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Suck It IN

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Specializes in ICU. Has 5 years experience.

The first in a series of articles encompassing healthy weight loss, nursing and insight into obesity with an evidence-based approach to the physiological, psychological and pharmacological implications of this condition.

Suck It IN

Last week I hit a milestone.

I fit into scrubs. The tops and the bottoms. I paraded around the living room checking if I could bend and turn. I wanted to know if there were bulges showing or some unsightly side effect. Nope.

I'm no movie star but I'm wearing scrubs. I even had my mom take a picture.

It was an awesome moment.

They were Koi size 5x.

3...2...1...Remove your jaw from the floor. Wiggle it around to see if it works. All good? Alright let's move on.

The last time I was able to fit into scrub pants and bottoms was nursing school in 2012. They were 4x but I believe a very generous 4x. I had used black yoga pants with scrub tops for years masking the problem when all I wanted was a smaller derriere and pockets.

I have come to the conclusion that a nurse needs three things to survive a shift.

  1. Pens. Many, many pens.
  2. Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.
  3. Pockets. You can never get enough pockets.

Anyhow...

I did everything I mentioned in New Grad No More...Continued including entering, getting through and passing nursing school over 300lbs. It never stopped me from achieving my dreams. But it is keeping me from my optimum health.

At my heaviest, I got to 346. If I sneezed I'd be 350. This was also around the time I landed my dream job. I was 320 when I got in and the stress of being the new kid on the block had me packing to 346.

I woke up one morning and said aloud. I'm going to die. It's may not be today. It may not be tomorrow but I'm smart enough to know...I'm asking for trouble.

At work, I'm your short as stilts on a potato and round as I am tall RN ready to meet your every need. I'm knowledgeable. I'm quick. I'm willing to learn what I may not know. I work well with my team and I am passionate about my patients. I dance, I sing, I smile. I work my assets off all night and I go home exhausted at least 36 hours a week.

I get the job done. I love what I do.

I have perfect blood pressure, A1C's and labs. I have no disabling pains that prevent me from rolling out of bed and doing what I need to do. I am also very aware of the risks and pitfalls that await me if I continue on in this manner and this weight. My body will eventually turn on me and diabetes drive, hypertension way and bypass avenue are all ahead on my journey.

I've put my foot down. I'm doing something about it.

I have been fortunate to have coworkers and managers who saw past my size. They saw my capability. They saw my drive, confidence and attitude. They believed I was worth the position and able to carry through. I have won over my patients and proved that I was able to meet their needs without hesitation.

And I've lost about 40 lbs since August of this year. I've chosen a sugar-free and low carb diet. After years of experience in dieting and gaining it back I have learned that my body responds very well to this combination.

I still have a long way to go, but I'd like you to walk this journey with me.

As nurses we are educators. We learn twice as much as we teach and this for me is one heck of a learning curve. I'm looking up and researching what makes weight harder to lose, the proper nutrition to adopt, pitfalls in addiction, exploring obesity as a disease process, how to aid your patient and maybe yourself (and more).

I think my experience may help others have an insight into obesity and the physiological, psychological and pharmacological implications of this condition.

The truth is....

Implementing this knowledge is a lot harder than it looks.

It's going to be just like my career journey...

One bite at a time.

Very soon I will not need to Suck it in and I look forward to it...

Won't you join me?

ICU RN. Love Star Wars, Shiny objects, Sporks, Books, Writing, Nursing and Mini Me. Won't chase a man; but for a kilt I might just power walk.

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10 Comment(s)

Congratulations on your success so far! I have to find sneaky ways to replace healthy food with junk so things don't get (too far) away from me. It's like the day after I turned 30 I woke up, looked at my body in the mirror and said, "I don't even know you anymore!"

I admit I have the pallette of a kindergartener. I would almost never eat vegetables if I didn't have to, so I created what I call the "All The Vegetables I Hate Shake" where I literally just put 3 cups of veggies (various) and some water in a blender and have at it. It's God awful for a few minutes, but my conscience is appeased. Other than that, I try to do the same as you, no refined sugar and low carb. It works well when I stick to it, but therein lies the rub!

Empire Chick, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 5 years experience.

Congratulations on your success so far! I have to find sneaky ways to replace healthy food with junk so things don't get (too far) away from me. It's like the day after I turned 30 I woke up, looked at my body in the mirror and said, "I don't even know you anymore!"

