Weigh In Wednesday - Feb. 26

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Pretty Strong Medicine

Hello everybody! Welcome to Weigh-In Wednesday!
Please go check out my sweet co-host!

Ash @ A Step in the Right Direction

If you're new to the link-up, please leave a comment & say hi!

This whole having an exam every two weeks is for the birds! I feel like as soon as I get caught up or have some time to breathe, it's time to study for another exam! Spring Break cannot come soon enough (for so many reasons) - not going anywhere but I have so many things to do! Bridal showers(not mine), a possible race, 500 doctor appointments, wedding planning, and my bachelorette party! I have a lot to get done before then.

Let's jump right in - weigh in! 

Height: 5'8"
Last week: 211.8
This week: 210.4
Loss: -1.4
Total Loss: -25.8
BMI: 31.9

I'm so close to a new decade, I can taste it! (And it tastes better than a vanilla bean cupcake with champagne). 

Not a dramatic change but I did go home this past weekend for Nick and I to do our Pre-Cana workshop (wedding prep for Catholics). Hoping to do a post about that! I tried to keep the eating in check but I did allow myself to indulge a little (not as much as usual!) 

Dewey's Green Lantern Pizza (my fave) -artichoke, goat cheese, red sauce, pesto, mushrooms!

And I got to see my buddy! 

In my defense, I tried something NEW on Friday. My aunt goes to a Crossfit gym back home. They were having an open gym so I decided to give it a try - awesome workout! My quads are STILL sore and I found a new love - the rowing machine! (I NEED one!) Running tends to make my hamstrings pretty sore and tight so it was nice to get a workout that really dug into my quads! Crossfit reminded me a little of bootcamp (although less social since the goal is to get it done as quick as possible). We would row, do a round of exercises like goblet squats, kettle bell swings, etc., row again, doing that round again, row, a different round of exercises, row, round 2, row. Quick and dirty! I wish I could find an AFFORDABLE Crossfit gym here in Indy but most of them are $100 a month! I like the personal competition aspect and that the Workout of the Day changes everyday - we all know I get bored!  Bottom line: loved it, will try again!

More news - I'm doing a 30 day fitness challenge with Adie over at Four Fit Sisters which starts on Monday, March 3 officially! I've been losing steam on weight loss the past couple months so I thought a challenge might be a good idea with the wedding quickly approaching. My first homework assignment was to calculate my Resting Metabolic Rate & take my before pictures & measurements.

RMR: 1860 (based on 35% body fat (I have an estimator), 24 yo, 68 inches high, 210 lbs)

Measurements (inches)
Waist: 36.5
Midway: 44.5
Hips: 47.5
Bust: 45
Arm: 14.5
Thigh: 29
Knee: 17


I'll have better pictures up next week. I feel like the mirror makes me look thinner than I am so I should probably have someone take them for me. 

One last thing - in addition to my running, I decided to add on Focus T25 with Shawn T!  Today I'm on Day 3 and it's pretty great so far. It's definitely not impossible but I'm still sore and get a good burn from it. (In my opinion I think you should add weights or some other routine to it as well but I've heard Day 3 is really hard - I'll keep you all updated!).

Time to get to work! I'm anxious to see how your weeks went!  We are almost out of this slumpy, awful winter. 

Am I the only one who belts this song out loud & proud?

What I Learned From My First Semester of Medical School

Thursday, February 20, 2014

So I thought it was about time I did a first semester of medical school recap...ya know, since it's been over for two months now.

I'm gonna tell you all the same thing I tell everyone else when they ask how my first semester went - "I survived." But really, that's the best way to describe it. The first semester wasn't pretty - it was filled with blood, sweat, and lots of tears. Lots of self-doubt, lots of challenges, and lots of complaining. Despite all that, I loved it.

That's right. I LOVE medical school (most days). 

For the first time in my life, I feel like I'm finally getting somewhere. I feel like I see tangible results in my hard work. I'm not just taking classes to fulfill an arbitrary requirement (coming from the girl who took a classes about birds and chocolate in college) - I'm learning this knowledge so I can be a good doctor one day & help people (or at least pass my boards so I can get into residency and become a good doctor). 

Here are a few of the things I learned from my first semester!

