Jan 12, 2011

"I don't get stressed."

Stress. Stress is usually something that I feel like I pretty much never have. I have an easy life. Like most middle class Americans, I generally know that my next meal will be there, my house will be warm, and that my family will be supportive. Like most Christians, I remember that God is always there to take whatever burdens that I think I have. And like most federal employees, I know that my job is pretty much always going to be there, and that nothing about it is really going to stress me out. 

I even seem to see stress as a weakness to overcome. My husband gets stressed about his job, and even though he has great reason to be, and they call/text/email him at home on weekends and evenings, I still  tend to get aggravated when he just can't let it go. I know I should be supportive (after all, I'm his family), but I tend to lean a little heavily towards "If you don't like it, change it; if you can't change it, let it go." 

But lately I've actually been stressed. For awhile I was stressed about money, and now finally I have a plan, and everything is back to normal. In addition to that, I've been stressed about my experimental project that will cap off my Masters of Public Health degree. I am so looking forward to that, nearly all I can think about is the graduation. Who will come, what will we eat, where will we eat it...? But there's this huge thorn in between me and that glory: the project! 

I had to create a plan last semester, complete with dates when each part of the project will be done. Needless to say, I haven't stuck to that plan in the last few weeks. I'm behind, and only this week have I really started to catch up. I've spent 3 straight days in the lab: preparing for the experiment, running it, washing up, running some more... and now I've got to wash everything up and prepare to do it all again next week. I can't express how great a relief it is just to be doing it. 

It's like running. You get all worked up with "I'm not exercising like I'm supposed to. The big race is coming up. They're all going to think 'who does she think she is? a runner?!'." I'm realizing now that it's like that with this, too: "You're behind, there's no way you'll get it done, you don't even know how you're going to do that one part. They're all going to think 'who does she think she is? a scientist?!'" Well, I'm not a scientist, but I'm closer to being one today that I ever have been--just like I felt on that day of my first race. 

So I'm trying to remind myself that stress has taken its toll on me lately. I've made some poor eating/drinking choices. I've slacked off on running (this week). But we can only do what we can do, and this week is all about this project. It is getting done. It is going to be good. God knows the results are going to be a trip to write about come writing time, but they're at least coming out. 

And stress is leaving my body. I need to remember this feeling. It feels good


Here's what I've eaten today: 

Breakfast: 1/2 cup old fashioned oats, made with water and 1/4cup 2% milk
Lunch: a carrot, 1T ranch dressing, and Healthy Choice Balsamic Chicken
Afternoon snack: a pear, and a Kashi cookie
Dinner will be (unless the snow derails our plan): 2 chicken/shallot/lettuce/mayo wraps, and roasted butternut squash

And yesterday when I thought I did so poorly? (reference 4 slices Domino's pizza + 2 beers, then Hershey's kisses), I still came out at 1860 for the day. Not too shabby. 


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