Guys. I am so fat right now.
It’s not like I’ve ever been super-thin, but the amount of weight I have put on as a result of this course has been insane. Between the availability of chocolate on wards during placements, feeling too tired to cook and ordering take-out instead, feeling too tired to exercise and watching Game of Thrones instead, and just regular stress eating, I’ve gained goodness knows how much weight since September of last year. This is not good. This is really not good.
This fat came out of nowhere. It was a thief in the night, a ninja to the waistline. With a HIYAAAA I went from pleasantly plump to Jabba the Hut and all because of this stupid course. Why can’t appreciative patients give carrot sticks as thanks instead of boxes of Celebrations? Why are student discounts specific to fast food places? You best believe I’d eat salads if Pizza Hut Two For Tuesdays wasn’t a thing. Maybe if scientists got off their lazy butts and made lettuce taste like chocolate cake, I wouldn’t be stress eating over a black forest gateau!
The worst part is that we were warned. Start of the year one of our professors was like “lol you’re all gonna get fat” (paraphrasing), and we all chuckled heartily. LITTLE DID WE KNOW. Last week the most embarrassing thing happened when I had my Basic Life Support exam and I couldn’t resus the dummy because my trousers were so tight I couldn’t bend down to do the chest compressions. My uniform was hanging on for dear life, I swear. I had to unbutton and unzip, then pretend I wasn’t hanging out under my tunic. Fortunately I’m not the only one with these troubles. Some of my colleagues had to be sewn into their trousers, zips having given up the ghost in the face of all that extra adipose. Seams have been ripped, friends. Tragedy.
I should take responsibility for my bingo wings but y’know what? I won’t do that. I blame nursing. Nursing and discounts on doughnuts. Fortunately this is reversible. If you’re in my situation (or if you’re about to start the course and are terrified of the inevitable 15lb you will gain) here are the things I’m currently trying to do in order to fit into my uniform again:
- Replace stress eating with another mechanism. I’ve found that writing helps distract me from the sudden urge to eat a packet of cookies in order to cope. If you’re not a writer, try arts and crafts, a sport (your uni probably has societies) or learning a language using Duolingo or something.
- Regular eating times. I accept that this is hard when you don’t have control over your placements and you have 12hr shifts, but it seriously helps, even if your shift ends at 8pm and you decide to eat in the ward before leaving for home. A lot of nurses I know do this, they disappear around 6pm, eat their dinner and go back to the ward for the last couple of hours. Worth a try?
- Get a cheap gym membership. The Gym Group and Pure Gym are super cheap and open 24hrs. If your budget is as tight as your waistband, go for a little bit and see how that goes. Exercise also helps with mood, so you may leave the gym feeling better than when you went in!
- If you’re too strapped for cash (like me!) then Youtube is your friend. If you’ve got a little space, follow an exercise video series on Youtube and do squats in your living room. Jillian Michaels is some kind of beast-lady who 30-day shreds your body into something fitter and healthier, so you can start there.
- If you have no space in your residence (also like me!), then try running or walking. I thought I’d hate running, but I’m starting to like it. I feel so accomplished when I don’t die after 30mins of running. Invest in a good pair of trainers and go for it!
Don’t worry friends. You are not alone. I am fat with you. Just cuz I love me for who I am doesn’t mean I’m gonna let the Nursing 15 put 15lb on my body. At the very least I want to fit into my uniform again! Let’s tackle this before I have to buy a new uniform. Feel free to send me any other tips you have… or at least some kind of sympathy. Before I stress eat about this too.