Sunday, November 16, 2008

Medical Missions Conference

I went to the Global Missions Health Conference in Louisville, KY this past Thursday through Saturday. It is the second time that I have been. As a future health care professional, the opportunities and possibilities that have been presented to me are truly amazing. Last year, I walked into the bottom floor of the exhibit hall to see the different organizations that were set up. Notice I said the bottom floor; there were 2 floors full of exhibitors (I’m guessing 200+ booths). For those of you that live in the southern Baptist world, you can understand that I was shocked to know that there were so many choices out there to serve God that weren’t the IMB. I would also guess that there were at least a thousand people from all over the world who had come to gather and rejoice and learn about missions and being health care providers. It was amazing!
God really encouraged my heart this weekend. As I went to the different sessions and heard people speak, I kept thinking about the passion of the people that I was listening too. One man started a clinic in Memphis, TN out of his residency and in the past decade has actually moved into the inner city to become a part of his community that he serves. I had the privilege of hearing Steve Saint (son of a missionary killed in End of the Spear) speak about his life as a boy, his mission now, and other amazing things. I also was completely blown away by our last speaker who was a very humble 92 year old physician who had dedicated his entire life to serving and furthering Jesus Christ. Each speaker was so passionate about the wonderful things God had done in their lives. It was evident that they weren't saying look at me, look at what I have done with God's help. The love that they had for Christ oozed out through their stories. The wonderful things that happened to them seemed to be byproducts of their love for Christ. And that is the challenge that I was given; I was shown that I should seek to love God with my whole heart. It really isn’t about the work they are doing or what they are getting accomplished, but rather loving God. Each of the speakers that I heard seemed to have accomplished so much out of simply loving Christ. From what I saw none of them were trying to reach X number of people or treat X number of patients, but they were seeking Christ daily and as a result were then reaching and treating people.
For me I sometimes get caught up in “all that needs to be done.” I keep asking Christ what it is that he wants me to do. When I graduate, I want to be put in the “right” practice or at the “right” ministry to begin serving him. I don’t want to miss THE boat that God wants me to get on. Well, I think somewhere along the way I forgot, “love the Lord your God with all your soul and all your might.” THE boat that I should be on is the one that has been set in the direction of loving God.
Honestly, I know I haven’t been doing my part. I am not seeking Christ in everything that I do. In fact, right now in PA school, I am solely concentrating on learning medicine. I have felt so overwhelmed in all that is required of becoming knowledgeable in treating patients that I have made it ok for myself not to go to church and not to spend time in the word. I say to myself, “God called me to PA school. For his glory I need to study and do the best that I can do. So that when I am finished I can be a great PA for Him. He will understand if I don’t make it to church on Sunday because I am exhausted from studying and want to sleep in a little and then study some more.”
Man, I have been foolish. Yes, I do believe that to whom much is given, much is required, but not at the sake of falling out of fellowship with Christ. The challenge that I found Christ gently whispering to me this weekend was that I need to get back to Him and everything else will fall into place. I have felt challenged to do this: Each day when I come home from work and get ready to study, I am going to pull out my bible first and spend no less than 15 minutes with Him. I know that you may be saying 15 minutes isn’t a lot, but I truly haven’t even spent one minute in His word in quite some time. I think I will be surprised at how much time I actually spend with Him, and I’m pretty sure my learning will more than likely be blessed by it!
My challenge to you would be to take a minute and evaluate all the “things” that you are doing for Christ. Why are you doing these things? Is it because you feel obligated? Is it because it is the “right” thing to do? Is it out of the obligation of a call you feel was placed in your life? Is it because it makes you look good while saying it is all for God’s glory? If you aren’t doing it as an overspilling of seeking to love Christ with your whole heart, you may need to make some adjustments in your life and your heart. I challenge you to love God first; take as long as you need and see what happens and where it leads you.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

More thoughts on rotations

Well, since the "Poo" doctor things just haven't been as interesting. In fact things seemed to become very serious. After 2 weeks in GI I went to pulmonology for 2 weeks and then to cardiology for 4 weeks. You really do have to have a heart that works and lungs that function to live in this world. When those organs become diseased there just really isn't anything too funny about them. I did have a great time in London, KY working with the doctors there and learning alot.
One of the lung doctors stressed me out at times because of how hyper he was. I absolutely loved working in cardiology. That doctor there was tough as I had to give oral presentations on certain disease processes to him. He would then question me on everything I had studied. Most of the time I felt dumb but I know that I learned a lot.
After living in London, KY for 2 months I moved to Williamsburg, KY and worked in Jellico, TN for my Geriatrics rotation. I was with an endocrinologist who mostly saw diabetic patients. I also went to the nursing home once a week as well. Geriatrics was pretty eye opening because I got to really observe how people age. To some extent I truly believe that we, the patients, have control over how we age. We can work hard in younger years to be fit and healthy which will help us to live better in older age. Sometimes, the way God made us over takes that and we can't help but have lots and lots of problems with aging. Probably the most encouraging thing was to see people past the age of 65 living their lives to the fullest no matter the physical health.
Currently, I am in Stanford, KY for the next 2 months in Family Medicine. I have already finished 2 weeks here. It is quite interesting because the doctor I got assigned to prays with his patients (if they allow him) at every visit. Also, most of the patients that we see are there for pain pills and nerve pills. These past 2 weeks have really showed me how people's needs are so much more than health needs. My heart has been broken over and over for our patients. I'm glad that I believe in Jesus because He truly is the only relief and healing that can help!
I know these thoughts are kind of rambled. For those of you who have done the grad school thing or even PA school you know that this is just par for the course in the rotation year. For the rest of you just take my word for it. This may very well be the hardest year that I have ever lived through mentally but I know by God's grace I can make!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

