WORK VS HEALTH
Truthfully, I didn't think there would ever come a time where I would say no to the gym.... And then I started my first corporate job. Not gonna lie, when I was in college, I was in pretty decent shape. I loved the gym and eating well. The gym was my happy place. It was too easy to spend an hour and a half in the gym everyday and walk everywhere I needed to go. The annoying part was, everyone swore that once I graduated, it would be so hard to maintain the physique I wanted with a full-time job, and I swore right back that I wouldn’t lose the muscles I built and I wouldn’t gain weight. I hate being wrong, but MAN, was I wrong. When I first accepted my job, I planned how I was going to make time for the gym, eat right, and stay active on the weekends. When the job started.… I had no time for the gym and on the weekends, I wanted to lay in bed for the entire 48 hours and not move a muscle. I didn't know anyone in town either, and I didn't live in an area where I could walk to the store or to go grab coffee. I had to drive EVERYWHERE. Needless to say, I was losing it.
In this new position, I felt like everything had to be perfect. I couldn't mess up for fear of being yelled at, or even worse, fired. I had never been in a position where I was under as much stress as I was under during my first six months at this job. 18 credit hours with three jobs in college didn't even come close to what I was experiencing with my new life. The ultimate question became: "Can I workout today?" It became physically impossible to wake up an hour and a half earlier to go to the gym, and going after sitting at a desk for ten hours made my head spin. I was mentally exhausted. Fast forward a month into the job, I had lost 10 pounds, I wasn’t eating, I was consuming FAR too much coffee, and I was not sleeping. I was a wreck. The gym kept me sane in college, so I figured it could still keep me sane. I started working out again, but I was barely eating and I definitely wasn't sleeping. Recipe for disaster, eh? 100%. But NO ONE knew the mental breakdowns I was having, or how much weight I lost, or how I literally couldn’t eat lunch some days because I had SO much work to do. For some reason, I still felt the need to put on this facade that I was still a nutritionist and personal trainer like my certificates said I was. I acted like everything was okay, and it only continued (thankfully it didn't get worse than this).
The saving grace came in September when I was promoted. I was no longer sitting in an office, working 10 hours a day, under the same immense pressure I was under when I was in the office. I had the flexibility of making my own schedule, which meant I could finally get back into the groove of going to the gym everyday and regaining control of my mental and physical health. I was SO excited. The first two months of the promotion were tough. Adjusting to a new schedule of 12-15 hour days which included driving 2-6 hours a day was strange and I definitely saw myself heading down the same path of mental and physical exhaustion and dramatic weight loss. However, I quickly realized I wouldn't be able to handle another six months of that.
I jumped back into the gym, yoga, and walking around the new lake I lived by everyday. I gained the weight back that I lost (partial UGH/partial I knew I needed to). I still consume too much coffee and there are still some days where I don’t eat lunch. IN FAIRNESS TO ME, I have quite a few clients in locations where it’s almost impossible to find a decent restaurant because they are in the middle of Central Florida farms. But, I've finally regained my mental health and am working on my physical health.
I guess I decided to share this because I never really told anyone and I needed to put it out there, especially because I feel like I continue(d) that fitness freak facade. And I think I needed to admit that there was a long stretch of time that I wasn't okay, which is tough for me. It's been a hell of a year of experiencing serious stress and finally learning how to deal with it.
I chose work over my health and well being, and it took far too long for me to realize that mental and physical health are far too important to let anything else take precedence.