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Posted on: August 28th, 2015 by Taryn Jeffries 6 Comments

Life is funny; crazy exciting at times and stressful and gruesome at times. The last year and a half has been an intense roller coaster for me, full of changes:

  • My sweet friend Amy moved to Oklahoma
  • I took on a new job within the company that I had worked at for about 2 years
  • I had no experience in this new position that I took on so the learning curve was immense and I had very little training
  • I went from working a solid 40 hours to working, at a minimum, 60 (and there were many times that I went over that) just trying to try to keep my head above water (with no success)
  • I had a really complicated relationship with my boss that created an impossible situation and led to…
  • Quitting my job 2 weeks agoChanges_Healthy Food

I am a huge proponent of being spontaneous and trying new things and with that being said, I am not completely disappointed that I took on the new position. It wasn’t something that I sought out, the department reached out to me based on my reputation at the company and that felt really good. It was a great opportunity and there were aspects of the job that I was really good at, but at the end of the day the stress of the job and not being able to keep up with the mounting responsibilities that were being put on me were actually causing me a lot of harm and I needed to let it all go.Changes_Paperwork

One of the main ways that I was affected was increasingly suffocating stress. It started as difficulty sleeping (partially because I was working all those crazy hours) and slowly starting manifesting into panic attacks and then plummeting into acute depression. All of this affected so many areas of my life; I wasn’t a lot of fun to be around and at times I wished that I could get away from myself. I self-medicated by eating and drinking my feelings and one morning I woke up and took a really hard look at myself and realized that I had “grown” in some really unfavorable ways. Truth is I gained 25(!) pounds in the last year (and I was already pretty present to begin with!). Up until that point of self-reflection I never saw myself as fat. I think I always saw myself the way that I felt on the inside, which is great but not terribly realistic when thinking about my health. In the last two weeks, I have been able to breathe a little easier and my confidence is slowly building back up which has gotten me thinking.Changes_Depression and anxiety

So, what’s a food writer to do? There are event to cover and restaurants and products to review, for goodness sakes! Don’t worry, I am not going to inundate your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds with photos of tofu and broccoli. My immediate goals are to cook more at home and to try to replicate some of my favorite restaurant dishes with a healthy slant. I have recently been introduced to Pauline Nordin and The Fighter Diet and purchased some of her instructional materials so I am going to be trying to follow that as well.Changes_Measurement

I promise that this move is not going to completely take over PhoenixBites, any posts that have to do with this new journey to get back my health and become “less” will be housed under our Healthy Bites section. Maybe you are experiencing the same struggles, or maybe you have already been there and done that.

If you have any suggestions, tips, comments or questions I would love to hear from you.


About the Author - Taryn Jeffries

Editor and Chief Eating Officer of PhoenixBites, 2017 Food Writer of the Year (Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame) Taryn grew up in a small town in Illinois with a doting Grandmother who taught her the way around a kitchen and that food is representative of love. Her current quest is to find the love in local dishes and the chefs behind them. In addition to running all things PhoenixBites, Taryn is also a freelance writer, sharing her insight on the best dishes and where to get them each and every month.

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6 Responses

  1. I had a very similar situation. I gained nearly 40lbs in a year after working to lose 80lbs, worked 70 hr weeks and stopped creating. I lost myself while trying to prove that I was worthy of the job. They only pushed me harder.
    I also quit but like any trauma it took a while to wear off. The first three month I was scared I did the wrong thing, slept alot and lost no weight. I would call is post trauma haze as your body still operates like it’s waiting for that life to come back. Slowly after that I did small steps breaking the on the go meals, finding real sleep patterns and creating again. I don’t regret it now and have new opportunities mounting that don’t demand that I lose myself. So I am proud you had the strength to do it for yourself. So many don’t.

    • Thank you so much for sharing that, Nicole.
      It has been a wild ride for sure and I am trying to get back on track, back to myself. This last week I felt that haze that you referred to. I wasn’t really into anything that I should have been. I just decided within the last few days that this is not the life that I want, the life that I envisioned myself having and while I know that I have a pretty intense road of hard work and learning in front of me it will all be worth it a month, a year, 5 years from now.
      I am so glad to hear that you are getting back to where you want/need to be, back to yourself.
      If you have any favorite recipes to share, I would love to try them out!

  2. Btw five months later I am down 15lbs bit that side is going slower bit I am in love with food.

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