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Being healthy is a way of living.

Let’s go back to where this all began. In the summer of 2010, I went through a fitness kick. The goal was to lose weight and look great in a bikini for an upcoming vacation that August. I began going to the gym regularly and eating extremely small portions (and not the healthiest). That goal was achieved in a matter of weeks and I was incredibly proud of myself. The beginning of my medical education eliminated the fitness progress I had built. I was away from the gym, did not have an exercise routine, and sat stationary to study for the majority of my day. To add insult to injury, my eating choices were extremely unhealthy and consisted mostly of burgers, pasta, pizza, pizza, pizza, and pizza. It was horrible! I would infrequently make efforts to eat salads. The only healthy decision that I started and continued to do during my start of medical school was drinking water. No juice. No soda. Just water! And I make an effort to drink a substantial amount of it.

When I started my introduction to clinical medicine semester, after the completion of basic sciences, I decided I needed to lose weight. I went back to the fitness routine that I found effective for me, which was the same one I utilized in the summer of 2010. However, as I started my family medicine preceptorship, elective mentored experience in which a practicing physician volunteers to give personal instruction, training, and supervision to a medical student during the first or second year of medical school, I witnessed patients predominantly presenting with diabetes and hypertension. The number of patients presenting with either of these disease were numerous and occasionally patients presented with both medical conditions. Additionally, some patients I saw were also suffering from complications of the disease such as retinopathy (vision problems), nephropathy (kidney problems), and neuropathy (nerve/sensation in the hands and feet problems). My mindset changed drastically because both conditions can be controlled, maintained, and prevented with HEALTHY CHOICES and EXERCISE. Looking good in a bikini was no longer my main priority and goal. Since that time, being consistent with living a healthy lifestyle, with regular exercise and choosing healthy food choices always brings me back to that experience. I have been maintaining my healthy lifestyle and ideal weight goal until last year. I became complacent and content. That one week of not going to the gym became two then three, then 2 months. In addition, my old unhealthy eating habits slowly crept back up. Although, I’m still not a notorious fast food eater, my choices were not healthy.

Here I am again, making the choice to take care of myself.

What I will incorporate in my healthy journey?

1. No more soda and juices.

My intake in both soda and juice is quite small, however I will choose to drink water only. The average person should drink half your body weight in ounces. From my past experience, increasing water intake promotes weight loss. I felt less hungry and literally saw the weight dissolve away. In addition, my skin complexion improved and became clear with a wonderful glow. Lastly, my hair grew and became luscious.

2. Cut back on pork and beef.

When I first began my healthy lifestyle, I ate both, pork and beef, about 1x every 4-5 months. (Thank God for turkey bacon because I LOVED PORK BACON) Both can be high saturated fat and cholesterol and can clog up your arteries. (Lean cuts of the pork or beef are better) Eating it in moderation is the goal.

3. Cut back on FAST FOOD.

Fast food is highly processed and contains little to no nutritional value. It is loaded with large amount of calories, carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, sugar, sodium, and often they add artificial ingredients. In my experiences, I felt quite the difference in eating processed fast food in comparison to eating healthy meals. There is a sense of clarity, energy, and improvement in emotional health.

4. Back to exercising 3-5x a week.

Aerobic exercise, also known as Cardio, is a great way of getting your heart pumping. It is beneficial to the strengthening of your heart and blood vessels, raises the oxygen flow throughout your body, reduces your blood pressure and cholesterol, and also lessens your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

Once in the gym, I’m loving every bit of it. Give me a good playlist and I’m going to enjoy the exercise session. The most difficult part is mustering up enough gumption to get to the gym.

I am no expert however these are some changes I have made in the past and helped me reached my goals during my health journey. I might grab some fast food choices on occasion, however this does not mean I am not healthy. It is about doing everything in moderation. I encourage you to start today. It takes baby steps but YOU CAN DO IT. You can start by doing one of changes above and slowly progress from there.

If you want to join on the health journey and make steps in changing your habits, add me on myfitnesspal. We will keep each other motivated and accountable. :)

I would love to see the changes you will be making, so please COMMENT BELOW.

Eat Healthy & Live Well.

All the best!

Dr. A

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