First Steps

Today I was supposed to be at a conference for work.  Initially, I was determined to go despite being on maternity leave; I wanted to show that I am hard working, committed, and engaged.  I also worked very hard all year to plan an important even that is happening at this conference – today actually.

Going to the meeting, however, would have meant travelling by plane, alone with baby El.  It would have meant staying in a hotel room alone for 4 nights and single handedly taking care of the baby, while also trying to attend the meetings and give off the vibe that I have it all together.  It would have likely been far from enjoyable.  So, I decided to stay home and enjoy this time with my family.

Staying home also means that instead of spending over $1000 to attend a conference, I can save that money and use it towards a family vacation.

Despite the overwhelmingly good reasons to stay home and not attend the conference, it was a difficult decision to make.  This is the first decision (I guess the second decision, if you count having a baby and taking a maternity leave) I have made in my career that puts my family ahead of my desire to be “the best I can be” in my work life.  This is like the first step in “retraining” myself to put my family and my role of Mother ahead of work and my role as Doctor.

This was not a hard decision to make, but it was difficult to execute, mentally.  I knew the right thing to do was to not go and stay with my kids and baby at home.  But I feel sad and I am mourning: I feel like I have thrown away an opportunity to show myself off as a dedicated, hard working, and committed resident.  Likely, it wouldn’t have made a difference to anyone but me.

Hopefully these steps get easier as the time goes on.  I feel it is imperative that I make this change in my life

Motivation for Positivity

“A positive attitude may not solve all of your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.”

~Herm Albright

Over the past year I have worked harder at having a positive attitude?  Maybe it’s because I was told by a certain someone that I was too negative, or maybe it’s because in January I set a goal of trying to be more gracious and positive in life.  That worked out really well for me, at least until July, when I had to close my other blog.  See I used to keep a monthly accountability log of my personal goals on my blog.  I thought about keeping that up with this new blog, but it was hard missing most of the back story.

Last year I wrote about how this quotation alluded to motiviation for positivity, and then I went off on a tangent about what motivates us to do the things we do in life.   based on this excerpt from last year’s post, it’s obvious that I am not always placing motivation in the right spot… and I questioned if that was alright:

But what about me?  What if the reason I keep going on from day to day is because I don’t want to let people down?  Or that I don’t want people to know that I quit?  Or maybe that I have too many student loans to pay off and this is the only way to do it?  What if I don’t always feel motivated by the desire to reach my goals – or that I want to finish my residency, or to become a knowledgeable, capable and compassionate physician?  I *want* all those things, I really do.  But they all just seem so far away and so out of reach.  If I just keep making it through for all these other reasons, will it matter in the end… if I get all those things I want in the long term?

This year, I feel like I am much more motivated by the things I really want (as described above) and not nearly as much as by the more superficial ideas I mentioned.  By what about my positivity?  Has my positivity influenced the way I am motivated?  Or, what motivates me to be positive.  I have to say, I don’t think I am motivated to be positive because I think it will annoy people.  I have come to learn that having a positive outlook on life and on the situations in which I find myself makes those situations (and life) seem more tolerable and worth getting through.  I need that at low times like these, otherwise I will continue on a spiralling path downwards… and I know I don’t want that.

New Fitness Goals

Last week while I was off work, I forced myself to go for a run. I have completely fallen off the running horse so far in this pregnancy because I have been so tired. The run felt great, even though it was significantly slower than my usual running pace. Before I even finished the first km, I wanted to quit. I have gained a significant amount of weight in the last little while, so in addition to the pregnancy nausea and exhaustion I am hauling around a whole lot of extra weight.  

 As the run progressed, it got easier and I felt better. I decided that I needed to set out a more specific pregnancy fitness goal than “do not gain too much weight.” So, how about plan for a race after the baby is born?

I remEmber fondly the half-marathon I ran in the mountains last May. I certainly will not be in any shape to run a half marathon anytime soon post-partum. But, how about aiming to run/walk a 10K?  The same half marathon also hosts a 10k run/walk in the mountains. The only problem is that This baby’s due date is mid-May.  Last pregnancy I had cholestasis of pregnancy, which requires me to be induced 3 weeks early. This has a 60-70% recurrence rate.  So odds are, I will have to be induced early with this one as well. If that’s the case and this baby comes end of April, I think it might be reasonable to plan for this run at the end of May… reasonable enough to keep me motivated to stay somewhat fit through the pregnancy. I’ll have to have some hard and beast guidelines though, so I don’t force myself to do something my body is not ready to do: perhaps a minimum of 4 weeks post partum, at the least.

If that run doesn’t work, there is also another mountain 10K in September. There really should be no excuse for not being able to run that one! (Except maybe for my pelvic floor.. But that just reason and motivation in itself).

Wish me luck in my runnin goal planning! 

The Weight

If I’m being completely honest, I am extremely upset and disappointed with myself over my current weight.  I’m not “fat” and I wouldn’t even call myself overweight (even though my BMI is probably in that category these days).  However, I have been “letting” myself gain weight steadily for the past 6 months.  I’ve used the excuse that life has been too stressful.  A year ago I moved and relocated to a new city for a job – it was not a move that I wanted to make.  Since then I have been struggling with getting my life back in order, keeping my ridiculous anxiety under control, and just keeping myself afloat day-to-day.

I am scared to get on the scale now, but at the beginning of July, after my two-week vacation to Florida, I was weighing in at 25 pounds heavier than I was last July.  I’m pretty sure I can add at least another 5 -10 pounds to that total in the last month.  I’s like to say that I’ve been trying to curb the weight gain: At the beginning of the year I made a goal to run 1000Km this year, I started packing healthy lunches, I joined a TaeKwonDo club… In March, despite the numbers still creeping up, I joined weight watchers, I stepped up my game and started training for a half marathon, and in May, I actually did it!  But despite all this work, I’ve never stayed truly committed.  And so I have a weight watchers membership that is not being used, I’ll be lucky to run 500Km this year (in fact, I only ran 20Km in the whole month of July), and I am pushing the waistband on all my my clothing.  Let’s not even talk about how gross I feel and how much I can’t stand looking at my body in the mirror.

Despite all of this negative feelings around my weight gain, I still feel like I have no motivation to change anything.  I feel like working 11 hours a day most days is a good enough excuse to not run at the end of the day.  Being exhausted by the time my kids are in bed justifies not packing a lunch for he next day.  And because I’m awake and at work at 3am, I am allowed to eat the take out and donuts and other goodies that are laying at all the nursing stations.

I don’t feel motivated to make a change.  But I also don’t want to keep gaining weight because I have no motivation.  If this is the definition of the phrase “stuck in a rut,” then that is me.  What should I do?  How can I change my attitude?  What can I do to find motivation?