Self-Care Chronicles

Too Many Jobs

The Art of Overwork In COVID Times

Photo by Andrew Neel on

I started my boutique store concept years ago as the side hustle I was repetitiously advised to have.

“Take your skills and use them for yourself”
“You make these companies so much money, why not do it for you!!”

When the store concept became a full brick-and-mortar, full-time commitment, I felt I was living in a dream! However, as anyone in retail will share, it turned quickly into a race to stay above water. I started other side hustles; I started consulting for fashion companies and took on a few network marketing roles with brands selling products that fulfilled what I felt was missing in my own store. I even picked up a part-time position with a national company doing grocery delivery. The later proved essential when COVID shut down my store. While there was a blip of an online bubble, what quickly became the thirst for human interaction virtually soon became virtual exhaustion. The grocery delivery service took over and paid the bills, but I wanted (needed) more.

Now I find myself at a crossroads, constantly coming up with new ideas from old passions and trying to refocus myself in a few strong directions. How many “side-hustles” are too many?

I recently navigated treacherous waters where all of a sudden, they all proved to be fruitful when my whirlwind spurt of energy that allowed me to have an awesome two weeks of success. I know that while planning and time management could make it possible, I also have a tendency to push myself into everything when I have the energy and when I don’t, I take up residence in Suck City where everything feels like failure.

The respite in the whirlwind was always having the shoulders of the Moms of Business group on which to lean my head. Learning how to cope, make money, be strategic, and meet awesome like-minded ladies is the key to seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. I have yet to fully accepted that I have “two many jobs” but I know that I have the drive and the help I need to keep pushing the gas pedal.

#NSNGlife The Journey

It quickly became clear to me that my diet was failing me when doctors could not diagnose my constant aches, exhaustion and weight gain. Indulgences became the norm and I knew that certain foods would cause certain reactions.  After having my daughter and gall stone surgery three months apart, all while enduring a painfully strict no-fat diet to try and thwart a gall-stone attack, I quickly abandoned any good habits I gained during the pregnancy and quickly let myself go.

Going ‘no sugar no grain’ or keto was something I started to experiment with after researching common causes to chronic pain,  I quickly learned that sugar was my biggest obstacle to tackle. I began to realize, while slowly incorporating better habits, just how much sugar I was consuming on a daily basis.

I relied on sugar to make myself feel better emotionally. Stress relief became a priority and my self-care routine revolved around instant gratification through food. My weight gain after my surgery was rapid and out of control. I thought a work out routine would slow the gain, however I soon suffered an injury that helped kick my weight gain into high gear. During my pregnancy I reached 205lbs, I averaged 165 for most of my 30’s. I quickly beat that number within 6 months and felt my body suffer the consequences.

After returning to a more active lifestyle once my injury healed, I researched more about changing my eating habits. The idea of “no sugar no grains” or NSNG, felt approachable because I did not have to dismiss fat, and instead tackle sugar, which I discovered was just in every single meal I consumed. Pizza, quinoa, root veggies, bread, cookies, coffee with 5 teaspoons of sugar, I was overloaded on sugar. After realizing my active lifestyle was only getting me so far with regards to weight loss, I jumped right in to NSNG. There were things I started to back away from during the research phase, but then one day, after feeling particularly achy in my joints, I made a much bigger commitment to making this a long term journey.

It started with cutting everything bread, everything grain, everything root veggie, everything tropical fruit, and focused on greens, berries, meats, fish. The only thing I couldn’t commit to was eliminating sugar in my coffee. So I went ahead, tried my first week, with my only daily sugar coming from my large coffee each day. I lost 7 lbs. I felt good about it. Somewhere in the middle of week 2 I felt so good I tried one spoon of sugar in my coffee. The very next day I cut sugar completely. I felt GREAT. I stuck it through and I lost 40 lbs in 6 months. Avocados, rainbow chard, almond flour, grass fed meats/dairy and coconuts became my best friends.

One of the lessons I learned was from Vinnie Tortorich, who developed the NSNG movement and is a fierce voice for empowering people to , one was called ‘Live a Little’. There will undoubtedly be moments when there are celebratory cake, or a drink with a friend, a meal at an event that was not devoid of sugar sources. Choosing my moment, and remaining focused before and after it, knowing I can participate a bit here and there and not feel awkward or fall off the horse was particularly empowering. During this past holiday season I had to make a few hard choices, and there were occasions where I made sure my day was on track and I would allow for one “treat” or one meal to be permissible. I knew I might even gain a tiny bit of weight since there were many celebrations to wade through over the last 30 days. Now that I am past it I am very proud that I only managed to gain three pounds and am already back to where I was before the onslaught of festivities.

Although I just recently started this journey, I am also very excited with how I feel. Clarity, pain-free, satiated, peaceful, these are some of the benefits I have received from focusing on what I eat. I will be sharing new recipes focused around NSNG/Keto diets, especially with regards to hosting and snacking, here on The Demitasse Lass. If you are considering this change in lifestyle or have questions, I would love to chat with you!