Weight issues and interviews

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  • #60690
    Tangee FoxTangee Fox
    Participant

    Okay, this may sound like a bizarre thing to be worried about, but I very much am. I have some weight issues, I’m overweight. Not 300 lbs. or anything, but definitely not as fit as I’d like to be. I’m in the process of trying to lose weight, but anyone who has ever had weight problems understands it isn’t easy.

    The thing is, I know all about what is good to eat and what isn’t, calories in/calories out, excercise. Heck, I could probably write a book about how to lose weight healthily. But it’s a SLOW process.

    I’m very worried about going through the application process overweight. I’ve looked at pictures of students at different medical schools and have yet to see a SINGLE overweight female. Overweight males, yes, but no women. I know it is frowned upon to not be in the best health if you want to be a doctor, but I AM in good health. Great blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. I excercise. I eat healthy for the most part. I just hate the idea that because I’m not thin I might not be accepted into medical school.

    Anyone else facing this or have input into admissions and weight?

    #60692
    spacecadetspacecadet
    Participant

    Honestly, it shouldn’t matter. It won’t be a factor until interviews. At that point, it is illegal (I believe) for the interviewer to judge you based on your weight. The only way it would hurt you is if s/he wrote about it in your evaluation, or just gave you an overall bad eval because of it (w/o saying why). Both of these things are quite unethical.

    Of course, there are no guarantees, but I wouldn’t stress about it too much.

    Pam

    #60694
    MelissaGrayMelissaGray
    Participant

    Spacecadet is correct, it is illegal for a school to make a decision on your admission based on your weight. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it never happens. 🙁

    BTW: I have seen a few overweight women med students.

    Also, there was a recent study that showed that overweight people who exercise are healthier than skinny couch potatoes!!!

    #60696
    efex101efex101
    Participant

    That is correct there are some very thin people that are not healthy, and there are individuals that are large frame carrying more weight that are in excellent health. The factor to take into account is not weight per se, but adipose tissue versus lean muscle mass. If you have your percent body fact checked out and it is more than let’s say 25% then you should maybe consider increasing your cardio and slightly decreasing caloric intake.

    #60697
    CaLiGirL :)CaLiGirL:)
    Participant

    TangeeFox,

    I really hope you don’t worry yourself too much over this issue. If you are as healthy as you are…just be happy and confident. Once you express your confidence, it’ll shine through and it will be difficult even for your interviewers to miss it, and rather than judging you based off of your physical appearance, they’ll judge you based off of your unavoidable self esteem, intelligence, and drive….which are characteristics that make the best doctor in the long run.

    Be happy and let us know how you did!!! I’m sure you are a beautiful person inside and out, and never let go of that gift 😉 .

    Annie 😎

    #60699
    Tangee FoxTangee Fox
    Participant

    efex, I do have more than 25% body fat unfortunately 🙁 But I’ve been trying to reduce for a while. I try to walk a mile 5 out of 7 days a week and try to keep my calories under 1800Kcal/day. My fat percentage per calorie is still too high, but I’m working on cutting it down. I really do know just about everything there is to know about WHAT is healthy and the HOW of getting there, unfortunately it takes a lot of effort and a long time.
    I’ve also been thinking about trying some weight training to increase my muscle mass and boost my metabolism, but don’t really have the equipment and we dropped our Y membership a few months after we moved down here becuase the local Y pretty much sucks. (I LOVED the one in Clarksville and it was a 5 min. walk from our house).

    #60701
    efex101efex101
    Participant

    Clarksville, TN? wow what a small world. Anyways, it seems that if you could (and I do know how hard this is believe me, as a personal trainer I still managed to gain 15 lbs 😮 due to some serious family problems)increase your cardio to anywhere between 3-5 times per week (and you could do it 6x) and keep your heart rate at anywhere from 60-85% (220-age and multiply that by .60 or .85) you should start seeing (but slowly) a decrease in percent body fat. I know that it is extremely hard (I have been there) and getting down to about 25% is very very hard but it can be done. If you are above let’s say 35% I would highly reccommend seeking out a qualified personal trainer and getting myself set up on a workout regime. They are invaluable assets for they can do a %body fat check, fitness test, and all kinds of tests to see where you are. This will give you an individualized training regime just for you. I am in no means trying to promote personal trainers but if they are good they can give very good advice. If you cannot afford one, just try to jog versus walking (but you can walk a couple of time per week) at least 5x/week. It really is about calories in versus calories out, *but* you still have to engage in some type of cardiovascular endurance and muscular endurance exercise to decrease body fat more efficiently and hence increase muscle mass which has the added bonus of needing more energy to exist and then you burn even more calories. If you do not have the ability to purchase some weights, milk jugs filled with H20 work fine, squats, lunges, push-up, tricep dips, will do the trick. What I reccommend to my clients that are in a similar situation as yourself, is to do the weights in a circuit type style. So immediately after doing their cardio of anywhere from 30-45 minutes per session they start doing a set of push-ups then followed by a set of squats, and then back to the push-ups then squats again, they do this for a total of 3 sets with each exercise. You really want to keep your heart rate elevated for at least 45 minutes to see maximum results in fat loss. I hope that this helps, and do not feel bad if you are over 25%, I was over 35% (yes you read that correct) not long ago when I gained so much fat. So even us personal trainers who really know the ins and outs occassionaly also see ourselves in our clients shoes…

