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Le-Lee_FNP Le-Lee_FNP (New Member) New Member

I refuse to be a fat nurse!!

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Sorry if the title is offensive. But I just wanted to share my struggles with weight gain since becoming a nurse. I have been a nurse for 5 years but i began gaining weight when i started nursing school. I told myself I didn't have time to workout because i was too busy studying, and i told myself i couldn't afford to eat healthy.

When i graduated and got my first nursing job, my weight issues continued. I was so stressed out about being a new nurse and not knowing what i was doing that again i turned to food for comfort. Then i started working nights and really packed on the pounds. Co-workers were constantly snacking and bringing in food and again i told myself i couldn't work out because the nights made me too tired.

Here is my frustration. As a nurse i feel like it is my job to promote a healthy lifestyle to my patients and how can i do this if i am not practicing what i preach? I recently decided to make a commitment to lose the weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle with appropriate food choices and working out. I am telling myself that I can do this despite the temptations at work, the stress, of my job, and working 12 hour night shifts. But it is really tough. I want to know if there are others of you who are experiencing the same thing?

Also for those of you who do maintain a healthy lifestyle what are some of the things you do to avoid temptation, eat healthy, and exercise regularly despite being tired and constantly tempted with bad food in the workplace?

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Bad food in the workplace is my nemisis! I chase it away, my co-workers know to not offer to go get me 'snacks' of KFC/TacoHell, whatever nonsense they are getting that day. I bring my lunch, and I'm forcing myself to go to the gym- every single day on my days off.

Happily, my gym has free classes, and I'm a big fan of them. If I'm working out by myself, I get bored and wander off- but if I plant myself in the middle of an aerobics class, I'm too embarrassed to leave early and seem like a wuss. Also, I have much, MUCH more energy when I attend the gym reguarly. It's a tremendous difference.

I've lost 8 pounds in three weeks, hurray me!

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You really can do this.

There are some things that can help.

1. Tell EVERYONE at work you are losing weight...not "I'm on a diet". Eventually they will stop trying to tempt you with garbage.

2. You might try Spark People or some various other free on line food tracking thing.

If you do not naturally enjoy exercise... (Yes, I do, but I am unusual), get a workout buddy to go to the gym...sign up for a few sessions with a personal trainer, or a class. Once a person has paid for something they usually use it.

One thing I did that way really great when I was working night shift, was to hit the gym RIGHT AFTER WORK. It was not crowded. I was wide awake, and then I slept so so well...

Last tip- if you have any interest in running/jogging, walk/jogging... look up the Couch to 5K program on the net and sign up for a race....If you are anywhere near me, I'd join you!

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That is awesome Lynx25! I also just recently lost weight (25 pounds in 2 months!). I have been working out at home because it is more convenient for me and i have an online support group that keeps me motivated. I just want to keep it off this time and try my hardest to overcome these horrible temptations in the workplace. It seems like when people know that you are trying to be healthy that's when they try their hardest to pull you in and force you to eat bad things. I think they just don't want to be the only ones feeling bad about themselves. I don't know. But thanks for your input. I started brining my lunch also and that really does help!

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sauconyrunner, i actually do enjoy running and working out believe it or not. i just had to get over the whole mental part of it because work was so draining and stressful that i didn't want to do anything but be lazy on my days off. lol. send me a freind request on facebook so we can talk about the 5k run. i'm interested. my domain name is salimah81

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One simple thing that worked well for me is calorie counting. There is a free iphone app called "My Fitness Pal" that makes is easy to track intake of calories and exercise. It also analyzes what nutrients you are not consuming enough of/too much of. I highly recommend it. I have lost 5 lbs already (in the past three weeks).

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I also struggle with weight. I'm not overweight right now, but it is a constant vigil to make sure the pounds don't creap on...

1.) If you can, use your lunch break to walk. Get out of the break room and the constant parade of food. At night, I brought a portable DVD player and would play 10-minute workouts in an empty room. Or bring a MP3 player and march to the music.

2.) DO NOT DRINK!!! After work stress is awful, but avoid the wine, booze, beer.... You feel good and relaxed for a few hours, but the pounds will come on so fast.

3.) Find coworkers who also are trying to be fit and use their support.

4.) Learn to say "no" to the birthday cakes, party leftovers, conference leftovers, doughnuts, etc. It is hard, but this is a big place where people gain weight.

5.) Bring your lunch and snacks every day. This is a good way to control what you are putting into your body.

6.) Stay hydrated.

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danamcd123 thank you for your advice. i also have my fitness pal and i love it but i admit that i don't use it daily like i should. may i ask what type of workouts you do? do you go to the gym or do you work out at home?

