Bridal Boot Camp – Day 14
Day 14 – July 19
As a normal American woman, I have problems letting go of stress. In fact I’d say that is one of my biggest personal downfalls. Chris has mentioned to me many times, in the nicest way possible, that I should find a better way to relieve stress. The thing is… I can’t. I just don’t know how. I’ve tried lots of things: running, walking, reading, long baths. But instead of relaxing, I just seem to bottle up my stress until I blow up. You know how if you shake a pop for long enough the pressure eventually blows the top off, or at least breaks the seal so all the gases can ooze out. That’s me. Eventually I break a seal and all my stress oozes out, usually in the form of tears.
I can still remember when Chris and I had first started dating and my “stress” seal broke for the first time in front of him. I was in grad school at Ohio University, but Chris would come pick me up on the weekends so we could hang out together in Columbus. I’d had a hard week. Class, my grad assistantship, my piles of research to get through, all of them were shaking up my bottle. Then Chris wanted to go out for pizza because he had coupons for a free one at Winking Lizard. However, I had been slowly munching on the same pizza all week since I hadn’t had time to make real food, or even shop for real food. I was pizza’d out. I tried to tell him in the meek way you tell your new boyfriend that you don’t really want to do what he wants to do. I also threw out there that I “had a really hard week” and “I could really use a cupcake.”
One of the ways I have always dealt with stress is through my sugar addiction. However, at the time Chris hadn’t learn to read my moods and my sugar cravings. So he ignored my cupcake request. That was mistake number two. The first was that he took me for pizza even when I had sort of told him I didn’t want to. Mistake number three wasn’t his fault at all. The restaurant was freezing and they sat us right under an air conditioner, right next to a 20-person soccer party. I was feeling all the pressure pushing at my seams ready to bust out. Then Chris noticed it and he did the tentative ask that you do when your new girlfriend is sitting across from you looking miserable, “Are you OK?”
That was the tiny pin that popped the bubble, or the straw that broke the camel’s back. Whatever it was, that was all that needed to happen for all my stress to ooze out. It wasn’t pretty. It was big ugly crying. Chris was horrified. He kept looking around, as if to see what had brought on the sobbing mess. He was also super embarrassed. As a big guy with a shaved head, he looked intimidating, and didn’t want people to think that he was the one who reduced me to tears. So he put his jacket on me and put the hood up, then sat next to me, blocking my emotional melt-down from the rest of the place.
We can both look back on this and laugh now. I wish I could say it was the last of these emotional outbursts. But it was the start of many. How I love this man for sticking it out with me, even though I seem unable to relieve my stress without a good hard cry. But in order to strengthen our relationship and ensure that this man will never run for the hills, I want to find a more reasonable way to relax. That is why I have it as one of my goals for this Bridal Boot Camp.
Last Friday I had my one-on-one with Maggie Fekete, the Arena District Athletic Club’s nutritionist. I went into it expecting to talk more about my diet and food, but Maggie’s approach to personal wellness is much more holistic than that.
Her initial consultation was about an hour long and she just asked me lots of questions about my personal health. Some of them involved food, but many of the questions were about how I live and what areas I would want to change in order to live better.
Almost immediately it was made apparent that I have some issues with stress. I often have problems with insomnia, and I can hold onto things that make me worry. This in turn, leads me to stress eat with sugary foods. The way Maggie effortlessly pin pointed these two issues, is a testament to her skills and expertise in not only personal nutrition, but also as a life coach.
In her initial consultation she gave me a few tips:
1. Make a list of all the activities that help me feel relaxed and do at least one of them each day.
2. To think about four aspects of my life as “Primary Food,” things that I take into my body that help fulfill me on an emotional and mental level. She calls these elements “Primary Food” because they are often more important than the food on my plate in terms of overall health. These lifestyle factors are Relationships, Career, Physical Activity, and Spirituality. When one of these “Primary Foods” is out of balance, we often seek to fill it with other things – usually food. For me it’s sugar.
After this visit there were two things Maggie toldme that she could help me with.One was that she wanted to do a private yoga session with me, to show me different techniques that could help relieve stress. She also wants me to sit with her for a special workshop on deconstructing cravings and sugar blues – which I think is a MUST for me.
But that is sort of how Maggie’s service works; she sits down with you and then can share what services she provides that she thinks will be the most beneficial to you. Some of her other services include a Pantry Cleanse and Grocery Store Tour, which I think is fascinating. She can help you go through the food you already have in your home and show you where some of the unhealthy choices are hiding. Then she takes you to the store and show you some healthier options you can use to replace the other stuff once it’s gone. She also does personal shopping, cooking demonstrations, and can even do health and nutrition guidance sessions.
You can check out all of the services she offers here.
I certainly plan on taking her advice and setting some goals to help make sure I can keep my stress in check. Then I plan on taking on my sugar addition. But more on that later. This week I have my second one-on-one with a personal trainer. I have a feeling my butt is about to be kicked!!! Stay tuned.
The Arena District Athletic Club is more than just a gym, it’s a premier fitness facility located in the heart of the Arena District in downtown Columbus. We provide convenience and quality, featuring top-of-the-line equipment, top-notch personal trainers, spa-like locker rooms and a wide variety of free group fitness classes daily including Cardio, Spinning, Barre Fusion, Yoga, Boot Camp and more. We offer free 2-hour parking and convenient contract-free memberships, to fit your healthy lifestyle needs. Don’t just join, belong.