2 weeks with a "poo" doctor

Well, I have finished my first 2 weeks of clinical rotations for PA school. I only have 48 more to go but who is counting! I am on my internal medicine rotation and somehow that has translated into me working with a GI doc these first 2 weeks; next I’m with lung docs for 2 weeks and then with heart docs for 4 weeks. I just wanted to share with you guys some things that I have learned over that past 2 weeks about the stomach. DISCLAIMER: Some of the below information may just be TMI.

The first day that I got to watch colonoscopy and EGDs being performed. I kept hearing this noise. I knew that at times they were using suction but it really sounded like farting. I didn't really think the patients were truly farting on the doctor until he said, "Gosh, Joe(true name withheld) You are blowing me away down there!" Boy did I feel stupid and disgusted all at the same time.

Doc asks me: “Do you know how many times on average a person passes gas a day?”
ME: “I have no idea.”
Doc: “13.5 times a day”
(Seriously, 13.5 times a day, that is a lot of farts and for those of you who say you don’t ever fart I think you have to be contributing somehow.)

Pt to doc:

“Doc, I’m just feeling “nawzee” all the time
Translation (which took me a second): “Doc, I’m just feeling nausea all the time”

style="font-family:Andy;">Doc asks me: “Worldwide what is the average number of bowel movements in day?”
Me: “I would say 3-4 times a day to once a week”
Doc: “Actually it is up to 8 times in one day if you live in
Africa and eat a diet like a cow, and 1 time in about 2 weeks if you are an Eskimo and only eat fish”
Me(thinking to myself): 8 times a day…are you kidding me and once in 2 weeks…how awful

Pt to doc: “I’m telling you it feels like I’m frying an egg down there”
Translation: really bad heart burn

Doc says to me: “Did you know if you took all the microvilli in your stomach and spread them out they would cover a football field?”
Me(thinking): “DANG”

Doc to patient: “you know if you quit smoking all your stomach problems would go away”
Patient was having nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and reflux. She was in terrible pain. She didn’t understand what the smoking had to do with it. So the good doctor explains. NOT ONCE DID HE MENTION
ALL THE ILL EFFECTS THAT WERE OCCURING TO HER 12 WEEK OLD FETUS. Yes folks, she was pregnant, still smoking, and the good doctor failed to tell her smoking can harm a baby.

When a patient comes in with constipation or diarrhea it is important to ask the following:
How much do you poo a day?
Is it a small amount or a large amount?
What color is it?
Does it stink? I mean does it stink way more than normal, like makes your eyes water?(word from the good doc)
So my advice to you who don’t look is you better start investigating because we as your health care providers do care!

Pt(who was in his 90s)to doc:"Doc I guess I'm going back to my childhood days...I ain't got no teeth and now I'm messing on myself"
Seriously, I think that was my favorite comment that I heard the past 2 weeks!!

All in all it was a great 2 weeks. I have seen more people’s butt cheeks than I ever want to see again. I have seen exactly what lives in your stomach and your colon. Trust me people it is not pretty. The doctor that I was working with was an awesome guy(aside from the smoking baby mama), and he taught me more about being available to patients. His biggest piece of advise to me was what one of his mentors called the 3 As: be “A”vailable, be “A”miable, and be “A”ble and in that order. I think I can handle that. I’m not sure if working with lung doctors is going to be as interesting as these past 2 weeks but I will update you all soon!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

new perspective

You know I have been very frustrated lately. I think that is becoming a theme for me in this weight loss journey. About a month ago, one week before I was to do my triathlon, I was rearended and got whiplash. I didn't exercise for a whole week or was allowed to do the triathlon. Not that being in the middle of finals is a great excuse, but that combined with the no exercise led to a 4 pound weight gain. Then I came home and went to the beach. My goal was to not gain weight and/or lose it. In my mind, I was going to lose weight. Well, I had a really good week at the beach. I had great breakfast and lunches, and ate what I wanted at dinner. I exercised 4 of the days that I was there. I came home and I had not lost ANY weight. I was so mad and so discouraged. I was begging God to just help get rid of this problem, to kick the habit of eating when I shouldn't, to eat better, to exercise more, etc, etc.
So, as my dorky PA student self, I sat down to watch a little discovery channel. I watched this show about people with what is called Proteus syndrome. People afflicted with this disease have a part of their body that will not quit growing. One particular person highlighted in the show had legs that weight about 150 pounds all on their own. The only way I can explain this is to think of the marshmallow man in ghostbusters and how big, well he was, but that is what her feet and legs looked like. She had to go to have her shoes specially fitted because they were constantly growing.
I just kept thinking about her once the show was over. She has this affliction that will never go away because there is no cure for Proteus syndrome. In fact if doctors perform surgery on their bones it somehow makes the bones grow more and at a faster rate. I couldn't shake how positive this woman was and how she just went about her own life with what at times was evident pain. I felt horrible for the way I was feeling about my struggle with weight loss. I do have some control over my weight. I have a lot of control. God never promised us an easy life. He did say that "He knows the plans he has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us."
I have to cling to that hope. We all have to cling to that truth. We need to remember that everyone has their own burdens. Realize that maybe your burdens truly aren't that bad. Take some time to look at other people, like this women with proteus, and see that there situation really is bad and see the AWESOME ways that they triumph. I say follow in their footsteps. Never think that your situation is not important. I think that all of us in the midst of our pain should remember that we are valid. A struggle with sin is just that and sometimes it can be overwhelming. Thank God for the struggle, but allow Him to help you stand up under it. Allow him to free you from it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

