Tag Archives: stress

Life Support

15 Aug

20120815-233718.jpgI want to begin by thanking all of you for reading my last post. It’s nice to know that so many of you are interested in the mental and physical benefits of yoga…oh wait…no…you just popped in to see me get kicked to the curb in the comments. In that case, thank you for not making me an overnight Internet sensation, a trending topic, or suggesting that I might want to go out with your 50 year old son who lives in your basement, collects dolls, and is “such a catch.”

At moments as special as this I like to reflect on how lucky I am to have the friends and family I do. On Friday night my darling friend, the Secret Agent, hauled my sorry ass to the park to “walk it off.” Yes, a bottle of wine was looking far more appealing. Yes, I was second guessing and mood swinging and swearing. Yes, I was a bundle of mixed emotions that just wanted to crawl into bed and pull the sheets over my head…but I went. And it was exactly what I needed to be doing.

Secret Agent knew that I needed to vent and then just rub some dirt on it. She has the distinct advantage of knowing me since the 7th grade, so she knows how difficult I can be when cranky, but she also knew what I needed at that moment…a friend and a distraction.

I know you’ve been waiting to hear about the Sister Wives, and I couldn’t think of a better time to talk about them. What you have to understand is that we knew each other ages ago in a dystopian society known as high school. Some of us were friends, some of us were friendly, but through the miracle of social media and the uniting love of brunches that involve booze, we came together again nearly 20 years later in a community far more successful, moderately more hygienic, and far more fun than Bronson Alcott’s utopian adventures at Fruitlands.

As a unit, we fight crime, right wrongs, and singlehandedly keep vineyards and distilleries worldwide in business. Ok, those first two things are a slight exaggeration. We provide each other a great deal of love and support. This is most apparent in moments of crisis….like my birthday…you know, the baby thing. One Sister Wife was alerted to the crisis and mobilized the other two (we’re working on getting something akin to the Bat Signal going to facilitate this process). All three arrived at my apartment to be with me while I drank and cried and, in the end thanks to them, laughed.

The idea of the Sister Wives began as a perfectly rational discussion about the ideal of living together and sharing the responsibility of caring for the menfolk and children…but has since evolved into a more Edenic vision than ever before dreamed. We talk often of purchasing a compound – we have our hearts set on a recent listing for one with 22 small houses and a casino – and living happily as one extended family. I’m lucky here because, as the only single gal, my sisters bring 3 good lookin’ men with them as well as two awesome children.

We are selectively offering membership to others, ensuring harmonious living. My gusband will be joining us, provided there is a dance club and a stable of hot, young men. We were also lucky enough to stumble upon someone who readily volunteered to be our charismatic cult leader and is uniquely qualified to fill that role. I intend to be First Wife to that one.

The point of all this is (or at least what I’m forcing it to be to fit into the theme of this blog), that sometimes you need your friends to take care of you or remind you to take care of yourself when things look bleak. I know that as I’ve struggled with my weight loss, fitness goals, heartbreaks, and family health crises, whether I’ve succeeded or failed, crumbled or stood firm, I’ve come through all of it because of my incredible support system.

Pro Tip: Build yourself a support system…a soft place to fall (yeah, I think I just quoted Dr. Phil). Help and encouragement can be found in so many different people and places: a yoga class, friends, family, neighbors, a personal trainer, dietitian, or therapist. Your support system doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s – it just has to work for you. Trust me, I’m moving mine to a compound led by a man named Mingo.

You Can’t Spell Beast Without E-A-T

12 Mar

During my brief stint as a Religion teacher at Paterson Catholic Regional High School, when I got angry and/or crazy my kids would say “You beastin’ Ms. G.” Well, I was beastin’ this weekend.

I’ve been going through a lot the past few months: I’m out of work and looking for a job, trying to lose weight, and dealing with some difficult and often perplexing relationships. I’ve been trying to sort things out – figure out which issues are related (likely all of them) and which are controllable. I’ve started to connect the dots between my new birth control prescription (changed to be more affordable) and my lethargy, massive case of dry eye, and possibly how hard it has been to lose weight. I’ve also realized that not having the simple activity of going to work, walking around the office, and generally expending energy 8 hours has made an impact on my weight…oh, that and getting older.

At any rate, this weekend The Beast made an appearance and wreaked havoc. It’s “That Time of The Month”, or Shark Week as I like to call it, and my hormones are running wild. Starting Friday all I wanted to do was eat. This had nothing to do with hunger, nor was there a specific craving I was attempting to satisfy – I just couldn’t stop eating.

The truth is that over the past several weeks I’ve been relatively uninterested in food. That’s not to say I wasn’t hungry or that I didn’t eat, it’s just that nothing was sounding particularly appealing. I’m a big fan of Geneen Roth’s suggestion that you should ask yourself what you WANT to eat, give yourself time to consider, and then eat that – even if it means a run to the store – as a way to prevent yourself from grazing and tasting and nibbling to find the satisfaction you’re looking for. It was working really well for me until the day that I asked myself what I wanted to eat and there was no answer. I pressed myself asking “If you could eat ANYTHING at all, regardless of fat, calories, or Weight Watchers points, what would you want?” There was still no answer.

For weeks now, I’ve been unsatisfied because I can’t think of anything I want. When I’ve defaulted to my usual treats and cravings – like pizza – nothing has tasted as good as I hoped it would. So here I was, alone all weekend , all issues present and accounted for, waiting to hear about a job I interviewed for on Tuesday and knowing that I wouldn’t until at least Monday, and full of rampaging hormones. I tore through my kitchen like a Tasmanian Devil. I ate everything but the Cascade dishwasher tablets. Thank goodness I hadn’t been grocery shopping recently.

While I was on this tear I knew I wasn’t hungry but I couldn’t stop – I was bingeing but it wasn’t making me feel any better and I was berating myself the entire time.

It finally stopped when I got an unexpected call from a friend from New York who happened to be in the area and wanted to meet for coffee. I have a lot of AMAZING and supportive friends, but she was just the person I needed at that moment. Not only has this friend lost a tremendous amount of weight over the past year, but she understands what it’s like to be CONSTANTLY working at it. She is calm and understanding and chock-full of actual useful suggestions. She let me dump all my issues and worries onto the Starbucks table between us and helped me sort through them. I needed someone to hear me out, get where I was coming from, and not dismiss any of my feelings or challenges and magically she appeared.

I’m still tired and stressed. I’m still awash in hormones. I’m still not particularly interested in food. None of it is GONE, but I’m calmer and more in control.  The lesson I learned from this is that my binges are trying to tell me there’s something I need that I’m not getting and it rarely has to do with food. What I learned this weekend is that my friends are like a baseball team and each player has specific strengths and purposes. I’d never ask Derek Jeter to pitch, so why was I asking friends who don’t have the skills or experience with my issues to handle them and give me an MVP performance? I need the right man for the job.

For now The Beast is being held at bay but I know I’ll see it again; at least now I know what it takes to put it back in the cage.

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