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The Full Wheel Journey

Hello to all my Full Wheel Friends!!!

I hope everyone is blooming as we are well in to spring and, thankfully, out of that long winter we had here in the Midwest. It started early, brought challenges for traveling, impacted our homes, and seemed like it was one snow blow to another! Being a massage therapist, I noticed the toll it took on my clients bodies and their emotions. Issues ranged from the financial burden of property damage, the strain from shoveling over and over, and the mere fact that it was just easier to stay inside than face the elements. I noticed it manifest physically as tension, lymphatic stagnation and pain.

With this combination of things I saw an overall increase in depression, weight gain, lack of physical activity, and an overall change in mood in people. I also saw it in myself {hi tummy!} While I work hard to embrace the seasons and all they have to offer, I would be lying if I said I did not succumb to the gray that was this past few months. {Netflix and my bed you are my bffs!} Winter is a time of reflection and contemplation {yay!} but comes with baggage. The biggest challenge I see is lack of movement. Energy is LOW during this time. We like to hibernate, be cozy and reserve our energy for times where it is truly needed {A reminder that we are animals after all!}. We also turn to hearty comfort foods and can go weeks without seeing the sun. All things affecting our overall well being!!

Ah, but enter the wonderful time of spring, primavera, new beginnings! Sunshine, green stuff, and all that stored energy gets put to use! Let's take a moment to reflect back on this. Did you noticed a change this winter (i.e. weight gain, depression, anxiety)? Now, can you see how all that can work for you now? Are you enjoying this nice weather a little more? Have you found yourself having more positive conversations? Maybe you are eating fresher foods, drinking more water, or exercising more...

"It's better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness."

We have here a contrast of dark and light from winter to spring. It is important to remove judgement and see each situation for what they are and what they offer, but let's move forward and light some freaking candles!!

There have been a lot of changes in my life over the course of the past year with the biggest one being the studio opening! It has been the greatest adventure and a true labor of love. As a consequence of starting something so wonderful and new, there have been challenges, decrease in free-time, and added stress and pressure. Of course, this would take somewhat of a toll on me. Who's world would not be totally flipped upside down with such an undertaking? I've definitely had to find my new normal. I am fortunate to be married enough to my routine and have a wellness protocol setup so that my default does not have me totally undone. I eat nutritious foods {love me some greens} but I also indulge in sweets. I am rarely sedentary for long periods of time but I have not been as intentional with my workouts. I take time for myself in the form of relaxing baths, meditation, yoga, and time with friends/family, but I have also been stressed to meet deadlines, coordinate the needs of the studio, my clients and other logistics to having a small business. Despite the fact that I know there are changes I need to make, I am actually pretty happy with where I'm at in my lifestyle. It affords me life's surprises and hardships without totally sacrificing my sense of self. I believe anyone and everyone can do it too.

{A little background on me... I was raised in a split household, shuffling back between mom and dad's throughout the week. We ate a lot of fast food, didn't have a solid routine for being active, and there was turmoil surrounding co-parenting efforts. God love my parents. I was brought up with so much love and care. They are both the most hard working people I know and did everything they could to raise us with everything we needed despite any adversity, but it was not easy. Also, one of the best double edged swords in my life was being so close with my Italian grandparents. I ATE SO MUCH ITALIAN FOOD. My Nonna's kitchen table is where I will go after I die. But, hello rich food! A little Italian meatball is what I was for a couple years till I grew out of it. LOL. Anyways, it did take me a while to get out of survival mode and start thriving. A lot of this growth came from realizing that everyone is always doing the best they can with what they have, financially, emotionally, mentally, physically, etc, including myself! I am now obsessed with being the best version of myself. As I've identified my likes and dislikes about my upbringing and life so far, I've made a vow to create an environment full of things I've been missing and nurtured those things that are already so good.}

I am going to share with you my Full Wheel Journey using the the Full Wheel Method to Wellness (FWM). I am ready to reboot and get out of default mode! The FWM is very simple, no fancy equipment required and is comprised of 3 basic elements: movement, nutrition, and mental/emotional health. The best part is that no matter where you are at in your journey, these things are all totally doable. It's what we inherently need as living, breathing humans. Think: Small changes add to great impact!

My Plan:

Movement-While all 3 elements are important, this one is especially crucial for me. Because I know my body well, I see the signs of lymphatic back-up and hormone imbalance (estrogen dominant). Vigorous exercise helps with this! My plan is to get my heart rate up for AT LEAST 30 minutes per day. My favorite forms of movement are yoga, running, and lifting weights. I really strike a balance when I'm doing all three. On the days where I'm feeling a bit "meh," my plan is to go for a long walk!

Nutrition- We are hosting the RESTART program at the studio. This is a 5 week nutrition program with a 3-week sugar detox built into it. Sugar is my kryptonite. I don't go super crazy but I LOVE ice cream and dark chocolate {yes, dark chocolate has health benefits but still has sugar, and eating a whole bag of dc covered almonds in a matter of...days...voids those benefits. Oops}. I do great with structure and can't wait to see what this program has to offer. I will be sure to update along the way!

[The program starts 5.6.19 and is now closed for registration, but we will host again in the fall. Check out their website for more deets: www.therestartprogram.com.]

Mental/Emotional Health: For me, nature is therapy. I love to hike, bike, play in the dirt, go to the park, camp, etc. Connecting with nature helps me connect with my true self {Again, we are animals. Therefore, we are nature}. Realizing that I am part of this amazing, beautiful, magical earth instantly takes away my anxiety. I will post more about my struggle with anxiety but just know, I have never once had an anxiety attack while I was outside. In addition to getting outside, working on communication has played a large part in my M/E health. As soon as I truly learned how to use my voice, it seemed like nothing in this world posed as a problem. I have honed this ability by being very clear about my needs and wants in life. I have set boundaries without being defensive and have removed the option of ever even thinking about being the victim to what happens in life {more about all this later, I promise!}. One big thing I've done is balancing out my work schedule. I started this last week and it has made a huge difference already! Lastly in the M/E department, I have made time to see a professional counselor. Let me tell you, I have met more well-adjusted, successful adults who seek out the services of counselors than not. Many of my friends who are physicians, corporate professionals, and students meet with a counselor on a regular basis. I even try to meet with my counselor when there is nothing specific going on. It's good just to check in! She does a great job of leading the conversation and asking some great reflection questions.

The results: Here are the "sub-spokes" of wellness which I expect to benefit from the FWM: connection with my community, living more intentionally, increased self-care discipline, improved relationships, deeper spiritual connection, broader world view, less waste (less processed foods and the packaging in which they come), peaceful living environment, and better sleep!

I can't wait to share my Full Wheel Journey with you all. Thanks for coming along for the ride! Feel free to reach out with any questions or to share your own journey with me! I wold love to hear what you're doing!

Always in health & happiness,


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