Morning Person Takes on Noc Shift

I have always been one of those “up before the sun” people. “Sleeping in” historically has been staying in bed until 8am. So… When I accepted my new position of 36 hours/week on overnights, I knew I was up against a challenge. 

The first few weeks were weird. I felt like I was in a fog constantly… The week of Christmas coincided with my last week of orientation which was very stressful and many tears were shed.

Now that I am getting into a routine.. Thought I would share with you what is helping me stay healthy/happy/sane:

  1. Water water water- Staying hydrated is important for anyone, but it is helping me decrease that facial puffiness that comes from staying up all night 4 nights a week
  2. Making sleep a priority. It’s still hard for me to choose sleep over the gym but from a holistic standpoint sleep>exercise
  3. Exercise- I am still trying to figure out how to fit workouts in my schedule but what I have been doing is sleeping for 5-6 hours after work then going to the gym then hanging around the house before my next shift
  4. Eat regular meals. I have been eating “breakfast” on my way out of work, “lunch” when I wake up, and dinner before I go to work. I have shake packets and protein bars in my bag for if/when hunger strikes while I’m on shift

So far so good with the transition. I’m not sure I’m cut out to be an overnight nurse forever but I’ll make the best of it!

New Years Resolutions

Hi! Sorry I have been MIA lately. The holidays and my new job sucked me away from anything but that. I made the switch to overnights so I’ve been in a little bit of a fog. So what better time to make a “comeback” than with some new year resolutions.

Three years ago my resolution was to move more and eat less. It has changed to move more and eat better. I am still working on my relationship with food.. It’s a process that I am learning to embrace. I have come so far and I am proud of what I have accomplished and learned along the way, but I definitely still have work to do.

This year I resolve to: practice yoga more often, drink less Diet Coke, take my vitamins every day, be outside more, find a better balance between work, life, and fitness, be a better cat mom, and start the house buying process. 

Happy New Year! Here’s a New Year’s Day gym selfie:

 

Post-Disney Depression

A month ago I got back from THE MOST MAGICAL trip to Walt Disney World! I had been planning this trip for months (and months) and the trip flew by.

Ever since I got back, I have been pining to go back and regularly tearing up over the pictures.

The only cure? To plan a new trip…

 

Why is it so hard to eat healthy sometimes?

I love knowing how to nourish my body so that it performs the way I want it to (and it looks the way I want it to), but I also love indulging in all of the not-so-nutritious foods..

Take today for example:

Breakfast- Protein bar, herbal tea concentrate
Snack- Raspberries with mini dark chocolate chips
Lunch-Turkey tacos on lettuce wraps topped with plain greek yogurt
Snack- Unsalted rice cake organic peanut butter

I’m doing pretty well so far. But now that I’m about to leave work it is going to take a lot of willpower to not stop for chips and queso because I had a conversation about how good it is.

Yes, I know that it’s all about balance. But it should be more of an 80%-20% balance throughout the week instead of throughout the day..

What do you do to keep yourself from EATING ALL THE JUNK (especially at night)?

 

XOXO

What even is “body image?”

I have been meaning to write this post forever. I try to be really open and transparent with the world. I don’t want to put up a front (probably mostly because I had one up for so long). I wasn’t sure where this post was going to go but here goes nothing:

Weight (and eating/exercise habits) are a super personal thing. Why are we so obsessed with how people perceive our weight and why are we so fixated on other peoples’?

One of my first clear memories involves a boy in my class telling me that I couldn’t be Barbie for Halloween because I was too fat. This was in PRESCHOOL. I was a normally developing child by any standards. Talk about setting me up for success..

In second grade (and for many years after that) I used to cut my food up, hide it in napkins, and throw it away in pieces to avoid eating my lunch. I hated eating but I’m not sure it had anything to do with my weight at this time.

I quit gymnastics when I hit puberty because I had boobs (and quite a bit of a gut – thanks nana for feeding me cheese balls) and I felt out of place.

A friend and I used to throw up after lunch together in seventh grade. It was a ritual and what we bonded over. By this time I truly believed that eating made you fat and didn’t do anything else for you.

I wouldn’t let my boys touch my stomach and I never took my shirt off for anyone (this still might be an issue).

When I was seventeen my boyfriend at the time broke up with me and all his friends harassed me on Facebook by calling me the “fatty.” I lost fifteen pounds before prom so my dress was too big.

In college I had the time of my life but not without gaining the freshman thirty (that may or may not be an exaggeration). I was feeling myself, getting laid and never felt better. Except that I’d have to take a break between flights of stairs and I couldn’t fit in any of my clothes..

When I decided to clean up my diet and get my ass off the couch, I quickly saw results. I loved being able to buy new clothes and how much more I could do. I loved not being the heaviest person in the room.

My boyfriend at the time who I had loved dearly and thought I was going to marry told me that he didn’t like me “skinny.” He told me I was “disgusting” and he thought healthy eating was useless. Needless to say, our relationship fizzled out. There were other issues, but having your boyfriend hate what you look like probably is the icing on the cake.

I’ve learned a lot from how other people treat me now that I weight less than I did when I was fourteen. I don’t want it to define me though. The first step in that is changing the way I perceive myself. I’m actively trying to love myself for more than just what I look like. I’m focusing my attention on the things I can do (dead-lifting more than my boyfriend weighs is dope) instead of measurements.

I also need to stop judging people by their body size and shape. Every time I say something like “oh wow she gained weight,” I am treating them the way I don’t want to be treated. Golden rule shit still applies.

XOXO

Yesterday my doctor told me I wasn’t taking care of myself..

