A health moment I regret…

We all have health moments that we regret.  Maybe some of us have more than we’d like to remember.  I can think of many times in my life where I’m embarrassed to say what I’m regretful for.  However, this one part of my life stands out:

One of these cans were in my purse each day!

I had just graduated college and began working as a receptionist for a hair, nail and spa salon while applying for design jobs around NJ & NY.  This job was BUSY and stressful on so many levels.  From the moment I walked in the door in the morning the phones were ringing non-stop with clients scheduling appointments.  Clients were pouring in every few minutes to check in at the desk, pay, and be escorted to where they needed to go.  There was barely time to get up and leave the desk and when I did have a moment to I would have to check the bathrooms, tidy up the waiting rooms, stack the shelves, etc.  We had a half hour for lunch and if I was lucky enough to have someone cover the desk for that time, I’d hurry to the back to quickly throw something down my throat.  Except, working at a salon with 30 other women was super-intimidating.  There would be a handful of girls in the back all staring at one another head to toe.  Why would I want to eat something when I had a bunch of girls judging my figure, or when so-and-so was standing next to me with a tiny belly while mine was bloated and a few pounds too many?  So I got hooked on skipping meals or substituting them with Slim Fast shakes or Boost shakes.

Umm, EWW!

Or a bottle of one of these.  Yuck!!!

I worked at the salon for a little over a year with this behavior.  I’d leave work so wound up with stress that I would go directly to the gym to work it all out.  It was the only way I could bring myself down for the night…only to wake up to it all over again the next morning.  Very stressful.  Looking back I now realize that by skipping meals and replacing them with those processed, sugar-filled garbage shakes, I was doing major damage to my body.  I wasn’t nourishing my body with the fuel and nutrients it needed.  Meanwhile, the stress of that job was worse than any of the other stuff!

Eventually my body started speaking to me.  I broke out in hives for 15-weeks.  15-weeks!  Every morning my body was covered in bright red bumps to the point where I would have to wear long sleeves and pants to cover them up.  I began losing patches of my hair (alopecia) which was a direct result of way too much stress.  The other receptionist and I started keeping a bottle of vodka in the back bathroom so that we could make a drink for ourselves in the afternoon to cope with the stress of the front desk.  That’s when it hit me.  All of my health problems didn’t process as stress related until I started noticing my behavior on the job.  The stress was so bad that my body was literally screaming to “STOP! Slow down! Change what you’re doing before I combust!”

So, looking back on that whole stressful time, I’d clearly do some things differently to have taken care of myself, my body and certainly how I managed stress.  Slim Fast, Boost, skipping meals and working in a way-too stressful environment with many toxic, judgmental people is NOT a recipe for health. (Please note, I made tons of really great friends from this job who I’m still very close with and who may be reading this post.  Not all were toxic!)  But, this whole experience made me realize how we all have times in our lives where our health isn’t our top priority and we do some silly, not-so-smart things to get by only driving us closer to that ditch where we’ll surely end up.  Since we’ve all had them, we can learn from them and prepare better for the times ahead of us so that our health doesn’t have to be so compromised.

Can you think of a health moment that you regret in your life?  

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