Maximize Your Life: Jillian Michaels

photo 2(Note: pardon the stream of consciousness tonight .. mind is reeling!)

Tonight I had the opportunity to see the firecracker that is Jillian Michaels LIVE here in good old Kalamazoo, one stop on her Maximize Your Life tour.

To be honest I had no clue what to expect. Most people know Jillian as the motivating trainer that barks at her team members on The Biggest Loser, or warns us not to “phone it in” during her fitness DVDs.

But behind the drill sergeant facade is an absolutely adorable, lovable, funny as hell — and, yes, fit and beautiful — woman.

Someone I’d totally want to be friends with … provided she wouldn’t kick my ass to Texas! Continue reading “Maximize Your Life: Jillian Michaels”

The Disordered Mind

A friend wrote this fantastic post that I wanted to share. I identified with it so much that I almost had to ask myself — Self, have you written a post that touches on this, too?

So I started looking and then promptly gave up. I’ve been blogging since June 2008 and have written more than 1,200 posts … too much to sift through and sleep was calling.

Anyway, in her post, Marci — a WW leader and WW success story — says, “I sent my son to Trader Joe’s for an item.  He bought exactly that item.  That’s it.  One item at Trader Joe’s.  Really?  I could NEVER go to Trader Joe’s and not even look around, get tempted with their goodies at every end-cap.  What a light bulb moment to know that some people truly will never have a food problem.  I envy them, but need to accept that, weight problem or not – I will always have a food problem.”

Continue reading “The Disordered Mind”

My Therapy

Though I was an early talker (are you surprised?!) and still love to talk, writing has always been the most therapeutic form of self-help for me.

I began journaling in fifth grade, chronicling nearly every day of my life — and I haven’t stopped since.

Traveling with me from my childhood bedroom in Vernon, NJ …  to my dorm room at American University in our nation’s capital … to my first apartment (and subsequent apartments!) … to my first home have been the two dozen or so spiral-bound notebooks filled to the brim with words and experiences, etched forever in varying handwriting styles and a wide array of ink colors.

I’ve been both lovingly teased for my “chronicles” and admired for my commitment to journaling … but I don’t do it for laughs or praises; I do it because it’s what works for me — and because I love the idea of a living, breathing biography … Continue reading “My Therapy”

On Coping Mechanisms

Tonight I watched the movie Precious.

Though I’d read the book it’s based on (Push), I wasn’t quite sure what to expect in the cinematic version.

The book had been very graphic and complex and difficult to get through at times.

Though I read it in one night back in January, I cried and wanted to throw things when reading it — the injustices are just sickening.

I was not disappointed by the film, but, like the book, it certainly wasn’t easy to get through. I mean … how much can one woman be put through?! Continue reading “On Coping Mechanisms”

Reframing Works!

reframingI don’t know if I’m speaking prematurely here (and I hope I’m not) but my anxiety levels are at an all-time low at the moment, even with my in-laws here.

Anyone who knows me in real life (or followed my blog last September) knows that this pretty much a ginormous deal.

I won’t go into details here for the privacy of my family, but I will say that reframing the situation has really helped me ten-fold.

I know one of the things Dr. G. wanted me to focus on in therapy was reframing situations, and amazingly, it worked when I actually tried it. Making the conscious decision to look at a situation differently really did wonders; I felt like a huge weight was lifted.

Continue reading “Reframing Works!

“Is That All There Is?”

1FEgcOolSorry to be such a downer/drama queen tonight, but this weekend I had one of those epiphanies that make you kind of question everything about your life and the direction in which you’re headed.

I’m 100 percent guilty of forgetting to/failing to live in the moment, and I’m always looking ten steps ahead.

This forward-focused outlook has served me well academically in my youth and even professionally … but personally, it’s basically been a thorn in my side.

It makes me an impatient person, it means I often interrupt conversations (even though it’s not deliberate) and means I often don’t stop to smell the roses, let alone see them.

And that makes me sad, because I’m a very detail-oriented person who recalls every little thing … if I take the time to notice it, that is.

Sometimes I can be in the moment.

Friday night, for example, I totally had a blast at a happy hour goodbye party for our friend, and then easily practiced intuitive eating at dinner at a Mexican restaurant with another group of our friends. I just focused on the company (my hubby and our friends) and enjoyed the night to its fullest. I felt alive in every sense of the word; I wish the feeling could last forever.