Medical school is lonely.
There were many times over last semester that I felt lonely. I missed my family and friends and I really, really missed Nick - don't live in different city than your fiancĂ©...it sucks!  I don't know what I would do without the friends I've made here at school - we're like a little family! I'm especially grateful that I have a great roommate so I'm not completely alone. Even though I'm around people most of the time, sitting in silence studying or constantly being focused on school just gets kind of sad, maybe a little a lot depressing. There are so many demands on your time that it's really easy to forget to call family or text back your friends (or blog!) but you have to make time for those things or you will go crazy!

Medical school is pretty selfish.
On one of the first days of orientation, one of our docs said that medical school is one of the most selfish endevours you can choose to undertake. Clearly the decision to pursue higher education requires tremendous personal sacrifice but it also means your loved ones will also make sacrifices as well. One obvious example in my life is that my educational goals are causing Nick to completely uproot his life and career to move here to Indianapolis. While there are certainly many positives to this, I know that I'm putting a huge strain on us - financially, emotionally, etc. by being away from our families, friends, and everything we've known for the past 24 years. 

My Grammy!

From a financial standpoint, it's a selfish short-term decision. I am increasing my student loan debt by 10 times the amount I owned for undergrad. I'm not contributing any income to our lives and I'm relying on other people to help me out with a lot of things still - I don't feel like a 24 year old at this point!

Most of all, med school doesn't always allow you to cultivate and maintain relationships with others in a way that you're used to. Many times I've been invited out with non-school friends or to an event back home which I couldn't attend. A lot of times people just don't understand that, yes, you really are studying on a Saturday night. Hopefully the people in your life that love you will understand and you will find ways to combat these issues!

The only people who truly "get it" are those who've been through it.
A professor at orientation likened the closeness and camaraderie between those in medical field to that of a band of brothers during war. You go through this terribly stressful time together and come out of it with this connection that no one else really understands. I can't say my class is 100% there yet, but I know what the professor is talking about now.  We all just "get" each other. We understand the demands and the sacrifices. We understand the inside jokes, the somewhat morbid humor, and the eccentric, Type-A habits that come along with this experience. And sometimes, we just get that you need to have an Long Island on the Monday after an exam...

If you're in DO school, find some friends who are good at OMM.
After studying for hours and hours hunched over your Netter's Atlas, your neck, back, hips - you name it, start to get a little less friendly. Find classmates that rock at OMM and get them to treat you! Better yet, get all your friends together and practice treating each other - everyone needs a little soft tissue technique & you'll get some studying in! 

You can't do this alone.
I think the stereotypical presentation of a medical student is someone who sits in a solitary room in the basement of a library and studies their life away, alone. Or maybe the gunner who sends out study guides with purposeful errors and rips important pages out of books (hey, these are all things I've heard). In my opinion, you cannot get through medical school alone! 

First of all, there is too much material! For a little while, I was trying to study like I did in undergrad (which I should've known wasn't very effective because it wasn't effective in undergrad either). I would try to outline each lecture on my own which would take hours, leaving me no time to actually commit it to memory. Then I joined a "study group" - we share the lecture outline responsibility. I also have a group that I like to study for practicals and miscelaneous other things with - I like to float around and have many different friends so I can get multiple perspectives on the material - and have some type of a social life.

From a personal well-being standpoint, it's imperative to get some social interaction once in a while even if it's just taking a coffee break between lectures or getting dinner with a few friends. Do not isolate yourself! As I said before, medical school is lonely and it's really easy to get depressed. 

One more note - medicine is becoming very team-based. You have to learn to work well with other people! If standing at an anatomy table for 8 hours a week with the same 4 people taught me anything it's that you have to be a team player - be helpful, be kind, be compassionate, and be dependable - but also expect the same of your team members.

You have to change the way you do things.
I don't think anyone comes out of first semester doing EXACTLY the same thing they did on day one. School requires a lot of trial-and-error, especially with studying. As I said before, trying to carry over my study habits from college was less than successful - mostly because I have very poorly developed habits and even worse discipline. I'm just now figuring out what works for me and sometimes it's a struggle not to go back to my old ways - old habits die hard. 

Mistakes happen. Learn from them!

