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  • Sunday, October 21, 2007

    Verdict? Law school is bad for your health!

    Or, well, it seemed to have been bad for mine. Since I started law school, studied for and took the bar and then went a job-hunting, I have put on the pounds.

    SM and I were talking about our collective weight-loss the other day... At our last weighs-in, we have lost approximately a collective 22 lbs. Not too shabby. I can feel the difference in my pants, which is a very happy thing.

    Anyway, I was telling him about my mental benchmarks, distinct times that I can recall as "expansionist periods". Specifically, when I was unemployed; studying for the bar and law school generally. Since I'm a stress eater, I had a tendency to take out my dismay by power-eating chocolate. I never took off the weight from those periods.

    Not exactly healthy. But I didn't care.

    Well, I am doing something about it now. And I have to say that I've enjoyed the discipline of it. Not buying lunch every day has also had very positive effects on my credit card balance. Yay.

    Anyway, SM asked me how much I more I needed to lose to hit my benchmarks, and while I don't remember what exactly I weighed at those times, I can guess.

    Benchmark #1: unemployment
    Readers of this blog will remember that I was not working but job hunting hard for about 4 months. True that I was out of a job for longer, but I took the summer off, figuring that it was basically futile to look for work in DC in August.

    During those months, I definitely felt sorry for myself and indulged in whatever I wanted to help me feel happy in the short-term. And I gained weight. No, I didn't take the opportunity to exercise or do something productive. I was in a funk. Chocolate goes well with a funk.

    Anyway, for me to get back to my pre-unemployment weight, I will have to lose about 2 more pounds, for a total of approximately 13 from my peak weight (H).

    Benchmark #2: studying for the bar
    I took off about two weeks from work to seriously study for the bar. I also took the prep courses, so my total study period in prep for the little quizzie was about a month and a half. Since I had a very flexible work schedule, I probably had more time than most to study, but I wasn't terribly disciplined about it. In fact, I was downright lazy. L-A-Z-Y. And I like when I was unemployed, I ate anything I wanted to give me respite from the stress.

    And I gained weight. In fact, I don't know anyone who didn't gain weight while studying for the bar.

    I don't remember exactly what I weighed before the bar prep began, but I'm guessing I put on about 10-15 pounds over two months, plus the holidays (I took the February bar). If I assume something in the middle of that range, that means I need to lose another 14 pounds from where I am now (or 25 down from my peak).

    Benchmark #3: law school
    I used to be in good shape. I used to have a good shape. Then I went to law school and messed everything up. Since I went to school in the evening, everything in my routine got thrown outta whack -- especially my sleeping and eating habits. Which led to the poundage.

    Again, I don't remember exactly what I weighed when I started law school, but I have a guess. I think I probably put on about 10 pounds during law school, which isn't too bad, except that I never took it off. And then I added to it.

    So to hit benchmark #3, I need to lose another 24 pounds from where I am now (or 35 from my peak weight).

    I don't know when I'll hit these benchmarks. It seems likely that I'll make #1 in the next week or so. The bar weight will take longer. And it may be simply unrealistic for me to get down to my pre-law school weight. After all, I was six years younger then. Despite that, my goal is actually to lose more and get down to my "thin but not skinny" weight. Again, might be unrealistic, but we'll see.

    I'd be happy to lose another ten by December, and I think that's completely do-able.


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