A Month of Wellness: An Attorney’s Journey
So January was a wellness cornucopia for California attorneys. First, it was the first month after New Year’s and a great time to test the boundaries of your New Year’s resolutions. Second, CLA had a Wellness Challenge #CLAWellnessChallenge featuring 25 challenging tasks. Third, CLA RPLS (Our Group) started some really great programing thanks in large part to the leadership of Ashley Peterson.
The Most Fascinating Conclusions:
So the most fascinating conclusions of my month were the unanticipated enthusiasms I picked up. One of the tasks on the #CLAWellnessChallenge was to “Avoid social media for a day.” Conclusion? Why go back! Another task on the #CLAWellnessChallenge was to “Eat gluten-free for a day. Conclusion? Why go back! On my own, I decided to do a dry January (See My Article Here). Conclusion? Why go back! Best new activity, I really enjoyed the “Walk and Talk” on the #CLAWellnessChallenge and have implemented it into my life.
Attending a Zoom Yoga Class in my office!
Attorney Taking A Break From Social Media:
Admit it, social media has been pretty rough for the last 5-6 years. Whereas it started out to be a break from reality, the reality is that many or more stressors exist on social media than in the real world. I have had good friends quit social media for various reasons related to that stress, i.e., political, or free speech problems, or just general anger. I am not angry at social media. I was actually really hesitant to take a break from it. I really enjoy the snarky irony of my high school class president and the wisdom of my old Aikido friends and the successes of my law school classmates. Even the locally driven stuff is great. I love looking at the food from Peasant and the Pear. So I took the break begrudgingly. What I found is that it is not so hard to do. I felt liberated from having to “like” or check out who liked my stuff. It has been a nice break and I am still going strong. This is not like when I quit smoking, where I had to convince myself everything smoke oriented was superbad. It just feels good. Give it a try.
Honestly, I had to ask my wife what gluten was to be sure. I am the kind of guy…I am not really sure what vegan means. I mean I have an idea. But it is hard to talk to people about it who really care. I am just not sure I appreciate the distinctions of the various echelons of dietary lifestyles that other ardent followers do. Gluten is basically bread and bread derivative products. It is stuff with wheat, barley, rye, and oats. That is how I understand it. My normal gluten intake has been toast with breakfast, burritos, and buns on burgers. So to do my gluten-free day, my wife had a great idea to slice sweet potatoes like toast and then cook them on this griddle (read fancy George Foreman grill (shout out to Roger Chang)). I add just a little olive oil and salt. Man, they are GOOD. So no more toast for breakfast. Every time I would normally have a burrito or burger, I switched to salad or lettuce wrapped. So far so good. I do not think I am completely gluten-free. I do not actually have a problem with gluten. It is just a dietary modification I am enjoying. I found out that I do not really need bread products.
Practicing A Hobby: Raising a Puppy
Still No Alcohol For Me:
So my goal was to go dry for one month starting 1/1/21. I realized this year that part of my challenge in the past has been that I have coupled my dry January with a diet. Part of the stress I have been going through each year is that I am starving. This year was no different. I count my calories. No alcohol certainly helps. But losing weight is a lot of work. How do you lose weight? Eat a caloric deficit. That’s it!
By my estimation, when I drink and do not count my calories, I am exceeding my daily maintenance levels by around 800 calories a day. That is way too much added weight to burn off even with a lot of cardio. So lax discipline eating and drinking = 1x overweight attorney.
January 2021 was a tough month to stay dry. We had a horrible College Football National Championship Game, riots, and an inauguration among other things. I had several occasions to cry or celebrate.
But alcohol is really empty calories. I am still trying to get to my goal weight. So I promised myself that I would stay dry until I hit my weight. So far, I have lost about 5 lbs. It is a little slower than I would like, but I am not doing a lot of cardio. The trick this year is to lose weight but not muscle mass. It is going to be slower. I have about 8 more pounds to go.
Trying To Find Ways To Be COVID-safe and active!
Walk and Talk: Try It:
Taking lunch and calling someone while you take a walk. It is COVID safe and totally fun. I swear. Try it. Great way to catch up with old friends. Here are some other great notable activities on the #CLAWellnessChallenge. Complimenting three people was great fun. Practicing a hobby was cool. I practiced training our puppy. Super fun. Game night with my family was an amazing success. We spend too much time in front of screens and not enough time talking. Great job CLA Wellness! I guess I should admit I did not finish all of the tasks including these: 10 minutes of mediation, eat plant based for a day (sorry Gary), write in a journal. Everything else, checked!
RPLS Wellness Adventures:
So I was able to attend the Webinar by Ritu Goswamy and the great yoga class by Kelli Corder. Both of these were free offerings from CLA RPLS in January. Ritu’s class was really about respecting your own boundaries and creating more boundaries for yourself in your workday and with your clients. We did an exercise where we said “yes” to everything the client wanted and another one with “no.” Basically, it helped me understand I can draw stricter boundaries around me. As a result, I feel totally empowered to structure my day in a way that fits me. I now have a 2-hour productivity time in the morning where I do not answer calls. I have a built-in workout time in my day. I have also implemented a better “meeting” schedule. Instead of responding to everything immediately, I now have a structured day which is either: being productive, meeting with clients or meeting with potential clients. I am still busy as hell. But I feel more balanced and better about my day. Thanks Ritu for the guidance and the free book!
I suck at yoga. With COVID and Kelli Corder, now no one has to know but me. The class was totally doable for me (she had advanced stuff to modify to). We did it on a Saturday and I went to the office to get some privacy from my family. I literally was doing yoga in front of my desk. Thank you, Kelli, for framing yoga and yoga practice in such a healthy way. I LOVED the class. I do not feel like I can do yoga all of the time, but once a month for me is great! Let us get Kelli Corder back again.