jesus and the hemorrhagic woman

I have not posted on here in some time and just as a forewarning this is going to be a long post, but God has been teaching me a lot lately and I want to share with all of you. First, there is a song by Natalie Grant called Our Hope Endures, and in it there is a phrase that says: “walk a mile with a women whose body whose torn with illness but she marches on”. The song goes on to say: “our hope endures the worst of conditions, its more than our optimism; let the earth quake our hope is unchanged.” For whatever reason that song led me to the story of the hemorrhagic woman being healed. Natalie Grant gave me this picture of the her walking in the crowd that day with a purpose. She marches on, her hope endures and ultimately it led to her healing. I have read that passage in the NIV, ESV, and the Message just trying to understand what she was going through, what she was feeling, and what exactly happened that day. I like the way the message puts in in Luke 8 and here is what is says:

In the crowd that day there was a woman who for twelve years had been afflicted with hemorrhages. She had spent every penny she had on doctors but not one had been able to help her. She slipped in from behind and touched the edge of Jesus' robe. At that very moment her hemorrhaging stopped. Jesus said, "Who touched me?"

When no one stepped forward, Peter said, "But Master, we've got crowds of people on our hands. Dozens have touched you."

Jesus insisted, "Someone touched me. I felt power discharging from me."

When the woman realized that she couldn't remain hidden, she knelt trembling before him. In front of all the people, she blurted out her story—why she touched him and how at that same moment she was healed. Jesus said, "Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you're healed and whole. Live well, live blessed!"

God had so much more to say to me besides that the woman’s hope never failed. Notice first here that it says she had this affliction for 12 years. Can you imagine bleeding for 12 years? I’ve heard people preach on this before and say that she was literally cut off from the church b/c she could not enter the temple to even be in the parts of it where women were accepted. Today, while we aren’t excluded from the church because of our sin, I have let my battle with food hold me back in so many ways in my spiritual life. It really is sad.

Second, it says that she had “spent every penny on doctors but none had been able to help her” How much of my resources—my money, my time, my thoughts—have I invested especially in the area of weight loss to find something/anything that will cure me of my weightloss problem and nothing has worked? How many of us have afflictions or sins that we have invested in everything we have to stop sinning, everything that is but Jesus?

Third, notice she slipped in from behind and just touched the hem of Jesus robe. She slipped in from behind. She didn’t want anyone to notice her. She wanted to keep her 12 year problem a secret but she wanted to be healed and she knew Jesus was the one who could do it. This women knew that she didn’t even need all of Jesus, just a little part of him. She knew that he was so powerful that just his hem of his robe had enough power to heal her. Oh us of little faith, just the smallest bit of Jesus is all we need. He is more than sufficient!

Fourth, when she was healed and Jesus felt that power had left him and he stopped and demanded to know who had touched him, she realized that she couldn’t remain hidden. This bleeding women who for 12 years had been trying everything to be healed so that she could be entered into the fellowship of God in the temple. This woman who probably had dodged so many questions as to why she wasn’t going to the temple, etc all because of her affliction, was now going to have to be noticed. In that moment she knelt before Christ and the WHOLE CROWD and here it says, “she blurted out her story—why she touched him and how at the same moment she was healed.” I think this is the part that really spoke to me. I have mentioned before how part of the weight gain was to keep me “hidden” from the world. I have maybe even tried to down play this weight loss. BUT, I see it clearly here that the “crowd” needs to know my struggle and they need to see how it all turns out. Christ deserves the credit and the glory and the honor of the work he is doing in me. I should be “blurting” my story out to all who will hear.

Last, Christ leaves us with this—“live well, live blessed” I intend to do just that. I am blessed because God has been doing so much in my life right now. I’m still at the halfway mark to my next 10% and while I may not make it to my goal by July 7. I do know that I have made so much progress in the last year!! Thank you all for your prayers. No matter what happens, I have lost 45 pounds since Labor day 2007J

There is just so much power in knowing that Jesus died for me, for all of me—I’m truly at a loss for words to express how I feel about this. I pray that each of you who read this will be encouraged to “blurt out” your own struggles so that Christ’s kingdom can be furthered!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

halfway there!!

