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Healing through Grief

It's been a long time since I've written. A lot of that had to do with a very busy work schedule and some new business ventures. I am so grateful for all the positive feedback I've gotten recently about this blog and I was reminded how much this blog helped me when I was struggling with my health. 4 years later I am finding myself in a place where I feel like I need to go back to my roots and start over.

2016 was a whirlwind of a year. January brought the unexpected surprise of a full-time teaching position at Monmouth University. I was so excited about getting to teach dance full-time at the college level but because it was such an unexpected surprise I was still teaching for 2 private studios 10 hours a week and I was in the process of launching a new lifestyle program for dancers. Talk about  a lot going on! While I stayed true to the BED principles, I had let some sugar creep back into my life and honestly all the stress I was feeling made me crave it more. Once summer hit, I was able to get myself back on track minus the oh so wonderful So Delicious non-dairy ice creams I discovered. I was having a stressful time as I had to reapply for my full-time position as the university conducted a national search. While waiting to hear about my future I had to turn down 3 jobs. My stomach was in knots and I prayed that everything would work out. Luckily it did and I geared up for the fall.

August rolled around and I was so excited to find out I would be choreographing Spring Awakening. I also took over the University Dance Team. While I was no longer teaching at private studios I was working crazy hours for a while. I would start teaching at 8:30am and finish up rehearsals around 10:30pm 3-4 nights a week. My commute was an hour so I started sleeping at my Aunt's house so I could try and get as much sleep as possible. It was during this time that my husband and I also sold our condo and brought a new house. Needless to say lack of sleep, lots of responsibilities at the university and life were getting to me. I moved into my new house the week before Christmas thinking things would finally settle down. And they did for a while. By this point, however my eating habits had gone completely haywire and while I still was trying to stay on BED let's just say calling the local GF Italian place for dinner got very convenient during the holiday season.

The new year 2017 rolled in and with it came a sigh of relief. My spring work schedule was less chaotic now that I wasn't rehearsing a show and I was really excited for all my classes. The weekend before the new semester began, I got devastating news. My grandfather had had a massive stroke and they weren't sure if he was going to make it. I spent the next few weeks driving back to my hometown of Staten Island every chance I got to be with my grandfather at the hospital. He couldn't talk coherently and he was in so much pain. After a week of some good improvement, his symptoms took a turn for the worse and he passed away. I've never felt such pain in my entire life. My mind couldn't begin to comprehend what life would be like without my beloved Poppop. I stopped taking care of myself because I was so consumed with grief. I have to thank my husband for making sure I was eating somewhat well; otherwise I honestly would have eaten nothing but cake and ice-cream to feel better all the time. Last Tuesday marked 3 months from his death and I've been a bit of an emotional wreck.

Caring for yourself when you're in the midst of grief can be really difficult. 2 weeks ago I kicked sugar again (although I did give in to the So-Delicious ice-cream last night) and started up on cultured veggies again. I've been working on food combining and when I am doing it, I notice I'm less depressed and less anxious. Today has been a particularly emotionally draining day and I'm not sure what triggered it. I honestly could have spent the whole day in bed but I did manage to get in a Soul Stroll courtesy of Erin Stutland. The exercise and mantras helped tremendously this morning but by tonight I was feeling pretty sad again. The truth is I'm on a roller coaster of ups and downs lately.

So I'm here to start documenting my journey once again hoping it will heal me a second time in my life. I'll be bringing in some mantras, exercise, self-care, and good healthy food to revitalize myself once again. So here's what I leave you with tonight:

Mantra: I accept myself exactly as I am right now.
Whole Food Snack: Chocolate Nice Cream (frozen bananas, sweetener of choice (for BED stevia or Lakanto), vanilla, cinnamon, raw cacao powder blended in the food processor or high speed blender till smooth. Add water as needed to help with blending.)
Self-care: Snuggling with my hubby while watching a movie


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