Month: June 2013

Mixed Messages

Normally I feel the hospital I work at is tends to promote health well, and supports their employees in lifestyle-improving endeavors. There is a gym on the premisis, our cafeteria food is typically well balanced, and most food items offered even have bar codes next to them so you can link to your My Fitness Pal account, directly scanning in nutrition facts. Oh–and nutrition facts print out on your receipt! All wonderful steps toward a health-conscious and wellbeing-friendly work environment.

However, today I came across this:

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Now I know there’s often room for interpretation when it comes to determining which foods are “smart choices,” and which are maybe those you should eat less frequently. But I don’t think anyone’s ever classified Twix bars, cookies, or Corn Nuts as health foods. So, rating this vending machine as “S for Smart”? No wonder this country is confused…

What’s your take? How do you combat misinformation related to food and nutrition? Any tips that have worked for you in regards to staying healthy at work?

Happy Friday, everyone!

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Happy Birthday to ME!

Today, I begin my 25th year of life on this often times lovely planet. And I am pleased to report that I find myself in good spirits, and very happy with where I am right at this moment. I think back to my younger years, when we girls were planning out the age we’d be at our weddings, how many kids we’d have, and how we’d manage being an actress, a scientist, a journalist, being a mom, AND being a circus acrobat all at the same time, all by this very date–my 25th birthday (anyone else?). Naturally, my life is nothing like what I had pictured then for 25-year-old Sam. But the incredible thing is that I am OKAY with it. And my complete acceptance of where I’m at now only creates more happiness for me, as I feel I can truly call myself an adult. I understand that there’s more to come, and that I do have so much time left. There are endless opportunities ahead of me, and accomplishments, challenges, and joys I will have that I have no way of even expecting now. But I can also see that in order to create positive change for myself, I must act now, learning about myself more and more each day, no matter how much it hurts sometimes.

The best is yet to come, and I have a fantastic feeling about year 25.

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Oh what a day is today…

The Darkness

I’ve not typically written here about my depression. This may, perhaps, be an effort on the part of my guarded subconscious to keep my depression a secret, as I often feel compelled to do. It is not on purpose that I keep this aspect of my life out of my blog, but I haven’t made a strong effort to include it either.

Yesterday, however, I was truly struck by it, and must congratulate myself on identifying what was going on. I figure if it’s been so difficult for me to understand the workings of my own mind, I can’t be alone, and maybe some of my readers will benefit from a share.

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On Tuesday night, I was leaving my second job (working in an eating disorder recovery program), and had a recurring thought: “I fucking love my job.” The day had been hard. A client was sent out to the hospital. And eating dinner with a group of recovering anorexics, bulimics, and binge eaters, I assure you, is no breeze. But I was truly so excited to be there, and recognized how lucky I was to have found what I believe to be my true calling at the ripe age of 24. I couldn’t wait to return two days later.

Thursday finally arrives. But I come into work, and I just feel… different. Can’t quite put my finger on it. It’s a vague sadness, finding it hard to notice color in things. But it’s more than sadness. I hear a negative voice that has had its volume maximized. The self-loathing overtakes me, and I doubt everything I have to offer the world. It hurts to smile. I can’t seem to find the brave face I feel my clients need to see plastered on me for their recovery process to be adequate.

I begin to panic: here I go again, getting bored before something even has the chance to begin. I start to hate myself for, once again, jumping to the conclusion that I love something before I have the chance to see its dark side, believing that I have no choice but to hate this career choice forever. I catastrophize my life.

Then I remember: I am depressed. Sometimes the darkness creeps in, and it often has very little to do with where you are, who you’re with, and what you love. It can overtake you at inopportune moments, and when you least expect it.

I don’t justify my feelings as a cop out. It’s true I may be depressed, but I won’t be victim to it. I refuse. I will do everything in my power to prove that I can beat this, as I have decided that it will not run my life. BUT, I believe that recognizing these moments–being able to know what that sadness feels like inside, and recognizing why it’s happening–is the first step to finding your cure.

This is not your fault. You are not bad. You are not lazy. You are not stupid. But you are not a victim. And you are not alone.

ImageIf you have battled depression, or any other mental illness, please feel free to utilize the comments section below as a means of support. Others need it just as much as you do! ❤

Quick Quote

The wise will choose to be happy rather than to be sad or to make others sad. It is wiser to be happy and make others happy as well.

Found the above sentiment (that I somewhat paraphrased) floating around the blogosphere, and it spoke to me loudly. Since it addresses some major thoughts I’ve recently had, I thought others might benefit from having heard it as well.

What do you think? True, there are factors related to our own happiness and that of others that remain beyond our control. But what CAN we control, and use to our advantage web it comes to our emotions and overall wellbeing? Probably more than we realize…

What are your thoughts?