Traci Anello

Food is art


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Day one: Self care

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down and wrote anything. Life gets in the way sometimes and when the focus is taken off of self, chaos looms. I say this because in the last 90 days what were actually some pretty marvelous events that have happened were perceived as losses not gains.

Recently I started a new job. I left my former job because of the negativity that surrounded every working moment. In a business where I developed the entire product line (gluten free products to be exact), it should have been celebratory to the gluten free community. It was quite the opposite for me. So in a sense, I guess leaving that job was my first step at taking care of self. It was a very large sacrifice in income, about 50% but what I gained was far more rich. Leaving a negative environment is like releasing the body of harmful toxins. Making the step to leave is the hardest but once you walk away, you feel the presence of light, a very calming light. You can breath better, sleep better and give yourself a nice pat on the back for what you did achieve. What they do with it is beyond my control so I needed to appreciate what I did and created and move on. My new position doesn’t pay as much but I have benefits that are very important. I have a daily commute of 30 minutes each way which instead of being a nuisance is actually My Time. It’s 30 minutes every morning and evening that I have to relax and reflect.

It wasn’t until the last couple of that I had time to think about it. I’ve been home sick. Something I have never done before. I have never missed a day of work until today. The stress and anxiety it brought me when the doctor said to stay home a couple of days was incredible. Until today. Today was the day that gave me time to think about why it’s okay. It’s about me. I have to take care of me. You would think a woman in her mid 40’s would already be doing that but not me…until now. While I was laying on my bed, I thought of what was important to me. I’m the third day into my antibiotic, so I know it’s getting better. I wanted to go to the gym. Then I wanted to take a nap instead. So I looked over at my cat and gave him a little lovings pat and decided today I’m going to the gym. I got up, got dressed and put my sneakers on. I got to the gym and did the 45 minutes of cardio I struggled to do.

The hardest part of this struggle is before I lost everything, I was going to the gym 6 days a week and loved it. It was my life. I was in great shape.Everything evolved around the gym. I had confidence and I could do anything. I had the energy. Every morning and lunch was a yogurt shake and then a salad for dinner. I loved it.  Then, life took some turns that I didn’t ask for help with. I thought I could do it. I hated asking for help. I would help anyone, but I just couldn’t ask for it. That was a life lesson I’ll never forget. Soon I was depressed. I stopped going to the gym. The 50# I had lost were right back on. I couldn’t think of exercising. It was horrible. First the business and then the house. I felt like some source larger than life itself was just plucking things from me left and right. Eventually I tried to get back into it but I think I was just too depressed. It didn’t matter. Why try. It was a self pity party that lasted 4 years. No time off or vacations. No flying to NYC twice a year to visit the city I love so much. It was all done. I lost it.

The last couple of months I would buy fitness magazines, take an occasional trip to the gym and start juicing. I would juice everyday.I loved it and I still do. Every morning was going to be the one. Back to the gym 5 days a week to start and I’ll be back into it. Then something or some thought would send me back. I’d buy a bottle of wine and a fitness magazine determined to start tomorrow, or the first or on Monday. Ugh.

This time at home has given me time to think about me. I want to get back to the gym. The only way I can is to just get up and go. It seems as though the only thing I can control is my body. Only I have the means to make it work or not. Yes, I’m determined. It’s not a Monday, or the first and I didn’t wait until tomorrow. I got up and went today. It’s a struggle but I’m determined. Eventually I’d like to run a 5K race. That’s my long term goal. My short term goal is to return tomorrow and repeat today.

 I can do this. I can build my life this time for me. I built a home and a business. I have to stop looking at them as losses and see them as knowledge gained, lessons learned.

Today I am asking for the help. I’m asking for support. I’m just looking for encouragement. If you’re a runner, any beginner tips would be helpful. If you’re someone who has thought you lost everything and now see that from a different perspective, I’d love to read your story.

Today is the first day.

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