This has been the toughest year I can remember having since the mid 90's as far as emotional stress, in dealing with some family issues and husband's health concerns. I don't know why I always thought my life would get easier with age because it just seems to get more complicated!
Without a doubt, the only way I have been able to survive this year has been to focus on maintaining and improving my healthy diet, regular exercise and the daily support at Trim Up - from my daughter (my biggest fan!), friends and members. There are times that I start my day feeling a little discouraged and down but it doesn't take long for these wonderful ladies to lift my spirits and mood. Even though most of my members do not know details of my personal struggles, they have made such a difference in helping me cope and to keep a positive outlook - just by their good energy, laughter and show of concern. There is nothing like girlfriend therapy - we love to cheer each other on, celebrating the "ups" and reach out with understanding during each other's "downs".
Just like any other small business, it has been challenging to navigate this economy and to carve out a place for ourselves in today's fitness industry. Even though it can be stressful and a huge responsibility, the pay back is tremendous as I see the lives that are changing through our program. These women are so appreciative of my efforts to keep them fit, healthy and informed with the latest nutritional findings (that you won't get through the media). All of the positive feedback and steady growth shows me that our program is working, is very much needed and the most important job that I have ever had!
For all of those who are also struggling with stress from health, physical or emotional issues, here is what has helped me keep from totally losing it. While it is not possible to change people or circumstances, I think that it is important to focus on things that you are able to control and that support you physically and mentally:
1) Exercise - it will release endorphins (feel-good) hormones to ease or even prevent depression, counter the stress hormone (cortisol) that is surging and boost energy and immune system.
2) Diet - even though your brain may be pushing you towards "comfort food", what you need more than ever is a nutritious diet - eating junky carbs and sugar will only spike cortisol, creating even more stress in your body. And if you have health issues, it is critical to counter the effects of illness and medication with an alkaline diet of fruits, veggies, water and fibrous grains.
3) Support - it does help to talk through problems with friends or family and know that others care. I am also a big advocate of professional counseling.
4) Positivity/Faith - surround yourself with positive, upbeat people who help you remember that it may not be perfect, but no matter what, Life is Good! Daily positive affirmations or prayer help to keep the negative thoughts out of your head.
So this Thanksgiving my Trim Up family is included in my many blessings and joys in life. (And I can not
forget that none of this would be possible without the support and patience of my dear husband!) And I hope that TUF has been an important
part of our members' lives as well!