I'm halfway to my July goal. I think I can do it--I hope I can do it!
Some things that I would have you pray for are as follows:
1. May 22 is the day my dad passed away. Almost 2 years ago which as I have said before I can't really believe. Pray that I will deal with this in a healthy way. Pray that Satan won't use my grief to lead me to my bad habits of self sabotage and over eating. More importantly pray for my mom that she will make it through this tough time as well!
2. I have what I call the weight loss wall. I can lose about 50 or even 60 pounds. I've done it a few times before. Every time that I do something happens to help trigger me back into an upward spiral with the weight. I recognize that part of it as a freak out moment when I realize that the weight I put on to "hide me" away from the general public and to "protect my heart" could really go away. So, I'm approaching the wall and I want to keep pressing on. I want to "throw off the sin that so easily entangles"! Just pray that I will allow Christ to stand up under this yoke of slavery and not let me put it back on.
3. Maybe the most scary to me, but in July I start rotations. I don't know what part of Ky I will be in, if there will be a gym or good place to work out, how much time I will have to work out, the access for healthy food as well as a place to store it. All those things are unknown to me and I don't want the unknown to be my downfall. Pray that God will help me to be organized with the weight loss at the last minute when I have to be. Pray that I will find a routine that will work for me no matter where I am.
Thanks to all of you for supporting me through this. God is good and He is faithful to me! I can overcome this. I'm so blessed to have made the progress that I have made. It will be an amazing testimony to my future patients to share with them this struggle and to finally say I overcame it!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

April update

The other day I caught of glimpse of her. It’s been quite some time since I had seen her. She looked confident. She had that smile that everyone always talks about. She seemed calm and at peace. She seemed full of love. She seemed happy. She looked like she knew where she was going in life and if she didn’t know she seemed ok with that.

I saw me-Amalie, Ames. Someone that I had forgotten about. I haven’t felt quite like myself since my dad died. I was struggling before he passed away, but losing him was a quite a blow that sent me into a world that I had forgotten had existed. These past almost 2 years have been the toughest of my life.

Where I am today is almost unfathomable. I never thought that I could make it through PA school. It was just too hard when I got here. Now, I’m six weeks away from starting my rotations. That is scary in itself, but it seems exciting at the same time. Since August I have done quite a battle with my inner self. The battle isn’t over but right now it seems that I am coming back to me. I’m beginning to feel comfortable with being me. I’m beginning to feel comfortable loving on others, sharing God’s love with others. I’m so thankful for this feeling. I pray that I will cling to these feelings in the heat of the battle.

This week I had the priveledge of one of my professors sharing with us in a student lead bible study with some of classmates. She talked about peace. She said that as one of the fruits of the spirit it is a gift to us. It has been given to us and we have to remember in times of hardship to take out peace and use it. I’m praying that I will continue to use peace as God has given it to me. I also had the revelation that Christ has already died for this problem that I have with food. He already paid the price for me. He has overcome my sin for me and with His love, His strength, and His guidance, I can overcome this!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

40 pounds!!

woo hoo--40 pounds lost!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Time to Change--"I will not do that"

This past week of training has been rough to say the least. We are getting to a part of the weightloss journey for me that isn't just about losing weight anymore. I am having to deal with some self esteem issues, some lies I have been believing for sometime, and always wanting to be invisible when it comes to males due to some problems in my past.
A couple of weeks ago I went to a special workout that was supposed to be with all the other groups on a saturday morning. In that training, we had to do this exercise called a reverse row which is basically a pull up from laying on the ground(if that makes sense-the bar is close to the ground too). I was very self conscious about it especially because 2 people had to hold the bar. They had to support all 300 pounds of me pulling down on them as I tried to pull myself up.
So, Monday I get to workout and what does Johnny decide I have to do?? Yes, reverse rows! He held one end of the bar and the other was in the rail of the wall. The whole time I was doing them I was more worried about how heavy I was and how ashamed I was of who I am! Then later in the workout he has me do a few exercises on this dog sled thing.
Well, he asked me to bend down and push the dog sled the length of the gym hall(the best I can explain to you my location) and I said, "I'm not doing that" He said, "You can do that" I said, "I know I can do it, but I'm not doing that" He wanted to know why. We go back and forth a little bit more before I finally tell him that I don't want people looking at me especially with my hiny up in the air. He said that he would do it with me, but I finally did it on my own. [An aside note to my point here is that I got halfway down the hall and felt dizzy. I stood up and felt nauseated. I pulled the sled the rest of the way down the hall and felt even more nauseated and dizzy which is when Johnny told me to sit down. Yes, puking was AVERTED!! (Hey, most of you know it is against my religion anyway!!)]
Tonight I had to do the inverted rows again:( I didn't have to do the dog sled thing--I guess we weren't taking any chances on puking. I had a really hard time working out today. See right now it isn't so much about the physical health but about the mental and spiritual health. Spiritually I am having a hard time taking hold of the victory of the cross. A good friend of mine told me essentially that is her prayer for me. I want that. I want to believe that I will finally break free from this bondage of food! I want to believe that I will continue to shed pounds and get healthy. Mentally, I'm having an even harder time. My self esteem has always been low. I have always wanted to be invisible. In my mind, just being at the gym and being twice the size of other people there does not allow me to be invisible! And bending over and pushing something is just asking others to stare and you and think, "OH LOOK AT THAT FAT GIRL"
I didn't want to have male trainers. I have 2 of them. God did that on purpose and on some days I am just not ready to deal with it. Its a bit strange to me that 2 really nice guys are helping me break away and put behind me some of the years of being put down by boys and teased by them, and degraded, and other abuse.
So, this week has been tough. I'm not writing this so you guys can feel sorry for me. I'm writing this so you will know where I'm at. A few of you I have shared some of my struggles with before. This is pretty much it. I'm working on it! I'm battling and I'm more determined than ever to keep fighting this fight. I pray that I will take hold of the victory that was given to me on the cross. Pray for me as I learn that I was not made in the image of God so that I could be invisible! Pray for me as I forgive people who hurt me deeply. Pray for me as I learn acceptance of who God made me to be. Pray for strength and rest. Pray that I will be intense in my workouts and filling out my food journals.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Amalie's Foiled Chicken Fajitas!!

