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Dealing with stress?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hello Sparkles! :)

So today was such an amazing day. I went for a long walk in the evening with my boyfriend and it was just so relaxing and so much fun! I ate healthy all day and I'm happy to say I'm FINALLY getting enough fruit and veggies! I focused on eating at least two servings of fresh produce at each meal, and I ended up getting 12 servings today. I feel so happy for being good to my body for once. I love my body and all its amazing functions, and I just want to take the best possible care of it.

On a different note, I've been thinking a lot about stress lately. I think I've been chronically stressed for the past few years and honestly, I don't even know why. I know there are people in the world who have a lot more on their plate (no pun intended) than me and still manage to avoid stress better than me. I sometimes feel like I have 'no right' to be stressed out! And it stresses me out even more. Sigh.

I just get very easily stressed out, I guess. I have suffered from anxiety as well which just makes it a lot worse. I go over things a million times inside my head, I worry, I play out possible worst case scenarios, I make endless to-do lists and plans (and yet rarely follow through). Sometimes I feel like there is an ongoing chaos inside my head and it's so VERY exhausting. I often wish I could just turn off my mind for a while and enjoy life without feeling like there is constantly something to do and take care of.

I've only just begun to notice how stressed I actually am. It seems like my stress has become almost chronic, and it's very difficult to shake. I know I want to - and I NEED to for the sake of my health. But as many things in life, it's much easier said than done.

The first step I took was write down a list of my top-five stressors and then try and figure out ways to relieve the stress those things cause. It was very eye-opening and helpful! I also made a list of things to do when I feel a stress attack coming, including:

- go out for a walk
- listen to soothing music
- meditate
- do yoga
- write it out in a journal
- talk to a friend

I need some other suggestions, though. DO YOU GUYS EVER SUFFER FROM STRESS OR ANXIETY? How do you deal with it? I know I'm definitely not alone in this and it would be great to hear your tips and ideas on how to become stress-free! :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WHQPHQ 3/30/2012 4:36PM

    Have you ever seen a counsellor about your stress? I've been off work because my anxiety got so bad, I had panic attacks and it was all quite horrible. I'm back at work now but the headaches are still bad. I've tried doing relaxation podcasts and they help. I have the Headspace app for my phone which is good.

Hope you find something that works for you, I know how hard it is struggling with stress and anxiety. emoticon

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IUHRYTR 3/29/2012 11:33PM

    You have taken a positive step in identifying sources of stress and finding things to do when stress occurs. I like your list, especially taking a walk to get away from home, see the neighborhood, maybe talk to people you see. One question to ask about the things that cause stress is why they create stress. The answers might reveal problems you can resolve, thus easing the stress in the future. Stay the course. You're doing great. -- Lou

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CANES4EVER63 3/29/2012 9:11PM

    I also deal with stress and anxiety. Journaling and relaxing is key for me! If you have a phone that allows you to download apps, look for "Relax Free" by Andrew Johnson. It's amazing. He use to have it on his website, but it isn't the full clip anymore. Perhaps the download mp3 link is the full 15 minute relaxation. Taking me time is also good. Just don't bottle all that stress up, that will be bad (hence, the journaling!). Good luck with it though! It can be quite difficult sometimes!

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LIZ1147 3/29/2012 5:01PM

    I am always stressed out. School, work, family, etc. I deal with it by getting in a good, hard workout or doing some yoga or stretching. I feel a lot less stressed and more empowered when I'm done, and I sleep better. Good job on dealing with your stress!

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SUNSHINE99999 3/29/2012 4:14PM

  Sounds like a good list to me. Yes, we all have stressful times for sure. Right now, my wife and I have my mom and sister and her dad going thru some serious health issues. Blessings to you!

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Picture time!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hello Sparkles! :)

So today was a long and busy day but despite that I managed to eat healthy and get in some exercise. I was in a good mood all day. Lately, I've been really stressed out and I've even suffered from anxiety, but today was a good day and I just felt really calm and positive. I consumed 1,700+ calories and burned just under 300 by walking to school.

I'm too tired to write a proper entry, but I just wanted to share these two pictures with you:

These pictures were actually taken last spring but I weighed back then as much as I do now, which is 181 pounds. I then gained about 10-15 pounds last fall and it just made me really sad. Now I'm so happy that I've lost some weight and gotten healthier because frankly, I think I look cute in those pictures - and now I'm back at that weight! Woohoo for reaching small goals! It's so encouraging.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 3/28/2012 10:12PM

    Yea for Annie an your progress so far. I know you will continue on to your goal. Stay positive. Good looking pictures. emoticon -- Lou

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LUCYGODDESS 3/28/2012 5:05PM

    YES you do look CUTE in those pictures! You are doing great. Keep up the good work!

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WHQPHQ 3/28/2012 4:36PM

    Love that skirt! It's a fab colour! Well done emoticon

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CANES4EVER63 3/28/2012 4:28PM

    Congrats on your weight loss so far and keep up the good work! Getting back to your lowest wight is such an amazing feeling! I can't wait to get back to mine - for a second time!

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Loving "The Spark"!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I have to say I really love The Spark! It's such an inspiring book with full of ideas and motivational insights. Not just about weight loss, but living a fulfilling life in general! Being happy with who and where you are, finding your own purpose, creating meaningful goals and finding that spark within you.

