Dealing with Perfectionism: Starting to Run Again

The other day, my boyfriend Dan asked me to go for a run with him. I used to be an avid runner; the high point of my running career was running my first and only half marathon in August, 2012. After the half-marathon, I was completely burnt out on running, so I quit.

Me after my first and only half marathon. I was so happy, and so completely over running.

Me after my first and only half marathon. I was so happy, and so completely over running.

Even though I hadn’t done any serious running in nearly 2 years, I agreed to go for a jog with Dan. As I was lacing up my shoes, I was nervous. In the back of my mind I was thinking, “this is going to be a disaster” over and over again. I knew I would be slow, and I was ashamed of my poor running ability.

Despite the whirlwind of negative thoughts in my mind, we started jogging down my road. After about a block, Dan picked up the pace and told me to run faster. I stopped running, and stared at him for 10 seconds before yelling, “I suck at running. If you want to run fast, run by yourself!” Then, I turned around and walked home. Dan chased after me and apologized. He explained that he thought I would want him to push me to run faster, and he insisted that we try again. We ended up doing a 2.5 mile run with some interspersed walking. I was slow, yes, but the run was far from the disaster I anticipated. It felt freeing, and it was a fun way to spend time together.

I didn’t realize until after the run how irrationally upset I was at picking up the pace. I was so insecure about my running ability that I felt personally attacked by his urging me to run faster. If I hadn’t been emotionally tied up in my running abilities, or lack thereof, I could have just said that I needed to slow things down. Instead, I felt diminished, and I lashed out because of it.

My emotional reaction to being urged to run faster got me thinking about my tendency towards perfectionism. It’s a trait that has helped me get to medical school, and it is a good quality to have in a future doctor. However, because of my perfectionism, I don’t feel the sense of accomplishment or pride in my abilities that I should. Instead of taking pride in the fact that I was challenging myself to a 2.5 mile run, I was just focusing on the fact that right now in this moment I am not “good” at running.


Perfectionism has been described as “the tyranny of shoulds” [1]. Researchers who study perfectionism suggest that perfectionism leads to a chronic sense of failure, indecisiveness, procrastination, and shame [2, 3]. Research also suggests that perfectionism can be divided into categories of “positive” and “negative” [4]. People with positive perfectionism set high standards, and feel satisfied when the standards have been achieved. However, negative perfectionism is neurotic, self-defeating, and dysfunctional. Furthermore, negative perfectionism can be associated with eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and a variety of other mental disorders [5].

Because of the negative impact perfectionism can have in our lives, I am challenging you and myself to become more self-aware of how our perfectionism affects us. Do you feel like you need to have the perfect house before you can invite friends over? Have you passed on challenging work opportunities because you’re afraid of failing? If you think you have perfectionistic tendencies, journal about your self-imposed standards and critical thoughts, then analyze your journal entries as an outside observer. Notice how perfectionism is negatively impacting your life, without criticism, and brainstorm how you can make positive changes. Go out without makeup on. Go for a jog even if your pace is extremely slow. Leave dishes in the sink. Maybe instead of focusing on being great at things, we should just focus on having fun with whatever we’re doing. Being great might just happen without us even realizing it.

If you believe perfectionism is significantly impacting your life, please contact a healthcare professional. For more information on perfectionism and how you can challenge your perfectionism, check out “Too Perfect: When Being in Control Gets Out of Control.”


1. Horney, K. (1950). Neurosis and human growth: The struggle toward self-realization. New York: Norton.

2. Burns, D. D. (1980, November). The perfectionist’s script for self-defeat.Psychology Today, pp. 34–51.

3. Pacht, A. R. (1984). Reflections on perfection.American Psychologist, 39, 386–390.

4. Slade, P. D., & Owens, R. G. (1998). A dual process model of perfectionism based on reinforcement theory. Behavior modification22(3), 372-390.

5. Shafran, Roz, and Warren Mansell. “Perfectionism and psychopathology: A review of research and treatment.” Clinical Psychology Review 21.6 (2001): 879-906.


**Note: I originally published this article on The Healthy Hoot.


Research Continues and Weekend Recap

Hey everyone!

This morning I had a research meeting. I was feeling pretty nervous because the doctor overseeing my research was going to be reading my manuscript and giving me feedback. It is definitely superficial, but wearing a cute outfit makes me feel more confident.

Shirt- Banana Republic via Clothes Mentor. Skirt- J. Crew via Clothes Mentor

Shirt- Banana Republic via Clothes Mentor. Skirt- J. Crew via Clothes Mentor

I had no reason to be nervous, though, because my mentor gave me GREAT feedback on my manuscript. She gave me some very minor revisions, but said it looks like it is about ready to submit! I did not enter this summer with the intention to first author a manuscript! I am so surprised and excited about what I was able to accomplish this summer.

