From Buddha to Adonis (body type) – the 60 Day Challenge

It’s scary to look at some pictures from just a few years ago. It’s so easy to just let life happen and all of a sudden you have sleep apnea. I’ve been telling myself, I need to get back down to 170lbs for the past… since 7 years maybe? Well this post is more of a motivation for myself than anything.

Life Time Fitness has this 60-day-challenge where you get some access to other classes, and “virtual coaches” and diet recipes that help you get to either a goal weight or overall “whole body transformation”. You can actually win some loot. Now there is an associated cost, but it helps drive incentive to perpetual physical activity. 

I feel like I want to join and be on my way to a healthy BMI, but then I start to make excuses… I already don’t have the time to dedicate 100% to working out, going to the fitness classes (which is true, the times are not compatible with current life), I will not have any use for the recipe’s that they offer, and why should I use a virtual coach, how would that help?

Well… as I tell my patients, you have to make the time. There is always time to do something. You may not want to do it, but there is always a way to find it or make it. For instance, instead of working out now, I am sitting here writing this blog (which by the way, I commend anyone who does this regularly because it is hard to do well). As I made the excuses in my head, I realized, how can I expect my patients to take anything I say seriously if I can’t do it myself. 

My current BMI is 26.4 (near my all time high). I do have a family history of vascular dementia, stroke, heart attack and diabetes. So why the heck would I not take my health seriously, and take my own advice. Now As I write this, I have already started to implement some Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC). On my professional Facebook Page, I have been trying to track my physical activity via PolarBeat. I like tracking my heart rate during exercise as it give me a better idea of the calorie use. I also sport a FitBit (mainly due to the benefit we get from our health insurance). You do NOT need these tech gadgets to be healthy, but I like gadgets.

I frequently ask my patient to use myFitnessPal to track calories and activity to help them stay focused on their goal weight loss. They have Apps you can use for both Android and iOS. I think you can actually watch my MyFitnessPal Diary here. http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/diary/alphapenguin

So back to this 60-day challenge. I’ve tried sticking with P90x in the past but can’t get beyond day 30. Working out about 90 minutes a day takes a helluva time away from the day. Personal trainers are expensive. You know what though, not good excuses. Even if it’s just 40, or even 30, or even 20 minutes a day, it’s better than nothing. Finding ways to multitask works best. Unless you are superhuman and get up at 4 am to workout like some people I know, great ways to get physical activity in is to be active when you choose to be sedentary. Sounds obvious, but I mean instead of sitting down for 1-2 hrs watching NetFlix or a basketball game, get on a stationary bike or a treadmill (if you have one) and watch the Netflix. If you don’t have one, there are ways to get creative to do something. Now YouTube has a lot of great workout channels/videos with exercises. If you want to spend the money, there is the BeachBody On Demand, which gives you access to most of the BeachBody Material via the Android/iOS apps or via the website.

To keep myself motivated and accountable, and maybe to help motivate others that know me (or even the ones that don’t), I decided to publicly journal my strive for fitness. I’d love to have that six pack, but I think I would love even more is to not die of a heart attack prematurely or succumb to diabetes. As far as I know, I have been lucky so far with my biometric screens. Also, it would be nice not to have sleep apnea.

My current Plan to stay accountable:

GOAL: Weight loss down to 170lbs

Commitment:

  • must work out at least 20-40 min in a day, 5-6 days a week, and will provide proof. Will likely update blog weekly. maybe daily? To be seen.
  • must log food/calorie intake daily (will be using myFitnessPal), as above, may update only weekly.
  • will post weekly weigh-in weight.
  • no Fast foods.

how long am I going to last…

[dare i post a before picture here?]

 

Feel free to comment with any thoughts.

 

Blessings in disguise: I must be dreaming

Coming off work, I zipped on over to the future office to sign my contract. I can confidently say I will be joining a wonderful group of docs. After a whirlwind of a journey, I can most definitely say: “PHEW!”  The more I think back the more I realize how lucky I really am. Maybe there is a higher power that is looking out for me? Or maybe there is a cosmic set of checks and balances. Whatever it is, all I k now is I need to go through a manic phase and celebrate this good fortune. Buy a few Llamas, maybe a Koala bear and scooter.

I was feeling pretty good already, imagining my future seeing my own patients, having my OWN office. Yet I had this lingering sensation of dread… not knowing if I passed my boards. I’ve been counting down the days from when I took the test. We were informed 8 weeks from that day. As of this morning I had to wait ~2 more weeks. Right after the test, I felt horrible. I was for sure I bombed it. I did not feel prepared at all, and I definitely felt that the test was hard. For the next few days I had some difficulty sleeping, because I kept thinking to myself… CRAP CRAP crap crap CRAAAAP. I got over it for a little bit, but after recently watching Greys Anatomy *spoiler alert* seeing “Apes” fail her boads and see her job offers get pulled away got me thinking again. What if I failed, what if my future employer says… well since you didnt pass, we cant take you on… if I dont pass I will have to take it again, and pay… AGAIN! Suffice it to say I did not sleep well the past few days.  Heck I havent really worked out for the past 2 months (ever since March due to board studying and the post board aftermath feeling of crappiness).

