Liz Erk (lizerk) wrote,
Liz Erk

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I really would like to know why life insists on being so difficult for people who really don't deserve it. One of my clients, who was my second HW client ever and has stuck with me all along, diligently seeing me 2x a week at 6:30 a.m., despite the grueling demands of med school, which means many many sleepless nights due to stress and studying, not to mention endless pressures and (probably not intentional) negative (and I mean SEVERELY negative) reinforcement to lose weight from her family...

Hmm. Looking back on that sentence, I realized that the true nature of what she goes through can not be done justice through this journal entry. You'd have to be there, watching her as she summons intensity, focus, and drive from some mystical internal reserve after only getting 3 hours of sleep 4 or 5 nights in a row due to writing papers, going on clinicals, taking several exams, etc.

The hardest thing about it all is that she's a walking textbook case of why sleep deprivation can be EXTREMELY detrimental to fitness progress. When your body is so exhausted, it will do anything to try and conserve energy. This typically means slowing the metabolism and hanging onto EVERYTHING you eat, no matter how little it is, and storing it. So over the past few months my client has been lifting and doing cardio, EXACTLY as I've told her to. She's one of my strongest clients ever, but she's not losing fat. Her body's clinging to it.

I saw her right before the holidays and knew she was in for a hard time. I gave her a huge hug good-bye and wished her good luck. Right after New Year's I received a phone call from her to schedule a session and talk about how her family visits were. Sure enough, they were brutal: family laying into her weight, saying she's not trying hard enough, that she'll never get a boyfriend, et al.

I nearly cried for her. So we were both excited that the holidays were over because she's in a semester where she doesn't have to attend classes, but do all of her studying on her own. This means she'd be able to get the sleep her body so badly needs and then her metabolism would return to normal soon.

Today was to be session number 2 of the new year. As I drove through Copley, searching for parking, my cell phone rang. It was my client. She sounded very upset, her voice breaking.

"Liz, can we meet later today?" she asked. "I didn't get any sleep last night, I was up pretty much the whole time, upset. My mother just found out she has breast cancer and she'll have to go through 6 to 8 months of chemotherapy after they remove the tumor on Tuesday..."

I nearly dropped the phone. She doesn't need for this to be happening. (Then again, who ever does??) After discussing details of what's to happen with her Mom, I told her I'd be glad to meet later, for her to go back and try to get more sleep, and that I'd talk to her later in the day.

This just isn't right. Replaced with one set of stresses is even more. And this stress is even greater than last year's.

**shaking my head**

I just don't get it. I really don't. I'm going to do everything I can to be there, friendship and fitness-wise. I just hate that that is all I can really do. None of this makes sense to me.

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