You learn to prioritize.
Medical school will FORCE you to examine how you spend your time and learn where you can cut the fat so you have more time to do the things you need to do and a little time for the things you enjoy. I try to make time to get a workout in, multi-task with chores, watch a show or two, and talk to family and friends when I'm not studying. That's pretty much the extent of my free time. On a weekend, especially when Nick is here, we'll go to dinner or out for the night. Sometimes I make time for blogging, reading journals & other blogs, etc. I still am working on the prioritizing my life though - I can waste time on Facebook or online shopping just as much as the next girl!

I AM happy that school has forced me to keep wedding planning SIMPLE. I don't have time to worry about the little details of planning, so I just don't. Honestly it has made the experience so much better - I'm more easy-going about the whole process because I just have to be. I didn't stress over bridesmaids dresses, I had my maids pick their own. I ask for help from friends and family to work on smaller details like transportation, hotels, and anything else random. DELEGATE! I'll do a post soon about how wedding planning is going!

What do you want to hear about next? Classes? Meal planning? Wedding? More medical posts? Let me know below!

Weigh In Wednesday: Feb. 19

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pretty Strong Medicine

Hello everybody! Welcome to Weigh-In Wednesday!
Please go check out my sweet co-host!

Ash @ A Step in the Right Direction

If you're new to the link-up, please leave a comment & say hi!

Once again my plan to write more posts in a week has failed. I blink my eyes and it's already Wednesday!  Let's jump to the weigh in, shall we? To my shock and surprise, I'm the same weight as last week. 

Even since I started doing this link up back in May, I have never shared my actual weight. Within the last few months it became apparent that people I know read the blog which further hampered any desire to share my weight.

It just seems super hypocritical to be the host of a "weigh in" and not share this side of myself. Set backs are made dramatically easier when all I do is provide vague details about my weight loss. I'm still participate in a way that is comfortable for me & I think we all know very little is accomplished when we are "comfortable."

A little background. Two weekends ago, after much frustration, I started looking into going back to Weight Watchers. I joined my senior year of high school, eventually losing 20 lbs before going to college (and then I gained it all back plus 40 lbs more). I know it isn't the plan that helps - points or calories, it's all the same to me. I don't really feel that Weight Watchers teaches healthful habits either but one thing I did enjoy was the accountability. Being a poor medical student, my friend and I decided to be each other's accountability since we are both getting married this summer. We weigh in a Saturday mornings now. So if I can share that deeply personal statistic with her, I think I should be doing it here as well. Without further ado...

Yup. That says 211.8. Now the rest of my stats:
Height: 5'8"
SW: 236.2 lb (yikes)
Loss this week: 0.0 lb
Total Loss: 24.8 lb

I hate this. I've started to share my weight more than a handful of times and I always end up deleting it. I feel ashamed. I feel guilty. I feel worthless. - all because of a stupid number. 

You all are now my accountability, too. I know the number isn't the most important thing which is why I share other aspects of my training but I think it's important for me to be honest with myself about how far I still have to go since I am overweight and I do need to lose more.

These feelings came to a head yesterday during my Intro. to Clinical Medicine class. We just started our Cardiovascular block so we're learning a more in-depth cardio physical exam. Two of my friends were having trouble finding my femoral pulse (which is right in that bikini line area). They called one of the docs over who proceeded to say "You have to press harder on people with 'extra tissue.'" Clearly it was a comment that was meant to be instructive, not malicious. But it stuck with me and it brought up a lot of the comments I've heard my whole life "you have a beautiful face but...you could lose X pounds" and a variety of other weight-related comments. 

I know I should be proud of the progress I've made and even if the scale isn't changing as fast as I would like, I should KNOW I'm changing. But then I get wrapped up in the feelings I described above. I just hope one of these days the pride and strength with predominate the doubt and worthlessness. Am I alone here?

A few more updates:

Last night I had my 5th long run for half marathon training. The weather was pretty great - started out at 48 degrees so I didn't have to layer up too much.  The run, on the other hand, was HARD. I haven't run 6 miles since November when I ran my 10K. I wanted to quit. I wanted to give up. 

Usually after about a mile or two, I find my groove. The endophins kick in and I stop feeling and just run. That moment never really came last night...it was a struggle. I haven't been getting all my short runs in lately which is probably the problem. Since the weather is getting better, my goal is to follow my training schedule to a T this week. 

