Welcome to Permanent Weight Loss for Busy Nurses, the only podcast that teaches busy, working nurses the practical tools they need to feel better at work and keep the weight off for good. Here’s your host, Registered Nurse and Certified Weight-Loss Coach, Charmaine Platon…
Hey, everybody. Welcome to the first episode of Permanent Weight Loss for Busy Nurses. My name is Charmaine Platon and thank you so much for joining me today. I know we have a lot of busy things going on in our day. We have our families, we have our school. But I really appreciate the time you’re taking to join me in my first episode.
So, first off, I’m going to tell you a little bit about myself, who I am, and then I’ll tell you about what I teach as a weight loss coach and how my approach to weight loss is a little bit different from what you’ve heard about already, what you’ve already seen, because my approach has to do with lasting results, which I’m so excited to share with you all.
So, I want to say, first off, that I’m a board-certified psychiatric nurse who’s been working, and is still working, at the bedside now for seven whole years. I can’t even believe that right now. Like, I can’t believe that it’s been seven years I’ve been working as a bedside nurse. And I’m also a certified personal trainer and a certified life and weight loss coach.
And I’ll be telling you a lot more about my journey in fitness and health throughout this podcast series. But my mission with this podcast is to empower nurses everywhere with tools they need to finally end their struggle with weight loss, because, we work hard, right? Like, I feel, when a nurse meets another nurse, we just instantly become best friends. And it’s like we just know what we go through every single day, and it’s so funny.
It’s like we’re in a secret tribe together. And I know, when I meet a random stranger who’s a nurse, I instantly feel connected to that person and it’s like we know each other already. And why is that? The nature of our job, for one thing, among many things. We work 12-hour shifts. Some of you guys even work 16 to 18-hour shifts, which is crazy. But we mostly work 12 hour shifts day and night.
We don’t have weekends off. The hospital is open 24/7. We have so many fluctuating situations in the shift; anywhere form code blues, knowing how to safely manage assaultive or confused patients, and also knowing how to handle all the physical demands of our job. So it’s no wonder why us nurses always feel like we’re connected in this special way, which I think is an amazing feeling.
Now, before I talk about my perspective and my approach to weight loss, I wanted to share with you what it’s like to be a psych nurse, because I feel like there’s a few misconceptions out there around how our workflow goes, how it’s maybe different from other units, like how it’s maybe not like ICU or med-surg. But I really wanted to share this perspective.
I know there’s not a whole ton of psyche nurses out there, but I really want to show you that our workflow isn’t a whole lot different from your unit. So, how did I go into psyche nursing? I’ve always wanted to be a psyche nurse ever since I was in nursing school. And if any of you are curious about what psyche nurses do and what nurses do in general, here’s how my typical day looks like.
So, my unit actually isn’t too different from a med-surg unit. I take care of three to four patients in the dayshift and we work 12 hours shifts. And we primarily take care of patients from adults, geriatric, from 18-years-old all the way up to 100-years-old. And we treat a very broad spectrum of diagnoses, like the typical psychiatric illnesses you might see in the movies, which are things like schizophrenia, bipolar, or depression.
But we also work a lot with patients who have dementia, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s; a lot of geriatric patients. And a lot of our patients also struggle with medical comorbidities that do come with mismanagement of their physical wellbeing while being affected by a mental illness. So you do see this a lot, in a lot of units. Like, you see people with both medical and physical illnesses that are both like comorbidities together. And so my unit is a taste of both worlds.
I have patients with NG-tubes, G-tubes, they have Iv lines maybe for certain treatments. They have wound care that we need to do. So it’s like a great mix of both worlds. So I have a flavor of what it’s like to be treating both medical and psychiatric illnesses all together. And my floor really is actually a medical psychiatric floor.
So that’s what I do. I’ve been doing that for seven years. I am also very involved in committees at work and I just love being a psyche nurse. And I really feel like it’s the unit for me. But why am I here though? Going back into the episode and my podcast, like, what is my purpose of creating Permanent Weight Loss for Busy Nurses?
First of all, I created this podcast to share my story and my tools that can help nurses lose weight permanently. And here’s the thing; I’m going to have full transparency here. So, I’ve never been overweight. I’m actually very small. I’m very petite. I’m four-feet nine-inches. That’s right, I’m four-feet-nine. And I’ve consistently weighed about 100 pounds for the majority of my adult life.
And please, before you, like, take my weight and my height into account and measure my BMI or anything like that, you have to take into perspective that my weight is proportional to my height. And I’m not saying here that you should weigh any certain weight or any particular weight. But this is what my experience has been like for a very long time, that I’m four-nine and I weigh 100 pounds.
I have never been what you call obese; at least not by the BMI standards. But here’s the thing; even if I was weighing what I considered a, “healthy weight,” my relationship with food and my relationship with myself was far from healthy.
When I was in nursing school, I was obsessed about my weight and being thin. I wanted to be thin so badly. Like, even if I wasn’t, by health standards, “overweight,” I did look a little chubby in nursing school. Like, I did have a high percentage of body fat because I wasn’t eating high-quality foods and I wasn’t exercising and I was staying up all night binge-eating cereal. I kid you not, you guys.
Who here is in nursing school? I know you guys are going through it right now. But that was my experience of nursing school and that was really my first look into what it was like to have this relationship with myself and to start gaining awareness of what was going on with myself.
And, as you can imagine, these eating habits I had where I didn’t know how to manage my eating, I wasn’t entirely conscious of how I ate or how I depended on food for stress-relief, I really, at the time, wasn’t aware of what I was doing. I was in such a study mode and very, like, “I’ve got to do this all the time. I have to be on 100%. I have to work 100%,” mode. And so, I brought these habits with me all the way from school to the bedside.
