week 8: separation anxiety

i have the pure and utter joy of watching my girlfriend’s little girl every now and then when momma & daddy need a night to themselves.  this little 13-month old bundle of joy makes me smile even on the most stressed of days.  babies just have a way of reminding you what life is all about – they’re just pretty darn happy.  most of the time that is.  just last week i went over to watch the little critter and my girlfriend warned me that the past week had been a rough one because the little one had entered the stage of separation anxiety, meaning my girlfriend had definitely earned her night out.  which left me at home with the baby, screaming…all out screaming.  let me preface this with the fact that this is not a bratty child.  it was obvious that the only problem was that she missed her momma and was NOT happy about the fact that she was gone.  so i’m trying to feed her dinner, all the while dodging flying sweet potatoes and flinging bottles. i then attempted to bathe her which was all too interesting.  finally about an hour-and-a-half later, it was her bedtime and still not wanting to be coddled, rocked, or soothed, i gave up and laid her in her crib hoping she’d worn herself out.  sure enough – she was out.  poor little thing: she didn’t like change and just wanted momma!

so how, you might ask, does that have anything to do with my life?  other than the fact that i’ve temporarily lost all hearing in my left ear, oddly enough i could relate totally with the wee little one.  sometimes life changes and we just don’t like it. we get out of our routine, things happen that we’re not used to, and sometimes i know that i probably deal with life just about like she did….kicking and screaming.  what i have learned though, is to learn to embrace change instead of fight it and in the meantime, i’ve learned more about myself than i ever knew possible.  just to give a little example, case in point: last week.  it was a crazy week which started with flying up north to my meeting with 24 hour on monday, getting in a mini-fight with the GPS system because the lady kept telling me to turn/exit until after i’d passed it, cruising every possible freeway in northern california until finally arriving late at night.  i too had a little episode of separation anxiety since amidst the chaos i forgot my fitbook (i know – shocking) and of course the workout facility at the hotel only had a treadmill and an elliptical so strength training was out of the question and my workout consisted of incline walking and pushups.  then i had my meeting that morning (which went fantastic by the way!), then hit the road again and flew back home that night.  the next day i had a girlfriend/colleague (ms. fitness & spice) fly into town and from the moment she got here we had back-to-back meetings.  we then headed down to san diego for more meetings, but did find time to get a workout in on the beach (at sunset – gorgeous) and while i did work, i must admit that my “office” was a view of palm trees and the ocean so i can’t ask for too much pity. then we turned around and headed back to orange county, stranded on the 5 freeway for 3 1/2 hours.  we then met up with my girlfriends that night, which meant 3 nights in a row out for me – this coming from the girl who’s usually in bed by 10.  point being: the week was amazingly fun, yet hectic and completely not routine for me at all.

here are a few of my aha! moments by getting knocked out of my routine and being forced to deal with the unexpected:

  1. since i forgot my fitbook on both trips (i can’t believe i’m admitting this!), i took a mini-vacay from writing down my food and workouts.  mind you, i’ve done this religiously for years now so i was surprised what a little time away from it did for me.  by just going with the flow for a few days and focusing on when i was hungry or if i really felt like working out, i was able to listen to my body.  while i am eager to get back to planning the coming week, i must say that it was refreshing to take a little break to really realize that sometimes i might eat a snack because it’s been 3 hours, instead of really thinking about if i’m hungry, or hitting the gym to get in my workout instead of just jogging on the beach so i can still be active but it also does wonders for de-stressing.  so while i’m not recommending everyone bail on the fitbook (heaven forbid!), i must admit that by getting out of my routine just for a few days allowed me to really listen to my body instead of just going through the motions.
  2. i love what i do.  fitlosophy is my true love.  but what i did realize is that sometimes, whether it be a relationship with your family or your job, if we don’t take time to take care of ourselves, those relationships suffer. sometimes i get a little anxious when i’m not working, constantly checking email, or thinking about what needs to be done.  this past week was a good wake up call for me because i still got work done, but i took out time to re-energize and that only made me more effective while i was working.  sometimes i piddle around and get caught up in the non-important, but when i was only working here and there maybe even only an hour at a time, i was forced to focus only on the most-pressing items and be ultra-productive.  this week helped me realize that now more than ever i need to focus in order to get the most bang for my buck when i’m working, which will leave more time for me to relax and refresh.
  3. life is short. while i may get caught up in going and doing, i made the effort to fit in time with friends and really spend quality time with them.  not only is it good for me to do that, but it keeps me in check when i get so stressed.  girlfriends (or friends in general i suppose) have a way of putting everything in perspective and what it did for me was to remind me that i work to live…not live to work.  we are only given one life and in the end we will not be judged on what size jeans we wore, how many hours we logged in the gym, or how many sales we closed…but we will be remembered for the moments that we touched other’s lives. relationships are just built over time and so this week was complete because i took the time out to invest in those things that make life truly worth living.

oddly enough, BLOG YOUR HEART OUT in week 8 is all about managing stress…and life.  if you find yourself stressed out, here are some amazing tips from the american heart association to get back on the path to health and effective living:

  • keep moving! regular physical activity is one of the best ways to burn off stress.
  • fuel your body with healthy foods and drink plenty of water to fight fatigue. know how stress affects your eating choices, and keep emotional eating under control.
  • get plenty of sleep on a regular basis. don’t bring your stress into the bedroom. set a curfew on computers, television, work and anything else that may interfere with sleep.
  • practice deep breathing and relaxation exercises to keep your body from living in a constant state of alert. take 2 minutes to slow down your breathing and unwind.
  • take small stretching breaks throughout the day to lengthen and relax tense muscles.
  • keep a journal to help you identify those tasks and daily demands that are sources of stress.  keep a notepad beside your bed to jot down the worries that creep in as you try to sleep.
  • unplug and take a break from technology. set aside time each day to focus your mind without distractions.

so i’m off to plan my week in my poor, neglected little fitbook; however a little time off has me appreciating the lil’ thing more than ever, and i can now approach it with a refreshed view and renewed ideas on what my goals are.  only one week until i launch the 12 weeks to a beach body challenge so gear up and get ready to join me.
itty-bitty-bikini…here i come!

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