Revamp Monday: True Confessions!

I’m a workaholic. I have a hard time slowing down and unplugging from work obligations, especially when I have a lot to do. There’s a sort of adrenlin-rush that comes from busy-ness and activity and a bit of anxiety that comes over me when there’s nothing going on. I always feel like I should be “doing something”. I actually have to make a concerted effort to rest when work is calling. Crazy, huh?  But they say that recognizing you have a problem is the first step towards finding a solution, so I suppose I’m halfway there!

Of course, knowing what to do is a lot harder than doing what you know.  In today’s “Revamp Monday” Tanzy reveals her own struggle in “Confessions of an Abuser,” but I don’t mean for you to esteem her struggle in contrast to mine. You should see them as one and the same, for they both have one crucially common component: our health. My penchant for busy too often pushes me to the brink. I suffer from migraines, high blood pressure runs in my family, heart attacks and strokes are common risk factors. We both have to take seriously the lure of our addictions–even those that seem, on the surface, to be a good thing!

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It was a stressful day. Caseload at work was epic and I had paperwork to last hours. There was a mountain of laundry begging for my attention and a sink full of dishes that had been woefully neglected. My stress levels were climbing towards 7.9 on the rector scale, So I did what had become so natural to me. I pulled into the drive through at my favorite burger joint and ordered my usual sedative: a number 6 with a root beer and extra sauce. Only 5 minutes into my meal and I felt blissful stress relief come over me.

Later that night after rushing through homework, laundry, dinner time, bath time and bed time, a wave of overwhelming fatigue took hold and I reached to the cupboard for my rescue: a bar of chocolate that soothed my suffering. I repeated this pattern regularly. For years, but not just in hard times, in good times also. After completing that project at work that consumed many weekends, I decided a celebration was in order. Reservations at my favorite pasta restaurant. Appetizers, entrée, soda and dessert!  In fact, eating became my answer to many emotional callings: 

Stressed? Eat. 

Depressed? Eat. 

Happy? Eat. 

Overwhelmed? Eat.

Thankful? Eat. 

Worried? Eat. 

The practice of eating was closely integrated into every life experience. Every emotion. Every occasion. Food was my best friend. Like a toxic lover, my addiction lured me and always delivered the relief I needed–rich, high-calorie foods with little nutritional value, excess sugar, starch and fat–they were good to me, but not good for me. They made me feel better, but not without consequences. Years into the co-dependent  relationship, it bore fruit: weight gain, splotchy skin, worsening asthma, chronic fatigue, digestive upset, a sedentary lifestyle, insecurity and low self-esteem. While I had been exercising consistently I wasn’t addressing my diet in the way I needed to, and the mere thought of facing it, made me fearful! Food had become my best friend and confidant, my “blankey”, my “binki,” my counselor, my consoler, my relief, my medication.  I was terrified to fix it!

The relationship we had was twisted, toxic and abusive. I was both the abused and the abuser. I was the victim and the offender.  I was in the right and also in the wrong. We all need food to fuel our body, but I was using it to fuel my emotions. 

The effort it would take to rectify this complicated relationship would be constant and intense. It requires moment by moment mindfulness, regular prayer and accountability. It means learning to embrace the full weight of my emotions whether positive or negative. It requires finding alternatives for celebrating and mourning. It means going through crippling periods of withdrawal. It requires learning the ugly nutritional truths of man-made food, but also being enlightened by the glorious nutritional truths of God-made food. And it will likely take a lifetime to heal the bond between me and food–a lifetime to put food in its rightful place.

But it’s worth it. For the sake of my mental health, my children and grandchildren, an extended life expectancy and an improved quality of life. It’s worth it. Everything we put into our bodies is fuel. Either fuel for disease or fuel for good health.   I no longer want to indulge in things that rob me of the abundant life available to me. I want to live my life to the fullest. After all, you are what you eat!

Tanzy Chandler
Physical Therapist
Group Fitness Instructor
Founder of
REVAMP FITNESS
“Become a Better You”
follow the Journey on
IG @REVAMP_FITNESS
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Recipes

Here are a few of my go-to recipes that give me energy and inspiration!

  1. Aeyisha Curry’s Greek Yogurt Parfaits

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  1. K’s Raisin Bran Sweet Bread

Although I’ve re-named this recipe, I’m giving you the link to the original bran muffin recipe which I follow. Then I add a few extras of my own: 1/4 cup flax seeds, 1/4 cup rolled oats, raisins and walnuts to taste (1/4-1/2 cup each).  Also, to save time, I mix all of the ingredients then plop the mix right into a pyrex or metal pan rather than using a muffin pan–thus it is transformed from muffins to sweet bread, like magic! Pictured here is a slice with Aeyisha Curry’s Greek Yogurt Parfait and a warm cup of Postum. Delicious!

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3. Fruity Kale Salad

4. Green Tea Smoothie

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5. Kale Salad with Apricot Ginger Vinaigrette

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Monday Mayhem! How to Get Back to Work after Vacation

Good Morning and Welcome to the post-holiday hustle!

For many of us, today marks the first offical day back to work and school after the Christmas and/or New Year’s break. I wouldn’t doubt that many of you are struggling to shake off that holiday sludge and shift into work mode again. Whether you were off for a long weekend or you were lucky enough to enjoy a full two weeks, coming back to work is hard!

For us writers the struggle is the same. When you work from home it’s even harder to shift from “lazy day” to “work day” since the physical space doesn’t change. That’s why we have to get dressed and go to our office or desk or corner that we’ve designated for writing and mentally (if not physically) shut out everything else (i.e. laundry, dishes, cat litter, etc.).

Two things help me jumpstart my work flow: exercise & a power breakfast. So today–and every Monday*–I will share with you a surefire energizer to help you go from “no” to “go” in no time! Now, I know what you’re thinking. You don’t have the time nor the desire for either of these things when you’re already dragging yourself out of bed late and you have to get the kids off to school. But don’t worry! I’m talking about two Monday morning habits that will take very little time–trust me!

Now, as a disclaimer, I would still advise that you find 30-60 minutes at least three times a week to get in a good workout. Find something you enjoy: swimming, basketball, spin class, kickboxing, whatever! Your body will thank you! But, on those mornings, like today, when you’re doing good just to roll out of bed, try this:

  1. throw on some shorts or stay in your pjs and do 10 jumping jacks, up to 10 push-ups and 10 squats (click here to see how you can modify these exercises according to your fitness level)
  2. go start the coffee brewing or heat up the teapot, wake up the kids (if you have kids), then…
  3. repeat step 1!
  4. sweeten your coffee or tea and start prepping Ayesha Curry’s Greek Yogurt parfait…you may also have to shake up the kids again, then…
  5. repeat step 3!
  6. take a shower, finish prepping your power breakfast, then hurry yourself and the kids out the door

What’s great about this is you can congratulate yourself for starting off your Monday with an exercise that will boost your energy level, but won’t require an unreasonable time commitment.

If you have time, sit and enjoy your power breakfast while reading something inspirational like Proverbs 31. If not, prep that parfait in a plastic cup and take it on the road! Your body and your mind should be warmed up now and ready to face the day.

Check back every Monday for another “Monday Mayhem” energizer!

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*Of course, you don’t have to reserve this routine for Mondays. Since Monday was a holiday, this was written on a Tuesday! Anyway, it works on any day when you’re having a hard time pulling it together. Let me know how you feel after trying this energizer and tell me what you think of Ayesha’s parfait, I think it’s super yummy! Or maybe you found a way to make it your own, tell me about it!

Happy Monday!

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