I was not eating as well as I could have, and tended to overeat as a way to attempt to calm very high anxiety and stress levels. I had just had an abdominal surgery and was struggling to get back into an exercise routine and knew that I needed to manage chronically high stress levels and chronic physical pain related to a major accident a few years prior. I also needed to enhance my overall sense of self-confidence and self-care. I was falling far short of ideal in many aspects of my life.
I have learned that I cannot give to others from a place of emptiness. I have come to understand that I must make taking care of myself and my own needs my priority, and that this does not reflect selfishness. The resources I have used in working with Vanessa at Sweat and Butter have been truly invaluable in helping to get my life more balanced in physical and emotional realms. I have seen the improvements in myself as I have progressed throughout the program, and now I feel like I can confidently fall back on some of the strategies that Vanessa has taught me to help find more balance in a high-stress lifestyle.
I almost never eat junk food anymore. I eat a very healthy and wholesome diet, and drink primarily water and tea. It feels so much better to eat this way, and I rarely crave junk food at all!!! The diet has not been hard at all to maintain, but rather my self-care needs have been a continual struggle for me against the weight of trying to complete 2 PhD tracks concurrently. Being said, Vanessa has helped me to see via multiple means that I have made some significant progress since starting the program, and we continue to work on my stress management and self-care. Vanessa also introduced me to Bikram Yoga, which helped my physical pain significantly. It is also an excellent tool for stress management, as is the deep breathing exercise I have learned. Meditation is also a great tool for me. My biggest problem at this stage is trying to make time for myself to attend to these needs, as with a very, very strong type A personality, I seem to have no issue accumulating more and more work/stress.
I had basically lost hope for myself in the physical and emotional realms of my life prior to beginning this program, and in working with Vanessa, I have realized that positive change and a more hopeful life is within my reach. I am so, so glad that I have been working with her, she really has changed my life!
This program is MUCH more holistic than a typical dieting regimen or life-improvement program. I have never been engaged in a program that works on the WHOLE person based on the circumstances going on in their life. Not only do you form a strong partnership with the coaches, but also a friendship. They are so encouraging and kind, and there is no judgment. They really understand that there are so many components to finding happiness and balance in life, that you can't ultimately meet true success by working on just a couple facets (i.e. just focusing on your diet/exercise, just focusing on relationships, etc.).
I feel more balanced all the way around, and am looking forward to continuing to work with the S&B team. I still have a lot of improvements to make, but I feel like I am (finally) on solid ground and pointed in the right direction. This truly has been a super-positive, life enhancing experience!!!
It was nice to know I am not the only one who struggles with some of the issues we discussed regarding attitudes towards food.
I really liked being given a challenge each week. They were easy, small changes to make in my diet and I have found that by incorporating one small change each week, I was able to stick with it and have really noticed some positive changes.
I’ve noticed increased energy! I've also noticed a decrease in cravings for "junk" - after adding leafy greens, whole grains, and healthy fats to my meals, I've really crowded out a lot of the junk I used to consume.