I've had a great day today. I went for a bike ride and walked to the grocery store (and burned 500 calories by doing these activities!) and it was such a lovely spring weather outside. I got my 5+ servings of fruit and veggies, my 10+ cups of water and my 30+ minutes of cardio! I stayed within my calorie range (ended up consuming just a little over 1,300 calories today!).

Lately, I've been really focusing on what I want from my life and where I envision myself five, ten or twenty years from now. I know I'm not living up to my full potential and I want to change that. There's so much I could do and be and yet I've been standing in the sidelines, too tired and scared to change my behavior. That will change in the future. I can already see the changes in myself :)

Calorie information for today:

Calories eaten: 1,399
Calories burned: -500
BMR: 1,933
Calorie differential: -1,034

Today I feel:

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 3/27/2012 8:23PM

    You are making terrific progress. Soon you'll be at your goal weight and look back on these days and be grateful you started again and stayed focused and determined. When that day comes I want to celebrate with you and cheer and yell emoticon emoticon! -- Lou

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Received my copies of The Spark and The SparkPeople Cookbook today!

Monday, March 26, 2012

I'm so excited! I ordered them a couple of weeks back and seriously, they could not have arrived at a better time. As I wrote last night, I've been hitting a wall lately (especially on the weekends with all the unhealthy eating) and I was in desperate need of inspiration and motivation.

Now, with all the amazing and healthy recipes in the SparkPeople Cookbook and the motivational stories and strategies in The Spark, I feel like I have plenty of tools to stay on the right track and keep making those healthy choices. I can't wait to try new recipes and cook some of those delicious meals. I actually tried a delicious banana and strawberry smoothie today which I really, really loved!

I'm so over this past weekend and all the negative emotions. Today has been a new day for me and I feel like I could not have done better. I stayed at the low end of my calorie range today and got 7 servings of fruit and veggies and 10+ cups of water! I worked out for about 40 minutes and read The Spark :) Now I feel like I can do anything if I just keep at it and never ever give up on myself even if things get tough every once in a while.

I have only read the introduction part of The Spark but I'm already in love with it. I know it's nothing new and I've read it all before here on the site but it's always nice to learn more about being healthy!

So here's how I did today calorie wise...

Calories consumed: 1,232
Calories burned by exercise: -251
Calories burned by BMR: 1,933
Calorie differential for today: -952 calories

Woo hoo!

And in addition to that, I feel really good and healthy. I ate more fresh produce than I normally do and tried a few new things today. I have so much energy and I hope it continues all week.

Hope you're all having a wonderful day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 3/26/2012 10:48PM

    Great news -- you're back on track, the weekend forgotten. New opportunities every day for positive results. emoticon emoticon -- Lou

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Week 5 recap: Help, I'm beginning to slip...and I won't let it happen!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

So last week I wrote about feeling like I might be losing focus, and I hate to say that this weekend, I had the same problem. Well, actually, it got a little worse. I stayed well within my calorie range during the week but once Saturday came around, all bets were off. I was visiting my family this weekend and it was tough to keep track of my calories since I didn't actually cook my own meals (my mom had made ALL my favorite foods and it was hard to stick to small portions...). Excuses, excuses, I know. I should have tried harder. I did track my meals though but I ended up eating 2,500+ calories both yesterday and today :( I feel really bad and sick to my stomach.

I know I need to stay focused on my goals every single day and not just on the weekdays. It'll slow my progress way down if I keep eating like this on the weekends - and it'll only make me miserable. I know I can make healthier choices and make smart substitutions, but lately I just seem to "give up" once the weekend rolls around. AND I REALLY DON'T WANT TO!

I know I shouldn't beat myself up about this too much, and I won't. Tomorrow is a new day and it's a whole new week, and every day is an opportunity to take one step closer to my goal of being healthy! Tomorrow I'm just going to eat right and stick to my workout plan and I'll be fine. I'll get back up and keep on moving.

THIS WEEK, my goals are:
1) Eat between 1200-1500 calories a day
2) Work out for at least 30 minutes a day (walking, biking, swimming)
3) Do at least 10 mins of strength training 3 times this week (I haven't been doing it at all until now, so this is what I really want to focus on this week)
4) Update my blog every day and be completely honest with myself about how I felt that day, what I ate, how many calories I burned and if there were any setbacks - it'll keep me accountable

That's it.

I really want to keep doing well and keep up the great work. This is the time when I normally start to slip into my old unhealthy behaviors but I'm so determined to not let that happen this time.

Any suggestions or insights? Are any of you guys struggling with weekends or losing momentum?

Tomorrow will be a better day. Now I'm just going to take a shower and put this weekend behind me. I'm so over it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 3/25/2012 8:39PM

    Annie, as you said, the weekend is over and now is time to start fresh. You didn't lose all the progress you made so make adjustments over this next week to compensate and remember, you don't need to make up for the overeating from the weekend in one or two days. Focus on the image of how you want to look and think of the success you have had so far, not dwelling on two measly days but on all the energy and positive effort you have put in so far. emoticon -- Lou

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LUCYGODDESS 3/25/2012 7:25PM

    It's all ok girl! I looked at your tracker earlier because normally you inspire me, but it kind of made me feel a little better to see that eve YOU slip too sometimes! Don't feel bad about did good all week...and your mom's food? There'll be a day one day that she won't be around to cook your favorite things, so don't feel bad about indulging. You will be back on track tomorrow....I know it! You are a pretty lady and you are strong are back on track already! emoticon

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