I'm going to share something about my work that I sometimes try to keep a bit of a secret! Whenever I work with someone who wants to lose weight, I actually start my work with them on all the other things. I've found by approach things in this "through the backdoor" way, that I can actually more quickly discover what's actually at the root, causing the extra weight, and help my clients reach their natural weight much faster!
One part of the unravelling of this mystery is looking at how we are taking care of ourselves. I've been doing that with some of my friends and colleagues as well. I hope this story from Marianita Love Pabalate and her journey to overcome exhaustion helps you gain awareness on how my approach really looks at the WHOLE you!
Let's get started by jumping right in. This series is about personal stories of extreme exhaustion, and how they affect us and our lives. Unfortunately people throw around terms like "exhausted" or "burned out" like a badge of honor. When you hit a point where your energy was so low that you really considered it serious, how did you know?
Physically after the lack of sleep and body fatigue, I always feel heavy. It felt like I'm dragging my every step. I have no motivation to move. And my gut was unbalanced, it was not happy. Mentally, my mind was blank, empty. No matter which of my go-to creative inspirational thing I do, nothing works. It feels like all my creative energy has been literally sucked out of me with a vacuum and I deflated.
Thank you for sharing. I got inspired to ask others to share their story with exhaustion when I faced my own diagnosis of adrenal fatigue. It's a sad reality that so many people face that or have a lifestyle that is sending them down that path. After you realized you needed things to change how did you go about it?
First thing I did was accepted the fact that I am tired and exhausted. That I should stop working, for now, get my mind off work, do not touch any pencil or paintbrushes nor my planner. I reflected. Went back to gratitude, for all the things that are happening, happened, and about to happen. I went back to my values. My values were definitely not being met that's why I reached the point of burned out. I then realized which ones I need to attend to.
Was it a smooth journey?
I wouldn't say it was a smooth journey. Because controlling myself to not work, not worry about work, and just relax was hard. I always had the urge to keep moving, whether it's laundry, cleaning, errands, etc.
You've been through a lot. You've been to what I call "the pit of despair," where everything feels so overwhelming or demanding that you kind of want to throw in the towel. And yet I know for myself that it was not depression. Depression, of course, is its own dark place, but fatigue is different. For me, I still wanted to do the normal things... But felt like it was just too much work. What advice do you have for someone who feels fatigued or even simply worn out on an ongoing basis?
Do not ignore signs and do not ignore your values. These are our guiding principles. With this chaotic and demanding world, we had always gone with the flow of constantly moving. If we can regularly check in with ourselves, ask the real hard questions like "How are you REALLY feeling?" It can help us limit the burned out feeling.
Was your weight a concern during this time in your life? If so, how did overcoming the fatigue change what was going on with your weight?
Weight was not a usual concern, other than when I know I've been overworking I don't eat regularly. Over time I can lose weight. Or stressed that I eat random unhealthy binges. Or time when I do not consider my wellness because of lack of inspiration which coincide with lackluster feeling about myself and business, I could gain weight.
Is there anything you can say was a silver lining to the experience you had with fatigue/exhaustion?
It just further reminded me that I need to check in with myself regularly. And that I should always put myself first, my wellness, and love on myself first.
OK, now for a few fun questions! Where do you live and what do you do there-for work and for fun?
I live in Los Angeles, CA. I am a freelance illustrator and I have my own business with my art inspired pieces. Just like other city dwellers, I like to see friends hang out at a cafe, venture out to new restaurants, visit local museums and events, drive up to nearby cities for getaways or drive to the mountainside.
What is a surprising food you just love to eat?
I like bitter foods. I like dark chocolates, the 90%+ kind, and dishes with bittermelon.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I still enjoy watching whimsical animation movies and cartoons, even those made for kids.
Thank you! Where can people find you to learn more about you?
Marianita Love Pabalate, artist and owner of RipeMangoes.com
I help busy, ambitious leaders to step off the emotional eating roller coaster, so they can lose weight and keep it off, still eat all the foods they love, and finally find the work life balance they crave.