To preface this recipe, you must know that when I was 9 years old, I went to a place called Camp Ba Yo Ca. When I returned the next summer as a 10 year old I went on my first camp out and experienced HOBO STEW!! If you have never had it, it is awesome! I love it!! It is ground beef, onion, carrots, potato, mustard, and ketchup mixed together and cooked in an aluminum foil packet on the coals of a campfire.
I don't have a campfire on hand, BUT, sometimes I make Hobo Stew in my oven. Since I started on this weightloss journey, I have begun experimenting with aluminum foil packet cooking. I love slicing up a potato and putting in a packet and cooking it. Tonight I tried an awesome idea which I am calling "Amalie's Foiled Chicken Fajitas"
Here is my recipe

1 chicken breast per person
sliced green peppers
sliced onions
sliced mushrooms
diced tomatoes

Preheat oven to 450. Place chicken breast on a long sheet of aluminum foil. Add desired amounts of onions, mushrooms, peppers, and tomatoes. Make foil packet and cook for about 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

That's it! Simple and easy. Once mine was done tonight I scooped out the chicken and veggies because it was very juicy. At first I was just going to eat mine "streaker" style as they say at Moe's, but my tomatoes with green chilis was getting a little hot for me. So, I put the remaining chicken on a tortilla with a little shredded soy cheese(I'm lactose intolerant). It was great!

My chicken was a large piece of chicken and with adding the tortilla and soy cheese, I calculated my meal to only be a total of 517 calories, 9.5 g fat, 45.4 carbs, 40.8 g protein, and 19.2 g fiber.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

week 5-preparation

This past week was a pretty difficult week. I went home to knoxville this weekend and I thought I would be able to eat well while I was gone. I took protein bars, an orange, and 100 calorie snacks. I thought that was enough preparation for me to survive the weekend at home.
Boy was I wrong!! Don't get me wrong, I didn't completely fall off the wagon, but it was a rough weekend. Thankfully, Friday night my mom and I split a meal at Chili's(my favorite restaurant). When i got on their website afterwards I was shocked at how many calories is in every entree they serve!! I drank a lot of regular Coke--I seriously love that stuff and its hard to give it up:(
Saturday night my family cooked hamburgers and hotdogs before the UT/Memphis game. I felt so dissatisfied with my hotdog(well a terezo) that I had a tomato and lettuce sandwich. Then I kept snacking on spinach dip during the game. AND I had 2 pieces of cookie cake. I did drink Diet pepsi though:)
Sunday I got up early and drove back here to Lexington so I could study for a test on Monday. I stopped at the gas station and had 2 nutrigrain bars and juice. THEN, 2 hours later I had McDonalds for lunch--Man, oh man, bad choices, bad choices!
I'm not beating myself up too much about this weekend because I learned a lot. This new way of life is pretty easy when I am in my semi structured school environment. It is not easy when i am flying by the seat of my pants and trying to relax at the same time. I made some good choices and I made some bad choices this weekend. I learned that having a food life that is pleasing to Christ is just like everything else that He calls us too--what is that you say? DISCIPLINE and PREPARATION.
I wasn't prepared this weekend. I thought through a few things like taking my own food home with me. I didn't think through eating on the road. I didn't think through eating out a lot. I didn't think through a buffet type dinner without real food(where were the fruits and veggies???). I'm working on the discipline, but I haven't really given any thought to the preparation. God showed me I need to be prepared for situations like this weekend. I'm really going to have to think about some things that can help me continue to be successful especially when I am traveling and/or away from home.
Any suggestions would be great!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