I wanted to recap a little of the weekend. Dan and I went back to Cleveland. He had an appointment up there, and I at the last minute, decided to go with him. Friday was spent on the 4 hours car ride from Cincinnati to Cleveland and then at the doctor’s office. We went to dinner at B Spot. Then we walked around Crocker Park, an outdoor mall. That night we relaxed and watched Big Love.

On Saturday we intended to go to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, but rain was in the forecast. We didn’t want to make the 40 minute drive to the park just to get rained on. Instead, we opted for a walk around the city of Cleveland.

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About 3 minutes after I took this photo, it started pouring rain. We were on a bridge where there was no shelter and we were over a mile away from the car. Needless to say, we were drenched by the time we got back to the car. It was so fun to run like a maniac in the rain, though.

Prior to our walk, we went out to breakfast at Latitude 41. I forgot to snap a photo of my breakfast until it was half eaten…

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I absolutely loved Latitude 41. Dan and I both got the $4.95 Menage a Trois special. This special is available Monday-Saturday before 11am. You get 2 eggs however you like, toast, 2 bacon strips, 2 sausages, homefries, and coffee. For $1 extra, you can add 2 additional items to your breakfast which include: pan-seared oatmeal, the Ma3 quesadilla, french toast, pancake, fried tomato, fresh fruit, english muffin, an extra egg, cheese on eggs, or homemade coffee cake. Dan and I both got extras just so we could sample more of what the  restaurant had to offer. I had the pan-seared oatmeal and fresh fruit. Dan had the pancake and french toast. I was not a huge fan of the oatmeal, but I loved everything else. The french toast was amazing, though. It was like they used a cinnamon roll to make it with instead of bread.

We relaxed for the afternoon before heading out that night to celebrate Dan’s friend’s birthday.

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I am making a serious conscious effort to take more pictures!

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The Tower City Lights were Cleveland Cavalier’s colors! Welcome home Lebron! After a night of drinks, dinner, and fun at the casino, we had brunch with Dan’s parents on Sunday and headed back to Cincinnati.

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Gotta love those freaky signs on I-71 between Cleveland and Cincinnati!



My Week, Reproductive Endocrinology

Hey everyone,

Last week I worked like a busy bee on my research manuscript. The writing continues again starting Monday. Womp womp. I’ve come to the realization that I dislike research for several reasons. Firstly, I am a horrid writer. The thoughts come together in my head, but they do. not. translate onto my paper.

Truth time: I scored in the 9th percentile on the writing portion of the MCAT. As in 91% of people who took the MCAT scored higher than me on the writing section. And…I have told people that English is my second language. Yikes. I know.

The second reason I’m not a huge fan of doing research is that it takes so long to produce a final product. And even when you do write an abstract and a manuscript, you then have to wait to see if that abstract gets accepted at a conference and for the manuscript to be published in a journal. And the chance of being accepted to the conference I want and being published in my first choice journal is not as high as I would like (considering all the blood, sweat, and tears going into my project!)

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In case you’re wondering, this is what my research has looked like as of late.

But, the fact that I don’t love research is actually great since I am going to be a clinician anyways!

One of my interests in medicine is women’s health. My research project for the summer is actually in the Ob/Gyn department, and I am potentially interested in pursuing that specialty. Although I am doubtful that I’m cut out for the surgery lifestyle. Anyways, on Tuesday I shadowed a reproductive endocrinologist. A reproductive endocrinologist is a doctor who goes through the traditional 4-year Ob/Gyn residency then completes a 3-year fellowship in reproductive endocrinology. Reproductive endocrinologists address hormonal issues relating to reproduction and infertility.

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Outfit I wore shadowing: Top- Loft Outlet, Skirt- Kismet (A boutique I live by)


Add on the white coat, and I'm good to go! ;)

Add on the white coat, and I’m good to go! 😉










I saw some pretty cool cases while shadowing. One couple was considering IVF, but struggling with how it goes against their religion. I have trouble with the whole medicine conflicting with religion thing. I just can’t fathom letting my religion get in the way of something as serious/amazing/life-changing/life-defining as having a child. But, that is an entire post of it’s own. I also saw a couple come in with their baby who had been successfully born via IVF, and that was pretty amazing. It would be such a fulfilling career to help people who struggle with infertility become pregnant. If I do decide on Ob/Gyn, I could definitely see myself going into reproductive endocrinology.

