Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Stress

That titles says it all, right? I’ve always struggled with anxiety, and most people say they’re “stressed out”, either from work, from school, from family problems or relationship issues. Then you have me: stressed at the drop of a hat for no apparent reason, or for irrational reasons. And then once something stress-worthy comes walking across my path, the panic button is no longer in sight. I’m overwhelmed, and sometimes, it actually hits that numb feeling, almost as if my body is trying to protect me from an overload of anxiety. Nobody in my life, except for my wife sees my full-fledged anxiety attacks. Nobody else, even family members can really see ‘the real Deb’ - the Deb that paces back and forth all hours of the night, shaking out her arms out to relieve that pins & needles feeling. The Deb that pours a glass of wine to take the edge off. The Deb that actually hops in her car, drives mach 90 only to get a prime seat at the bar.

Things had to change...

I had a good friend who is diligent in her healthy lifestyle ask me, "Do you think the alcohol and food choices may be contributing to your anxiety problems?" Of course I immediately snapped back, "NO." I made a slew of excuses of why I needed a drink, and why my food choices were frightening to my doctor. Then back in June, we moved into a new location, picking up our belongings and setting up house elsewhere. I had more excuses now! Renovations had to be done. Contractors never showed up. New appliances had to be bought. Things had to be done in order to feel comfortable. I found myself stopping by the bar more than usual. I found myself eating ‘on the go’ type of food because our kitchen was still in disarray. I found myself buying a bigger size pants. It. had. to. stop. I should still remind myself that it HAS to stop. And I’m not being hard on myself, I’m being hard on myself if I don’t do anything about it now. So yesterday, my wife and I joined a gym. We wanted to do it together, as a team and create a healthier lifestyle. I don’t want to be a size 2, cause that’ll never happen - I just want to be able to be healthy by the time I’m seventy. I don’t want diabetes, heart disease and of course, an alcohol problem. I want better solutions, better places to run to if and when I get too stressed out. I want my life back. I love cooking, entertaining, the occasional glass of wine or martini - and that’s okay in moderation. But when I’m stressed out, the moderation factor goes right down the drain.

For the past couple of months, I have been doing 30-60 minutes on the cycle. It’s not enough, at least for me. With my age mixing into everything, it makes it that much harder. I nervously walked into a newly built gym for the first time in a long time. I hear, “Hey! It’s Deb! She’s back!” -----(She’s back??) It was an old personal trainer who had helped me years ago at another gym. I said, “I’m back alright.” She smiled at me, happy to see I had made a decision to change my habits. As she showed me around, there was a pamphlet of the benefits of working out. I was amused and knew all of these things were actually true. It had everything - helped with insomnia, increased sex drive, confidence, stronger core, helps reduce anxiety and depression, it’s a mood enhancer due to the endorphins it releases and of course, easier to purchase new clothes without feeling like a schmuck for overindulging from time to time.

Today’s my first day back so please wish me luck. I even hired a personal trainer to help me, which I'm very nervous about... I’m primarily focused on feeling better, physically and emotionally. Any tips that have helped you along the way of getting healthier would be appreciated. At this point, I have tried everything from fad diets, new workouts, exercising at home (which really didn’t do much) to quitting my favorite foods & beverages which only led to one thing: going back to it in full force. I even had a very interesting diet tip from a doctor who wrote on my Facebook account, “Robb Wolf's book is cheaper and works every time. 3 egg omelets and 1/2 pound bacon is a typical breakfast for me. I drink LOTS of wine. Wt is holding steady at 145 lbs, down 30 lbs in a year. You don't have to work out but I do. (Just sayin'.)” I’m not quite sure I’m going to do this, but his theory is interesting and has proven to work for him. He is against carbs, against sugars because they’re the number one killers as he states. I think it borderlines the Atkin’s Diet, but more so, I am concerned about my ticker first and foremost. I love hearing different ways that people keep their weight down, but more so, how they stay healthy overall.

Little diet & exercise humor...
Two overweight women were walking home from work, and they began talking about their schedule of activities for the evening. "I've got an idea" said one. "Let's flip a coin. If it lands on heads, we'll go get a cheeseburger. If it lands on tails, we'll go to get a pizza. And if it lands on its side, we'll go to the gym to work out.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com