Success is Rarely Overnight

When I tell people how much weight I’ve lost, one of the first questions that I get is: “What diet did you use?”.

I usually tell them that it wasn’t a diet.  I did it the old fashioned way.  I changed the way I eat and I started to exercise.

The second question that I get is: “How long did it take you to lose the weight?”.

It took me a year and a half to lose 48 pounds.  I learned a valuable lesson from this.

Success is rarely overnight.

When I was using the fad diets, I could lose 35 pounds in 3 months.  The problem that I had was that I could never sustain the diet.  I wasn’t eating foods that I liked.  I would eat the foods until I got the results that I wanted and then go back to the foods that I liked after losing the weight.

Like my life coach told me that to get to your dreams, you have to make the small steps towards the dream every day.

Every day, I have to choose the food that will maintain my weight.  If I were to go back to eating doughnuts and cake every day, then I would gain the weight again.  I still get cravings to this day.  I indulge every now and then.  I just don’t overindulge like I used to do.  There is this restaurant in Marietta called Capers.  They have this dessert that I get every time I go.  It is the best.

Fad diets don’t work for most people because they aren’t tailored to the individual.

For me to maintain my weight, I had to find a way to eat that was tailored to me.  I don’t like to cook so my diet was going to have to incorporate that into it.  Luckily my life coach came up with some simple ideas that I still use to this day.  Thanks to the small steps that I do every day, I can maintain my weight.

Another example, when I knew I wanted to be a nurse I knew that it was going to be a long process.  I had to do the prerequisites for the program before I would be able to get into the program.  Even after I graduated from the program I had to pass the NCLEX before I would be able to practice as a nurse.  To be a travel nurse, I knew that I was going to have get experience before I would be able to be a travel nurse.  I didn’t become a nurse overnight.

To get to my dreams, I had to take the small steps towards them.

Are you taking the small steps towards your dreams?





When I went horseback riding in Hawaii, I didn’t think that I would get a life lesson out of the experience but I did.

When I first saw the horses at the stable, there was a brown horse with a blonde spot in his mane that was eating.  When the bucket was empty, the horse tried to get to the other horse’s bucket.  I thought to myself that I don’t want that horse because it was aggressively trying to get to the other horse’s bucket.

As the tour guide started to pick the horses for each rider, it became apparent to me that the brown horse was going to be mine.  The tour guide told each rider a little bit about the horse while picking the horses.  My horses name was Meko.  The tour guide told me that Meko liked to be first and liked to eat.  I laughed internally because this was a good description of how I used to be.

As soon as I got on Meko, he went straight to the water and started to drink.  The tour guide told us while we were riding not to let the horses stop and eat or drink until we got to the river.  Almost every time we passed a puddle, Meko would try to stop and drink.  It had rained the day before and it was muddy.  I laughed internally because it reminded me of myself when I passed doughnuts. I would always want to eat.

The tour guide also told me that Meko didn’t like any other horse to pass him.  The tour guide started out in the back of the group and tried to pass Meko to take some pictures of me.  Meko would get in front of the tour guide.  The tour guide had to go off of the trail to get in front of Meko.  Meko and I ended up being second in the line.  I could feel that Meko wanted to be in the front.

The group stopped to take pictures at the top of the canyon.  My pictures were taken first and then Meko started to go down the trail.  I tried to pull the reins and get him to stop but he wanted to be the first one on the trail.  The tour guide had to get him to stop and put him back with the group.  I started to talk to Meko in my head and told him that it was ok to be second in line.

As we became comfortable with each other, Meko became calmer and didn’t try to get in the front of the line anymore.  After the first hour, I didn’t have to pull the reins anymore.  Meko knew what to do and I trusted him. There was another woman whose horse was just doing his own thing.  The horse was going off trail a lot and wouldn’t stay with the group.  The woman was scared to pull the reins.

On the way back, I was watching Meko.  I wanted to pay attention to the change that I felt that Meko had undergone.  Meko was looking down at the first horse’s feet.  The first horse was slipping a lot on the rocky trail.  Meko and I weren’t slipping a lot on the rocks because Meko was looking at the first horse’s steps and adjusting his steps.  I learned a lesson from this.

Sometimes it is better to be the second because you can learn from the first person’s “mistakes” or missteps.

Meko hadn’t changed completely.  The second time we passed the river and let the horses drink, Meko was taking a long time drinking.  The third horse tried to pass behind Meko and get behind the first horse.  As soon as Meko felt the other horse, he stopped drinking and cut off the other horse and got back into second place.  I laughed out loud and told the woman sorry.  He literally almost head butted the other horse out of the way.

Over all I had a great time horse back riding.  I didn’t expect to learn a life lesson or to meet one of my spirit animals.


Can a Nurse be Effective with 7 Patients?

I’m seeing a trend in nursing that I don’t like.