week 4--SICKNESS

Well, I guess it was bound to happen. If I am looking at this training program as a lifestyle change, there was bound to be a week when I was sick. This week was it. I missed one of my training sessions this week because I had the flu. I did however manage to get in 2 workouts on my own. I know it is short of my 5 days a week, but I am cutting myself some slack.
Monday i blogged about just not wanting to be at my workout. While I did learn a few things from it, on tuesday when I discovered that my world was spinning and i had a 101 fever I felt like less of a cry baby. I was cooped up in my house until Friday when I was going stir crazy. Since I wasn't running a fever, I went to the Y to a water aerobics class. Part of the justification in that was that even if I had germs to share, the chlorine in the pool would take care of it. CRAZY, I know but I felt like I needed to get moving. I was exhausted to say the least afterwards. I just now got back from the Y having done cardio for about 40 minutes. I still don't feel like I have the best amount of energy to devote to working out, but I feel good for giving it a go even when I didn't feel like it.
In week 4 of working out, being sick brought a few questions to my mind. When should you skip the workout and when should you go ahead with one? I read online that running a fever is a good indication to stay in and not exercise. What if you have a head cold? Are you supposed to listen to your body? I have no idea!
Second, what about eating? I didn't get out of my bed until midday and a few days I really couldn't eat anything. It was difficult to get those fruits and vegetables in. I certainly didn't really count calories. Then my biggest vice I have is that I love coke!! I have done pretty well over the past 3 weeks in pretty much cutting them out. However, the minute I started feeling bad was the minute I just had to have a coke. Oh, and for you diet drinkers out there, I just can't do it! I admit I overdid it on the cokes, but they tasted so good. Its strange but I drink them when my stomach hurts and when my throat hurts. My great grandmother used to give "let" us drink coke when we had upset stomachs growing up. Most of my childhood, I was not allowed to drink coke--I think because it cost too much money to let 4 kids drink coke. I drink it when my throat hurts because it just plain feels good. So, I guess in a sense coke is my comfort drink?!
Anyway, this week has challenged me to do my best to be good when I don't feel good. I haven't beat myself up over the cokes I drank or any other foods I may have consumed that weren't exactly diet friendly. In the long run of what I hope is many more years of living healthy, this was just a week. I didn't do it perfectly, but I did see myself going for fruits and veggies when I would have rather gone through a McDonalds drive through.
Week 4 may have been characterized by sickness for me but i see it as progress!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My weightloss progression through PA school

These are pics of me starting PA school with a baby shower last february(i think), then summer, then fall(football game), and current(pazzos and white coat). You be the judge 'cause I have a hard time telling the difference still!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

learning life lessons during a workout

Tonight, I went to my workout not really wanting to be there. It started snowing here around 5 and the prediction is it could get really bad. I had emailed Johnny to see if we were still working out tonight and got no reply. Considering the fact that I am going home to K-town this weekend, i felt like I really needed to go tonight to ensure that I would meet my goal of 5 workouts this week.
So, I went. I was not joyful about it. I whined through this workout. I said things like--"this is too heavy" "how much longer" "you want me to do, WHAT?" I was having difficulty breathing(for those of you who keep telling me I have asthma, I'm starting to believe you!). At one point after doing an exercise called hamstring curls where you lay on the ground, I just wanted to lay there and not get up.
I made it through the workout. I still wasn't happy about it. As I was walking to my car, I started thinking about how most of the time I feel really proud of what I accomplish in a workout. Tonight to begin with, I just still felt like it was the hardest thing I had done in a while. Why did it have to be so hard? Why couldn't it be easier? Do I really have to keep enduring this?
Then I was reminded that this is how life truly is. God calls us through things that aren't easy. We go through difficult times whether we really want to or not. The burdens that we may be given often times feel too heavy. The rough times seem unending and we ask God, "how much longer." I am certainly guilty of saying, "you want me to do WHAT?" when Christ leads me to something that I am just not so sure about.
I've been back from my workout for about an hour now. I'm starting to feel good about my accomplishments. I've had a little while to be removed from the situation and look back on what I actually did tonight. That is the way it is when we go through hard things in our life. We may question it, but if we hang on and let God lead us through it we can look back and be proud of our accomplishments. There is new meaning tonight in the verse,"I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me"!!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

recipe of the week--FROZEN GRAMWICHES

This is a great recipe for all of us trying to cut back on our calories!!

4 graham cracker squares
1/4 c. light or fat-free frozen whipped topping(any flavor)

Spread 2 of the squares evenly with the whipped topping. Top with remaining squares to make 2 sandwiches. Transfer to a freezer-safe airtight plastic container. Cover tightly and place in freezer. Freeze for a least 2 hours or up to 1 month. Serve frozen

150 calories
2 g protein
28 g carbs
4 g fast

These taste better the longer you leave them in the freezer because they get soft!!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

week 3 of workouts

So, I finished my 3rd week of working out with the Time to Change group. Tomorrow(Saturday) I am attending a weight training session. It will be my 5th workout of the week. They require us to do 3 workouts a week. I think my goal is to stay at 5 workouts a week.

I hate working out initially. I usually say that I am kicking and screaming all the way to the gym. Now I have started verbally telling my trainers that I really don’t like them during my workouts. Really, they are great and I am thankful for them!
After my workouts, I have such a sense of accomplishment. I feel like I am making progress that I am getting somewhere. Today as I was driving back from a water aerobics class, I began thinking that all of the sudden I feel like I am back in control of my life. My anxiety attacks have greatly decreased. I feel much happier thanks to medication and exercise.

However, I feel like there is this fine line between me allowing Christ to be Lord of my life which gives me a sense of control and ME being in control. You know the classic pilot/copilot lesson. Its so hard to keep that in check. Does anyone have any suggestions to how I can truly evaluate that in my life? How do you know when you are trying to get Christ out of the pilot seat and let you take your life for a spin?

Another thing that has been on my mind lately is this whole thing of obesity. There are just so many reasons why I am overweight. With that in mind, I am very much convinced that it is one of the sins in our lives that you can’t hide from the world. Your obesity, your vice, your god is so evident for the whole world to see. Gossip, lying, stealing, lust, etc—those can possibly all be hidden away from the world where only you have to deal with your sins. The funny thing is that I eat to hide myself from the world, to keep me to myself, so the world doesn’t have to deal with me. Yet, in reality, people look at you because you are different. People stare at you because of how big you are. Yes, people tend to not see you, the real you because they can’t get past the weight. So, I guess some people who are gluttons for the shear purpose of hiding themselves from the world achieve their goal.