A little over a month ago I spent 9 days in the hospital because of an e.coli infection. Long story short, I had quite a few complications including a suspected ileus, re-feeding syndrome and hypertension due to my kidneys being overloaded.

I lost about 10 pounds in two weeks and I was feeling weak and malnourished. I went on a planned trip to Disney World about a week after I was discharged from the hospital and worked my way back up to “normal” in the last month.

So yesterday I went to see my primary care doctor for a follow up. Turns out my blood pressure is still elevated and I gained back most of the weight that I lost when I was sick. My doctor told me that it is a direct result of me not taking care of myself over the last month. Of course this made me very upset. I take pride in how healthy I am. Obviously, I enjoy indulgences like pizza and wine, but I am not binge-eating Oreos or anything like that.

Not sure what she expected me to do, eat and drink nothing to maintain the fluid loss from a gastrointestinal infection?! Guess I’m in the market for a doctor who respects me..

XOXO

On 3 years since I started my fitness journey..

image1 (4)

I guess it’s time to talk about the “squats” portion of “squats and stethoscopes.”

It is almost 3 years to the day since the picture on the left. That night I had to wear Spanx and it took two people to zip me into that dress. Its crazy to think that just 3 years go I was wandering around without a purpose, without a passion, and hating myself. I knew that living the unhealthy lifestyle (of too many beers, too many buffalo chicken subs, and not enough exercise) wasn’t going to get me very far but I honestly had no idea how to start.

Thank God for my roommate at the time who basically forced me in to the gym. But it wasn’t long before I fell in love with fitness. I loved the way it made me feel when I could stay on the treadmill longer than the day before or lift a heavier weight than the last time. And when the pounds started coming off, I was loving the way I looked. It took me about 9 months to lose 45 pounds and I have kept it off for the most part since then. There are definitely a fluctuating 10 pounds that come down to me liking pizza and wine a little too much.

So basically, I know how it feels to be the “fat girl,” to be the “thick girl,” and to not know how to change it. That’s why I have put myself out there so much over the last years. Some days are easier than others and I’m always going to be real about it.

XOXO

My nurse’s office

So as I’ve already said, this is my 3rd year of school nursing. I am leaving the job full time at the end of the month and I’m really going to miss it for many reasons but one of them is that I’ll miss my office!

My office here is the first place that has ever been “mine” to personalize as I want.


The touches I added are the contact paper on the old desk (that I’m sure will be gone as soon as I am) and a lot of green and gold accents.


And of course I can’t forget to mention my Bruin’s calendar that I got at a Bruin’s Foundation fundraiser last year!

XOXO

On being labeled a “new grad nurse” 909 days after graduation..

I graduated from nursing school in May 2013 which is almost 2 and a half years ago (jeeze, time flies!).

Since graduation I have: passed my boards, worked independently as a camp nurse for 3 summers, worked independently as a school nurse in a special education for two full school years, volunteered as a nurse in my local Medical Reserve Corps, volunteered as a nurse for the Boston Marathon twice (and four years before that as first aid) and volunteered as a nurse for the Special Olympics of Massachusetts. In my role as a nurse throughout these 909 days (yes, I googled it) I have responded to emergencies including seizures, asthma attacks, allergic reactions. I have performed countless gtube feedings, ostomy bag changes, medication administrations, assessments of skin, assessments of gastrointestinal complaints, neurological assessments, and risk screenings. I have written and edited about 30 health care plans. Honestly, I have lost track of all of the “nursing skills” I have utilized over the last 909 days.

Last week I was called a “new grad” many times when at interviews and on the phone with potential employers. At first, I was really insulted. WHAT DO YOU MEAN A NEW GRAD?! DIDN’T YOU READ MY RESUME?! LOOK AT EVERYTHING I HAVE ACCOMPLISHED! But, now that I have thought about it, I definitely still have debts to pay in the field of nursing. There are still plenty of things I question (ask my supervisors, I ask A LOT of questions).

The potential employers who had called me a “new grad nurse” in the last few weeks weren’t necessarily meaning it as an insult either. They know that we “new grad nurses” have things to learn still and will need to be oriented and supervised. They know that “new grad nurses” are coming in hungry for success. They know that we will be flexible. They know that we will want that challenging patient because we are eager to learn. They also know that we have the whole “technology” thing down and will be running circles around those “seasoned nurses” when a new computer system is introduced.

So, I’m vowing here today that “new grad nurse” is no longer an insult. I will embrace that I don’t have “bad nurse habits” yet. I will recognize that I have weaknesses, but I also hold an enormous amount of power!

Thoughts?

XOXO

Changing Jobs

This week I decided to take a leap of faith and accept a new job. I have been (mostly) satisfied in the position I work in now. I have been here for over 2 years and it is my first “big girl job” (meaning that it is permanent employment and I make a salary).

Some history about my job now: I work in special education as a nurse but my role is so much more than that. I swore up and down that I would never work in pediatrics but here I am. I work with an amazing team and I have learned so much. I have gained so much respect for the special needs community and I will hold that in my heart forever. This job was (almost) worth the 70+ mile a day commute over the last two years because I knew I was making a difference. However, there isn’t much room to grow and I definitely have more growing to do.

Last week I went in for an interview for a weekend position at a rehab/long term care facility down the street from my parent’s house and a job fell into my lap because a nurse is moving across the country! It would have been really hard to say no to. I will be doing a little bit of a lifestyle overhaul because I will be switching to night shift.. Gonna have to learn how to stay up all night WITHOUT gaining weight 🙂

So.. that’s where I stand. It is definitely bittersweet to be moving on from my first job but it is a wonderful opportunity and change promotes growth (I hope)

XOXO