On my way home, I was on the phone with MommyMD and were discussing my current sensation of triumph with signing my contract. I did also mention my reservations with whether I passed or failed the boards. As I arrived home, I went to check the mail. MommyMD still on the phone, I caught my eye on an envelop addressed to me marked Confidential. THen I notice who the sender was… IT IS HERE!? Could it be? Early?  With bated breath, I hesitantly open the epistle… I cant bear to read it. I try to look at it from the back… oh what the hell. I read it. I read it 2-3 times to make sure I read it right… YOU PASSED!. what? WHAT? I PASSED!

YES! I PASSED! I yelled out a screech of victory and joy (as MommyMD was still on the phone). I still couldnt believe it. I had MommyMD read it just to make sure I am not hallucinating.

I still fear I will wake up and find this to have been a dream. nope. not a dream. Cant get better than this.

ViviBear is walking

Job is secured

Boards are passed.

now what… nothing to hold me back…. the ship is leaving the dock.

p.s. thank you to all that truly believed all would work out. :-)

Biscuits+Honey Bears – Babies = :)

Oven Baked Biscuits and a Honey Bear

 

In a followup to my Biscuit and Honey post. I figured I would just buy frozen biscuits and a honey bear from Kroger. Can NOT beat fresh Biscuits and Honey. Just need to keep the honey away from the baby. PSA: no honey for babies, or you get a floppy baby… then a dead baby. That is no good.

but the sweet delectable honey on biscuits is!

“I want adipex, and I refuse to exercise” – how about Develop a weight loss plan with the Kinect

can the right incentive shed the pounds (for good)?
Just Dance 3 (for XBOX360)

I am sure people already have some fangled setup using the kinect to lose weight, but I wonder if we can actually entice patients to lose weight more effectively using video games. They are more fun, and would more likely keep attentions spans longer.

Games like Dance Central and Just Dance are very exhausting, yet still fun. Other cool thing is your progress is tracked, and I think you should be able to share the progress online via the XBox Live.  I am pondering if we can do a study that would have people play the kinect consistently every day for about 30 minutes a day, and eat a healthy diet. Maybe there would be more compliance and success with weightloss. You might think, “duh, if you exercise and eat right you will lose weight.” That is a no brainer, but the hardest part about doing that is… doing it. I’ve tried many times to finish P90X, but it just gets kinda of boring. It’s a great workout and I have no doubt if I stuck with it every day, I’d have

"X ME!"

Abs like Thanh Nguyen. Also if I had no obligation every day, I would definitely not mind spending 90minutes a day with Tony Horton and him telling me to “x” him.

Then again, playing the Xbox might not be enough motivation to keep on an exercise program. That too can still get boring. I guess it’s all about motivation. There was a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association [JAMA] titled “Financial Incentive–Based Approaches for Weight Loss”

They were trying to see if people would have more compliance/success with weight loss if there was a monetary incentive/benefit. Their conclusion:

The use of economic incentives produced significant weight loss during the 16 weeks of intervention that was not fully sustained. The longer-term use of incentives should be evaluated.

Employees of Ohiohealth who have the employee health insurance are able to enroll in this “Health Miles Program”. You get this pedometer and you can get money back if you log a certain amount of steps/activity every day throughout the year. You can get up to 500$. There is no cost for you to enroll either. Now you would think this is a great incentive to stay active, but I never made it to the $500. Some days I was too busy to wear it, and there were many days that I was still just too lazy to stay active. Another drawback is people cheat, I have see many people [at least when it first started] that sit there on the hospital floor and just shake the pedometer in their hand…. yah. anyway.

Maybe my friend, we’ll call him Qi, has the right idea, and compete with your friends in “the biggest loser” contests, where you win something for losing the most weight. Then again, the goal should be to be healthy and lose weight, not get fat as you can and then crash diet to win the contest.

Then again we have the people who see me for the first time and want to talk about weight loss.  They tell me “I don’t eat anything” and “never lose weight”, and ask me to prescribe Adipex (weight loss pill, stimulant, more or less not good for you). I usually ask them to keep a food diary/activity log so they can visualize how much they “are not eating” or rather ARE eating. Of course, I would say 99% of the people don’t follow through, or don’t come back. Endocrine disorders aside, it’s really simple math. Calories in minus calories out. If you get a positive number, you are taking in too much or not using enough. If you get a negative number, then you really should be on your way to shedding weight, (or you are logging your cals wrong).

I am not a big fan of diet pills because of the dangerous side effects. I wouldn’t want my patient’s heart to explode because they were too rev’d up from the diet pills. I mean there is a place (I suppose) for the use of these medications, but if you are not going to make an effort at watching what you eat and try to exercise… a diet pill is not going to do it for you. It’s the same for the bariatric surgeries, some people expect the surgery to do all the work. They don’t change their life style, and they end up gaining their weight back.

Well, I think I got a little side track with this post. Maybe I will see if MommyMD will give me some stimulants so I can lose weight too, and forget about this P90X and Tony Horton can just X himself. (I jest).

Time Machines: Smoking sun goddesses and the curse of time

Time Machine

So we took ViviBear for her 9mo checkup, and in the waiting room, there was this lady with a newborn. From behind her hair was well-groomed, and she dressed well, but when she turned around, I was expecting a rather attractive young mom (not that I am gawking, MommyMD was with me). To my surprise, the first thought was, is this grandma? I really wanted to make a comment to MommyMD next to me, but I figured knowing my sly incognito mannerisms, I didn’t want to make it too obvious that I am an a-hole.

Fake Bake
Fake Baking

Later that night, MommyMD brought the lady up, because the baby had some cute fluffy booties on, but she also noticed the weathered mother. Granted there are some older moms out there, and I understand that pushing a baby out for many hours, then having more hours of sleepless night can wear down someone’s complexion, but too many times have I seen people who look 20-30 years older than their actual age. This mommy was well-baked and had much makeup on. Either she was an 50 year old wearing the garb of a 25 year old, or she was a 25 year old that had been smoking and tanning since she was 10 years old hence looking like a 50 year old.

I’ll admit people look great with a good tan on, but it’s too bad that the consequences of looking good leads to such drastic results (skin cancer, wrinkles, looking a wrinkly baked turkey). The smoking part on the other hand is just a vice that smells and causes cancer.

It just boggles my mind when I meet people and I assume they are 70s or so, my first thought is, I hope you’ve had your osteoporosis screening  Colonoscopy. Then I find out there 40 years old. Things that should tip you off that the person you talking to is like older than their age if they:

stinky

 

1. Smell like smoke: I mean reek of smoke to where it fills the whole room up. We’ve all met people, or have friends (or family) that have the nasty musty old smoke smell imbedded in their clothes and hair. No matter how much they wash, it wont go away (which makes me actually wonder if they do wash).

 

Snookie - guaranteeing to look 70 @ 50.

 

2. Have the complexion of an orange, or maybe… I don’t even know what to call it. Lets just say Snookie Complexion. I do suppose you can spray tan and appear orange as well, but you know what I am talking about.

 

 

Ah heck, I’ve been told I look like I am 40 (Clement you asshole). I don’t tan nor do I smoke. Maybe it’s the stress from all the ladies I am around (Combo, MommyMD, ViviBear). not likely. I just have a scholarly look:)

On that note, make sure you wear your sun block if you do go tanning, and just don’t smoke. If you do smoke, consider quitting. Otherwise don’t get offended when you are asked for your golden buckeye card at 40 years old.

“It doesnt even take the edge off” – why medicine sucks

image

Is there a Drug to put me out of my Drug Misery? Some days I wish I stayed in engineering. Today wasnt one of the bad days, but you know it is a bad day when you hear a few key terms over and over again:
– “It doesnt even touch the pain”
– “It doesnt even take the edge off”
– “I’m allergic to tylenol, motrin, tramadol, neurontin, lyrica, cymbalta…” (basically all non narcs)

I dont know what it is, but anytime I hear the words “doesnt take the edge off” I immediately am suspicious that someone is trying to pull one over me. This is likely the wrong way to view things, but I cant help it. It’s iteresting how so many people use the same terms, as if they are on a forum talking to eachother to determine set phrases to use. Maybe it’s fairly common vernacular. whatever, doesnt matter.

So I am currently in process of applying for my full DEA (drug enforcement agency) license, and am having second thoughts. Maybe if I dont bother getting a DEA license, I can just tell all patients: sorry I cant prescribe any candy controlled substances, i.e. xanax, percocet, vicodin…
Then I cut out so much future headache. I know this is not reasonable, because sometimes these medications are necessary, and indicated.

If I had to tell myself in the past how many people I would have to interact with that are trying to scam me out of a prescription, I think I’d still be in engineering, or perhaps working at a Putt Putt place. There is a dichotomy between people who are seeking medication: a. those who are addicted/abusing the medication, b. those who are selling them feeding the addiction. If there was no street value for the candy, then I would imagine the problem would not be as rampant, especially in a down economy, but alas supply and demand rule supreme. It sure as heck does not help when you have doctors passing out controlled substances like prostitute fliers in Vegas. (For those who have not been in Vegas, lets use the analogy “like samples at Walmart”… I dont know if that works either)

As it is I am not in this field for the money, but I am definitely not in this field to waste my time with people who lie to me and harass me for medication. I do love the days where I actually feel I have helped people though. That reminds me why I AM in this field.

Maybe I should write a book, “Willy Wonka and the Oxycodone Factory”