Have You Resolved to Be Healthier This Year?

January 18, 2011

Too often as physicians we don’t worry about our own health. We are so busy caring about others that we forget to care about ourselves. When was the last time you had a checkup? Are you regularly eating the recommended servings from each food group? What about exercise? Do you often take time to relax? My guess is that your answer was no to at least one of those questions.

First, I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and welcome you to my new blog at Diagnostic Imaging for young radiologists. I am a PGY3 radiology resident at Penn State Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Penn. Originally from just north of Pittsburgh, I am interested in returning to that area once I have finished my training. This summer I will be applying for a fellowship in breast imaging and possibly even nuclear medicine. But I digress.

So what’s your New Year’s resolution? It’s that time again. The holidays are finally over. We have all spent the last two months eating huge amounts of unhealthy food and possibly even drinking too much. I had barely any time to work out in between searching for gifts, decorating the house, and visiting with family. The stress of residency on top of everything was, well let’s just say, unbearable at times. By the beginning of January, I felt frazzled and in need of a vacation from my vacation.

Now it’s the middle of January and my pants aren’t fitting quite as well as they did. Every time I turn on the radio or television, there is a weight loss ad - all these great success stories that make me feel even more disgusted with myself. I finally said to myself: “Alexis, you have two choices. You can continue eating a bunch of junk food at night while sitting in front of the TV or you can make a change.” I decided then that I was going to get healthy this year - eating three square meals a day, limiting the grazing at night, exercising regularly, and finding ways to de-stress.

The question is: Have you resolved to make this year different? Too often as physicians we don’t worry about our own health. We are so busy caring about others that we forget to care about ourselves. When was the last time you had a checkup? Are you regularly eating the recommended servings from each food group? What about exercise? Do you often take time to relax? My guess is that your answer was no to at least one of those questions.

So now it’s time to take the next step. Pick a goal, no matter how big or small, and resolve to tackle it this year. I can hear you saying, “Well it’s just not that easy.” My reply to that is that if you can make it through medical school and residency, you can do anything. Just apply the same drive and determination to your personal life. I am only two weeks into my resolution, and I already feel like I have more energy and enthusiasm.

“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.” - Benjamin Franklin