Traci Anello

Food is art

Day one: Self care

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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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Author: Traci A.

Hello and thankyou for visiting my food page. I am a chef, culinary instructor, food consultant and plantbased certified as well as a mom. I've been in this industry for over 30 years. I'm here to show you how important the healing powers of food can be. From creating the idea to choosing the ingredients and finally the preparation both physically and mentally as well as spiritually.From start to finish, what you put into food is what others will receive. Food, the power of love and healing.

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