Saturday, July 27, 2013

You can do anything, you just can't do everything

In the past 2 months, I've been busy transitioning to a new life in Southern California. Sorry for the delay in posts, but it took me a while to get over leaving Stanford as a med student, and adjusting to my new lifestyle as a new Family Medicine resident at UCLA, as well as adjusting to a new city. I think I'm finally hitting my stride though.

In orientation, we were warned about how common it is to gain weight our first year as a resident physician. A combination of stress eating, long and odd work hours that makes exercising difficult, and ironically unhealthy hospital food equates to weight gain for many. After working so hard to lose my 45lbs, I was determined to let this happen to me. My motto to achieve this with such a busy schedule is this: "You can do anything, you just can't do everything." In the context of extremely limited time, I'm just deciding to prioritize my own health and wellbeing, and in doing so, some other things might slide. We'll see how that plays out.

So far so good. I'm trying to just stick to what I know works. I started off my residency on night shift for our family medicine in-patient service the past week, and have one more week to go. Work hours are 6:30pm-7:30am every night, except Monday night where I work until 10am Tuesday morning, and then have Tuesday night off. My routine so far has been to get home and be asleep by 8:30-9am so I can get 7-8 hours of sleep. I then wake up at 4:30pm, and start my night off at my newly found Crossfit Sandbox around the corner for a 5pm workout on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays. After an hour workout, I jump into the shower at the gym, and then bike to the hospital with enough time to grab a coffee before our 6:30pm sign-out to keep me going through the night. On the days I'm not doing Crossfit, I've been going to the gym to lift weights once a week. I tried to muster up enough motivation to run for an hour on another day, but instead chose to sleep. For diet, I'm also sticking to what I know best: preparing a week's worth of meals at a time. That takes up my Tuesday nights off. I cook enough food to last me through the night, with my "breakfast" at early evening consisting of a salad I get from the cafeteria before it closes. So far it has been fine. What have I given up to do this? Mostly my social life. I did go to dinner with a friend once, but other than that I haven't logged onto facebook, and am not so good about returning social texts/calls. I haven't even turned on my laptop except to write this post in the past week.

Preparing for a week's worth of meals overnight, with meatballs, chicken, veggies, and boiled eggs
In general though, in terms of my fairly recent journey towards a healthy lifestyle, the more things change, the more things stay the same. The only thing I'm really missing is the community I built while in Northern California and my Crossfit Palo Alto community that I used to cook with weekly. Besides being in a new city, it's hard to get people to come cook with you between the hours of 1am-4am. Hopefully the community will come with time, but for now, this works. More to come hopefully next week.