Friday, October 30, 2009

Long Time, No Post

I suppose one should expect a med student to be terribly busy, and in that sense my lack of posts means that you, dear reader, are getting some good insight into the actual life of the med student. Among the ways I've been spending time on things other than blogging is applying for the Air Force Health Professions Scholarship Program (HSPS). One of the major obstacles for my application is getting down to military weight, which is 225 lbs for my 76 inch height. I don't really have any before and after pics, but this is the 280 lb version of me that started med school:

So losing 55 lbs is a bit daunting, so I asked about an alternate way to meet the physical requirements. The answer is body fat percentage measured by belly girth minus neck girth plugged into a height formula. Essentially for me, it boiled down to needing my widest girth to be within about 21 inches of my neck. At the 280 lb version, a favorable set of measurements put me at about 28 inches. Seven inches doesn't seem that bad, except that typically, a person will lose inches off the neck before off the waist. I basically decided that with the work required, getting to either goal would likely accomplish the other, so I started working on a plan. During the first week, I just attacked my foods. Breakfast went from a ginormous bowl of cereal to a granola bar, lunch went from large sandwiches or leftover pizza to a single bratwurst with no bun and limited ketchup, and at dinner I cut down to only a first helping. I also went to all diet soda, no exceptions, and changed snacking to 100 calorie packs or the little 60 calorie Jell-O pudding packs. I estimate that the average daily caloric decrease was around 1000. The next step was exercise, which I'm getting a much better amount of. I play intramural basketball and flag football, which are an hour each every week, and I've gotten back into running to the tune of about 3.5 miles in about 30 minutes. Its not Olympic caliber exercise, but I'm getting consistent exercise six days a week so that my caloric use has increased along with the intake decrease. It remains to be seem whether or not I will reach the 225 lbs in time for the scholarship, but so far... I've lost 33 lbs and my pants are falling off!