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Changing my stress response

Friday, January 25, 2013

"I'm not hungry, just bored!"

One of the biggest challenges any overweight person must face is how to deal with stress. We all have stress; it's hardly a unique trait. How we respond to it, however, can make or break your journey to healthy living.

What I used to do was sneak around and eat. I'd make a trip to Burger King for the family, and eat an extra biscuit on the way home, and throw the wrapper in the trash on the way in. Or I'd sneak off to Waffle House for a 1200 calorie meal.

I'd throw myself into a double helping of spaghetti, or constantly stand in front of the refrigerator, desperately seeking something to take my mind off the stress. I like to think I'm a laid back person, but really what I am is a person who has trained herself to pretend there is no problem.

So over the last year or so, I've been trying to adjust my stress response. Instead of heading to the kitchen when I'm bored, I'll open a game of Bejeweled. If the tension in the house is too much, I'll try and go for a walk, instead.

If I DO turn to boredom or stress eating, I'm trying to make healthier choices, instead of just simple, heavy carbs. I haven't willingly eaten a chip in over a month. THey just don't interest me anymore.

If I catch myself having trouble resisting a particularly tasty treat, I make less of it, or not have it so often. (I'm looking at you, tiny tasty ham sandwiches.)

Over time, this has added up to big changes.

This week, I resolved to STOP my late night snacking. That was what was sabotaging my efforts. I'd do so well all day, but then my husband would break out his crackers and cheese, or he'd make something I love, and bam, nom nom nom over my calorie range.

But the last two days, I've stopped doing that. If I DO have a snack, it's a very small one, like a slice of cheese or a string cheese stick. (What? I like cheese.)

But more importantly, when I do snack during the day, or make a meal, I've been trying to be healthier. That turkey stroganoff I made last night was just as good as my usual, but half the calories... just by substituting the meat.

I'm slowly trying to change my way of thinking. The last three weeks have been one of the most hellishly stressful I've experienced in a very long time, but I have NOT turned to food for solace. Not only have I not gained weight like I usually do, I've lost.

The first time my husband was hospitalized, I spend the time I had alone going to restaurants, dining on fried cheese sticks, wings, anything to make me feel better.

I don't know when that shift happened, but I like it.

I like it a lot.

Oh, and that 187 came back this morning. If it's still there tomorrow, I'm counting it, baby.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    WTG! You are making progress-stress eating is a hard thing to overcome.
    1877 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/27/2013 8:08:23 PM
  • BERTA6978
    I say you should count the 187. emoticon
    1878 days ago
    i would count that 187 now lol.it i like i could have written this blog lol.i am trying to get back to 186,i stress eat and boy do i streaa eat.i also am great in the day but snack at night.havenĀ“t said that you seem to be ahead of me on the control of it lol.i still have a lot to work on.keep on keeping on you are doing great. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1879 days ago
  • BILL60
    You are getting there. Congrats!!
    1879 days ago
  • CLARK971
    you are making the right choices that will result in positive changes long term . yay for your 187! the 187 is great, but the changes are really what is impressive. i have seen a lot of your comments and you always have great advice and helpful links. it is awesome that you are finding a way to make these changes. it isn't always easy to make the changes we know need to be made. but they do lead to positive results! : )
    1879 days ago
    I've stopped stressing over stress..........I found it was just tooooooo stressful. ;-)
    1879 days ago
    WTG! Stress is our body freaking out and we respond to it in the same way we 'always' have, and often the way our parents did. Learning how to respond to it differently and 'feed' the soul or the brain instead of the stomach is often more effective at treating what's causing the problem: the stress. When your body gets what it needs, relief of stress, then it can relax out of the continuous stress response it's become accustomed to.

    And it looks like you've learned how incredible food can taste when just a few adjustments are made to lower the calories and increase the nutrition.
    1879 days ago
    Ok, 187 is amazing but what is more amazing is your attitude! You are making right choices not only for your weight-loss journey, but for your life...
    You must be very very proud of yourself!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon

    1880 days ago
    see? 187 WAS a preview of comming attractions. TOLD YA!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1880 days ago
    1880 days ago
    HEL| YEAH 187! Woot! (I know I should wait until tomorrow, but I just can't!)

    This: "What I used to do was sneak around and eat. I'd make a trip to Burger King for the family, and eat an extra biscuit on the way home, and throw the wrapper in the trash on the way in. Or I'd sneak off to Waffle House for a 1200 calorie meal. "

    Sneaking food, stuffing your face with something to hide it from the sig or the family-- I've done that. What's weird about it is that my sig, honestly, wouldn't care a bit that I got an XL french fry on top of the salad,shake and filet o fish from McDs, but I hid it anyway. And I knew that I was eating it, shamefully wolfing it down in the car, tucking the red box deep in the garbage-- like if I hid it enough it didn't count or something, you know? But I knew about it. And I did it. And hiding it just kept me lying to myself about how big I was getting.

    You have done such an awesome job of changing your habits-- the little active readjustments, the snacking cut downs-- all of it.

    Thus the reason for celebrating that 187-- you've earned it.
    1880 days ago
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