5 Tips for Managing the Rollercoaster of Weight Gain
Travel, time zones and late night drinks take their toll on wine professionals, but as I come off an intense month of brand launches, media events, and distributor trainings traversing the US, I realized that I had also picked up a sneaky and unwelcome hitchhiker on my recent work travels.
Added body weight. There it was, jeering at me in that fleeting moment between shower and towel wrap. Nudging me in my soft midriff as I shimmied into a now-snug dress that once skimmed my hips. And squeaking hello as I breathed in extra-deep to button my favorite pants.
Let’s be clear. Is the situation life threatening?
Of course not.
Is it a temporary challenge?
Does it affect my self-confidence and send me off on a roller coaster of emotion?
There. I said it. And yes, it's uncomfortable to admit it out loud.
In every role I have held over the past two decades, dress, appearances and being in shape seem to matter. A lot. For those in sales and promotional roles, the role of being the company "face," or the brand representative in front of the public, can also come with an expectation to present yourself in a polished manner that's happy, healthy, vibrant and "ON."
However, that's not an easy place to be when you’re battling with your own inner critic, on those days when it feels hard enough to LOOK put together, let alone FEEL like being in the public eye.
If self-criticism was a university degree I would hold a Masters, especially when it comes to my body weight. So what to do when you feel under more strain than the Hollywood tape holding your shirt together, and all you want to do is hide under the covers?
I’ve learned a few things over recent years that I hope will help to manage the emotional roller coaster of weight gain.
Acknowledge How I Feel
Saying to myself “Yep, you feel crappy, anxious and hesitant, but that’s okay” helps. Validating my own emotional triggers and responses gives a voice to how I feel, and it suddenly holds less emotional charge.
Taking a few deep breaths helps me to step back from the self-criticism, so that I could find some space and observe rather than judge. That means moving from “How did I let this happen?” to “That’s okay, it’s not the end of the world.” If nothing else, it helps to put my concerns into greater perspective.
I look for things to be grateful for, like working in an industry that offers the rare opportunity to eat and drink - for a living!! Also realizing that I am healthy, happy, and armed with the knowledge and tools to get things back on track, helps to smooth out some of the bumps.
Some Days You Just Suck It Up
Or suck it in - that’s why they call it “shapewear”!
For those days when I just need to keep moving, I grab an outfit that makes me feel a little closer to my best self, slip on some Spanx, get in front of the mirror (again) and give myself a solid pep talk. That’s normally enough to at least get me out the door and on my way to showing up.
Then? It's Back On The Bike
Or the mat, or the running trail, or the gym. Anything to get the blood pumping and endorphins spiking again. Returning home and back to my routine, I am quickly reminded that simply showing up to practice is enough to kick my body back into gear.
So tell us. What do you do on those days when you’re feeling less than 100%? What are your tricks and tips when you too feel like you are carrying a little more than you are used to?
We want to hear so please share your comments with us.
What We're Reading:
There's no shortage of wine stories and media inundating our IN Boxes. Here's what has piqued our interest this week.
The Big Business of Loneliness – Vox.com
“Coworking spaces, friendship apps, and adult dorms are selling human connection.“
An extensive and insightful read on the role of exercise, metabolism and medication in the management of inflammation in the body.
Meet the Tribe!
Our community is only as strong as the company we keep, and here we meet some of the folks who make our profession so dynamic.
Alessandra Esteves, Director of Wine Education, Florida Wine Academy (USA)
Years In Industry:
I began my career as a corporate lawyer before transitioning into the wine business in 2012, first as a passionate writer and podcaster, and then as an educator. In 2016, I took a chance and moved to Miami to found the Florida Wine Academy, which quickly became the leading wine education business in Florida.
As Director of Wine Education, I am responsible for training our educators, teaching courses and classes in three languages, and tutoring candidates for different certifications. I am also the co-founder of Miami Champagne Week and VinoSummit, the first conference for wine professionals in Florida.
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
Being your own boss can be a great experience, and I am able to create new exciting classes and courses. But I have to exercise discipline and self-motivation on a daily basis. I also pressure myself to be a better professional and better educator each day, so I tend to work a lot. Most of the days I am at the office at 8.30am and will not leave before 9pm, if we have classes. The free time that I have is dedicated to family.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
I constantly tell people how I meditated during the Unit 3 exam of the WSET Diploma, which helped me pass the exam with merit. Yoga and meditation are an essential part of my life. I have two valuable apps, Daily Yoga, which allows me to practice yoga anywhere anytime, and Sattva, with guided meditations that I use at work, during traffic or before sleeping.
Let’s Meet Up!
As work life has it, we are traveling over the next few months and would love to see you.
Attendee at Vinventions Innovation Summit in Liège, Belgium, May 29 to June 3 (Beck)
Presenter at Chile Uncorked, NOLA Style in New Orleans, June 5 to 7 (Cathy)
Presenter at the CDO Executive Summit, in Atlanta June 26 (Cathy)
Attendee at Fine Minds 4 Fine Wines in Bordeaux, July 4 to 6 (Cathy)
Emcee at Australia Decanted in Lake Tahoe, October 6 to 9 (Cathy)