But then Saturday night, after a fun day at the park with my husband’s work department, I found myself sitting home alone (he was studying, no friends/family were home to chat with or hang out with).

It was about 9 p.m. and I’d just finished reading a great novel about an enduring friendship (Firefly Lane, in case you’re interested–thanks D.!). I closed the book, and then thought … “OK, now what?” Continue reading ““Is That All There Is?””

Slow. It. Down.

roadrunner2
Lately I’ve felt as though I’ve been grasping for straws trying to get my life in order after a fall/early winter spent in much disarray.

I’ve noticed a correlation between body happiness and overall happiness/contentment/sense of order. Right now, I’m not in that body-love mode, and so my life feels “chaotic.”

Between my marriage, friendships/family, social life, work, blogging, the gym, and now my Lia Sophia business on the side as well as upcoming personal training sessions, I am going to have quite a bit on my plate — certainly not as much as my friends who are working moms, or those with a new baby, or my husband who is working full-time and getting his MBA part-time. But plenty to keep me occupied, and hopefully distracted from disordered eating behaviors/issues.

On the flipside, I asked for it, have made the strides to do something for me … and I am going to embrace it. Continue reading “Slow. It. Down.

View from the “Couch”

shrink_couchSo I’ve been seeing Dr. G (my therapist, for anyone who is new to my blog) since August.

At first it was weekly, and then in October we switched to bi-weekly for insurance reasons.

I didn’t know how long I’d need therapy for when I started; I was nervous and I had no clue if I’d even be receptive to it at all.

But it’s been a gift. It’s been helping me understand my innermost workings — how my anxious brain functions, and why it responds to stimuli like stress or anxiety or fear the way it does.

Though I haven’t stopped all my disordered eating behaviors cold turkey, I’m learning to manage them … to identify them and sometimes use them as a last resort — whereas before therapy, those behaviors were my visceral reactions.

The biggest thing I’d say I’ve come away with is a newfound awareness; of why I think the way I think; why I behave the way I behave.

She’s helped me reframe my disordered eating issues, which has in turn helped me reframe things in my personal and professional life.

Still, I was a bit surprised when, towards the end of our particularly lively session Thursday night, Dr. G. asked the loaded question — “Where would you like to take things next?” Continue reading “View from the “Couch””

Perception and Reality

lightbulb1I had an epiphany after watching THIN for the second time, this time with my husband.

Needless to say, he was very, very disturbed by the movie. I’ll be honest, part of why I wanted him to see it was to show him, “Yes I am still struggling, but look, I’m not as extreme as these girls.”

But my husband is incredibly bright, and he knows me so well that it’s scary. While he agrees that I’m not as extreme as those girls, he picked up on some of the things the girls did — their behaviors — that mirrored mine.

To name a few … changing clothes 3 million times (guilty since age 7?), staring at myself in the mirror and prodding (totally a weight loss result — the obsession), chewing-and-spitting (my formerly shameful secret; now I just relapse from time to time), picking apart their food (guilty!), obsessing over weight gain, real or imagined (I try not to, but sometimes find myself doing it) ordering specifically (though that’s nothing new really; I’ve been a picky eater for as long as I can recall); ordering “diety.” (I’ve gotten better with this one).

And I wonder if subconsciously, I wanted him to point these things out in the film. Because they’re all things he’s been concerned about for me for years now; things he’s tried to talk me out of and things that, especially in the beginning, I shrugged off (“I’m not obsessing!”.)

All this time, he’s just wanted to make me see I am beautiful as I am, that I don’t need to obsess over my body, that there’s more to life than my outer self. Continue reading “Perception and Reality”

Midnight Munchies

InsomniaMy pledge to only eat when seated hasn’t been working.

I haven’t eaten in my car (save for chewing a piece of sugar-free gum) but every night for the past week (except for one night) I’ve woken and eaten … standing up.

As you know, this has been a problem I’ve been dealing with for over three years now, on and off.

My doctors have no explanation, my therapist doesn’t see it as a problem (and moreover, she wants me to not view it as a problem, either).

But I am sick and tired of not sleeping through the night. Of restless nights and stressed-out mornings because I “didn’t make it through the night.” Continue reading “Midnight Munchies”