Support Groups - Health Care Workers Getting Healthy

03-14-2008, 07:54 PM
I thought it might be interesting to see if there are any health care workers out there: doctors, nurses, dieticians, aides, etc. that might be interested in joining a support thread.

I am a school nurse, and obviously overweight. With the prevalance of childhood obesity, I made up my mind last September to set a better example of good health for my family, students, peers, and faculty I work with. Thus, this journey began...

Thirty pounds are now gone forever, with another 76-96 to go! Anyone out there interested in sharing their challenges and thoughts here?

Have a great day! Bethz

03-14-2008, 08:25 PM
I am also a nurse! I was in the intensive care for a number of years and now I am working in the PACU. I work every other weekend 12 hr shifts and those seem to be hard to stay on track. I also have to take call and when I am there in the wee hours of the morning, my whole next day is completely thrown off and I tend to make bad choices (sweets, comfort foods).

I have been going to the gym but kids, being on call and any other excuse can tend to throw me off...trying to eat more whole foods and just healthier. Sounds easy but for some reason I tend to make it more difficult :dizzy:

Way to go on your weight loss!! How did you lose it??

winning the war
03-14-2008, 08:32 PM
I'm a paramedic and feel like a hypocrite preaching to my patients when I'm not taking care of myself. My family and health are my #1 motivators, but my patients are up in the top5. Also, lugging people up and down stairs, hills, mountains, and out of cars is much more difficult when I'm heavier.

03-14-2008, 09:49 PM
Macygrl, I've had jobs in the past that involved call and irregular hours, and that can be challenging. I know what you mean.

You ask how I've lost weight so far... I started simply by packing my lunch, drinking more water, parking further away in parking lots, etc. Then I started walking the school halls at lunchtime for about 20 minutes.

Over the past 6 weeks, I have been counting weight watcher points and weighing in weekly. (On the scale in my office, I do not attend meetings) I have lost 13 pounds since. I also journal what I eat, continue to drink alot of water, and try to walk 20 minutes five days a week. I look at this being a "2 year plan" because of the amount I have to lose.

I need to be accountable, so I send a weekly email to the faculty about my progress and foibles. Keeps me honest! At work, I recently started a "Biggest Loser" competition: three of us are in the "competition". We all put $5 into the "prize pot" and weighed in. We will weigh in weekly, pay $1/pound for any gains, $1 if we don't weigh in. At the end of May, the one of us that has lost the most weight (by percentage) will win the "prize". Makes if fun, and gets other involved.

Winning, health and longevity are certainly at the top of my list also! My family is also benefiting by me making better choice at the market. And they are taking pride in my progress. I would love to live long enough to bother my great-grandchildren...a generation away...

Let's try to support each other on our journeys!

03-14-2008, 11:04 PM
I am also I nurse as my name says. I work in the NICU and love my job, but feel the irregularity of the shifts(2-3days per week) make it difficult to stay on track sometimes.
I was off this week, but decided to plan my workouts around my school and work. Plus I am going to take my lunch everyday and use the minutes I was using to walk to the cafeteria to get lunch to do the stairs. I will be saving $ and burning some extra fat/calories. This is my plan.
I hope I can keep myself on track and if not maybe someone here can give me a kick in the butt.
Till next time:hug:

03-15-2008, 12:48 AM
Hello ~ another health care worker here. I work on a hospital based skilled nursing unit. 12 hour shifts 7p-7a. It is the switching back and forth between days and nights that messes me up ~ and maybe age. It didn't used to seem to take so much out of me as it does now. I can do ok with the food when I get down to business. It is the exercise part that I struggle with. The dieting without exercise doesn't get me very far. On my days off, I am so tired, that I just can't seem to make myself exercise.

A few years back, I worked the 3p-11p shift until the night shift position I wanted became available. I did pretty good on that schedule. Because every day I had the same schedule rather I had a day off or worked, and I was really faithful about the exercise. I made it almost half way to my goal, then had a vacation and fell off the wagon and have not been able to get back to where I was since then.

Any way ~ here I am ~ still working at it. Sometimes I do pretty good, other times not so good. I just have to keep working on it and eventually, I will come up with the right combination for me to lose this weight and improve my health.

03-15-2008, 11:24 AM
Welcome Scrappin' and Gayle:

Looks like you have a good plan,Scrappin. I worked maternity for 3 years early in my career. NICU can be stressful and wonderful! I find that I do much better with food and exercise when I PLAN :woops: it into my day. It becomes easier as it becomes routine. Good luck with the stairs...good idea!

Gayle: I had also worked in a hospital based SNF a few years ago. Interesting work... I admire anyone who can routinely work nights and twelve hour shifts. I worked nights for 6 months. It is hard to know when to sleep, eat, wake, etc. I found that the only time I really had energy was while I was at work. And that I was sleeping away some of my days off.

Keep us posted on your progress, and what works and doesn't work for you. I'm sure there are alot of people out there who will benefit from you sharing. Good luck this week! :hug:Bethz

04-07-2008, 03:54 PM
Another RN here. I work in a NICU and work 7 days on and 7 days off. When I am working I work 7p-7a the first and last nights and 11-7 all the nights inbetween. I joined WW online 2 weeks ago and am hanging in there so far and plan to make it work this time. I did WW over a year ago but had a terrible time attending meetings. I'm glad for the online version. I also find that planning my meals in advance is very helpful. My main problems so far have been exercising during my working week and trying to eat well with my husband on my off week. I'm glad to have found this thread and plan to visit here often to offer support & chill with other healthcare workers. I also feel similarly to how some other posters mentioned that being healthcare workers we should be setting more of an example for the public... Together we will do it!!!

