Evening Shift Nurse Trying to Improve Health

  1. Hello. I currently work 3-1130 pm, 5 days a week as a correctional nurse. My commute is two hours a day-one hour to get to work and one hour traveling from work. I am constantly exhausted and obese. I just learned that I'm prediabetic. I also have hyperlipidemia but it is not so severe that it requires pharmacological interventions. I live with others and cooking meals is difficulty.
    I am seeking tips to exercise more (I currently have a gym membership) and eat healthier. Thank you in advance.
    Last edit by Brian S. on May 23
  2. Visit SaggieRN87 profile page

    About SaggieRN87

    Joined: Jul '16; Posts: 18; Likes: 12
    from PA , US

    11 Comments

  3. by   meanmaryjean
    Try Weight Watchers! They have an online only plan if you don't want to do meetings, an online community much like this one, and lots more. I've been overweight my.whole life and have lost 30# since September. I am loving it and would recommend it to anyone.

    Any chance of moving closer to the job?
  4. by   SaggieRN87
    Quote from meanmaryjean
    Try Weight Watchers! They have an online only plan if you don't want to do meetings, an online community much like this one, and lots more. I've been overweight my.whole life and have lost 30# since September. I am loving it and would recommend it to anyone.

    Any chance of moving closer to the job?
    Thank you and I have thought about it.
  5. by   broughden
    1. Published study after published study clearly shows that exercise is secondary to diet for weight loss and health. So start with the one that will make the biggest change, diet.
    2. Attempting major lifestyle/behavioral changes is difficult and often unsuccessful for many, so no reason to try doing two (diet and exercise) at the same time.
    3. Eating nutritionally dense but calorically light foods is key, to feeling full (hunger pangs suck) and reducing caloric intake. So in other words you need to really jack up the amount of vegetables (and fruit) you're eating.
    4. For a busy lifestyle (Im an older nontraditional nursing student and take care of my 6 year old daughter) I find frozen vegetables a lifesaver!
    I have found frozen vegetable "meals" like Birdseye's Protein Blend line to be really tasty, filling and packed with nutrition:
    Birds Eye Steamfresh Protein Blends Asian Style | Birdseye
    Birds Eye Steamfresh Protein Blends Southwest Style | Birdseye
    I also really love this product line from Publix:
    Path of Life Quinoa, Mediterranean : Publix.com

    5. Cut out as many empty starchy carbs as possible (potatoes, rice, pasta)
    6. With chicken always go boneless and skinless to cut down on lipid calories in the meat you are serving.
    7. Last but not least...protein shakes. You can buy whey protein powdered mix at Costco for example, mix in some 2% milk, some frozen fruit, and a couple handfuls of ice for a HUGE smoothie that will absolutely fill you up for breakfast or lunch but come in under 400 calories easily. And they are super quick to make in a blender.

    After getting diet under control and finding that you ENJOY the feeling that eating healthier gives you, then start working in exercise. But BECAREFUL working out will increase your appetite, dont let it correspondingly increase your intake! Also group classes tend to be easier than trying to work out solo so if you have a YMCA or an Orange Theory fitness near you that does group classes, give that a try.