I'm starting to get scared to run more than 6 miles - I've never done this before! Luckily next week is a fall back week where we just run for 40 minutes so I'll have time to get lots of mileage in before the 7 mile doozy!

Whew...so there it is. Enjoy the rest of your week and make it a great one!

Weigh In Wednesday: Feb. 12

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Pretty Strong Medicine

Hello everybody! Welcome to Weigh-In Wednesday!
Please go check out my sweet co-host:

Ash @ A Step in the Right Direction

If you're new to the link-up, please leave a comment & say hi!

Oh you know...just yo-yoing my way through life. 23 pounds lost total. Still trying to lose what I gained last week. Probably due in large part to it still looking like this outside:

Before starting to get down on myself, I decided to look back at how far I've come. This journey has been slower than I ever anticipated but I'm hoping that means it will last. I haven't taken "drastic" action to get where I am today but I've seen drastic changes in my life and my way of thinking. Below is me this summer (June ish?) and me this weekend.

In past weight loss attempts, I didn't do it the right way. I've tried every fad diet and I even had some not-so-healthy habits like severely restricting calories. It works, but clearly I gained it all back.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you have to look for the non-scale victories and the progress you have made in all areas of your life in order to stay motivated. I'm letting my progress motivate me to kick it up a notch - there is so much to look forward to and I don't want to continue to be held back by my weight.

In other news, I decided to meal plan this week and prepare a few dishes ahead of time since I have my cummulative Neuroscience final on Monday. It's going to be a doozy. 

Kale & Tomatoes with Onions. I found the recipe on Whole Foods blog
because I had an entire bag of kale that needed to be eaten. It was really good cold although I'm sure you can eat it heated up. Kale is just not my thing so I'll probably stick to spinach in the future.

I also made delicious spaghetti squash with pasta sauce, basil pesto chicken sausage, spinach, onions, and mushrooms! Yummy.

Tonight I have a 5 mile run scheduled for the running club. It's going to be 24 degrees. Is it too much to ask for it to be like 40 degrees soon?  I'm so miserably cold!

Last, I got to play doctor yesterday. We're finishing up our Neuroscience block right now (kill me...I'll review it after we're done). But I did get to be a pretend neurologist and work with a standardized patient to practice my history taking and my neurological exam. I think it went well! I missed a few minor things but hopefully I'll get some great feedback!

So now I start the sprint toward my Neuro final - 3.5 hours, 140 questions and near 100 lectures. I might have one or two mental breakdowns before Monday - just hoping to keep my head above water. In the meantime, keep smiling!  Hope you all had a great week!

Don't forget to link up below and visit your fellow link-upers!

Weigh In Wednesday: Feb. 5

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Pretty Strong Medicine

Hello everybody! Welcome to Weigh-In Wednesday!
Please go check out my sweet co-host!

Ash @ A Step in the Right Direction

If you're new to the link-up, please leave a comment & say hi!

This weather is really cramping my style. I have been in the biggest rut ever lately - with school, workouts, and general life motivation. The lack of sun and warmth is really getting me down. I used to be a morning person that could hop right out of bed. Now I struggle with the snooze button and never get up at the time I want. I'm just hoping Spring is just around the corner - I need a break! 

This week I gained 3 lbs after indulging too much during my birthday last Thursday and Nick spending all weekend here and studying for my exam. I'm a mess. After every exam, I gain weight. I eat like crap & I don't get my workouts in which is the exact opposite of what I should be doing! 

I decided to make my own training schedule based on the one provided to me by my run club so I would have something to follow that fits my schedule! I'll share it later this week!

As I said, last Thursday was my birthday so now I'm officially in my mid-twenties -24! I'm old!

Birthday Flowers

Pacer's Game with friends!

Post-exam Fattening Food - it was for my birthday!

My long run was canceled last night so I need to figure out a time to make that up - I tried to run on the treadmill last night and it messes up my stride. My shins started to get really painful so I called it a night. You all already know I hate the treadmill - I'm going to avoid training on it at all costs!

I need opinions! Which of the following invitations do you like best? The photo includes the invite and the response card. HELP!

Don't forget to link up below!