In September, I took on quite a lot of amazing projects and programs. I started grad school (two classes), an incredible new leadership development program, I ran a virtual program online for 15 days, hosted 4 live webinars and gave two talks in person. No wait, three talks.
It was an amazing month full of breakdowns and breakthroughs in time management and my own resiliency and work ethic. Truly, it was a great experience.
And it's not sustainable. Not one bit.
October and the rest of the fall months will be very different, because I am making them that way. While the hustle and bustle was fun and I learned so much from that experience, I noticed something: my homecooking tanked. I'm not saying I was cooking poorly, I'm saying I wasn't cooking much at all.
See, this doesn't work for two reasons.
1) I'm not walking my talk: I pride myself on walking my talk as a health coach. I need to do what I expect my clients to do to improve their own health and happiness. If I'm not cooking, I'm in no place to encourage them to do it.
2) Food affects our mood: Since I wasn't cooking a lot of nutritious meals for myself, I was grabbing stuff on the go or not eating at all. These are old patterns that didn't serve me in the past but I fall back into them easily from time to time. Pretty soon, the familiar symptoms started emerging: cranky mood, interrupted sleep, allergy symptoms, fatigue, restlessness, a touch of anxiety, cravings for comfort foods, hearing myself complain about my schedule, hearing myself say, "I can't do it, I just can't do it"...and that's just a few.
These days, I see these signs much faster and know how to turn things around much more quickly. I know them for what they are, which is an indication that I'm not cooking and eating whole foods regularly.
Yesterday I had a pile of work to do when the clock struck 6pm but I had to draw a line somewhere. I went to the store and got groceries and began cooking. Within minutes my mood lifted. My outlook brightened. My restlessness abated.
I felt strong. I felt happy. I felt more clear. And after I ate an awesome dinner, I felt fed.
I know every time I get too busy to cook I'm simply too busy. Cooking is essential for physical and mental health. If your schedule isn't allowing time for this essential lifestyle habit, then listen to Ice Cube: