Sunday, February 6, 2011


I realized a grave mistake I've been making throughout my quest to become a physician.

Almost all of my secondary applications have asked about physicians being role models for health and wellness, or practicing what they preach, and how I feel about that. I do feel it is important for a physician to practice what they preach: eat well, exercise, don't over indulge often, etc. And yet, here I have been over indulging, not watching my weight or my health too closely. How can I preach that and not actually do it? Once I realized this (just a few short weeks ago) a light switched on in my head. I suddenly am finding it so easy to walk away from sweets, eat wholesome and healthy foods, and I almost crave a workout of some sort each day.

How did this all start? Well, after being pescaterian  for almost two years, my immune system started breaking down. I was sick or just not feeling well for the past six months. Then a few friends suggested I add meat back into my diet. I thought about it, read some articles that were thrown my way about how vegan/vegaterian/pescaterian diets aren't for everyone...and the meat is back! Just small portions however. My energy levels feel like they have sky rocketed and I just feel better. I am no longer telling my doctor how tired I am feeling, which to me is one of the greatest things. Thanks to the extra energy, I have stepped back into a regular pattern of working out, which feels fantastic and helps to clear my mind as well.

But, I was stil having pretty bad stomache issues (just nauseous all the time), so, after a converstaion with one my aunts about gluten allergies, I went for it. I cut the gluten out and that gave an almost immediate response as well. My stomache felt settled. Along with that went my sugar craving. I went from craving a sweet snack/treat throughout the day to maybe wanting a couple of bites of chocolate at night. I had to laugh at myself one night as I was eating some chocolate squares. I had a mix of 64%, 72% and 86% dark cocoa squares. The 86% had before then been overly bitter and just not tasty to me at all. So I avoided them. But that night, as I was eating a chocolate square, I thought to myself how it was almost too sweet for my taste. I checked the wrapper, and it was the 86% cocoa chocolate! I literally laughed out loud.

All this boils down to one thing for me: getting healthy, acting healthy, and showing others how I am healthy so I can lead by example. We are such a nation of bigger/more is better, and that really is the wrong way to think about food. I am still training my mind to believe that each meal is not my last and I can enjoy the leftovers another day. It is tough, and a constant challenge, but it's getting easier. I need to lead by example for my future patients and have the ability to show them how easy it can be to be healthy.

Sometimes you have to be selfish in the sense that you can't fully take care of others until you take care of yourself properly. And I am finally doing just that; taking care of myself so I can better care for others...because I got a lotta love to give.  :)