Why Did I Commit to a LifeStyle Change?
Last May the reality sunk in that in June my twins were graduating from high school. In August they’d both be leaving, at once, for college. While for some they were not going terribly far, for me, the three hours they’d both be going to Lancaster, PA was really, really far. They might as well have been flying to California. As a working mom who works really long days, and often works quite a few hours on weekends, spending six hours in the car for a single visit felt daunting. The other important piece of the puzzle is that for my entire adult life, I always have said that my kids were my motivation. They have been my why. So with them leaving, I felt like the ground beneath me was shifting in a fairly seismic way.
It should also be noted that my weight has often fluctuated. I like to eat out and I’m a bit of a foodie. I have a hard time depriving my self of anything, whether it’s a latte or jeans I like, I believe life is short and I work hard so I enjoy indulging. When all of these “feelings” were hitting me in M ay, I was certainly at an upturn in my weight. I feared that if I didn’t get a grip on things, when the kids left I would be alone, laying on the couch, eating chocolate, and completely unable to record any voice over. I was essentially afraid I would fail to function. I needed to choose something better.
The Block Party
Around this time my neighbor across the street, Efi, organized a pretty amazing block party. It was great in all the ways a block party can be. Everyone showed up. Everyone was kind. And, the food was awesome. Efi happens to also be a working mom, an accountant who specializes in managing money for wealthy families. Another working mom was there too, my friend and neighbor Melanie who is a lawyer in NYC. Well, Melanie looked better than she had in all the years that I have known her. I was amazed. As I was gobbling handfuls of potato chips, I asked Melanie what she was doing. She began to tell me about her journey. I continued to munch on the chips while she elaborated.
Melanie shared that she too, like me, needed a change. Her mom has been ill and she could not sit down and weight for the same issues to come her way. She started working with nutritionists who, unlike anyone else I had ever worked with, also had an accountability aspect to their practice. This resonated with me as accountability has worked so well in my voice over practice thus far. In fact, it has been essential to my success. I got their information and decided to give it a whirl.
My Health Journey
I started working with the team at SugarSnapShift. Without betraying the terms of their NDA, I will tell you that I eagerly embraced their food recipes. While some might look at it as giving up a lot of food, I found that my diet prior to working with this brilliant team was so limited and backwards that I gained for more food than I eliminated. I loved their recipes and took comfort in them. I also learned to make better choices and to combine foods better. I learned about portion sizes too. As the weight and the inches came off every week, I noticed many things about myself:
- I felt that I had more endurance in the booth which is crucial in long form narration.
- I noticed that my sugar was stable so I didn’t feel like I need breaks or naps from work in the afternoon. I wasn’t having that crash in the 3pm hour.
- I noticed that I was calmer and not as quick to react, whether with my kids or work scenarios.
- I just felt better. I felt better in my own skin and I felt more balanced.
- My headaches have been better. They are not gone but they are not worse.
Voice and Nutrition
I will say that I have avoided dairy for years, so this is not new for me. In general, dairy can cause inflammation and phlegm which is not ideal for recording. On this plan, I seem to be less phlegmy, which is overall a help. I’m not clear if it’s one change in particular or the total impact, but I can say that this change has been great for me. For example, is it that I make a daily effort to stay hydrated or that I have not had red meat since May, (which is difficult, because I have always loved it)? I’m not sure. It could be both, it could be one more than the other. I have also reduced my caffeine and sugar intake. So, I’m not clear exactly what is working, I’m just going to keep doing all of it.
Life as an Empty Nester
So you might be wondering, how I am getting along with my kids away? Well, it’s actually been alright. I miss them, of course. But when your kids are happy and thriving, it is a joy to hear about how well they are doing, and we celebrate their successes. I have been visiting regularly, and when they are home I try not to work at all. That is new for me and not so easy, but as every moment with them is precious, I now fiercely guard this sacred time. I feel, with certainty, that my wellness journey prepared me for their departure. I was mentally and physically ready because I gave myself the gift of self-help, support, and wellness before they left. Having a team of wellness experts around you sets you up for success. Within such a framework, I gave myself a chance to thrive. I gave me chance to reach some rather important goals and to see a bright light was possible for me. When I saw that, I saw that this would be a positive time for all of us.