Monday, January 16, 2012

Wellness First

Stress eating is my biggest downfall. When I'm stressed or tired from being stressed all I want to do is shove food in my mouth. I've done so well over the past year to find other ways of coping with stress besides plowing my way through the food in the fridge. All of those other coping mechanisms have seem to have failed me this week.

I don't know if it's because I was in Charleston with good friends, good food, and good drinks, or if I truly just don't care right now. It can't be the latter. I won't let it be the latter. I do care. I have to care.

Sure I'm not working. Sure we've got bills to pay. Sure we're living three hours apart. But when all is said and done if we get through all of those obstacles, and I've lost my grip on my wellness, I'll be no better off than I am right now. Stressed, but still healthy.

I cannot lose focus. I've worked too hard to put it all behind me. This is exactly what happened the last time I lost a significant amount of weight. I moved, started a new job, didn't have a routine, and bam, gained 36 lbs in a year. THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN AGAIN!

So I actually put together a meal plan for this week and went grocery shopping based on those items and recipes. I'm making a point to cook things that will give me leftovers. If I don't feel like cooking one day, I have the option to go to something already healthy and prepared, instead of grazing on a multitude of things I can do without.

I'm dreading my weigh-in this Wednesday. I was out of town this past week so I missed it. I hate when the scale says I've gained. I feel like I'm not only letting myself down, but letting down all of the people that have supported me, stood by me, and have been inspired by me. Like I'm a fraud and can't really do this for life.

I'm trying not to sound whiny. I hate when I sound whiny. Just a little bump on the road, but I'll be back on track in no time. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Home Agan

Let me preface this by saying that Cleveland, OH is my technical home. It's where I grew up and most of my family still lives. But...

Charleston, SC is my HOME.

When tragedy strikes most people's response is to go home, go to family, go to friends. The fact that my immediate response was, "I want to go to Charleston," reminds me of what this town means to me.

I moved to Charleston when I was 18 to go to Johnson & Wales University (JWU). This was before Bank of America offered JWU millions of dollars to build a campus in Charlotte, NC, causing the end of the Charleston Campus. I was one of the lucky ones to be there until the end. Well, technically I spent the last trimester in Seville, Spain, but I did come back and graduate with 50+ of my fellow students.

My years in Charleston were glorious. I still tell people that Charleston is one of the best places one could spend their formative years between high school and "being an adult". There's just something for everyone. Of course the weather and having the beach at your fingertips helps too. I met some of the best people I have ever known here. Heck I'm bunking with one of them and her daughter while in town. I'm always jealous to hear of a friend visiting Charleston or moving here.

I moved away from Charleston in 2008 and have only managed to visit a handful of times since. This is actually my first time back in over a year. I ask myself why all the time. Why did I leave? Why haven't I come back?

The answers are simple, although not necessarily ones I like:

I left because I thought I had to and I haven't come back because the time isn't right.

I thought I had to leave because I was working for Marriott, and besides my hotel, there were no other full service properties run by them, where I could work my way up the ranks in Charleston. My hotel was too small and had no room for movement. So I left. I moved to Cincinnati (almost back to my other home). I took a lot of risks leaving. I knew no one in Cincinnati, except a cousin, and I was leaving behind everyone I loved. This included my then boyfriend, now husband. Luckily for us, our want to be together was stronger than the distance that kept us apart.

I look back now and realize how silly I was for thinking I had to leave because of my job. In the wake of not having a job I realize that my happiness should never be compromised for a paycheck. I've known this all along, but haven't always remembered this when it's important. But now, I'll never forget. Moving forward, my happiness, wellness, and health are my top priority. Obviously having a job is important, but I will not compromise on the type of job I take because I feel I have to. If this means working as a barista in Starbucks is what makes me happy, then bring on the espresso.

The time isn't right to move back to Charleston. My husband is just getting started in his career after being in the Navy for 10 years. Maryland is where we need to be right now, but I will always keep my eye on the horizon knowing, in my heart of hearts, that Charleston is waiting to welcome me back home.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Finding Inspiration

If you look around inspiration can be found in some unlikely places. A playground may inspire you to do some pull ups on the monkey bars or step-ups on a picnic table. Someone running by you on the street may inspire you to go for a jog. Just hearing about someone's workout, race, ski trip, etc. can be inspirational.

