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!