Reclaiming My Health

I talked about the various ways that I manage stress in my last post, Stressed: the New Normal. I’ve allowed stress to take over my life in the past, to the point where my health noticeably began failing. Two years ago I decided to take my life back and made some drastic changes.

I kept telling myself that being a workaholic is necessary to getting ahead in your career. That people commute long distances to work all the time, it’s no big deal. I just needed to believe in myself and things would fall into place.

I love this card and have had it posted up at every home I’ve lived in for years. But a while back, I started thinking more about my limitations. No matter what I’d like to believe, I’m not super woman, and I cannot handle everything. I do have a breaking point.

I had taken on too much at work, spending close to 70 hours each week attempting to complete everything that had been put on my plate. My health started to decline and my relationships suffered. At first, I thought I was a failure. I thought that I should be able to handle anything, and more, that it was necessary to be successful in life.

Finally, I broke down and went to see my doctor. She calmly explained that the high level of stress I was enduring was causing my migraines, rashes, digestive issues, and erratic mood swings. My body was screaming at me to “STOP! SLOW DOWN!” but I wasn’t listening.

I needed to prioritize my health.

I quit my job and found a company that would allow me to find some kind of balance in my life. During my interviews I was open about my need to cut back. I let them know that I was not willing to be a workaholic, and that – honestly – I didn’t really have the ambition anymore to work my way up the ladder. I wanted a career that I enjoyed, at a company that allowed for lateral movement if I so desired.

With a renewed focus on being my best self I started working on a lifestyle focused on feeling good – every day. I don’t think about calories or weight loss. I’m not in it for a short-term fix. These are the three things I prioritize:

  • Start moving more. I walk and take the stairs when practical. I found workouts that I actually enjoyed, rather than ones I felt that I “should do”.
  • Focus on REAL FOOD. I’m not perfect, but I strive for 75/25 – 75% of the time I stay away from processed foods and refined sugar. 25% of the time I allow myself to relax. And whenever possible, I add more veggies – you can never have enough veggies.
  • Invest in your health. Going to the chiropractor on a weekly basis, buying high quality foods, and memberships to workout facilities are expensive. But they’re worth it. I’M WORTH IT.

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