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burlshoe114, thank you so much for all of the great tips! i have already started to implement some of them. you are right i did used to drink wine on my off days or when i got off work to help me relax but i cut that out in the last couple of months and i really think it helped accelerate some of my weight loss. i have also tried finding other co workers who want to stay fit also but thats what frustrates me. where the heck are all the nurses who actually want to be healthy? most of them look at me like i'm crazy when i tell them i'm watching what i eat. i even tried to start a fitness group at work no one responded. it just seems like a lot of people don't want to make their health a priority and its both discouraging and frustrating :(

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From a diet perspective...

Get over the notion of a lunch break. Alot of nurses don't get them anyway and the "Lunch Break" routine is a big hinderance for alot of people trying to lose weight. YOU and YOU alone are in control of what you open your mouth and put into it, do not let your goals fall victim to your job.

MANY professionals (not just nurses), people with office jobs, servers, bartenders, teachers, etc, find themselves in a position where they don't have great options for food while they're at work and often don't have the opportunity to even eat. Here are a few tips to remedy this:

1. Pack your food and leave your cash in your car - If you know you have a 3 day work stretch coming up, buy 3 packs of chicken.... grill all of it. Portion it into 3 containers. Pick one or two different sides / snacks (fruits, veggie sticks etc), prep and portion them into 3. Pick items that you're ok eating cold. Huge salads are a good option or a Large pack of steam vegetables or rice.

As I'm sure you're already aware, from a metabolic standpoint you are much better eating 4-6 small meals over the course of a 12 hour shift than gorging yourself when you get home...Having your lunch READY TO GO and as a cold meal that can be "snacked on" over the course of the 12 hours not only gives you control of what you're eating, but also allows you to actually get the meals in...since Nursing breaks are few and far between. It's much easier to grab a few bites (which is sometimes all you need) than it is to find food and have a sit down meal.

Many people aren't really used to the notion that 3 ounces of chicken and a half sweet potato or a cup of yogurt with lowfat granola is a meal. They are meals they're just meals with numbers (first, fifth, seventh, etc) instead of names (breakfast, lunch, dinner). Food is fuel, not comfort, not an obligation...you'll find if you eat more during the day you'll be less "beat" by the end of us. Give yourself a steady supply of quick resources to get yourself through.

2. Numbers - Dieting is a numbers game. Figure out your basal metabolic rate (there are calculators you can use), get a calorie burning watch to figure out relatively how much energy you expend during your day. Use these resources to PLAN PLAN PLAN what you're eating on those long days at work. You'd be surprised at how bad or off your carb / protein / fat ratio might be currently and how much of a hindrance that is to your weight loss goals. Implement the change, notice results.

3. Supplements - Protein powder is your friend. Pack a tupperware container of low carb protein powder (if you don't own protein powder get some...you should be using it after workouts anyway) and keep it in your locker or car. If you forget your food, or really don't have time to catch some quick bites, protein powder can be a life saver. Just stick to the dietary guidelines and don't over do it. A small meal before your shift and a Casein shake can really help control your hunger during long stretches when you don't have access to food.

4. Water - Hydration Calculator - Know How Much Water To Drink? I used to put day dots on my water bottles in the fridge (just different colored stickers) Then I know, Ok, I need to drink at least 10 of these today, and can keep track of how many I drank. Turned out I was drinking LESS THAN 50% OF THE WATER I NEEDED :O. You will notice this too and learn to keep yourself better hydrated.

Anyway, lot of stuff here sorry, the point is that with a little creativity there are many ways that you can RETAKE CONTROL of your diet in a situation that isn't always dieter friendly. I'm sorry to hear that your coworkers aren't very receptive to your new changes, but sometimes being alone is the biggest motivator. Good luck and I hope your next post is along the lines of "Holy heck i lost 20 lbs and here's how..."

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Also, make it a point to eat lunch (or whatever meal falls on your shift...let's just call it lunch for now). Whether you sneak a sandwich and use your lunch break for a walk, or if you actually use your lunch break for lunch, just be sure to eat.

If you skip meals, you set yourself up for overeating the rest of the day, either through a larger dinner and/or excessive snacking. The "I didn't have a lunch so I can eat whatever I want at dinner" mentality will actually cause you to take in more calories than if you ate regular meals. Ask me how I know.

And I also agree with My Fitness Pal. It got 17 lbs off of me...it took a long time but it worked with minimal misery.

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I will be starting nursing school next month and I already need to lose around 35 pounds, which I have been struggling to do for the last 3 years. I have read so many post from people gaining weight during nursing school. I tend to lose weight when I have a busy schedule and definitely when I have to study a lot so I'm really hoping I won't gain anymore. I applaud you for being determined not to be a fat nurse and I think you will accomplish your goal...you're off to a great start :)

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