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When your body isn’t cooperating, there is hope, or at least a chance for self-discovery

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Jackie Clifford.jpgFor the past few months, my body has not been cooperating, i.e. I’ve been sick and run-down despite the fact that I live a relatively healthy lifestyle.  And, it’s been frustrating because being sick interferes with my other plans, plans to move my acting career further along, plans that I’m excited about, plans that I’d rather not put on hold any longer… But alas, my body has taken a different course than my mind, and those big plans have been shelved for the time being.  However, while I’ve been putting everything on hold, I’ve had a chance to take a look at myself and I’ve discovered some things about myself, perhaps things in the long run that will have made this all worthwhile.

One somewhat alarming discovery that I’ve made is that I can be quite childish when things aren’t going MY way.  I’ve broken it down, and here’s what tends to happen.  It starts with me getting frustrated with my current situation so I decide I’m going to change it.  That’s not a bad start in and of itself, but then I always seem to end up pushing myself past what I’m capable of which inevitably leads me to crash or “fail” at whatever I’ve set out for myself.   Then I feel defeated because of that, and then I get depressed because I feel defeated.  Finally, I sit in my depression for a few days being really unproductive until, something motivates me to try again, and the cycle repeats.   Usually this inefficient and unproductive cycle of behavior only goes through a few rounds before I get back on track, but lately I’ve been plagued with the sort of allergies that make a person feel ill and a few viruses in between, and as a result I’ve been in this loop for as long as I’ve been sick.  As I type, I’m sniffling because of a cold I just caught while on vacation visiting my family in Chicago.   And, it’s this cold that I’m currently fighting that’s ultimately been the last straw for me.   Enough already, I’m sick of being sick, I’m ready to get better and move on, but I realize that I need to change.

So what am I supposed to do with this new-found realization.  Well, I’m not totally sure yet. But, I’m determined to keep trying until I find something that works.   Probably, the first thing I could work on is a little patience with myself, others, and the natural flow of life.  I also need to be more realistic with the goals I set for myself, so that I don’t fall into the trap of setting myself up for failure.  And, finally, if I’ve managed to miscalculate and still find myself failing, I need to find better ways of coping.  Here’s a quote from “Downton Abbey” that resonates with me in regards to feeling defeated, “Don’t be defeated, dear, it’s very middle class.” For me this quote reminds me that my feelings of defeat are not the truth, just how I feel in the moment, and ultimately I have the final word on how I feel.  And, as long as I continue to allow myself to feel this way, I am prolonging my own success.

I’ve also realized that even though I follow a healthy diet, and exercise regimen, there’s even more to one’s overall health than that.  Suffice it to say, that over the course of the past few months, I’ve found myself truly baffled by how sick I’ve been.   I haven’t been like this since high school.  I hated it then, and I hate it now.  I feel like the people around me must think I’m a hypochondriac.  Heck, part of me has worried that I’m just being crazy, too.  But, I don’t think I am.  My immune system must be shot.   Just because a person is exposed to a virus does not mean that they will catch it.  A healthy immune system can either prevent infection, or shorten the lifespan of these things.  So, what makes an immune system healthy.  As it turns out, all the exercise and eating right can only go so far unless I eliminate some of the stress from my life.  I did a little reading and as it turns out, stress, feelings of being lonely, depression, and lack of sleep all factor into a person’s immune system.  So, there it is folks… I need to reduce stress from my life!!

Working in the entertainment industry can be stressful.  For years, I’ve thrived on stress.  I’ve used stress and procrastination as motivators.  And, perhaps it’s finally caught up to me.  But, as I sit here typing, I can’t help but dream of a world in which I don’t feel stressed all the time, and it seems almost too good to be true.  Do I really deserve to feel the bliss of a stress free life?  As it turns out, my health may depend on it.   So, as I wrap this blog up for the month, I promise you all that I’m going to be making a concerted effort to reduce stress in my life, change old patterns, all the while continuing eating right and exercising.  I hope it all works.   You, my readers, are my accountability partners in this… I’ll let you know next month how it goes.  Until then, I wish you all peace and contentment in your own lives, and of course good health.

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About Jackie Fogel

Actor - Hi, I’m Jackie Fogel! I’ve lived in Los Angeles for the past 4 years, and like so many people who end up here, I moved to L.A. to realize my dream of becoming a successful actor. I’m still working on that dream, and I work towards it every day, but if my happiness were based solely on my career, let’s just say I wouldn’t be winning any Miss Congeniality awards. One of the things that has helped make me a more well-rounded and consequently happier person has been cross-fit and following a mostly paleo diet. But, it’s been quite the journey leading me up to this point. Join me in my blog as I reflect on the crazy road that’s lead me here.