WELL, I need a new goal in life. God is so good and so faithful to me. He has given me talents that should not be wasted away. He has given me a purpose that I need to fulfill. I’m trying to take it day by day. To meet with God and to deal with these issues. The above words are just a small glimpse into my life. I’m being transparent with all of you because when I voice these feelings, the lies from Satan, they don’t have that much power of me. Yes, they will still haunt me. It may even be easy for me to give in to the lies, but I have faith that from here on out I will have the strength to stand back up!!

This journey hasn’t been easy. God didn’t call us to an easy life. Sometimes it is so hard for me to remember that. I don’t want to hurt. I don’t want to do things that don’t seem easy. I have to remember that He has a plan for me and that by His strength I will persevere!!

Monday, February 4, 2008


First let me say, that I am the queen of procrastination right now. I have a test tomorrow and haven't really begun the proper studying for it. Instead, I am blogging about my workout tonight.
Tonight was the beginning of my 3rd week of working out. I am not sure that this will ever get any easier. Well, it feels like it will always be hard, but that is because I am hopefully always going to push myself to go further!
Tonight we started with cardio and then did a strength training circuit. My trainer wanted me to do 30 minutes on the elliptical or bicycle. I knew that I couldn't do either for that long. So we compromised. I did 10 minutes on the elliptical and 20 minutes on the bike. The great thing about that was I did the elliptical for 5 more minutes than I thought that I could.
Now getting to the title of this article. When I started on the elliptical, I started sweating almost immediately. AND, I just kept sweating and sweating and sweating. It felt like it started to pour out of my body once I got on the bicycle. I don't think that I have ever had such a soaked shirt in my entire life--except for the days when I would swim in a tshirt. Yes, that is how sweaty I was!!
I went over to do the strength training circuit and at one point had to lay on a mat. When I got up there was a wet imprint of where I had just been laying--YUCK! However, it does feel good to have that much sweat in me. I do feel like I worked hard tonight.
Two things I am proud of: 1. my trainer telling me I look good when I sweat. 2. moving from really sissy push ups to moderately sissy pushups!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

week 2 of working out

Tonight I finished my second week of working out with my trainers. I still have one more workout to complete on my own. My trainers(Johnny and Adam) are cool. They don't yell at us or anything like that. They push us in the group when we need to be pushed. Thankfully, I did not fall or embarass myself too much this week.
I have realized that I am very limited in what I can do physically. Right now, I have exercise induced asthma pretty bad. Adam has us "jog" 2 laps to warm up usually, and this week Johnny had us on the track as well and it takes my breath away. I feel like it may come across that I am not trying, but I am. Just walking makes me out of breath. I know that as the weight comes off and I continue to workout breathing will get easier!
I may be sore; I may be tired; I may not be getting all my studying done, but I am feeling really good about myself! Bonus: I lost 3 pounds this week:)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Natalie Grant-AWAKEN

Natalie Grant is one of my favorite singers. I have almost every CD of hers. The CD called Awaken had never been one that I was too crazy about. For whatever reason, about 3 weeks ago I pulled out the CD and it is amazing. God has been speaking to me through so many of these songs. I'm posting the lyrics to a song off that album called 'MAKE ME OVER'. The words have truly become a prayer for me.

I've been silent instead of speaking up
Gave my advice instead of giving love
I have been unfair, faithless and unkind
I have shut my eyes just so i would stay blind
It's not what i meant to do
Cause i wanna honor you

Make me over, make me new
Make me a mirror, a reflection of you
Take me all apart
Take me to your heart and pull me closer
Oh, Jesus, make me over

Take away the pride that whispers in the dark
Take the stone out of the middle of my heart
Hidden underneath my insecurities
Is the servant that you've destined me to be
But day after precious day
I get in my own way

Make me over, make me new
Make me a mirror, a reflection of you
Take me all apart
Take me to your heart and pull me closer
Sweet savior, make me over

I am only made of your imagining
I'm dust and clay on the wind
Wash me in the river of your sacrifice
Until i'm changed, purified
Take me all apart
Take me to your heart and pull me closer
My Jesus, make me over
Make me over

Monday, January 21, 2008

My First Workout

If I could make this font shaky, I would because that is how I feel right now. I just got back from my first workout with the Time To Change trainer. On mondays my trainers name is Johnny. He had a big circuit workout set up for us where we did each exercise for about 1 1/2 minutes.
Things were going well until I had to go up and down the stairs. Then I got back and had to do lunges. Johnny told me he wanted me to take a little larger step while I did them. Well, I stepped out with my right foot...Let me explain that I have very lax(loose) ligaments. I have fallen many times in my life just from walking with nothing to trip over. So, you see where this is going. I step out with my right foot and down I went. My ankle gave right out on me. So, embarrassing!
Then I moved on to the next station and felt very queezy and light headed. I thought, "OH, NO" So, I told him I had to take a break. I sat down for a few minutes. Well, more like 5 minutes. Then I got back with it and finished my workout.
I have been done working out for about an hour now and I am still very shaky. I'm really going to have to figure out this whole eating thing. At 4:30 I had a banana and 2 slices of bread with melted soy cheese. My workout was at 6:30. I've never been told I have problems with my glucose but I felt so shaky during my workout. If anyone has any suggestions on what I should do for my next work out I would appreciate it. I think I will try to eat a little later next time.
Pray that I can walk to my classes tomorrow!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Time To Change

