A Wellness Journey Begins

My health in the new year has been a roller coaster, and has thrust me headfirst into a new wellness adventure. It was a ride I wanted to go on willingly, after I did a lot of research on nutrition throughout 2014 in a push to create habits that I want my daughter to emulate and also, may she never know it, to lose the last bit of baby weight that has stubbornly held on and stop the hurtful comments about my post-baby body. But the motivation was also the curse: a pregnancy-developed weakness for sweets and other processed eats that always won out over my commitment to all I had learned about wellness, and my desire to commit to a lifestyle that makes perfect sense to me and reflects the person I want to be.

But with little slices of heaven like Torico and Milk Sugar Love both within a few blocks' walk of my front door, and all of the truly spectacular restaurants around Jersey City, how am I to resist? Or anything else that I mindlessly munch on in those afternoon lulls. And Seamless, oh Seamless. It just seems too easy too many nights per week to push your buttons, rather than chop my veggies.

But, you guys, you know what helps your level of commitment? Fear. And sadly, that's what's pushed me over to a new lifestyle this month when my hustle levels hit markers that evidently have physical repercussions. But I'm very happy, however the means, to be living like this. It feels good.

Now how does one arrive at such a health scare? Stress, in my case. We moved to New York to pursue an opportunity to change the advertising, design and creative communications worlds for the better. To infuse life into a near-century year-old organization. The first organization in the world to demand that the standards of advertising art be as rigorous as those of fine art, no less. What a lovely intention, isn't it?

It is certainly not lived up to in today's day, but that's why we were brought in. We tore things up, we asked challenging questions, but people are sometimes not ready to take a hard look and ask themselves if they're willing to change and grow in the way they'll have to for any industry-wide change to even be possible. Because that takes hard work, and sometimes it's easier to coast and be a robot in an industry of other self-proclaimed creative... robots. Nevertheless, we've believed in these robots for fifteen and ten years, respectively, and always in the industry's potential.

Simultaneously, we welcomed an unexpected(ly wonderful) daughter into our lives, and my own life transitioned suddenly into a new role of mom. First a working mom, then a stay-at-home mom, then a stay-at-home working mom (those are the really crazy kind). Ever the while, a fiercely loyal and protective of her baby cub, mom. But my head couldn't stay out of the game of the challenge we accepted together, so even when I was out of the game and at home, I've been in the game.

And our game is a lot of hustle fueled by a lot of passion, but combined with the challenges of every day life and relationships, the game has worn me down. I admit it. As a result, my mindless or anxious snacking on non-food, while in the course of the same day making homemade almond milk and granola, or muffins, or a Pinterest-inspired dinner for my family, left me in food no-(wo)man's land. See, I know what to eat, what to put in my body for a win-win situation. But my taste buds and their cravings for things like Ben & Jerry's or Cheez-Its always win. My gut, in the process, lost.

Gut health, I've learned, is of the most central importance in every facet of your life. It relates to the functioning of your brain (and vice versa in times of stress), could contribute to your fatigue, anxiety levels or depression, it could affect weight loss and appetite, and so much more (I'll list some of the articles that have inspired me to learn more lately at the bottom of this post).

I immediately changed my diet, while I waited to understand what's going on through ultrasounds, endoscopy, all manners of bodily fluid tests. You name it. I still don't know and am waiting for half the tests. But I can control what I'm using to fuel my body in the meantime, and you don't have to throw your eyeballs very far to find resources to educate yourself as to the manner in which you want to eat.

I'm beginning this wellness journey with food. But also with a team from around Jersey City that I've begun to construct to help me on this wild ride. I'm going to share more about each of these resources in separate posts, including:

  • Busy Bee Organics
  • Bone-In Food
  • JS Wellness (Acupuncture)
  • Brian the Chiropractor
  • Radical Wellness
  • Institute for Personal Growth (ipg)

The devastating part is that I just missed a Health and Wellness Fair, hosted by Modern Sage this past Saturday, at which essentially every resource I'd be looking for was present. I had every intention of going, but forgot to put it in my calendar (fatal flaw) and I just spaced out during a very busy day.

On Sunday morning, I had a FOMO hangover worse than any college kid's tequila-induced one. Because a health journey is a personal, sometimes frightful, sometimes insightful and inspiring process, and it's hard to find the resources with whom you want to engage. But it's been the opposite for me in Jersey City. Aware, educated, creative, inspired minds are living, selling and promoting whole, well living and it's really encouraging.

So, there may be more rants and rambles posts than usual as I navigate these waters and share more about the good people helping me paddle down this river. It's more open book than I ever thought B+aBBQ would be, but this is a Jersey City journey as much as it's my health journey, so I'm going to share the experience for anyone else who might be seeking these kinds of resources to be well, too.

If you have other recommendations to check out, tips or advice, please share them in the comments below.