The trend is nurses having 7 patients.  Some of my patients have said that that isn’t a lot of patients to have.

When you break down all the things to do for those patients in a 12 hour shift, it becomes a lot of things to do.  I got into nursing to help people.  I like to connect with my patients on a human level and talk to them and hear their stories and struggles.  Not only does that help the patients but it helps me as well.  I can learn life lessons and the patients have someone to talk to.  Some of the patients don’t have anyone to talk to.  When I have 7 patients, I’m not able to do that.  I become task oriented and my patients become more demanding and impatient because I’m being pulled in so many directions.

Also when a nurse has 7 patients, if something goes wrong with one patient, then the other patients unfortunately get ignored for a while.  I’ve seen this too many times.  For example, a few weeks ago, one nurse had to call a code blue for the patient.  In the middle of the code blue another of the nurse’s patients called for some pain medication.  All the other nurses were busy because they all had 7 patients.  The patient ended up waiting about 30 minutes for pain medication.  The charge nurse was busy with the nurse in the code blue.  It was my first day on the floor of this hospital but this was an all too familiar situation.  At the end of the shift, the nurse said she felt bad because she felt like she had ignored some of her patients because of the code blue.

Another example, my preceptor and I went on lunch.  We asked another nurse to look after our patients for our lunch.  When we got back from lunch, one of our patients was screaming.  The patient was mad that the pain medication had not been given when the patient had called 20 minutes ago.  The nurse that was covering for us was very busy and didn’t answer the call light.  I understood that the other nurse was busy.  That nurse was covering 14 patients when we went to lunch break.  It’s hard enough to take care of 7 patients.

This hospital makes the nurses take 7 patients on a regular basis.  To me this is setting up the nurses to fail.  Nursing is more than just doing tasks.  A nurse doesn’t just take care of the patients.  The patient’s family members can sometimes need the nurse to take care of them.  When the patient is dying, the family members need the nurse.

For example, I was teaching my patient about the new diet because the patient had just found out about a new diagnosis.  The patient wanted to have the significant other taught about the diet too.  This is a not a requirement for a nurse but that helps the patient.

Almost every time that I have 7 patients, I leave that shift feeling like I’ve done the best that I could do but I wish I had more help to do all the things that I couldn’t do because it became too much to do in a 12 hour shift.

I was recently talking to a nurse about the 7 patient situation.  The nurse stated that as long as the patients didn’t die then it was a good shift with 7 patients.  He referred to a meme.Sometimes after my 7 patient shift, this is what I feel like telling the patient.  I did the best that I could do.  Yes it may have taken me a few more minutes than the patient liked to get to the patient’s room but I’m only one person.  Yes I have a PCA helping me, but the PCA can’t give the patient pain medication.  The charge nurse is busy because sometimes the charge nurse has patients also.  With all the nurses on the floor having 7 patient the nurses are busy.

At the end of day, a hospital needs to make a safe environment not only for the patients but for the nurses as well.  Giving nurses 7 patients is not making a safe environment.  I’ve seen a lot of nurses take 7 patients and end up complaining about it.  If all the nurses came together and said no then the hospital would have no choice but to hire more nurses.  As long as the nurses keep taking 7 patients then the hospital isn’t going to make a change.

Recently one of my patients read to me the mission statement of the hospital.  The patient stated that not one employee has upheld the mission statement.  I couldn’t say anything to the patient but I agreed with the patient.  Effective care wasn’t being given at all times.

The nurses need to talk to the charge nurse and the director of nursing to let them know how they feel.  Just talking to other nurses isn’t going to be enough to make a change.  I recently had a talk with the charge nurse and the director of nursing at the hospital about this.  This hospital is losing a lot of nurses because of the 7 patient situation.  I let them know how I felt.

A nurse can not be an effective nurse with 7 patients.

Why Not Now?

Procrastination has always been a problem for me.

Lately, I’ve been using a different strategy to combat my procrastination.

I ask myself the question, “Why Not Now?”

Usually when I ask myself this question, I can’t think of a reason why now isn’t the perfect time to do what I know I need to do.

It doesn’t always work but it works enough that I’m not procrastinating as much as I used to do.  I’ve learned that when I procrastinate a lot of things, I’m just making more work for myself later on.  If the task has to be done, why not do it when I first can do it.

For example, I packed a day before I was supposed to move to Florida.  I had been off for a whole month.  I ended up forgetting some things, that I ended up having to buy at the store when I got to Florida.  I could have been packed a week before and maybe I wouldn’t have forgotten my things.

Sometimes its perfectly right to put off doing some tasks.  I’ve put off some things because I want to have another opinion on the task.

When I really examined why I was procrastinating, it was really just because I wanted to relax at that present moment.  If I relax in the present moment, the task will still be there for me to do later.  If I do the task in the present moment, then I can really relax later.  I can relax and not have to think about the task that I didn’t do yet.