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Tuesday night, Dan and I grilled steaks and asparagus. We had some cornbread and pesto pasta salad as well. After living together for 2.5 weeks, we managed to cook 1 meal together. Dan and I are on different work/eating schedules. He usually doesn’t get home from work until 7pm. And, I am usually pretty hungry for dinner by 5pm. So, we usually do our own thing for dinner. But, it’s nice to plan 1 or 2 meals to make together during the week. This week we are grilling shrimp! I will just have to eat an afternoon snack to hold me over.

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And Dan even volunteered to do the dishes Tuesday night! How’d I get so lucky!?

It’s bed time now, but there’s a lot I want to tell you about my weekend, and also my (possible) return to running, so I’ll update soon!



Clothes Mentor Haul!

Hey guys,

I hope you enjoy the video I made showing off all the great deal I got at Clothes Mentor. In the video I mistakenly said they carry women’s sizes 0-16…NOT TRUE. They carry actually carry women’s sizes 0-26 AND they have maternity clothes as well! Beneath the video, I’ve posted photos and links to similar items at the retail price, so you can see what a great deal Clothes Mentor actually is!

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 2.12.51 PMBanana Republic White Silk V-Neck Top: $69.50

Clothes Mentor Price: $7-$9

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 2.13.07 PMJ. Crew Embroidered Gauze Skirt: $69.50

Clothes Mentor Price: $12

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Paige Denim Jimmy Jimmy Crop: $199

Clothes Mentor Price: $17.50

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BDG Twig Mid-Rise Jean: $58

Clothes Mentor Price: $8

So, as you can see, Clothes Mentor has a lot of great deals. All of the opinions in this article are my own; Clothes Mentor did not ask or pay me to do this review. So, what’s your favorite second hand store!?




My Weekend and The Cincinnati Opera

I am doing terrible with this whole blogging thing…I visited so many places this weekend and managed to take photos of maybe 5% of it.


Anyways, Friday I put together my new sofa bed! Actually, I should probably say that Dan put together my new sofa bed, and I assisted him.

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It’s super cute, and I know my millions of blog readers will want to know where to find it, so you can find it here. They also have a matching chair and ottoman if you like the print, but aren’t in the market for a sofa bed.

Friday night Dan and I went to Aroma for sushi. I, of course, failed to take a picture. But, I had the Kenwood roll and the tuna and asparagus roll. Both were great, and the two rolls together were $7. Aroma has half price sushi all the time if you dine in. I highly recommend it!

Later that night we went to Newport on the Levee. There is a bridge called the Purple People Bridge that spans from Newport, KY to Cincinnati. It is a walking bridge only. Dan and I like to park on the Cincinnati side and walk over to Newport. On Friday when we walked over, we stumbled into the Sausage Festival.

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Dan and I thought the “Sausage festival” was so hilarious…they even sold Sausage fest t-shirts.

Saturday morning, Dan and I went to Sharon Woods to hike. Our hike was about 5 miles. They have few different trails, so you can do a shorter hike or hop from trail to trail to do a longer higher. Sharon Woods also has ample parking which I am a huge fan of. I, once again, failed to document the event.

Saturday evening, though, I did remember to take pictures! Dan and I went to the Opera!

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I have had this dress for about 2 months now, and I have been waiting for the opportunity to wear it. The Opera was the perfect place for it.

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A young girl, who I would guess is about 12, told me she really liked my dress. I said thank you, but was really thinking to myself, “Girl, you have to be well outside of your parents’ household to wear a dress like this.”

We saw Silent Night. The opera follows the storyline of military men from France, Germany, and England during World War I. It was partly in English, partly in French, and partly in German. I really enjoyed the it. I haven’t seen a lot of operas, but it was interesting to see one with a predominately male cast.

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Dan looks pretty good in a suit, right!?

Today has been a lazy rainy day. I went out to brunch with Dan this morning at Echo.  I had the Chicken Feta Chop Salad. The chicken was seasoned well and the portion size was perfect for an entree salad. One of my biggest pet peeves is when an entree salad comes to my table with a measly 5 lettuce leaves. Dan had the Breakfast Burrito. He said it was okay, but it was pretty small, and I think he was still hungry afterwards. After the first bite, Dan said, “I don’t like this place.” I think he just picked a bad menu item.

So that was my weekend! I promise to take more pictures!
Did you try anything new this weekend? New experiences? New restaurants? Tell me about it!



Clinical Skillz Exam

Hey everyone.

I am currently in the very end of the musculoskeletal block. Today I had my Clinical Skills exam. The clinical skills exams are basically simulated patient encounters, so there are actors and actresses that play the role of the patient. They describe why they are at the doctor’s office, and we have to do a history and physical exam to come up with a diagnosis and treatment plan. So, basically I get to wear my white coat and play doctor.


