Fat Nurses - shouldn't we know better?

Hello all,
I wanted to start this discussion because I am amazed at how many fat nurses I see. Including myself of course!
We talk to patients about how they should eat right and be fit but we don't lead by example.

Maybe we need to look at ourselves and our jobs and our eating habits as a group.

Just a thought
MB

Report post

22 replies. Join the discussion

I'm not a nurse but have a brother who has a weight problem. I too am over weight and a retired teacher. Weight problems cross all lines of our population including education!!! Knowledge is not the key. Application is the key and with that comes much determination and even more emotional involvement.That sounds so simple!!How many of us could write a book on how to lose weight and still we are overweight? I realize with heart problems in my family that I will die from weight related heart problems if I don't do something now. So I guess I am asking what is the answer, my friend?

Report post

Thank you for the post.
God, I wish I had the answer! I am a school nurse, and there is a big push regarding obese students (and staff). I have a hard time giving advice when I am not leading by example. That is one of the reasons I am here. If I can get my own weight under control, I can be an inspiration and example for my students.
I also work in the hospital per diem and we are seeing so many more patients with co-morbidities such as diabetes and hypertension which are directly related to obesity.
I was not disregarding any other group but nurses are teaching patients regarding weight related issues but as a group, many of us are not practicing what we preach!
Thanks again,
MB

Report post

Hi Mare - You know, it's funny you should mention that - I mean no disrespect to nurses but I have noticed that too from time to time and wondered.... But wpf above put it so well "how many of us could write a book...."
I mean, here I am giving tips to others about snacks and support and I hadn't practiced what I preached. You know what I'm finding really helpful up here - it's the talking about it - the sharing. I'm hoping this will get me through and make the difference. It's not just getting advice and support - it's being able to give it that makes me feel stronger - like reinforcing it in my own mind. I wonder if you ever considered starting a group with the overweight kids in your school - or just a eating healthy group (they have clubs for everything else) and maybe you can get them started up here. Maybe you can have your own school health challenge. I think that would be helpful to not only the school but you as well!
Good luck to you!
Take care - Ei

Report post

Hi Ei
I have a "healthy heart"club that I started 2 years ago, however, the kids at school renamed it the "fat boy club" and now I am having a problem with attendance and membership.
I work with several kids on an individual basis but then they get teased, its tough.
I tried to get a challenge going at school but again, not many members.
I don't know what the answer is, these kids are going to be in big trouble, I have an 8th grader I can't weigh on my scale.
I think I will take the time to work on myself, maybe if they see the difference, they will gain the incentive to change.
Thanks for the post.
MB

Report post

Hi, I'm a 54 year old nurse. I work in management now and my job takes me on the road most of the time. Eating out and not being home for my husband to motiviate me, I usually talk myself out of exercising in the evening.
But I plan to get serious this year. I am leading a medical mission to Zambia Africa in July and want to be slimmed down by them. My clothes are so tight right now!
I agree totally that nurses should know better than eat fast (fat) food and fail to exercise. They should know better than to smoke too, but so many do. (I don't)
I'd love to stay in touch and feel free to yell at me if you hear I'm not exercising! Ha!
tlp

Report post

Interesting topic...I have a client who is an ER nurse that was 380 pounds. Many years later, she's now around 160 pounds, didn't do it without gastric bypass, and has literally come alive again. She spreads the "gospel" of fitness to any and all that can hear it.

Jonathan Ross
National Body Challenge Fitness Expert

www.AionFitness.com
http://blogs.discovery.com/jonathan_ross/

Report post

Well I am a nursing student set to finish this year. One of the reasons I would like to lose the weight is for my credibility. How could I possibly tell my patients about the importance of diet and exercise when I do not? I think it is important to practice what you preach!!!

Report post

Hello...
When I was 20 I worked for 3 surgeons and one was a gastric-bypass doc. I could remember asking my self how they (the patients) let themselves get that big! all I have to say is KARMA, now I could be one of his patients. Sad but true...Carrie :)

Report post

I also am a RN in an ER. I see so many patients with big time problems that could all be avoided by diet and exercise. I guess I am more of a "do as I say, not as I do". That is all going to change this year.

Report post

Best of luck as you finish your nursing school journey. I finished while raising 2 kids and have now been a RN for over two years and loving it! It is not easy to maintain a decent diet and exercise program while cramming for the NCLEX but it is possible. Good luck to you!

Report post

I have seen some overweight nurses too and on the Cardiac floor. They may be having tough times with their schedules but keep up trying to be healthy. Don't sit on that chair too much. Wake up and walk around a lot. Some nursing students cry too when they are told by patients they are fat! Don't give up, start today and change your diet and those of others to a better diet. Give fries and Dunkin a break!

Report post

I'm a nurse and i'm fat . Being overweight is not a question of education. I know how to eat well and exercise efficiently , however emotional eating is stronger than any willpower. I eat when I'm sad, angry, happy, bored, lonely, tired, overwhelmed, overworked, and the list can continue. Then patients' family, doctors and other staff members always choose to bring to the lounge unhealthy snacks such as Donuts, Pizza, Boxes of Chocolate, Cakes...

