27 and a PhD

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Fitness, the elephant in my room (or my belly)

Welcome to my blog!

Hello there, awesome reader. My name is Dr. 27. I'm older than that now, but I'm staying faithful to the origins of the blog.

This blog started 2 months before completing my PhD in a pretty southern university back in 2009. It was a way to practice my writing and take a break from all things thesis. My PhD is in a branch of structural biology where I studied some rather impressive stuff.

After completing the degree, I packed my life of 6 years in 3 days and moved to Canada to do a postdoc in a completely different field. Two years later, and after attending a lot of seminars, workshops and doing some much-needed soul-searching, I ended up getting out and looking for an alternative path to academia and industry.

The blog chronicles my mishaps, ideas, musings and tips on entering, staying and finishing grad school. It also talks about some (or a lot) of personal stuff. For a while, the blog became a place to talk about the frustrations of not knowing what to do after PhD. I wanted to explore alternatives to the traditional paths of research (academia, industry and goverment) whilst going back to my field of training (if at all possible). Eventually a job materialized. Follow my quest as I navigate the waters of being a staff scientist at a core facility.

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I guess like most people everywhere, one of my new year’s resolutions is to lose the bulge, get fit and look awesome once and for all. But this year this has a special meaning. I’m getting married next year and I want to look (and feel) awesome on the special day. I want Mr 30 and a PhD to look at me and see the same girl he asked to be his girlfriend 7 years ago. I want my dress to fit (a dress I already bought and I’m not planning on altering it much, ie. letting out), I want to not have a belly that makes me look preggers ( I wore a dress for my interview back in December and one of my dear friends from back in the day commented that she was so happy I was pregnant … FML).

I hadn’t realized how fat I’ve gotten in the last 6 years until my friend made that comment, and I realized that no compression garment could hide the bulge. I’m tired of feeling tired, of the jiggly this and that, or wearing compression garments and of course, of the double chin.

I want to do something, but gosh darnit, it is so damn tough to get out of bed and to eat right. Ever since taking the job in NYC I’ve been fighting money problems, and part of making sure that there’s something in my stomach while the debts get paid is to get as much food for as little as possible. Fast food has become a staple of my diet (or lack of it) and although I don’t drink coffee, the daily shot of caffeine courtesy of my regular Coke or Pepsi is something I look forward to help combat the post-lunch slump.

I do get to walk quite a bit in NYC and I adore it. Now that I have my feet in better shape thanks to the custom orthotics my podiatrist made, walking is a lot easier. But that’s about it. I’m eating worse, and with this winter weather in full swing, I don’t like walking outside. I do my bit of walking to the bus in the morning and to work and from work to the subway station, but that’s the extent of my walking. Paying for a gym is out of the question, and living with multiple people who like to cook food I hate (yuck, seafood) makes it harder to eat at home.

I know. Excuse after excuse after excuse.

With my upcoming move in a month I’m looking forward to the new job and especially the benefits. As a student, and later a postdoc, I had access to pretty darn good gym facilities, a pool, and running/walking areas. There were also lots of chances for intramural this and that. I’m not such a huge team player, so I prefer to mind my own business and get on an elliptical, which helps my knees, and burn 300 calories.

I’m surprisingly looking forward to having access to a gym once again (especially one for employees, not crowded by valley girls in skimpy clothes), and heck! even paying for it so I can battle the bulge. I’m not getting younger, and should hon and I decide to conceive, I want to have a healthy weight before we have a baby (though as I’ve mentioned before, we would  be cool with adopting).

I don’t cook meat at home (though I’m open to the option of hon making burgers this summer at the grilling area near our future home). And watching The Biggest Loser the other day (I know, shallow of me, but hey, I get inspired by the show) I realized that I’m not a vegetarian so much as a carbotarian. While you’ll never see me doing the Atkins diet, it’s time I reign in my non-stop consumption of empty calories and carbs. I’m looking forward to making tons of veggie-filled soups, including my new fave lentil and my trusty hot and sour soup with tofu. I’m looking forward to making spring rolls at home once again and definitely eating lots of fruits and veggies. That has me excited. And I definitely want to create a schedule where I incorporate physical activity and strength training (who knew that wedding dresses are SO heavy!).

