Lifestyle 10 May 2020
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Help! I'm Caught Between Vicious Exes
Dear Armchair Psychologist
My best friend dated my husband's friend and... it didn't work out. With quarantine we've been doing Zoom group calls with a lot of friends. Inevitably, my friend and her ex-husband both end up on video calls, and it's a super awkward conversation. Immediately after the Zoom call both my husband and I get a call from the respective parties complaining about why we would dare to invite the other. How do we de-escalate this situation?
I'm sorry to hear that you and your husband have to suffer through your friends' awkward and stifled Zoom meetings, filled with the air of wrath and hurt that only two disgruntled exes can exude. Relationships between two people that have ended in a less than favorable fashion often leave a trail of confusion and awkwardness behind for the co-mingled friends and relatives. I thought Zoom invites show the emails of the participants? I recommend these two begrudged exes carefully study the Zoom invite list before hopping into the video meetings. And if they continue to insist on bothering you and your husband with their complaints, tell them you have better things to do with your time and that they are invited to hit "decline invite."
- The Armchair Psychologist
Help! I'm Dealing With Heavy Issues
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I am a successful law professional with a close-knit family. In the last two years, I have lost my mother, father, and currently, my younger sister is in a coma due to suffering from cancer. I was moody, anxious, and also feeling very bloated. I moved to a new city to escape all the pain and start fresh. I started working out and also befriended a 28-year-old man in my condo building. We became close friends, and he has been the best platonic relationship I've had. At once point, his lease was up, and I offered him a room in my gorgeous condo. It's been a year now that we have been roommates and we get along great. Two days ago, he informed me that he's going to see his parents in California. This was news that I didn't take to very well, because I have been super careful with my social distancing and can't even go to my sister's funeral when she finally dies. On top of this, he is flying a dirt cheap airline that is known to transport COVID-19 responders! I'm livid and want to tell him to not come back for a long time? He's putting both me and his elderly parents at risk. What should I do?
- Bloated Dolphin
Dear Bloated Dolphin,
I'm sorry that you are experiencing such difficult losses in your life. It can be life-altering to lose close family members, and I hope you are getting the support that you need. It would be wise to see a qualified therapist to help you navigate these trying times in your life. It is brave of you to move to a new city and open yourself up to new friendships along the way (in this case with the new roommate). I also commend you for working on your health to make yourself feel better. I've never known a Dolphin, whatever its shape, to not be cute.
The COVID-19 pandemic is bringing out a heightened fear in all of us, and I'm sure with everything on your plate, this is an added burden to navigate. You have a right to be concerned about your roommate's travels. The CDC recommends people should only travel if it is "to provide medical or home care to others" or "necessary for a job considered an essential service." Unless he's taking care of his elderly parents or he, himself, is essential to providing a service in this pandemic, then he shouldn't be traveling. I recommend you use a gentle approach and discuss your concerns with him. If he insists on traveling, then you need to discuss and design a careful plan with him on how to quarantine and be safe before re-entering your space. Here's a great guide on this topic. Stay safe and keep doing the great work you're already doing!
- The Armchair Psychologist
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If it weren't for the empowering women who stepped up and brought fitness back into my life, I wouldn't be standing – in the door of my own business – today.
In 2010, I was a wife, a mother of three, and had filtered in and out of jobs depending on what my family needed from me. At different points in my career, I've worked in the corporate world, been a stay-at-home mom, and even started my own daycare center. Fitness has always been a part of my life, but at that point being a mom was my main priority. Then, life threw a curveball. My husband and I separated, leading to a very difficult divorce.
These were difficult times. I lost myself in the uncertainty of my future and the stress that comes with a divorce and found myself battling anorexia. Over a matter of months, I lost 40 lbs. and felt surrounded by darkness. I was no longer participating in my health and all efforts to stay active came to a halt. I didn't want to leave my home, I didn't' want to talk to people, and I really did not want to see men. Seeing my struggles, first my sister and then a friend, approached me and invited me to visit the gym.
After months of avoiding it, my sister started taking me to the gym right before closing when it wasn't too busy. We started slow, on the elliptical or the treadmill. This routine got me out of the house and slowly we worked to regain my strength and my self-esteem. When my sister moved away, my good friend and personal trainer started working out with me one-on-one early in the morning, taking time out of her busy schedule to keep me on track toward living a healthy life once again. Even when I didn't want to leave the house, she would encourage me to push myself and I knew I didn't want to let her down. She helped me every step of the way. My sister and my friend brought fitness back into my everyday routine. They saved my life.
I began to rely on fitness, as well as faith, to help me feel like myself again. My friend has since moved away, but, these two women made me feel loved, confident and strong with their empowerment and commitment to me. They made such an incredible impact on me; I knew I needed to pay it forward. I wanted to have the same impact on women in my community. I started by doing little things, like running with a woman who just had a baby to keep her inspired and let her know she's not alone. I made sure not to skip my regular runs, just in case there was a woman watching who needed the inspiration to keep going. These small steps of paying it forward helped me find purpose and belonging. This gave me a new mentality that put me on a path to the opportunity of a lifetime – opening a women's only kickboxing gym, 30 Minute Hit.
About four years ago, I was officially an empty nester. It was time to get myself out of the house too and find what I was truly passionate about, which is easier said than done. Sitting behind a desk, in a cubicle, simply didn't cut it. It was hard to go from an active and chaotic schedule to a very slow paced, uneventful work week. I felt sluggish. Even when I moved to another company where I got to plan events and travel, it was enjoyable, but not fulfilling. I wanted to be a source of comfort to those struggling, as my sister and dear friend had been to me. I wanted to impact others in a way that couldn't be done from behind a desk.
I began to rely on fitness, as well as faith, to help me feel like myself again.
When I heard about 30 Minute Hit, I was nervous to take the leap. But the more I learned about the concept, the more I knew it was the perfect fit for me. Opening my own gym where women can come to let go of their struggles, rely on one another and meet new people is the best way for me to pass on the lessons I learned during my darkest times.
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Through my journey, I have learned that everyone is going through something – everyone is on their own path. My motivating factor is knowing that I can touch people's lives everyday just by creating the space for encouragement and community. It's so easy to show people you care. That's the type of environment my team, clients and myself have worked hard to create at our 30 Minute Hit location.
Fitness saved my life. If it weren't for the empowering women who stepped up and brought fitness back into my life, I wouldn't be standing – in the door of my own business – today. The perfect example of women empowering women – the foundation to invincibility.
This article was originally published September 12, 2019.