Report post

Not only nurses, but I see doctors who are fat. Not all but my gastrointestinal doctor is. I find that it is the cardiologists that really stress diet and exercise. Everything is in compartments. Even my internal medicine doctor does not talk much at all about diet and exercise, even when I was 40 lbs over weight. I find too that the worst foods is in hospital cafeterias. It's like they are not even paying attention to the importance of eating right and how unhealthy habits can lead to illness.

I was a night nurse for a while a long time ago and gained a lot of weight that way with the strange hours. Hopefully the medical profession is tuning in more to the importance of nutrition and exercise as a way to prevent disease. Even less than diet does a doctor talk to me about the importance of exercise. I do it because it is my hobby and interest and I am taking an active part in preserving my health even though the docs don't seem to care about these things.

Report post

Hey Guys guess what I'm a nurse and yes I am fat and sick with pulmonary HTN and other things. Let me say I was a truly dedicated person to everyone's elses needs but my own I left my needs unattended and then bam!!! Here I am relearning me and how to take care of my needs first and then I can be all I want to be for everyone else!!!! Weight loss starts in our heart and the way we think of ourselves... not just the treadmill... and the realization that not everyone is meant to be a size 2. I know from first hand as a nurse working 12hrs in an environment usually not conducive to healthy eating you can neglect yourself in many ways not just your weight. To my fellow nurses please take time to care for yourself too!!!! God Bless you all!!! Melissa

Report post

I am dating myself with this one, but I remember sitting in a Dr.s office and he was smoking! You used to be able to get a smoking or non-smoking hospital room! Of course public awareness,etc., has changed this. Perhaps weight issues are in the pike. I am retired Corrections, and we are notorious for obesity. You may sit at a desk for 3 weeks and then all of a sudden there is trouble on the compound. How many of us were gasping by the time we got there and unable toperform our duties! Now they are talking about implementing weight/height requirements for this. But as an afterthought,remember when flight attendents were thin? The last flight the attendent must have been 60 and weighed 220. This does not instill confidence in case of emergency.

Report post

Hi! I'm a retired nurse - I started out underweight by the time I graduated, and during my first pregancy I gained 46 pounds. I knew better, and had a doctor that treated me like a daughter, a spoiled one at that. I lost some weight, but each pregnancy (4 in all), I got a little heavier. Ice Cream the big down fall. Not exclusively. Have been trying to whittle it down gradually; at least it stopped going up. I actually got mad at the oncologist who said he wanted me to maintain weight, after I finished treatment. He gave in to say no more than 1-2 lbs per month - That was 20 years ago folks - there wouldn't have been anything left of me - no excuses, except for the occasional doses of steroids, that have become more frequently as I get older. Now the heart doctor said only 1-2 lbs per month - let's see what I do. God bless! Great-Gram

Report post

hi,I am a nurse too.Boy am I paying for smoking and eating too much.Years ago,my dad,cardiologist found a familial heart disease in dad and my aunt.Asked to test my sister and I didn't have it.But when my dad told him I was a nurse and smoked he said that's why she smokes.I am not making excuses but pointing out reality.When you deal with overwork,overtime and some really sad things eating to comfort self or because you feel tired and out of energy is a real high risk factor in nursing.Our hospital is taking a survey to see if we would use a gym and help pay on one thru a friends organization I think.Yes to both for me.Think it needs to be taught in nursing school as part of the management in the last semester.I have by the way been quit smoking since 7/25 2008.Prayers for l.Andi B

Report post

When my husband was waiting for me to get out of surgery a few years ago, he was shocked to see a guy roll in a CART filled with bags from the nearby McD's, from which the hospital staff swarmed over. Ever since, it made us wonder about the hospital's caffeteria, lol. Donna

Report post

OK! So, I have a B.S. in exercise science and just completed my LPN in December of 2008. I took a year off and now will be done with my RN in April of 2011! (yipee!)

Thing is, I gained 25# in nursing school! I work at Billings Clinic and am trying to change the system to HELP nurses and health workers - PRACTICE WHAT WE PREACH!

I have a crazy idea: would this make good TV? Think Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution meets American Health Care (internal) Reform! I do a show on local TV here in MT. Check it out at www.kulr8.com and search Joey's Road.

I know the problem is everywhere but if we lose with our "own" ~ people that 'know better' ~ then we probably should be even more worried than we are...

Thanks for your thoughts!

Report post

Our local community hospital is very supportive of community health and runs programs all year long to help everyone and anyone. They do joint programs with business and when you drive by the hospital any day, any season you will see the staff walking on their breaks, on their lunches, trying to attain their individual goals.
These programs were started a few years ago and their benefit grows with every year.
Support is very important, and I've never heard the staff speak critically of anyone. They also try to be mindful with cafeteria choices keeping in mind that you need to balance your need to have a little bit of sweet but not have calorie overdrive. They offer some really good choices, and offer these same choices to the community in pre-packaged meals.

Gaining weight took a long time, loosing may take a while. Support in doing so is vital. I think it's great when employers are caring enough to offer incentives for reduced fees when joining gyms, weight watchers, or allowing for those meetings at their businesses. There are 5K runs/walks, if you can't run then walking could be a goal. maybe form a team to support a cause and start working up to that race day/event. Goals --- with a litle help from your friends/team, walking, may help you attain your weight loss.
Good luck to all.

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Discussion topics

Community leaders