cooking, instead of eating hospital food. (How awful is that?) :/ I know you can do it...eye on the prize (or, jeans)!

  2. food journal is a great idea- I might need to join you on that one.

  3. Sorry to hear you've been struggling with your diet again. Last time, though, you demonstrated amazing discipline and had great results. I know you can do it again. Food is f*cking amazing, so I know what you're going through in a major way. Your experience last time was pretty inspiring to me -- hopefully you can use it to inspire yourself as well. You already know you can do it, so you don't have to get stuck in the cycle about wondering if there is *anything* that will work for you. So, believe! [+ more positive platitudes!] ;)

  4. I so, so understand the stress eating. My four food groups on my recent ICU rotation were caffeinated beverages, chocolate, deep-fried anything, and pastries. It is very hard to stick to a healthy diet while in medicine, but I wish you the best of luck. Maybe you'll motivate me while you're at it!