I found some inspiration on my refrigerator. Strange place, right? Let me show you:

I was stepping out in to the garage to do some laundry the other day and glanced at my word magnets. Magnets I never look at and forget are there half the time. I noticed the words success, greatness, momentum, live, love, etc. After hunting through my words I pulled the most relevant ones and moved them, along with the words "I can", "I will be", "I am", "I want", and "I have", to the front of my fridge.

Inspiration. Right there in front of my face. I'm on the hunt for more.

It doesn't just have to be inspiration to workout. I'm looking for inspiration to change. Something to inspire me to make a choice. What do I want from this life? Was the path I was taking really the path for me? Is it time for something new? Is it time for a change?

This layoff has kind put me in a forced position of change. Who knows, without this I may have just gone along with what I thought my life plan was. Now though, now I've got a new chance and opportunity to see what else might lay in store for me.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Circle of Control

Where, you might ask, did I get the name for the title of my blog?

For the past year I’ve been a part of a wellness program called iStrive. It’s a three part program rooted in nutrition, mental health, and physical well being. I was referred to iStrive by my orthopedic doctor. I had visited him for some pain in my right hip and after some evaluation and discussion about physical therapy, he got right down to it.

Me: “I’d prefer the physical therapy. You can give me the shot, but it’s not like I’m a marathon runner who needs to get back to training ASAP.”

Him: “Why not? More specifically, why do you say you’re not? And why can’t you be?”

Well that certainly got me thinking. Why couldn’t I be a marathon runner? What was telling me I couldn’t?

For starters I weighed 221 pounds. Marathon runners don’t look like me. Which was this:

I had minimal athletic ability. I couldn’t run more than five minutes without huffing and puffing. But why not? What or who was stopping me? No one but myself.

So my doctor gave me the info, and a year later here I am. I’ve lost over 50 pounds, I’ve run an 8k, and I’m in the best shape of my life.

What does all of this have to do with the Circle of Control? During the time in my program I spent a lot of time working on the mental part of wellness. One of the biggest things that I’ve had to learn and accept is there are things I can control and there are things I can’t. Here’s a picture:

That’s the circle of control. (Or Circle of Concern as some people know it). The basic principle is the inner circle is your Circle of Influence while the outer circle is your Circle of Concern. The theory is that the more you focus on your Circle of Influence, those things you can control or change, the larger your Circle of Influence becomes and the smaller your Circle of Concern becomes. If you focus more on those things you cannot control or change, your Circle of Concern becomes larger and your Circle of Influence shrinks. This means you’re spending more time worrying about those things which cannot change and not focusing enough on those that can.

Now’s the time I have to sit down a focus on those things I can influence. Here’s a list:

Mental Wellness
Negative Thinking

I have to let go of the things I cannot change or influence. More specifically I need to let go of all my worrying about the things I cannot change. I’m not going to list those because that’s just giving them more power over my thoughts.

My hope is that by living each day focusing on my Circle of Influence, my Circle of Concern will shrink. Starting today.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Grant me the Serenity…

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.”
This is what my life is now, full of things I cannot change, and littered with things I can.

The journey now is figuring out which is which.

I guess I should start with a little background. And by little, I mean a minute amount as I plan to tell you more about myself as this blog goes on. I’m 27 years old, married, proud “mom” of four lovable dogs, and have currently found myself unemployed. I never would have imagined five and a half years ago, when crossing the stage getting my diploma, I would end up one of the thousands of people in America looking for work.

You should also know I am a worrier. I’m constantly worried about everything, mostly money. Who doesn’t though? That doesn’t make me special. I think it makes me normal. The thing is, before being laid off, I didn’t really have a reason to be so worried. It took losing my job to make me realize what real worry is.

How long will this last?
Will I get hired again?
Will I have to settle for something I might not enjoy?
Will we make it until I’m employed again?

These are questions that rattle around in my brain. They bounce off one another and roll around in the abyss of the unknown. I don’t like the unknown, hence the reason for the serenity prayer.

At this point in my life I have to know there are things that are out of my control, but there are things that are within my control. The things I can change are the ones I have to focus on. Change the things that can be changed and let everything else fall where it may.

Stepping out in to the great unknown? More like being pushed without a parachute.