Have you guys heard Rimsky Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumble Bee?” Take a listen from these fine fellows of Canadian Brass:
I feel like this piece is the musical accompaniment to my life the past three weeks. As you know, I’m in the final stages of finishing my master’s degree, a three-year long process that’s caused me a lot of grief. When you write a thesis, you go through millions of revisions, up to the point that you “defend”, which means you basically defend your completed work in front of a small group people and respond back to the comments and constructive criticism your graduate committee might have. At this point they can either sign a piece of paper granting you approval, and you graduate, or they can say they need more changes before they sign it and hopefully you’ll graduate, or they can say “You’re SOL”. I’ve been making changes left and right, and I’m really hoping on Thursday when I defend that I’ll have minimal changes to make before I get the all-clear to graduate. It’s been crazy… and I’m ready to get my life back to the still very busy but totally doable routine of work, blog, fitness, relationships, friends and maybe, just maybe, house-hunting. (PS big shout out to April for being so awesome and picking up my blogging slack! You go, girl!)
I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been stressed. My desire to stress-eat has been intense. After one particularly rough day last week when I got the first set of revisions and 10 e-mails stared me down with lists of things I had to immediately change, my first instinct was to make popcorn and crunch away my anxiety. But I didn’t – I took a quick walk around the block, came back, had a mango, and settled down to get to it.
Yes, I still ate out of stress, but it was a small mango – much less damaging than a bowl of calorie-laden salty crunchy popcorn. (PS – My latest passionate fruit love affair is definitely Mango. I just took our relationship to the next level by buying the giant jumbo pack from Costco!) I’m still making time to fit in exercise, and tonight, I met with a friend (Hi Suz!) for a long leisurely walk. I’m trying to view exercise as less of an item on my to-do list and more of as a natural stress relief. I know those endorphins will mellow me out, because my body’s been in a particularly flighty panic mode as I imagine not graduating and being sentenced to what feels like the rest of my life in grad school. But that’s just anxiety – anxiety I can work through by getting good nights of sleep, eating well, and fitting in exercise when I can. It’s weeks like this that remind me even if the scale isn’t showing what I want, I’ve made huge changes in my life when it comes to food and fitness.The old Alyssa would have no problem eating popcorn when stressed, nor would she hesitate to blow off all forms of fitness just because it was one more thing to do. But Alyssa 2.0 knows that living a healthy life means not just losing weight, but managing stress, too.
Have you been stressed out this week? How are you managing it?