exercise,  food,  grad school,  inner world


What do you do when you find yourself plateauing in an area of life?

image from lilyxu.net

I’m remembering the good ol’ days of my posts on healthy eating and exercise. I was uber-motivated to run and lift weights three times a week, make sure to get my serving of 5 fruits and veggies a day & really mindful of how I was caring for my body.  It’s not that I’ve fallen off the wagon completely- eating 5 fruits and veggies a day has become part of my life. But in the last three months of moving to OH, focusing on raising $20,000 finishing two papers for grad school and completing the reading for the class I’m taking this week this is how my train of thought has gone:

1. At least these gnocci in cream sauce have peas in it! The strawberries on my ice cream count too!
2. At least I’m still walking a couple times a week/hauling boxes into a moving truck even if it’s not running or lifting weights!
3. At least I can take a nap while Reuben sleeps because I’m so exhausted.

You get the picture. It’s been a little more of survival in the midst of transition mode as opposed to “my life has a steady rhythm which I can build some healthy rhythms into.”

I know it won’t always be like this but its been difficult to think about where I’ve been with self-discipline  with exercise and eating and to realize that I’ve gained seven five pounds in the past three months. The blog title in my head has been “is weight gain during life transitions inevitable?” Maybe you can relate.

I was thinking about what scripture says about this in the book of ecclesiastes, chapter 3-

A Time for Everything

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Even if you’ve never read the bible, you’re probably familiar with these sayings because the Byrds made them popular in their song Turn! Turn! Turn! and now we can hear scripture on classic rock stations.

I remember my mom once quoted this song to point out why it was a good idea to “refrain from embracing” and not make out with boyfriends in public. good idea mom. horny high schoolers and PDA gross everyone out.

Maybe right now has been “a time for gnocchi in cream sauce, taking walks to slow down, pray and reflect instead of running, a time to unpack boxes instead of lift weights, a time to focus on creating a new life in Cleveland and a time to read like crazy for grad school”

So friends, what do you do in the midst of crazy life transitions to care for your self? I could use some encouragement & advice right now. Oh, and maybe some chocolate 😉


  • Lisa

    This too shall pass. My only advice is to not give up entirely just because it’s crazy. I don’t have to have a shake just because I have to eat at McDonald’s, etc.

    But, yes, the time for establishing healthy patterns will come when you get more settled.

  • Una

    Jessica, I am living on the other side of the madness of grad school, moving, IV work and weight gain that you write about. It’s a total #&%*@ to get back in shape and to re-boot those good habits. My advice: make smaller goals instead of letting the whole thing go pot.

  • Mindy

    When you get back to CLE and feel like getting back into an exercise routine, maybe we could walk together. The middle school is about half-way between our houses–we could meet there and walk a couple miles once or twice a week.
    Regarding exercise, this post from Don Miller’s dog has been my philosophy lately–although it is pretty much a philosophy and not a lifestyle at this point.


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