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grant_me_wings

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I exist! (Hi!) [Nov. 8th, 2014|09:54 pm]
grant_me_wings
Maybe, a little bit.

Surviving my residency, and getting to a point where I might be able to think about making my life a little better.

In the time since my last post I have...
-Worked a lot and feel like I'm no longer just playing a doctor on TV
-Moved to a smaller and happier apartment in May 2014 after almost 2 years in large and nice but in a malignant building apartment
-Made friends with an adorable daschund called Elcee (neighbor's dog)
-Sought professional help for depression, which has been interesting (more later, if anyone wants to hear about it)
-Found the best partner in crime ever and now in a happy relationship with him
-Biked, but haven't intentionally expended energy for its own sake in a while

I'm hoping to get back into the groove of being a stronger, more athletic person, because it is an essential part of who I am, or who I have become, and I miss it.

My weight is pretty stable at ~198-200 pounds, which is more than I'd like, but hasn't changed for about 2 years in either direction.  For reference, at surgery I was 180 and when I moved to NYC I was 194ish.  I've lost some muscle mass, I'm sure, especially in my upper arms, but not as much as one would think for not lifting weights for a while.
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Workouts without a gym membership [Aug. 16th, 2012|08:13 pm]
grant_me_wings
I find myself in the awkward position of having bitten off more than I can chew rent-wise in my new place in Manhattan, and thusly, holding off on gym membership until things are a big more stable.  The other reason I don't have the gym membership yet is that it is really hard to get to the gym when you are working 90 hours/week.  During those crazy weeks, I try to focus on making sure I have good (cheap) home made food to eat at all times, and that I get out to the park on my day off.  Healthy eating these days involves cauliflower... lots and lots of it, for it is the cheapest veggie I can find at the veggie stands, and it has a long shelflife in the fridge.  I've treated myself to greens from Fairway or Whole Foods a few times too.  I miss my farmshare tremendously!!!  I visited farmers markets, but I was not impressed with the goods and the prices.  Maybe I need to go to a bigger one?

Right now, I have a few weeks where I actually do have time to be active, and here's what I'm doing.

I find that I need activity to be happier, but it's not easy to have a less than ideal situation for exercising.  It was great in Boston when there were a million exercise options within steps of my door... now I have to work at it a bit. 

1.  I bike commute.  Every day.  I go for rides to get groceries and when I go out on my rare days off I save money by biking it.  Since NYC is pretty big, and all the going out happens downtown, I think I'm getting some mileage just going around.  Unfortunately, my work commute is about a mile each way, which is nothing. 

2.  I bike recreationally.  I've discovered the big loop around the park, which has some great hills.  So far I've been doing two loops around it, which including the trip to the park is exactly 14 miles.  I suspect that if I continue to do this, I will give in to bike envy and buy a road bike and be one of those zippy people on the fast bikes zooming around.  As it is now, I'm definitely getting stronger at my uphills, and less afraid of speed on the downhills.  Also, I'm becoming proficient at shifting!  I hope to explore the trails on the West Side by the Hudson River sometime soon... craving some nice views!

3.  Starting to run again.  I have feet, and running shoes, and a running path on the East River.  Today I loaded up some couch to 5K onto my phone, strapped on my water belt (complete with cell phone pouch!) and took a spin.  Getting back to running is much easier than doing it the first time (2 weeks ago, I tried to run without couch to 5K and that rather hurt)... but doing week 1 felt like too much walking.  I plan to repeat the week 1 workout one or two more times, then move on to week 2. 

4.  Strength training.  I wish I were doing what I had planned on doing... but I have yet to start.  I made cards with strength exercises that I can do with just body weight, and I really want to do a high intensity circuit training style workout using them.  On a regular basis.  But I haven't started yet.  I need to suck it up and do it, because, damn, I'm really craving the lifting heavy things part of life. 

Things I miss most from the gym: foam rollers, kettlebells. 
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What an awesome blog post! [Mar. 6th, 2012|12:16 pm]
grant_me_wings
Things to make life better, in concise list form. 

http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/12/18/30-things-to-start-doing-for-yourself/

Text of article in fullCollapse )
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Boot Camp! [Jan. 25th, 2012|03:47 pm]
grant_me_wings
A lot of vacation time for me means the happy opportunity to take classes at the gym at any time of the day I want!  I've been making a habit of late of going to our noon Boot Camp classes.  And I love them!  Most aerobics classes have complex choreography that  makes me very confused about which foot is going where when.  Not so much with boot camp.  It's all simple, challenging strength exercises interspersed with glorious cardio.  It's fast paced, never boring, as all of the exercises last for only 30 seconds or 1 minute, 2 minutes for cardio.  There's tons of fun new moves and it's really refreshing to break out of old routines and learn new ways to work the same old muscles.  I feel like after the maybe 6-7 classes I've taken, I've learned so much and can put together a good full body workout with no extra equipment.