04-09-2008, 04:23 PM
Another RN here! Hence the name. I am currently not working. However, I am applying to grad schools to get my MSN in Family and Holistic NP. I have my ADN. Since I have a Bachelors in something else, I can take 4 "bridge courses", and then go straight into my MSN coursework without getting my BSN.

I had started my bridge work, but I had to withdraw, due to an episode of severe depression. During this depression, which lasted about 2 years, I gained about 55 pounds. That is why I am here. I am ready to lose the weight & get back into school.

Can't wait to get to know all of y'all! :)

04-09-2008, 04:31 PM
Ooooohhhh! How did I miss this thread???

I'm so in!!

I am a midwife (I'm sure that is a huge surprise!) and I spend so much time counseling women about eating right, exercise, stress reduction, losing baby weight. etc.!!! But here I am losing my baby weight (from my 13 year old!!) So I totally understand about setting a good example.

I am eating very clean and lifting weights and doing cardio. Some of my pregnant ladies are runners and weight lifters, so that is very fun too.

Work stress is a big challenge for me, and I often want to binge after a long stressful shift, but I have gotten a lot better about that. Free food from drung reps used to be a problem for me, but I am actually applying the whole ethics principles of "no free lunch" and that helps me resist. Drug rep lunches cost $$$$ in the form of higher drug costs for patients, so that helps me avoid them! The trick is staying on plan when families bring cookies and candies to the unit. Argh!! Very nice of them, but so tempting.

Great idea for a "club!"

04-09-2008, 04:38 PM
This is a great thread. I work as a charge RN on a cardiac stepdown floor. All these years I have been a huge hypocrite. Advising pts on diet and exercise when I wasn't doing either myself. I see on a daily basis the effects of heart disease and diabetes and I was still in total denial. Until my husband had his own health scare did I get into action. I'm so glad I did. I work 7p-7a and hit the walk track before work to get my 2.5 miles in. It energizes me through my shift and I am more tired at work if I don't do it. Go figure!

04-09-2008, 04:45 PM
I felt like such a hypocrite, too! I have a bachelors in Sports Medicine, & I worked in a Dr.'s office, where I performed EKGs & treadmill stress tests. I was the resident expert on diet & exercise.

I am so glad that I am not alone. ((((HUGS))))

04-09-2008, 05:04 PM
I'm soooo happy that more healthcare workers have joined in on this thread! Birds of a feather... as they say. I just received a call from my hospital telling me that due to low census I will not have to work 7p-7a tonight, so I am now headed to the gym for some treadmill time. It's already getting hot here in the south for walking outdoors in the afternoons... besides that, I don't always feel safe walking alone.

Sending encouraging thoughts to everyone!



04-10-2008, 08:37 AM
Hi all CNA here I used to work in a nursing home but now I do home health care and social services for the elderly and like a lot of you I try to explain the benefits of eating healthy and staying active and fit , so I also need to do as I speak , thanks for starting this thread.:)

04-10-2008, 09:30 PM
Hi all! :wave:
I am a midwife also. And like everyone has mentioned I feel like a total hypocrite counseling about appropriate weight gain during pregnancy and/or weight loss for a healthier life.
What I do when I am yaking about this is be very upfront, "I know it
is difficult, believe me I know it is a huge challenge. I am working on it also..." That makes me feel less like a hypocrite.
Anyway, thanks for starting this thread. I have been noticing alot of healthcare screen names out there.

04-10-2008, 10:25 PM
Hello. I am an RN on a Mother-Baby Unit where I have worked for the last 22 years. We are very busy with an average of 400 deliveries a month & I love my job. :bb: I worked a med-surg floor for 9 years before that. Now that was stressful! I tell the younger girls that work with me, I will never complain about my work environment after working on a med-surg floor. Now that was really challenging! Never enough help or time to get things done. As I get older, I find it harder to deal with stressful situations at work. I work mostly days, since I've been there a long time. I work 8 hour shifts, 12 hours when they need me to stay over.

I have lost weight so many times it's not funny. I currently have lost 20# on South Beach Diet, but I've used NutriSystem in the past and am a lifetime member of Weight Watchers. I find I really have to plan and bring my meals to work. And take along extra food in case I have to stay over.

And exercise just goes out the door some days. We wore pedometers at work last year after moving to a new, very large unit. We found that most of us were walking the equivalent or 3-5 miles a day at work! :running:

I have seen a lot of my co-workers gaining weight over the years and I think a lot of it has to do with the odd hours worked, stress levels and availability of quick, poor food choices. We also have vendors who bring us calorie laden food. We even have a McDonald's & Starbuck's in our hospital. Talk about hypocrisy! :shrug:

This thread is a great idea!

the slim me
04-18-2008, 09:08 AM
One more nurse here. I work on a rehab floor, day shift 7a-7p part time. 12 hour shifts are hard, even on a good day. And if it's not a good day....
I do a lot of diabetic teaching too, and like some of you have mentioned before, I felt like a big imposter. I was just waiting for a patient to tell me "practice what you preach".

I am finally at goal weight and I intend to stay here. It's too hard on you to continue to "diet", so i don't do it any more. I watch what I eat, i eat healthy food, normal portions, high fiber. I have a piece of really good chocolate every day with my cup of tea. I though i was being extravagant but we now know that both are very healthy. I walk for exercise along with lifting weights every other day. I am looking into starting yoga to remain limber, or actually, get limber again.

Look forward to talking to everyone

04-30-2008, 09:32 PM
Another RN here. I work on BMT unit. Several of us have gone in together to support each other in our weight loss.

05-05-2008, 03:14 PM
Happy Nurses' Week to all!