Take one new marriage. Two “kids” in college out of state (and paying for said college!). One of those college kids spending a summer alone in China. Two new teenage step kids. One solo-practice attorney. Mix together. Sprinkle with constant marathon training with a goal of qualifying for Boston after having run it FIVE years ago. What do you get? STRESS.
It’s no wonder that I am a huge sucker for any articles, blogs, books or podcasts that have to do with reducing stress. I feel like I’m always in search of a magic cure to reduce anxiety and live a healthier, more mindful life. So when I got an invitation from E Squared Health to an event called “Redefining Stress Seminar”, with promises to teach me how stress may be affecting me and strategies to optimize my health, I was ALL IN.
And in the hour I spent at the seminar, I learned a lot. And it was fun. It was put on by two men who are clearly passionate about teaching people about health so that they can apply it to their lives in a way that will have lasting impact. The biggest take-away from the seminar for me was that my stress wasn’t just from the obvious things like my job, relationships, and finances. Instead, there were also less obvious things contributing to my “stress cup” overflowing. Like my crappy eating (duh). My intense workouts (makes sense now that I think about it). My super bad sleeping (uggggg). And more. Here’s E Squared’s blog post on “Redefining Stress” if you want to take a peek.
After the seminar I wanted to continue working with E Squared because I liked their philosophy. E Squared Health, with the “E’s” being “Educate” and “Empower”. They don’t just have a one-size-fits-all plan. They assign a coach to work one on one with you. They take time to get to know a person – their current life, medicals, history, goals, diet, weaknesses, etc. And then they figure out what could/should be changed in your eating habits, your exercise, your vitamins, or whatever. And they set daily goals for you to work towards whatever it is that you are working towards. But the best part of it – in my opinion – is that they don’t just tell you “Do this every day for 2 weeks” – they tell you WHY they are having you do something every day for 2 weeks. They educate you. So that you understand why you are doing something – why it is benefiting you now and contributing to your over all health and well-being.
Things I have worked on with them:
- Protein. They analyzed my diet (by having me write generally what I eat on a daily basis). When they looked at my diet in combination with how much exercise I do (A LOT) – they were not surprised that I have a history of stress fractures and crappy marathon performances – they basically said I was starving my body. Not fueling it properly. They estimated that I was only eating about 60 grams of protein a day. They said with my level of activity/training, I should be aiming for 125 grams of protein a day (my body weight in grams). So they set a goal for me to have two of my meals a day include a fist sized serving of animal protein. And then to just fill in the protein with snacks, cheese, etc. Doing this, I increased my daily protein to about 100 – 120g a day (I looked back in myfitnesspal and they had underestimated what I was eating and I actually only was averaging about 40g of protein a day before I worked with them). So has this made a tangible difference for me in any way? YES. I have been having AMAZING training runs. Consistently. Better than I ever remember having. Like doing my marathon pace long runs at 10 – 15 seconds per mile FASTER than my goal marathon pace and having it be very managable. And doing my intervals faster (and feeling better) than the exact same intervals/training run that I did in February/March when I was training for Med City (and only eating 40g of protein a day). And I feel better about myself. I am hungry less often. I feel better about the foods I’m putting in my body. I am SUPER excited and encouraged and confident about this marathon training cycle. Stay tuned (and yes, I just knocked on the wood desk when I wrote that).
- Yoga. I started it in November and surprisingly loved it. The last couple months I’ve been slacking with it because I was trying to fit upper body weight lifting in (not on the advice of E Squared – just on my own). It was too much to fit it all in. But my coach – Coach Middy – helped me realize that I want and need to make yoga a priority again. So Coach gave me the goal of yoga class 3 times a week. This week I’ve gone 4 times and FEEL SO GOOD. Laying down on my yoga mat at the end of a work day is THE BEST feeling. I literally do the biggest exhale when I lay down on the mat and close my eyes and nap for 10 minutes until class starts. It gives me a short term end of the day stress release. But longer term I have noticed that I sleep better, I don’t have the constant knots in my neck and – weird spiritual comment coming – I feel more at peace and mindful about life.
- EFA Supplements. Stay tuned. Too new to provide much detail about.
Stay tuned for more details on things I learn about health and fitness and managing stress from E Squared Health. If you are looking for some very tailored guidance and education on things that will actually help you with your specific situation and goals, I highly recommend contacting the folks at E Squared Health! *
*Disclaimer – E Squared did give me two months of free coaching after the seminar, at my request, if I agreed to blog about my experience. I did tell them that the blogging I would do would be honest – whether good or bad. Lucky for them, it ended up being good. 🙂