And I brought these habits with me and nurtured these same habits for a good six years as a bedside nurse. And because of that, I learned a lot about why it’s so important to be mindful of your eating habits and your food choices. And what I teach here is that weight loss actually has nothing to do with your weight.
Now, hear me out for a second. Your weight loss really has nothing to do with looking good, and it has nothing to do even with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But don’t get me wrong, all of these things are bonuses for sure. Like, obviously, we want to be healthy, we want to look sexy, we want to feel better at work. But what I’ve discovered, and what my approach is all about is helping nurses see, and helping anyone see really that weight loss is all about – which I learned from implementing these tools and doing work on myself – is that it’s all about having a relationship with yourself where you know you can depend on yourself 100% of the time.
Now, let me repeat that again; what weight loss truly is, is having a relationship with yourself where you know you can depend on yourself and what you’ll say you’ll do 100% of the time. And that’s what it’s really all about.
For so many years, I’ve struggled with the guilt trips, the self-sabotage, the deprivation, the self-bullying. And I see this so clearly at work too, like, I see so many nurses first thing in the morning. They’ll go into, like, a literal self-sabotaging frenzy and will beat themselves up about what they ate yesterday, how they’re not eating as good of a breakfast as nurse Cindy over there, and how nurse Cindy has all her stuff together and I don’t.
I hear it all the time at work, which is why I am creating this podcast. And here’s the truth; once I actually learned this, it changed everything for me. And once I learned that weight loss is about having the confidence to reach your goals and the faith in yourself to reach your goals and knowing that you’ll actually do what you say you’ll do – like once I made that mindset shift, once I truly learned and understood this – that’s the time my weight loss journey became effortless, because I began to see that I was becoming somebody that I knew would follow through with everything I wanted to do.
So, I knew that, no matter what bumps came up in the road, no matter what came up in the shift, no matter if my weight would fluctuate four to five pounds at a time, or even if I might have eaten things that I didn’t plan to eat, I learned that I always got back on track because I gained that skill. I learned the skill of staying on my plan and staying on track and always going back on the track.
I learned how to have my own back. And I learned, most importantly, the skill of not quitting and not giving up on myself. And that is exactly what I want to share with all of you. The goal of my podcast is to give you all the mindset tools you need to become this person, to become somebody that can achieve whatever goal he or she wants, to prove to yourself that you can have your own back and that you won’t fall off the wagon anymore, that whatever it is that you set your mind to, that you can become this person who reaches his or her goals without quitting and without giving up.
The mindset tools that I’ll share with you on this podcast are based on an evidence-based mindset therapy technique, which we call in psychiatry cognitive behavioral therapy, also known as CBT. And I know it’s a fancy word. I swear to god, whenever I tell people about CBT, I feel like they just stare at me blankly and think it sounds so sciency. Which it does, I don’t really agree with the term, so I just like to say CBT.
Anyhow, so I’m going to explain more throughout the series what CBT is, how to use it effectively, and how to use it to lose weight permanently. Now, it’s so funny because CBT is like this hidden secret in psychiatry that literally nobody knows about unless you’re actually in psychiatry.
And the other funny thing is this; that we teach CBT to our patients all the time. Like, it’s standard practice to teach CBT to our patients in psychiatry. We have group therapy, and so the social worker does teach CBT in my hospital to my patients a lot. And ever since I started working as a psychiatric nurse, we’ve literally had this amazing tool all along that we teach our patients all the time.
Like, it’s so funny, it’s a no-brainer to teach this to our patients, but it’s fascinating that we never teach CBT to nursing staff. It’s like we think CBT is only reserved for people who have, “Psychiatric issues,” or people who need therapy. But, as a psyche nurse myself and as a human being, I’m going to be the first person to tell you that everyone needs therapy. Everyone needs CBT.
Everyone has their own problems to work through. And just because we’re not a patient on the bed, that does not mean we don’t have our own stuff that we’re going through, trust me. So I’m super excited to show you exactly what CBT is, how you can apply it to yourself, and how you can be that dependable person that you know will accomplish whatever goal you set for yourself.
Now, remember, weight loss is not about the weight. It’s about being in a relationship with your own self and knowing that you have your own back no matter what. So, if we think about weight loss in this way, it really helps to set the tone for our own journey and our own permanent weight loss. And it helps to dispel those crazy expectations that we make of ourselves and it allows us to not focus on the numbers, but to focus on the bigger picture, because what I am going to teach you is about the long-term journey.
This is the Permanent Weight Loss for Busy Nurses podcast, so what I’m going to teach you is going to sustain you for the rest of your life. And I’m so excited to get on board with you guys. Thank you so much for joining me today in my first episode.
Now, before I go, I wanted to invite you all to my podcast launch party. To celebrate the launch of this show, I’m going to be giving away Starbucks gift cards just for those of you listening to my podcast. But I’m only going to be giving away Starbucks gift cards to three lucky listeners who subscribe to my show, and rate and review the show on iTunes.
And it doesn’t have to be a five-star review, although I really, really hope that you love the show, but I want your honest feedback so I can create the best and the most awesome show that will provide so much value for all of you. To join my party, visit me at www.thenurseweightlosscoach.com/itunes to learn more about the contest and how to enter. I’ll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode, so stay tuned.
Thanks for listening to Permanent Weight Loss for Busy Nurses. If you like what you heard and want even more, head over to thenurseweightlosscoach.com today!