I've been doing my daily hour of cardio after my Boot Camp workout, which feels totally crazy, but always ends up being OK, and leaves me feeling accomplished. 

Proud of self for holding the plank position for a full minute for the first time today!  It was really hard, but I did it!  =) 

Very happy that I'm finally getting leg and core strength!  I am finding that it doesn't interfere with my cardio, so I am more inclined to do it.  =)
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And so, a semester passes [Dec. 21st, 2010|12:56 am]
grant_me_wings
[Tags|]

I've taken Ob/Gyn, Surgery, and Family Medicine.  Learned so much, had so many experiences, and met an amazing number of people... both doctors and patients. 

And gained about 5 pounds, which is really uncool.  So I'm on vacation for 2 weeks, and for once I'm not traveling like a crazy person... so I'm at home living well and enjoying the things I love most about life in Boston... with Jeff!

There has been not enough gym in my life.  The excuse was "cardio on machines is boring; treadmills suck!"  Nothing compares with running outside, but it's too cold/rainy/dark.  And of course I haven't had enough time... and if I don't have enough time to make food and get enough sleep, exercise happens only as a means of transportation.  And biking 30 minutes every day just isn't enough to actually lose weight.  But just enough activity to make me feel like I'm doing *something* and not getting totally out of shape.  


I went to the gym tonight, for the first time in way too long... and discovered that the new cardio equipment had arrived!  Including the best piece of cardio equipment I've ever used.  My gym now has five of these which are simply incredible.  THEY AREN'T BORING!!!  I used one for an hour while watching the most awful TV available (nothing good is EVER on at 7PM), so I was essentially just listening to my music and dancing.  And I wasn't bored.  The motion of this elliptical was amazing.  It has freedom in both up/down and back/forward directions so you can change stride instantly (not like adjusting ramp or resistance) and go from climbing to jogging to running strides all without thinking.  The motion was so smooth and bouncy... like a moonwalk, perhaps would be a good description.  Both relaxing and energizing at the same time.  No impact, and no repetitive stress.  I was changing the kind of stride I was taking every 20 seconds or so, and each one felt marvelous.  

So I think I'm going to go to the gym more often.  And eat more veggies.

Probably should also do the tracking so I can't delude myself that I'm doing more than I actually am.  I hope I'll be able to keep it up through my Psychiatry block.  I suspect that Medicine will kick my ass, Q4 call does that.  But I survived Q3 call with 24 hour shifts on the weekends so I think I can do almost anything.  

In surgery land, there are lumpy things under the incision that are kinda annoying, that I can feel moving around.  I sometimes get random twitching of abdominal muscles that is also kinda weird.  And it's still numb over the incision and below the belly button.  I have been trying to do some crunches recently, which have made it obvious that my abs are pathetically weak now and that too much action in the abdominal area can still lead to soreness.  
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Wherein I get my PhD and fall off the edge of the earth [Oct. 10th, 2010|10:44 am]
grant_me_wings
[Tags|, ]

One PhD obtained, in July, and then thrown back to med school.

3rd year med school is a lot of work.  80 hour weeks in the hospital, and the constant need to somehow study on top of that.  Often, opening the book leads to falling asleep atop the book a few minutes later. 

It's an amazing journey, I'm learning so much about everything.  Gaining confidence.  Understanding the human body in new ways.  Putting things into context.  Brushing the cobwebs of 5 years of PhD study out of those unused corners of my mind.  Getting up at 4AM and watching the sun rise as we round on our patients in the morning.  Overnight call hoping that something exciting will happen, half hoping that it will be boring and quiet and we will be sent off to bed.  That fantastic feeling of being able to make a patient feel a little better, to make sure they get something they need, or that they feel a bit less scared or alone in the hospital.  Making people smile with my quirky bedside manner.  Bringing in tasty things for the nursing staff.  Getting my pretty fall colors happy hat.  Finding that after a week of 13-14 hour "short" days and 15-17 hour "long" days, that I'm still alive, energetic, and feel a profound joy in what I'm doing.  That intense feeling of joy in the simple fact that I'm not on call tomorrow.  Or that I get to sleep as much as I want tomorrow.  

