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PT and the Greater Good

Have I Changed?

Published December 20, 2011 5:47 PM by Dean Metz

I have spoken at length about working here in the NHS and the changes that I've had to adapt to. The ones I haven't spoken about are going on with my own body.

First off, I've gained at least a stone (14 pounds) in weight since I've been here. Measured by the difficulty putting on my "fat" jeans. I dare not get on a scale!

Back home I walked everywhere and went to the gym two to three times a week. I only used a car on the weekends. Here I drive to and from work and then I'm either driving from patient to patient or working in a small clinic. I still go to the gym two to three times a week, except the past three weeks during prep and finals for school. I've already been back four times since finishing my last final.

Back home I ate fish and salads constantly. Here everything is fried, covered in some sort of cream sauce, or wrapped in some sort of dough. In New York, if I had potatoes twice a year, it was a lot. Potatoes are a staple with every meal here. Back home fresh vegetables were plentiful (expensive, but plentiful); here mushy peas are considered a green vegetable.

Secondly, with the extra weight I'm snoring more... much, much more. It isn't apnea (my spouse is a sleep specialist so I'm sure about that one) but it isn't a restful sleep.

Third, the extra weight and stress (see previous posts re: school) have caused my blood pressure to go up. I've never had a problem with it before.

Lastly, with all that sitting, driving, studying and weight gain, my lower back is chiming in. McKenzie is my friend!

I used to "tsk-tsk-tsk" people who said that their environment helped make them fat. Now I know better.


Hi Dean,

I can draw an interesting parallel... As a PT who lived and worked in London, where I walked everywhere and ate fresh veggies from the fresh market, my move was to a small town in the Deep South where I drive to work and corn bread and fried chicken often feature on the menu! I share your frustration with the 'fat' jeans becoming a little snug...

Here's to better health for us all in the New Year!

Mareli December 23, 2011 2:08 AM

Mushy peas a vegetable? Yuck. Not to worry about the weight gain. When I was in PT school a million years ago, 21+ years younger, I also put on weight, my back hurt all the time and so did my thumbs from all the note sitting and note writing. As soon as I got out of classes, I was able to take back life and body!

Keep 'em coming, Dean. I really enjoy your wit and insights.

Sharon, PT - Practice Owner, Sharon Gary Physical Therapy December 21, 2011 10:12 PM
New York NY

Gaining 14 pounds in 2 years?  One year of marriage, I've gained 10.  Jeff has lost 10. Elastic waistbands are becoming friendlier and certainly more comfortable.  Merry Christmas brother - I love you - no matter what size!

Joyce December 21, 2011 5:29 PM

Thanks for your honesty.  I can relate with everything except the fun part - living abroad!  Can't blame mine on a new culture.  I quit exercising after residual motor deficits from an HNP.  Even after two more children, I managed to maintain my healthy weight until I hit 41.  Not sure if it is the same for men and women, but from personal experience and commiseration with friends, for women some time after 40 an internal switch flips and makes weight maintenance far more challenging.

Here's to a healthier 2012 for both of us!

Jane Goude December 20, 2011 10:41 PM


Nice post!  I'm actually, really jealous of your foreign menu.  I love it.  Perhaps a good new year goal to eat smaller portions?  You could write some blogs about your efforts to getting back in shape.  

Happy holidays!  

Lisa Mueller December 20, 2011 6:49 PM

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About this Blog

    Dean Metz
    Occupation: Staff Development Specialist
    Setting: New York, NY – Newcastle Upon Tyne, Great Britain
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