Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Hello Spring

Hello Spring
Here in Miami there isn’t much of a shift in the seasons.  The joke is that it’s always hot and sometimes just a little less humid.  This winter we’ve had the warmest winter on record (my brother is a meteorologist, I should know.)  But when you take a walk outside there’s no denying the sound of birds chirping or seeing blooms all over the trees

It gets us all excited for mango season – and when you see a tree that loaded with blooms, all the possibilities of what’s to come.  Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but we know whether it’s going to be a good season or a great season just from looking at the blooms.

To quote my yoga teacher, Marianne Wells Yoga School, “what does the promise of spring mean for you? Is there a thaw that needs to happen in your heart?  A pain, a loss that you’ve been hanging on to that you could release to the love and warmth of spring?  We owe it to ourselves to let go.  After all, nothing lasts forever.  That’s what the renewal of the seasons teaches us.”
And that got me thinking.  Sure I know my blog is normally about food and nutrition.  But I also write about well-being and the whole body-mind connection.  So I’m going to write about what’s been going on in my life.  It’s mainly been work as of recent.  I’m constantly trying to find a better balance between work and my personal life.  My previous job I had a 75 mile one-way commute.  Let that sink in.  75 miles one-way.  It was a 3-hour commute.  While the commute was a far distance I did at least drive against traffic – I know people that drive 10 miles and it takes them an hour in traffic – I’m not sure I could’ve survived that and often wonder how people do it.  Regardless it was 3-hours of my life spent driving daily.  When I would return home at night I’d be soooooo tired it felt like the life had been sucked out of me.  It’s hard to describe, but ask anyone that’s been so focused on the road, it’s draining.  Flash forward to my new job.  I have a 5 mile commute that takes about 20 minutes, some days 30 minutes.  But my days are long – from seeing patients and then charting on patient notes.  I always have the best of intentions of leaving at 4 – but I’d say in the last year that’s only happened a handful of times.  Most days I’m there at least until 6 pm (I start my day at 8) and then some days I’m there even later.  I’m not saying these things to complain, I’m simply using my life as an example from what we can learn from, what I can learn from. 

I love what I do and I love teaching people about diabetes.  I don’t love weight loss counseling – truth, there I said it – I like teaching people about eating healthy and with diabetes you’re able to show them how to manage their blood sugar levels with the food that they eat, the exercise that they do and an adjustment sometimes of their medication (and with insulin it’s even more exciting for me to teach someone about as it’s even better managed from the day to day checking of their blood sugar levels).  In these past two weeks I’ve had 2 patients with gestational diabetes and believe me when I tell you that their numbers are dependent on what they eat and we’re trying to completely manage their blood sugar levels with food and avoid using the insulin if we can.  The picture isn't the greatest, but you'll see below almost all of the patient's levels are at target - and the one that was above target two days in a row, so we switched her food at that meal and the next day it was within normal limits.  That to me is rewarding.
That’s the kind of counseling I enjoy.  The weight loss counseling is tough because it’s never about the food and so I don’t feel like I’m actually teaching patients rather I’m counseling them and let’s be honest I don’t have a psychology degree.  All of this background insight to simply say, I’m working too many hours in the day and I’m giving my patients beyond 100% and I’ve not been giving back to myself. 
My yoga teacher’s words really resonated with me the other day and had me really reflecting.  I always talk about ways to give yourself self-love – one of my recent blogs, Self-Care Sunday – was even on that very theme.  But I’ve been failing myself and not following through and actually giving myself my own self-love.  And because of this I’ve been feeling drained all over again.  It’s a repeat performance of my last job all over again.  And that’s why I started reflecting.  How am I going to change this?  How can I make this better?  It’s definitely time for a change and I know it cannot continue this way.
So yesterday I did all the things that I love and enjoy.  Probably should've spaced them out and not crammed them all in one day.  But I figured go big or go home!

-I meal prepped for just a couple of hours.  Setting up the staples for the week helps me (because I am getting home so late at night) that at least I can eat a good, hearty meal - because I am definitely not cooking once I get home.  Some people don't like cooking, but I find it can be relaxing.  I enjoy cooking healthy food that tastes good.  Nothing makes me happier - well, maybe grabbing a perfect picture of the meal I just prepared.  I styled a few pics of the food I'm eating this week.  Gotta document the healthy eats.

- I spent time with my family.  My mom shares a love of cooking, so we headed south to a fruit farm she knows of.  Great little find down south, Granddaddy's Farm Fresh Market, a small, local farm.  It's always rewarding being able to buy fresh food and support the farmer behind that food.  If I had to grow my own food I'd be doomed - I kill everything.  Thankful for the farmers that do grow the food.  The BEST strawberries I've ever had.

-I wrote a part of this blog.  I love writing when I have a theme and something I feel that people can learn from.  This week it wasn’t about nutrition but it was about a current theme in my life –and to be honest many of my most recent patients have complained of this very same thing.  Perfect timing and the writing just flows – welcoming Spring with open arms.  Things are going to change. 
-Yoga & meditation– I’m still nursing a rib injury.  I don’t have an interesting story to tell, I’m just a clutz.  Daily I’m doing something to myself, most times without harm, but this time I didn’t fair so well.  So I didn’t have any asanas (physical poses) except good old savasana – corpse pose.  But it was just what I needed to do – focus on my breath (that is hard to do with an injured rib) and just be still and present.
-HEAT game.  I LOVE sports.  Have I told you recently that I LOVE sports?!  My HEAT are pushing for the playoffs and they needed my support!!  Sure we got a L and not the W that I was hoping for, but there’s no other feeling that you get when you’re at the game cheering your favorite team on.    #HEATison   

-Reading.  I haven’t read an actual book in I don’t know how long.  Someone recommended Judy Blume’s latest book – "In The Unlikely Event"– and 75 pages in, I’m hooked.  I have to see how all the characters are connected and how this story unfolds.  I loved Judy Blume from her "Tales of Fourth Grade Nothing" days and she’s not disappointing me again.  Books are a great way to create an adventure.  This adventure keeps getting better page by page.  Can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

Immediately my job is not going to change.  It’s time consuming and at times stressful.  What I can change is how I spend my free time and make sure I’m giving back to myself.  I shouldn’t be cheating myself .  It’s the old adage – “You can’t pour from an empty cup.  Take care of yourself first.”   In order for me to make any impact with my patients I truly do need to start giving back to myself.  Spring is that time for change, growth, and renewal.  It is a time of new beginnings & new possibilities.    And it’s time to give back to myself because things are going to change…

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