My goal for next week is to try to go running once after I get out of the hospital.  The weather is so nice... last year I was doing 5-8 mile runs.  I did a bit more than 2 miles yesterday, and it was hard.  I miss being able to run more.  

10 months out from the surgery.  It still swells.  Incision line and triangle under belly button is still numb.  Sometimes the drawstring on my scrubs irritates it. 
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I saw this linked off of Stumptuous [Jul. 14th, 2010|02:31 pm]
grant_me_wings
And it looks really interesting...
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/products/consultation-coaching/lean-eating-for-women

I'm really not one to follow a program, but if I were to follow a program, these people sound like they know their shit.  Not popular science, but real nutrition and fitness information.  

Just looking at the pictures of this rounds' finalists has been amazing, to see people who are my weight, and have a similar physique lose reasonable amounts of weight and gain lovely muscle definition.  It makes me realize that I'm not at the end of my journey, and I will not be happy until my body is the best that it can be.  

I'm not sure when this will happen, 3rd year med school is going to be hard, and I don't want to pay for a program where I can't devote enough time to it to do it justice... perhaps to start in their February or next July groups.  

My goals for 3rd year med school will be to bring with me slightly less food than I need, and let the business of the day help me forget about being hungry... hopefully I will lose weight living the busy med student lifestyle.  =)  I don't want to spend money on Au Bon Pain, so lunchbox will be my friend!  
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The bones are the best part of the meat! [Jul. 3rd, 2010|01:47 am]
grant_me_wings
So recently I've learned how to make stock!  And from stock, I've learned how to make a lot of different delicious soups.  I think the interest was sparked upon discovering a very delicious Malaysian Satay soup at the local shabu shabu restaurant and wanting to have it at home.  Also, the realization that if you can throw a bunch of veggies into a tasty broth at a shabu restaurant, you can do the same thing on your stove for a fraction of the price.  Also, since soup contains a lot of water, you can eat a lot of it! 

For the past 24 hours, I've been simmering beef bones and an onion on my stove.  At dinner time tonight, I strained off the bones and onion, and made the following recipe:

6 ounces fresh chinese thin noodles noodles
1 tablespoon grated ginger or a little more
1 tablespoon freshly chopped garlic
The whole pot of beef stock, maybe a gallon?
3 tablespoons nuoc nam (Vietnamese fish sauce)
1 tsp dried  lemongrass
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2 tbsp lee kum kee satay marinade (mm, fish paste and peanuts)
1 box sliced mushrooms (10 ounces).  Using fresh asian mushrooms would have been better, but I had to run to Whole foods to get last minute mushrooms, and anything but the white ones is expensive.  At the chinese market, you can get fancy mushrooms for much less!
6 leaves of napa cabage, sliced into ~1/3 inch strips.    I should have used more.  Napa is so nice and sweet!

This time I didn't adjust spice with sriracha sauce, but if you want it spicy, just add some, or some hot pepper.

The noodles go in about 3-4 minutes before the soup is done.  Fresh udon works great also! 
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Thesis off to printer! [Jul. 2nd, 2010|08:16 pm]
grant_me_wings
[Tags|, ]

My rewards so far:
Last night I cleaned my apartment some.  Meta-cleaning, reorganizing a bookshelf, throwing stuff out.  My apartment looks like a tornado hit it

Went clothing shopping for med school clothes.  Got 5 classy t-shirts, one epilepsy-inducing pattern blouse, and a pair of slacks.  Grand total now 4 blouses with buttons, 5 tailored t-shirts, 3 pairs of pants, 1 skirt, 1 pair of shoes that kinda fits, but my toes hit the ends and that hurts.  

Today I went to Marathon Sports and got new running shoes and a hydration belt!  I'm off to test them out right now!  
Update: Shoes make me run faster, but outside of foot hurts.  I remember something hurting with the last new pair of shoes too, I should go back and look and see if it's the same thing.  Blogging and running go so well together.

The last thing that I want is to go out to sushi with people. 

This week's runs:
Monday: 4
Wednesday: 3.5
Friday: 2

In an ideal world, Saturday: 2  let's see if I have time and if the path isn't closed for concert!
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This makes me feel better about my running... [Jun. 15th, 2010|05:10 pm]
grant_me_wings
http://nyrr.org/resources/classes/2010/running_classes_specifics.asp

I feel like the slowest runner on the Esplenade sometimes, but a post today in the runners community with the above link in it helped me realize that I'm not alone. 

And I'm still running, and reading that post makes me want to run more! 

Today, however, is biking up hills to get to tasty dinner and good friends!  Tomorrow I'll see if I'm up for 3-4 miles.  ;) 
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