A lesson learned the hard way

When I developed rheumatoid arthritis I changed pretty much my whole life to be able to control the disease without taking medications. I'm often asked what the toughest thing was to change or to give up.

While it can be quite challenging to follow the RA diet, I am a chef and passionate foodie after all, that's not the hardest part for me. Slowing down, spending time in silence, taking time for myself, this has been THE big challenge.

I'm type A+, a hardcore overachiever, and a ruthless perfectionist. I used to think these things were assets. They are not. I learned the hard way that our bodies and minds need rest and that we need to be gentle with ourselves. If we're not willing to slow down our bodies will eventually force the issue and break down. A cold. A sinus infection that never quite heals. Autoimmune disease. Or worse.

I see this pattern all the time with my private practice clients. Especially the women. Especially the moms. Go, go go. Push, push, push. Give, give, give. Won't slow down until they break down.  

I learned the lesson but it continues to be a challenge to put it into practice on a daily basis. I still find myself from time to time running myself ragged and pushing too hard. The past few weeks are a case in point. With the release of my cookbook on top of client work, my son starting high school, traveling for work, being a single mom, and a solo-preneur, I've been burning the candle at both ends. My body is getting angry. 

My remedies? Yoga, meditation, reading, listening to music, taking a walk, watching the birds at the feeders in my yard. Basically anything that disconnects me from my to-do list, my business projects, my type A monkey brain. Anything that I can do alone, in quiet, without much thinking.

Take a page from my book, my friends, slow down before you break down. You think you're invincible, but you're not. You think you can keep doing it all and not pay the price. You can't. No one is keeping score, I swear they're not, and there are no prizes for perfection. 

Posted on September 30, 2014 .