Let see how I stick to this. I’m currently at 195lbs, jumping all the way to 200lbs before my period. I’m tired of being a size 14 and the XXL tops, the granny undies and the 40D cups. I’m tired of the pain on my knees and perhaps losing the weight will help with my flat feet. I’m tired of being tired and I want to look beautiful on my wedding day and feel totally hot on my wedding night. I won’t turn my blog on a weight-management journal, but I do hope to chronicle my weight loss, perhaps posting a photo of when I finally fit on my wedding dress (because damn it, I’m fitting on that bitch!).

Let see how this goes. As soon as I get my hands on a measuring tape I’ll post my current digits along with those of my wedding dress. Here’s to being below 170lbs before Spring 2014 and fitting on my beautiful wedding dress!

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11 Comments

  1. You should try the Paleo diet.
    I’m on something even more restrictive than paleo, although I don’t need to lose weight, but it’s to control my acid reflux. I am not eating carbs at all. It’s really helping with my reflux but I’m losing so much weight, it’s ridiculous. To me that’s a big problem because I’m really skinny to begin with.
    I’m eating a lot of meat, veggies, fruit and fatty stuff (good fats like fish and nuts), loads of peanut butter and coconut milk smoothies to up my calorie intake.
    There are tons of recipes and meal plans for Paleo. I think this is the fastest and healthiest way to lose weight.

    • Dr. 27 says:

      Thanks for the info Alex!! I don’t eat a whole lot of meat, which is why this diet worries me. But I do like the part about incorporating fruits and veggies. I guess one way to start a Paleo-like diet for people like me is to try to make a conscious effort to eat more fruits and veggies. I suspect my stomach, arteries and skin will love me for it! Thank you so much for stopping by 🙂

  2. sbcvandy says:

    So it’s not a diet per se, but tracking what I eat on MyFitnessPal and getting a Fitbit for extra motivation to move (data is my addiction!) have made a huge difference for me in the last year. I managed to lose about 13% of my starting body weight and get into a healthy BMI and more importantly stay there. Now when I start to trend up I know it and how to get it back under control. (Speaking of perhaps I ought to stop making so many desserts so I can get back on track!) but the tracking to be aware of if I was getting the right nutrients – I tend to be carb heavy but protein and fiber low – was a huge help and free 🙂

    • Dr. 27 says:

      Thank you. thank you!!!! Thanks for the comment and for all the wonderful tips. I’ve added FitBit to my amazon wishlist and hopefully will get it once the job situation is stable. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  3. Kelly says:

    I’m with @sbcvandy – I’ve had a Fitbit since they first came out, and during my brush with Atkins last year (which I loved, but was hard to stick with) I, too, discovered MyFitnessPal and tracked calories. I didn’t have the success I wanted from that, so I rejoined Weight Watchers this week and upped my exercise, and the scale is starting to go down. I’d wholeheartedly recommend MyFitnessPal (free, and awesome) and a Fitbit ($, but so worth it, especially if you love data).

  4. J says:

    Honestly in one year, by cutting out sweetened sugar beverages & fast food alone you could hit 170lbs. One thing to be careful of is when doing cardio your metabolism increases causing a decrease in satiety the feeling of being full. I wouldn’t do any specific diets, just work on eating lots of nutrient dense “small” meals, & whatever you do, do not eat after 7pm & no juice after breakfast. Join a fit class, or cycle class and start slow!! good luck. motivation to look good in a dress wont last, but adding years to your life and lowering your risk for type 2 diabetes in motivation that lasts.

    • Dr. 27 says:

      Thank you, thank you!!! Indeed, motivation for a dress will go away after the date, but avoiding diabetes, HPB and other diseases is key. So far I’m on day 3 of not drinking soda. I find myself missing its taste, but then remember all the sugar and cringe. Here’s to a fit and happy me!

  5. […] since one of my resolutions is to get active and eat better to hopefully lose the bulge, I hope to incorporate healthy things into my diet, avoid eating out for dinner and finally eat my […]

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