I admit I have the pallette of a kindergartener. I would almost never eat vegetables if I didn't have to, so I created what I call the "All The Vegetables I Hate Shake" where I literally just put 3 cups of veggies (various) and some water in a blender and have at it. It's God awful for a few minutes, but my conscience is appeased. Other than that, I try to do the same as you, no refined sugar and low carb. It works well when I stick to it, but therein lies the rub!

Thank you thank you....I shall borrow Pallet of a kindergartner and attempt a "All The Vegetables I Hate Shake" because lets face it, I didn't get bigger on air. It was a serious lack of veggies and a hunkering for sugar.

Anyone that can abstain in any form gets kudos, all the kudos because it is nooooot easy. Temptation is around every corner..especially on the 31st...OMG...what am I going to do...

- J or That Chick /Empire Chick...join the Darkside...we threw out the cookies...carrot?

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience.

I've lost almost 40 lbs. since my husband died in July. Not only did my appetite diminish, so did my stomach capacity. It takes only a little food to satisfy me. I eat whatever I want, but I haven't had soda (not even diet) in months and I make better food choices most of the time. I don't eat much sweets anymore either. I think that has a lot to do with the weight loss. I don't recommend losing a spouse as a way to shed pounds, but I might as well take advantage of it and go with the flow.

Empire Chick, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 5 years experience.

I've lost almost 40 lbs. since my husband died in July. Not only did my appetite diminish, so did my stomach capacity. It takes only a little food to satisfy me. I eat whatever I want, but I haven't had soda (not even diet) in months and I make better food choices most of the time. I don't eat much sweets anymore either. I think that has a lot to do with the weight loss. I don't recommend losing a spouse as a way to shed pounds, but I might as well take advantage of it and go with the flow.

OMG I'm so sorry. *hugs* I'm glad you're eating healthy but I wish I could just hug you. That's just too much to process. If you need an ear, I have two :)

Oh yeah, another sneak is baking your own sweet potato chips! The trick is to get an oil mister and mist the slices with some olive oil rather than tossing them with it. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and bake at 250 for two hours. It satisfies those voracious salty snack cravings and provides nutrients! Cut extra thin with a mandolin and one potato can be 3-4 baggies of chips, so it still keeps the carb count low for the day.

I find its easier for me to maintain a good diet if I find feasible alternatives for some of my weaknesses than trying to forsake them completely ;)

xoemmylouox, ASN, RN

Has 13 years experience.

Congrats to you. I have made a deal with my hubby that if all goes as planned, we are getting in better shape when I graduate in May. This will require us to rejoin the gym we never went to and to change our eating habits. I am a stress eater so I am going to do my best in school, but I'm just not willing to go without my sweets during my transition program. It's an excuse, but I'm under enough stress at the moment. Reading these stories does inspire me to stick with it come June 2017.

JerseyTomatoMDCrab, BSN

Specializes in med-surg, IMC, school nursing, NICU. Has 8 years experience.

I PROMISE those sugar cravings will go away with time! It truly is like a drug, riding out that withdrawal is tough but worth it.

susummers1

Specializes in Trauma Med Surg, Telemetry, Education. Has 8 years experience.

Great post, and congrats on the weight loss. I am a serious stress eater and I always come up with the best excuses. I need to get some motivation like you!

Well Done!!! I just finished losing the 30 or so pounds I needed to lose post-nursing school. It's full-time job to keep those veggies cut. And the fruits (which I don't like so much!), but well worth the time! I feel so much better. I've found that doing the stairs at work is one of my greatest workouts. I purposefully park on the deepest floor of the parking garage and hike all the way to the skybridge (6 floors worth of stairs) which lands me on the first floor of the hospital from which I hike to the 7th floor! And what a great inspiration you can be for your patients who also need to take their lives into their own hands. We can't band-aid problems forever! Keep up the good work!

blackberry74

Specializes in Geriatrics. Has 4+ years experience.

Well done OP! I am behind you 100%! Currently in nursing school, we have talked about diet and exercise many times but this last focus on Endocrine really woke me up. I tend to avoid sweets but my family has not, making things difficult but I stick to a higher vegetable/protein, lower carb option when planning meals for them all. It they want cake it's up to them to get it/eat it...