(This picture is pretty old! It’s from back in September after my first time shadowing at Cincinnati Children’s. I need to take more pictures in my white coat.)

Anyways, Clinical Skills exams make me SO nervous. I usually get a little bit anxious before tests, but Clinical Skills takes my test anxiety to a whole other level. I really don’t have a problem interacting with patients. I think I am pretty good at it, actually. But, I get so nervous that I will forget something or that I won’t be able to come up with a diagnosis or I won’t know what to say. I actually envision myself breaking down in tears, running out of the room, and failing. Obviously, none of that happened today. I had two smooth, comfortable patient encounters and made two correct diagnoses.

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(OSCE=Objective Structured Clinical Examination)

After my exam, I studied a bit more. I have a gross anatomy final exam tomorrow. The exam is 80 minutes long. We walk around the gross anatomy lab, answering questions about various structures tagged on our cadavers. I hate gross anatomy. I hate learning anatomy in general. I do not find it interesting. I do not enjoy dissection. And the number one thing I’ve learned in the musculoskeletal block is that I will not become an orthopedist, a sports medicine doctor, or a neurologist.

So, after studying anatomy, a little of this happened…


I am so obsessed with House of Cards! I was skeptical before I started watching it because I don’t normally like political dramas, but House of Cards is SO MUCH MORE.

This happened also…


Oats in a Jar. If you don’t know what oats in a jar is, do yourself a favor and Google it right now. Here’s the gist: you have to wait until you have an almost empty jar of peanut butter. Then, you make oatmeal (however you like it) and dump the hot oats into the almost empty jar of peanut butter which gets all warm and creamy and amazing. Oats in a jar days are special days, the best days.

Lucky for me I eat at least 1 jar of peanut butter a week, so oats in a jar days are not too rare around these parts.

Also, Peanut Butter Co. White Chocolate Wonderful is insanely good.

Okay…time for me to veg out. I have a 5am workout tomorrow, and I need to kick some gross anatomy booty right afterwards.



I Hate Medical School

Hello everyone.

I’ve had several blogs and a website, all of which I’ve quit because I felt like I didn’t have the time to give them 100%, and they became much more of a chore than a hobby. But, here I am again, blogging.

For the past month I’ve felt really pretty blah. Medical school is obviously a huge drain on all aspects of my life- physically, mentally, emotionally, creatively. At the end of every day, I feel like I am missing something. I feel like there is something fundamental missing from my life. I feel unfulfilled

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I spent a day thinking about why I feel so unfulfilled and what is missing from my life and I came up with a few things:

1: I am entirely too hard on myself. I have never been okay with mediocracy in any aspect of my life. Medical students constantly put up the facade that they know more than they actually do. Because of the perfection I demand from myself and the fact that everyone else seems to be perfectly happy with their work-load and knowledge, I spend my days feeling extremely incompetent. Basically, I am in full on panic mode all day, trying to cram as much information into my brain as possible without ever stopping to realize that this is my life. Yes, I am a medical student, so maybe my life is about 1/10th of that of any other human being, but it should still exist.


2: My grades are fantastic, but they are coming at the cost of balance in every other aspect of by life. I have always been the type of person to prioritize by grades over pretty much everything else in my life. In high school, I didn’t even notice this because the information load and difficulty of the work was so low that being the top student in all my classes came without much effort. In college, I was no longer the best student at school; I was just another hard-working fish in a giant ocean full of lots of other hard-working fishes…and some of those other fishes were brilliant. I felt inadequate. It was in college that I first realized how much I defined myself by my grades (and other external factors- body shape, attractiveness, etc.). I realize that grades are so superficial and mean basically nothing, but the irrational part of me likes the measurement and the cheap thrill of being “above average.”

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One way I hope to regain some balance in my life is by using this blog as a creative and emotional outlet. I also hope this blog can inspire me to have new experiences and help me deal with the stress of medical school.

Medical School.

I hate it.

Hate is a strong word you say?

Well, I don’t take it back.

I hate medical school. I hate the way it has made me feel anxious. I hate the way it has put pressure on my relationships. I hate the way I feel dumb every day because of how much I don’t know. But, there is nothing else I actually could see myself doing with my life. I want to be a doctor. I am thankful for the opportunity to learn medicine. But, still, I hate medical school.


This blog will be real. In case you can’t already tell from this post alone, I am not going to sugar-coat my thoughts (Although I did omit a Slyvia Plath quote at the last minute). Some of my posts might be ramblings. There might be typos. I might not write for a month. I might quit altogether. This blog is mine, for me, for however long and whenever I need it. And that, is a wonderful thing.