    #60703
    TexasRoseTexasRose
    Participant

    Tangee, efex has some great health advice, but I also agree with Caligirl. What people will truly remember about you is your wonderful personality and self-confidence. Dress well, get your hair done, do things that help you project your confidence and personality during your interviews. Don’t give your weight a second thought on that day, anymore than I should worry if short women don’t fare as well a taller women in interviews or that a few wrinkles might give away my age. Who cares! This is about our careers and our dreams and hopes for the future!

    Take care of yourself, eat well, exercise, find things that help reduce your stress level ( I like playing board games and taking walks). Those things will help you to be more fit and confident. But above all, be nice to yourself. You are pursuing a career that is for the good of others, you deserve to feel good about yourself!

    Theresa

    PS- I’ll bet at least half of the men who interview you will have paunches!!! 😉

    #60705
    EemaMDEemaMD
    Participant

    I agree completely with the earlier comments. When I applied to med school (seems like 5 million years ago), I was heavier than I wanted to be. What helped give me confidence on my interviews was buying a well-made suit that fit me – I was lucky to have found a Dana Buchman suit in my size, for half off and had it tailored a bit so that it looked even better. Not feeling squeezed into an old suit, or an ill-fitting one helped me to relax and concentrate on my interview, not how I looked.

    To tell the complete story, over the year of interviews I lost almost 45 lbs and started med school looking and feeling great. Gained the M1 ten pounds (for some reason formalin makes people feel hungry!) and then got pregnant during that first Xmas break. So guess what?!? 😉 So back to work… determined to lose the 20 – 25 lbs to get me back to that M1 weight (in time for residency!).

    My point really is though, if you feel confident it will show itself to the interviewers… and that is what really matters. You have to be proud of the product you are selling – yourself – and remind yourself of what an awesome doctor you will be, not what the scale says or doesn’t say.

    Go get ’em!

    Linda

    #60707
    CaLiGirL :)CaLiGirL:)
    Participant

    PS- I’ll bet at least half of the men who interview you will have paunches!!! 😉 [/QB][/QUOTE]

    Theresa,

    That was absolutely hilarious! 😀

    TangeeFox,

    If you want to feel better about yourself then you should certainly do what it takes to make yourself feel like your on top of the world :p ! I simply believe that your weight concerns should be for your own personal benefit rather than being revolved around interviewers (who will likely have paunches themselves 😀 ) or anybody else for that matter…

    Take care,

    Annie 🙂

    #60709
    CaLiGirL :)CaLiGirL:)
    Participant

    By the way…

    I’m getting REAALLLLLYYYY lost on this “reply with a quote” thing. I just can’t seem to figure out how to do a partial quote. Silly me… :rolleyes:

    Anyway, it looks pretty nasty, but you guys get the point right? 😉

    Annie

    #60711
    Brooke TroutBrooke Trout
    Participant

    Tangee,
    Make it an asset! Your determination, awareness, and follow through with a healthy weight reduction program is admirable in itself. Your insight into the daunting task of weight reduction and the social stigma of the overweight population can be utilized to your advantage. Not only does your commitment show strength of character, but it can give you an edge in the realistic treatment in the increased trend of obesity in America. If it makes you uncomfortable, try to find a way to start the topic on your terms during an interview. Show your realibility by continuing a healthy regemin and not jumping on every bandwagon weight loss program. Exude strength in adversity. Don’t let it become a weakness, change the perspective!
    My sister has struggled with her weight since puberty. I can empathize with your insecurity. I, too, have a physical condition that I will fret about during interviews when I get to that point. Do make certain you have your thyroid checked and a pap with all the bells and whistles too. You don’t want to find yourself battling against a treatable condition with side effect of weight gain. Best of Luck!
    Brooke

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