    Good luck!
  6. by   SaggieRN87
    Thank you.
  7. by   Lil Nel
    I think other posters have given you good advice regarding diet.
    And as another suggested, you need to consider moving closer to work.
    If you are exhausted from the daily commute, you will not adhere to dietary changes, and you won't have time or energy to exercise.
    Maybe the first thing to do, is tackle the commute time.
  8. by   Slhengy
    I work corrections and work 5p to 5a. I maintain my weight by eating Keto. Carbs are what kills us at night so just avoid them. Eat lots of jerky, eggs, meat and vegetables. I know you are tired but you also need to exercise (cardio and weight train) to reduce your looming chronic diseases. I exercise on my days off even if I am tired. You can do it....just find your mojo. Put a motivation picture on your fridge to remind you of your goals. If you cook for others, start introducing carb free meals into the mix and then transition to no carbs at all. Learn to make carb free bread, cauliflower pizza and zucchini instead of noodles. I did it and my entire family lost weight. No excuses! It's time for a lifestyle change.
  9. by   psu_213
    Quote from Lil Nel
    I think other posters have given you good advice regarding diet.
    And as another suggested, you need to consider moving closer to work.
    If you are exhausted from the daily commute, you will not adhere to dietary changes, and you won't have time or energy to exercise.
    Maybe the first thing to do, is tackle the commute time.
    I totally agree that you (the OP) need to cut down on commute times either by moving closer to work or getting a new job. I realize that neither one may be practical, but I really think it would help. This is just personal experience talking--I have a fairly short commute, but the times when I get home and don't feel like preparing a meal, I go with a quickie dinner. Either take out or something with minimal prep from the freezer. It is usually not particularly healthful. Not saying that you will never be tired when you get home if you live closer to work, but I think it would definitely increase your chances of a large number of healthful dinners.
  10. by   Lil Nel
    Honestly, I think the OPs greatest chance of success with lifestyle changes, is to be better rested.
    Nobody can focus, or give the attention needed to diet and exercise if they are exhausted.
  11. by   SaggieRN87
    I thank everyone for commenting and for their suggestions. Some have commented on shortening my commute time by moving closer to work or finding a new job. Both of these are financial gambles that cannot be taken lightly and require serious consideration. Otherwise, thank you all again.
  12. by   NurseSpeedy
    Quote from SaggieRN87
    I thank everyone for commenting and for their suggestions. Some have commented on shortening my commute time by moving closer to work or finding a new job. Both of these are financial gambles that cannot be taken lightly and require serious consideration. Otherwise, thank you all again.
    I don't find the one hour each way a huge commute to work. I have done it for most of my career and have known many orthers to drive the same amount of time. I once worked less than 10 minutes from home. It didn't change my diet and eating habits.

    One thing helps a lot with diet I have found out is pre-planning and cooking. Don't leave it until it's time to eat to know what you are going to eat. I work 12 hour shifts. I cook everything for lunch and dinner on my days off and plate the food out either on plates with tinfoil or in single serving containers to heat up when it's time. This makes sure that I eat my chicken salad with a healthy dressing (not crap from a salad bar) from home instead of whatever junk is in the cafeteria or available for take out/delivery. I carry quick snacks like plain yogurt and stevia, hard boiled eggs, or nuts/seed crackers-no flour. I get home late. I often don't feel like chewing, let alone cooking, so I precook something reheatable like baked chicken with a side of broccoli/kale. If I really don't want to chew, I'll take some almond milk and Vegan protein powder and throw it in the blender with some frozen blueberries or raspberries and make a shake. Anything to avoid the crap food choices of exhaustion. Breakfast is usually yogurt with a quarter cup of redmills muesli (watch the package for sugar).

    Exercise is needed for mental health. You'll feel better with it but sometimes it takes a few weeks to really get motivated and keep doing it. After the first week that feeling of soreness won't be so strong after and maybe go away completely as you become better conditioned. Working the evening shift I would recommend either doing this soon after breakfast or maybe a little before work. Doing it really late can make it harder to go and when exercising that late it can make it difficult to sleep.

    I don't know if you drink or not, but this is a major source of empty calories that if cut out, will drop the weight a lot faster.
  13. by   josieridad2018
    Dear Corrections Nurse working Evening Shift,
    Commuting is stressful to your body and mind -as evidenced by your complaint of being exhausted; not to mention the time spent totaling 10 hours a week or 40 hours a month. You can use these hours sleeping, resting and going to the gym. For your health's sake, you need to move to a job with lesser commute. California has 34 state prisons spread all over Northern and Southern CA and these prisons are in dire need of correctional nurses. They are actively hiring nurses, LVNs and PTs. Just go online to apply for a position. You can go to CalCareers or google it. They have generous pensions and benefits (CALPERS). There are lots of overtime, including mandatory overtime. You can also start with a Registry who places nurses in Corrections. California and New York City has the highest paid nurses in the country. California is the bellwether of changes in nursing and healthcare in the US. California was the first to legalize the "Nurse-Patient Staffing Ratio" in hospitals and "Pain as the 5th Vital Sign" as law. Please save your health. Look for another job with no commute.

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