55% of nurses may be overweight or obese compared to around 40% of the general population. Why?

The answers are more complex than you think. Solutions are possible, but first let’s truly understand the roots of the problem. It’s time we stopped judging and starting showing real compassion—not just for others, but for ourselves. 

Hey everyone, it’s ZDoggMD. Okay, I get a bunch of messages from people, it’s really interesting, non-nurses and nurses alike, who say how is it that these disgusting fat nurses are telling me how to live my life? They’re clearly lazy and incompetent.

Just look at them, and initially I was like, really triggered because I’ve struggled with weight all my life and it’s a constant struggle and I was like, you can’t be judging people like, and then I started thinking about it and I go, wait a minute, 55% of nurses are obese. That’s way more than the national average of 35%, and we are setting a role model for our patients and we are telling them, this is how you live and this is what you should do, but don’t do as I do because, you know, and I started thinking more about it.

Why would it be that nurses are obese? Is it because they’re lazy? Have you worked with a nurse? Have you worked on the wards? They are overworked, overtime, understaffed, working nights that screws up with your circadian rhythm, okay. They are always on their feet running around, okay. They are the last thing from lazy you can possibly imagine, so what’s going on? Well, here’s what I think is up. Many of our nurses give and give and give of themselves and don’t take care of themselves in return, so they are such advocates and nurturers that they forget about themselves.

The second thing is I think many, many of our caregivers are wounded healers. They’ve suffered trauma and real, real, real adversity as young people and children, and that leads then to an adulthood where you feel that you’re not worthy of love by yourself, and so letting yourself eat whatever you want or not taking care of yourself, not setting boundaries and restrictions is a way of saying, I’m not worthy of the love anyways, I’m gonna give all my love to my family who I often support, to my patients who I’m supporting, and guess what? People walk all over you, they take advantage of you, it’s not just about weight. It’s about valuing yourself as highly as you value your patients and your loved ones.

You are worthy of love, you’re worthy of compassion, self-compassion, and you know what? Controlling what you eat in terms of processed foods, just cutting out processed food, eating real food, nutrient-dense, is a fricking act of rebellion. It’s saying, you know what, no I’m worthy of this. I’m setting some boundaries against the world. I’m gonna control what happens to me so I can better care for others and myself and I’m worthy of this love. It’s an act of defiance and an act of rebellion. It feels like an act of self-indulgence.

It’s not, and if you think like, we have enough time to go running around trying to eat healthy, we don’t have the time and it’s not gonna happen for you, it absolutely is doable. Simple things like just eating real food, unprocessed, don’t drink your calories in the form of beverages, it’s water and black coffee and that’s it. Don’t drink your calories. Walk, which you already do on the wards, do that. Don’t worry about joining a gym and getting shamed and all that, and to the people who accuse nurses of being fat and disgusting and lazy, you need to shut the hell up and realize what these people do for you and what they’ve been through and to nurses, you are not off the hook. Now that you know what’s up, take control.

Commit this act of rebellion and defiance because you’re worth it, and that’s the best way to care for others, by setting an example of what you do for yourself and again, as someone who struggled all his life, I had to come through this through hard knowledge and it’s still a struggle. It’s still not easy, but it’s a struggle worth going through. All right, that being said, you want real practical tips from others who’ve gone through the struggle? Check out in the comments, man, and if you don’t see it there, think about joining the Supporter Tribe if you want a safe place, because I’ll tell you, these guys, a lot of them in the Supporter Tribe been through it, it’s a closed group. You can share ideas of what works, especially when you’re working 12 hours and you’re trying to figure out how do I eat, what do I pack in the morning. Take that couple of minutes in the morning to pack something healthy, and you were, Oh I’m not gonna take care of my kids, no! Taking care of yourself, keeping yourself healthy, is taking care of others. It’s the biggest act of compassion you can ever show.

All right guys. Hit like, hit share, and we out.