Advice – or, the art of avoiding it

Do as I say, not as I do. Pretty simple, especially for parents.  This also applies to doctors as well.  Recently a patient reminded me of it.

During a check up, I routinely ask patients about their exercise and diet habits.  I review the medications they take, both prescription and over-the-counter (including vitamins).  I reminded one patient to in her late 40s to take Vitamin D.  She then asked me, “Do you take it?”   Hmm… well, I’m not in my late 40s, so the reasons I suggested it for her do not apply to me (she is peri-menopausal).  And I told her this.  But she persisted.  So, I admitted that no, I don’t routinely take Vitamin D.  I do give it to the kids, and when I remember, I give myself a few drops. That’s when she said, “Do as I say, not as I do, right?”

Which brings me to exercise.


1. bodily or mental exertion, especially for the sake of training or improvement of health: Walking is good exercise.

2.something done or performed as a means of practice or training: exercises for the piano.

3.a putting into action, use, operation, or effect: the exercise of caution.

4.a written composition, musical piece, or artistic work executed for practice or to illustrate a particular aspect of technique.

5.Often, exercises. a traditional ceremony: graduation exercises

I ask my patients regularly about exercise.  I am often quite impressed how many of my patients actually do fit in exercise in their busy lives, be it by riding their bike to work, working out at lunch or waking up extra early to get a workout/run/jog in the morning.

I have been talking about getting back on the exercise bandwagon for months now.  Literally, months.  First,  I was going to get a gym membership.  Then my husband convinced me to save my money and just start running.  So, I thought about running for a while.  Never actually tried it, just thought about it.  Oh, and then he reminded me of all those Gilad workout tapes I have in the basement.  I have used them – about a year ago!

Then I remembered I had a bike.  So, this week, I got my bike fixed and rode it home yesterday after picking it up at the bike shop. It was a 15 minute ride home.  I was huffing a bit, back of my throat hurt, my ass hurt at the end and my legs were burning.  15 minutes, people!  I am so embarrassingly out of shape.  I take the four flights of stairs up to my office on most days and it’s not getting any easier.  A girlfriend of mine keeps asking me to go running with her – she’s run 1/2 marathons!  I wouldn’t last 5 minutes with her.  I’d probably need an ambulance to take me home.

Sigh … I know exercise is good for me.  I know it will help shave off those last 10 lbs I need to get back to pre-pregnancy #2 weight.  I just can’t get motivated.  It’s so unlike me.  I used to have such discipline when it came to exercise.  Back in residency I would go to the gym 4-5 times a week, I was in the best shape of my life.  But now?  It’s far easier to plop myself down on the couch and cross stitch for hours on end at night.  Help me, blogosphere… motivate me!

7 thoughts on “Advice – or, the art of avoiding it

  1. First step just get out and do it. Not anything extreme or fast, just take the first steps. Find a time a certain number of days a week, maybe T, Th, Sat, Sunday, and get into a routine. Maybe just get outside and go for a mile walk. Keep in mind that no matter what you do you are lapping those on the couch and by starting off small you are getting your body use to it again… hope this wasn’t annoying to write, definitely not my intention. Was in the same boat a few months ago, minus the excuse of being a mom and working. Pretty much I didn’t have an excuse.

  2. Seriously, the MOST difficult thing about an exercise routine is the very first step. If I don’t keep to my exercise schedule, then it takes me 3 seconds to convince myself abandon my workout and sit on my ass.
    But seriously, once you get started, it is so much easier! You feel motivated and positive. If you get into a routine and then miss a workout, you will actually start getting stir-crazy until you get out for another one! If you miss 2, 3 or 4 workouts, however, then your motivation fades.

    On Tuesdays I meet up with a few girl friends, one that has just started running and does 5 min running & 1 minute walking. You could join us and you will fit right in, I guarantee it!

  3. Hi Dr. Mom. As a physician, i can see where you’re coming from. But let me tell you this: it can be done.
    Beginning March of this year, I started a running regimen. I run 3 kms a day for 20-30 minutes. Everyday since March (I’ve only missed about 15 days since then, but never 3 consecutive days).
    I’ve lost about 15 pounds since then, but that’s not what’s important. It’s the general feeling of wellness that gives me a high. I sleep better, and I can shrug off some nagging aches and pains in my body easily – they no longer limit my productivity.
    I have read from the book “Influencer-the Power to Change Anything” by Kerry Patterson et. al. that there are 4 vital behaviors that are associated with weight loss:
    1. Exercise on home equipment. Going to the gym takes more effort.
    2. Eat breakfast. This will prevent you from feeling hungry.
    3. Weigh yourself daily. And record it. It’s motivating to see your progress.
    4. Remove anything in your food basket or refrigerator that will cause you to gain weight. Just stack up on healthy food.
    Hope this helps!

  4. I am totally with you. Starting this new crafting venture isnt boding well for the exercising plan. We should BOTH go with Lisa!

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