I estimate my exercise output and my caloric intake badly


How much was it I ate?
I don’t know, but I can estimate
I know that I guessed
And it wasn’t the best
But there’s no denying the weight.

Synopsis: I’m a Family Practitioner from Sioux City, Iowa. In 2010 I danced back from the brink of burnout, and honoring a 1 year non-compete clause, travelled and worked in out-of-the-way places in Alaska, Nebraska, Iowa, and New Zealand. After three years working with a Community Health Center, I am back having adventures in temporary positions until they have an Electronic Medical Record System (EMR) I can get along with. I spent the winter in Nome, Alaska, followed by assignments in rural Iowa and suburban Pennsylvania. After my brother-in-law’s funeral, a bicycle tour of northern Michigan, and cherry picking in Sioux City, I’m travelling back and forth between home and Pennsylvania. Any patient information has been included with permission.

Most Americans struggle with their weight because human beings are lousy estimators. We badly estimate how much exercise we got and we badly estimate how many calories we have in front of us, and our waist lines slowly expand.
Working Urgent Care, I can eat a decent breakfast before work. I don’t take a formal lunch or dinner break. Sometimes I get lunch, and sometimes I don’t. I will, as instructed, eat enough to keep making good decisions, which generally means stepping into the break room in the midafternoon and wolfing down some provided snacks (I prefer Goldfish and peanuts).I try not to eat supper, because, like the majority of Americans, I struggle with my weight. Mostly, I fail, and I end up eating something when I get back to the hotel. I try to keep it light. I don’t always succeed.
When I used to work 12 and 14 hour days in private practice, I could exercise after work because my day started at 5:15AM, but the 8:00 to 8:00 schedule precludes exercise late or early without significant loss of sleep.
Wednesday, when my work week finished, I ate supper, and next morning ate an enormous breakfast. The trip home met with delays and cancellations, and the airline provided us with meal vouchers. Bethany prefers to travel hungry, but with 6 extra hours at Chicago O’Hare, I used all $24 to buy a mushroom torta, chips, and guacamole. I ate with guilt, aware I’d missed a lot of gym sessions and I hadn’t missed enough meals. Which didn’t keep me from snacking on chocolate almonds while the next plane boarded late.
One of our friends drove down from Sioux City to Omaha to pick us up. We drove back in the dark, arriving home to face two weeks of mail, neatly laid out on our kitchen table.
The next morning I gritted my teeth before I got onto the scale.
To my surprise, I’d lost 4 pounds in the two weeks we’d been away.
I didn’t snack as much as I thought. But I also have to figure that I got more exercise in the course of a day’s work than I’d realized. A pedometer would give solid numbers.
If you estimate well, you can generally find work, well, as an estimator. My track record on estimation, poor at best, keeps me out of that line of work. Which means I’m a lousy estimator.
Like most human beings.

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