|Posted by MANSNewsletterChair on January 21, 2018 at 11:45 PM|
Nursing students do not have a life. Nothing quite prepared me for the depth of how accurate that statement is like the first week of nursing school did. In that week I realized that assignment deadlines, classroom lectures, outside reading, simulation and clinical preparation and clinical time would replace my usual free time activities. What is worse is that during nursing school I have maintained a full-time job as well. The only good thing about being this busy is that the first semester flew by. As you can imagine this left little time to do most things and I had to cut back on time wherever I could. The time I found I could cut back on was preparing meals and opting for fast food that I could get on the run. After a short winter break I got right back into second semester which was just as busy as first. It was during summer break after my second semester that I realized convenience/stress eating and having little time for anything else had caught up to me and I was the heaviest I have ever been. I made a conscious decision to do something about it. I am proud to say that by the end of my third semester I realized I was in better shape than I have been in a long time. I felt healthier than I ever had and even lost some weight in the process. I wanted to share a few things that helped me start to become a healthier me. Perhaps the first and arguably the most important thing I did was to resolve to change. I had to make up my mind to do so. I have had so many half-hearted attempts but this time was different. I still have slip ups when things are really stressful, but the important thing is that I get right back into the swing of things. This is crazy but for me this next tactic had the biggest impact. For one month, I looked at my bank and credit card statements and added up how much I spent on food. The end total was shocking. I was spending far more than I care to admit on take out food and just hemorrhaging money on an already tight budget. In order to plan meal prepping to save time and money I started subscribing to several social media accounts that specialized in this. I realized that it really doesn't take that long to meal prep as long as you have an attack plan in place. I now have a few good meal prep recipes in my repertoire and instead of stopping for dinner I brown bag it. This really doesn't take as much time to do as I once thought. The gym. I found time for it. This is something you just have to do. It is never going to be easy to fit time in to exercise. On occasion I have even combined studying and working out by bringing in some flash cards to review while walking. Instead of coming home after class and destressing in front of the TV, I now go to the gym. If I do ever skip the gym for whatever reason I still try and incorporate some kind of exercise into my day. During class breaks in lecture a good number of my classmates and I do laps in the hallway to get our steps in. We even had a competition with the students in the semester below us to see which group could get the most steps in. I also set a realistic and obtainable goal. I can achieve this goal in a timely fashion if I set my mind to it. My goal is to lose twenty pounds by pinning. I do not want to have to worry about how I look walking across the stage during pinning. I do not want to have to worry that my scrubs are clinging to certain areas of my body and making me self conscious. I do not want my fear of how I look to negatively impact what is going to be one of the greatest times in my life. I do not want to have to worry if when I get in pictures if the angle of the camera is just right so that you can't see my double chin. I want to be carefree at pinning and enjoy that moment that I have worked so hard to achieve. Enlist some friends. We have all heard that nursing school is where you find your life long friends. I have to admit at first, I thought this was ridiculous but I have found two friends that I hope I will have for a lifetime. I asked for their help and together the three of us have been keeping each other on track. It is a lot harder to skip the gym when you have to admit to others that you are not going because you are just plain being lazy. And finally, I realized that I am going to be a nurse soon. I am going to have to educate my patients on healthy eating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I can not imagine as a nurse telling my patients that the best thing for them is to maintain a low-fat diet and then down a few slices of pizza. I realized I needed to take my own advice that I have written down in far too many care plans. Nursing student, heal thyself!