The Lost In PreMed podcast is less then a year old and I’ve already reached a level of success that is unimaginable! One of the biggest struggles I have had with the podcast is deciding how personal I want it to get. On one hand, I would never want my opinion to get in the way of the information I am providing. Sometimes people have a problem understanding the point of a message because of the idealistic manor in which it is delivered. I don’t ever want that to happen because I genuinely understand that medicine is so much bigger that I am. Truthfully, my opinion is meaningless and I’m ok with that. On the other hand, the inspiration for the podcast came from my struggles with getting into medical and the difficulty on my path. A lot of the things I have gone through, the mountains I’ve climbed and the inspiration to keep climbing is VERY personal. I have received countless emails form people thanking me for what I’ve done and how I’ve opened myself up and it is because of those emails and encouragement, I have decided to share this:
It is no secret that obesity is an epidemic in this country. According to the US Surgeon General, over 300,000 deaths a year are attributed to obesity, making it only second to tobacco as a cause of preventable death in the US. At 6’2” 275, I too am obese; morbidly obese. Along with the support of my wife, I have decided to make life change, change the way I eat and the mindset I have when it comes to food. If I don’t do this, the time in which my wife has a husband and my daughter has a daddy is going to be severely diminished. I want to serve my family and my community as long as I possible can and much of that has to do with my physical well-being!
How is this related to premed? Well…I thought you’d never ask!
I don’t like using the word “discrimination” because I feel that tem is reserved for much stronger situations, however I do acknowledge the fact that as a “large” person, I have had to overcome people’s preconceived notions that I am undisciplined, sloppy and stupid. Who worse to think that than an admissions comity?!?! We have 30-45 minutes (at most) to convince a panel of people that we are right for their school. The last thing I want to do is walk in the room from behind the eight ball, disprove some potential preconceived notions, THEN prove I deserve to go to medical school. Are the comities supposed to be unbiased? Of course, BUT they are also human. Moreover, every piece of interview prep material you ready tells you that they are judging you from the moment you step on campus to the moment you leave. Although I have many more important reasons to make this lifestyle change, this is another one; I want to take that thought out of their subconscious mind.
How am I going to do this? Luckily, (like most things in life) there is an app for that! I have decided to use the “My Fitness Pal” app on my iPhone to help track calorie intake expenditure. This will allow me to keep track of everything I have done (or not done) and track my progress over the long hall. There are many things that I like about this app and if you have been looking for something like this, I think you will enjoy it too. There are thousands of foods already in their database, including stuff from fast food places, so you can make smart decisions on the go. Also, the website www.myfitnesspal.com syncs with your profiles so you can enter information any and everywhere. Finally, one of the things I like most about My Fitness Pal is that you can add friends to your list; creating a support community for each other. My user name is “LostInPreMed” and I encourage you to add me.
The reason that I am putting this out there for everyone to see is because I know that I am not the only premed student that is struggling with obesity, self-confidence and body image issues. Sometimes all it takes is one person to help get the ball rolling and it will change your life. I know this and I have my wife to thank for it! Because I know how much of a difference one person can make, I thought I would open this up to the Lost In PreMed community and invite anyone who wants to join in, along for the voyage. You can download the free My Fitness Pal app in your app store or just use the Internet site and you too will have someone with you as you strive for a healthier life. Feel free to add me and together the Lost In PreMed community we will become healthier doctors and more importantly healthier people!