Whether I am ready or not, it it TIME TO CHANGE! Before I went on Christmas break, a friend that goes to church with me here in Lexington randomly asked me what my BMI was one sunday as we were leaving church. She said, "is it greater than 30?" I laughed and said, "Oh, yeah, I have that number way beat!"
Then she told me about a free exercise program that the Johnson center(UK's gym) was offering to people with a BMI of 30 or more. All you had to do was apply, get a fitness screening, and wait to find out if you got accepted. It was on a first come first serve basis. It just so happens I got there fast enough. I owe a huge thanks to AMANDA!(especially because she is always encouraging me to keep getting healthy)
The program put us into groups of 5 and we will be working out with a trainer twice a week and then we have to do at least one other work out on our own time. It starts on Monday for me since that is one of my training days. I will also be going on Wednesdays as well. It lasts until the middle of April. Three times during the semester they will open the gym early for us participants and have one big circuit workout. They are going to take midpoint and final measurements to see what kind of progress we have made.
This is a great thing for me. I think that it may be very possible to lose another 30 pounds before I go out on rotation! There are many bonuses to that kind of result. The first and most selfish is that at that weight I should be able to fit back into many of my business/casual business clothes that I had to wear when I worked for Casual Corner Clothing. The second will be that I will feel so much better. I will have stamina to be on my feet all day seeing patients. If a doc has a long workday, I will be able to survive! Hopefully, my blood pressure will be stellar and I may be able to cut back on my medicine. Maybe I won't have reflux anymore. Most definately, my self esteem should go up, up, up! I should be able to destress much better especially since exercise will hopefully be a new habit by the time I go out on rotations.
Pray for me friends! Pray that I will deal with these demons that I have allowed to continually lead me to eating and being sedentary! Pray that I will handle all the little bad things in life in a positive way instead of destructive way! Pray for me as I get started on a TIME TO CHANGE!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pot Roast

I am trying to do a little more cooking than I have done in the past year. Most of the time, I just don't like to cook since it is just me. I will usually do easy things like putting a lean cuisine or healthy choice in the microwave.
Last week I fixed white chicken chili and it lasted the entire week. This week I did a pot roast which was awesome if I do say so my self!
Here is how I made it: I bought a bottom round roast and followed the cooking directions on the package. I can't remember exactly how much mine weighed but I cooked it for 2 hours on 300. Before I put the roast in the oven I rubbed sea salt and pepper on both sides. I cut up potatoes, carrots, and onions and placed in an aluminum foil packet and cooked along side the roast for 2 hours.
Another way you can cook all of this is to put it in a crock pot for about 5-6 hours until the meat is cooked through. That used to be the way we would prepare sunday lunch when I was growing up and was one of my favorite meals.
I don't have a crock pot or a roasting pan. So, I cooked the meat in a bread pan so I had to improvise on roasting the veggies which turned out delicious! I'm not sure what I'm going to cook next week, but I will share it with you. I'm mainly trying to cook more because I feel like I eat better food when I prepare it myself.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


The following is an email that i sent to a friend who I normally email when I can't sleep and I wanted to share it with all of you:

Have you ever wondered what it will take to fill that void in your heart? That
thing that you are always looking for and can't quite put your finger on it?
The reason why no matter how much you want to, you just can't let others really
in? Will you ever consider yourself worthy of anyone's love?
Most of the time I won't even let myself go there--to those questions. I try to
press on and pretend that everything inside of me is great. I focus on others
and being a help to them. I think that I most often feel if I can help them and
make them feel good then I can help myself. It seems that thought doesn't leave
much room for me to focus on me.
I don't know what it will take to complete my heart. I know that sometimes I
think a guy could complete me, but I don't know that answer. Sometimes, I think
God will fill that void. That probably is truth, but I often stop at completely
letting Him in. It is so hard to imagine that someone, anyone, even God himself
could love me fully, completely, wholly, despite all the things that I
am-despite all the things about me that I consider unlovable.
I think that i included you in my update about the past few months. Depression
is not fun. No matter how dark things got. On the days when I thought it would
be better if I never had to wake up again, I felt God telling me that I was
worth it. I felt deep down inside of me that I was lovable, that I was someone
who matters, that I was good. I'm still having those moments of feeling
unworthy, of not being able to comprehend how someone could love me.
I've started memorizing Hebrew 11. The first verse says,"faith is the assurance
of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen." The word conviction
has caught my attention everytime i repeated those words to myself. I have
pondered over that statement-the conviction of things not seen. Maybe I
shouldn't question such things. Maybe I should just let go and have some
conviction that God really did send Jesus to die for me. On the cross, He was
able to cover my sins, my shortcomings, my UNWORTHINESS. He makes me lovable;
He makes me desirable; He makes me good; He makes me whole.
Though I can't really see my spiritual self--I need some conviction that I can
be that girl that God has always known I was capable of being--confident,
loving, accepting herself, ABLE TO LET CHRIST LOVE EVERY PART OF ME, whole and
complete, filled with His love! My faith hasn't been very assured and it
certainly hasn't possessed conviction, but I think right now God is teaching me.