Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: At my job, we work long shifts and unusual hours. To keep our morale high, we take any opportunity to celebrate, and those celebrations usually include food. We celebrate everything, even simply “It’s Friday!” by ordering out for pizza or sandwiches or bringing in dessert.
Because these celebrations are about being part of the team, I want to be a part of them. It makes it difficult to eat healthy. I try to compensate by eating a small portion, such as half a slice of pizza. Or I’ll take the cheese off and eat only that. Sometimes I have to be a part of the celebration, but I say, “no thanks” and walk away when they break out the food.
—Stephanie A. Wellington, MD, a mom of a 13-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter, a hospitalist in the Level III NICU at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City and the medical coach and founder of PostpartumNeonatalCoaching.com.
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Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: A major challenge to weight loss is stress. Some people eat less when they’re stressed. Not me.
Also, when you’re stressed, your cortisol level spikes, and that encourages your body to store fat around your waist and upper back. That’s what happened to me.
A few years ago, I had a time of intense stress. Even though I was eating right and exercising, I wasn’t losing weight. I could tell that because of doing Zumba and eating well, my body was fit and toned—except for my waistline.
Because I understood that stress was working against me, I was able to keep up my healthy habits. And when the stress went down, my weight did too. Looking back, if I hadn’t continued my healthy habits, my weight gain during that time probably would have doubled.
—Aline T. Tanios, MD, a mom of 10- and 4-year-old daughters and an 8-year-old son and a pediatric hospitalist and assistant professor at the Washington University School of Medicine, in St. Louis, MO