Saturday, June 22, 2013
I know, stress is bad for you, mentally and physically. I know it can derail a diet (by making you crave lots of "comfort foods" you would normally avoid, or at least eat in moderation; or it can make your metabolism less effective at burning calories you consume).
I have been under a significant amount of stress lately, and I do see that I've eaten more, and more of the "wrong things" than I would have otherwise. But I also see that I've exercised more than I would have, too. Because getting away, physically, from a stress-inducing place, is a relief, mentally; and releasing tension by working up a good sweat is a relief, physically.
But I see another stress-related problem, as well: that old not-being-able-to-sleep-becaus
e-your-mind-won't-shut-down issue. Not enough hours of actual, stress-relieving sleep means I'm tired during the day. Being tired makes me crave sweets for quick energy, and lowers my resistance to saying NO to temptation. My rational self knows this is not a help, but my stressed-out inner me just wants immediate comfort.
So . . . I knew I had to find other ways to deal with stress. Yesterday, I did give in and just take a mid-afternoon nap. It was great! And low-calorie! And I must have been really wiped out, because napping didn't interfere with my sleep last night, either. And I found a friend to talk with about some of the stressful issues of my life, and pray together. That helped a lot, too! I think I may be on to something! So my mission for the next week is to actively look for other ways to relieve stress that DON'T include eating sweets! Ideas, anyone?