I tend to eat when stressed. Crunchy, salty things take the edge off. My husband retired 2 1/2 years ago and the marriage is going downhill after 18 years. I'm trying to continue to function normally in the midst of his passive/aggressive moods. It's hard but I tend to get more "in control" when things get out of control so I started back on Sparkpeople to at least get myself under control in the situation instead of worrying myself into a heart attack (my blood pressure is going up under the stress).
When I am feeling overwhelmed a soothing nice tasting tea usually helps calm/relax me. My favourites have been Bigelow vanilla black tea and Tazo chai vanilla caramel black tea which I am now out of both and need to restock.
Going for a quick short walk and doing some deep breaths also helps.
Now when it's not just a stressful moment but a stressful time, spanning days/weeks/months that I don't really have a good way to deal with. I know of things to do (exercise, adult colouring books, watching cat videos, writing, etc.) but I don't really do them. This year has been a constant combination of stress, being too busy, and being sick and exercise has definitely taken a back seat but I'm getting back on track with eating better.
"If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you." Call me Sandy.
Stress also has a big effect on my eating habits, I will binge eat when I'm stressed or very tired. When I do overeat it makes me more tired and even depressed and then I do have the energy to get up and exercise which in turn makes me feel worse, it is a vicious cycle
current weight: 163.6
Fitness Minutes: (25)
7/6/18 6:11 P
Stress has a big effect as I am primary caregiver of a spouse with progressive dementia and in the last stage. Meals were inhaled in 3-5 minutes not seated at a table and I binged a lot esp. in the nights and still do. Now he is in a Dementia only care facility and the habits continue as does the stress although I am finally getting 4-5 hours of sleep. I had to retire to care for him and with spinal osteoarthritis, going back to work is not an option but the $10,000 a month to cover care (Medicare & Ins. pay nothing) is more stress as is visiting a spouse that is not responsive to anything and needs to be fed and all ADL's done. He qualifies for hospice care for a few months and then doesn't but is in a great facility. Now in the evenings I binge more and finish off with chips and beers. Trying to eat slower, hydrate more, etc. Just hard to break the habits of the past several years. I do have a great support group but it is the evenings and nights (sleeping limited by back pain) that hit hard.
Fitness Minutes: (6,898)
7/4/18 11:16 A
Had a lot of stress the past couple of weeks. Makes me want to overeat and I try hard not to or to eat something healthy. It effects my sleep also. When I can't sleep at night, I get up and read or crochet. Been doing a lot of both lately. Reading brings peace to my soul and crocheting brings results of something productive. Open to any other suggestions for stress relief. Hits me mostly at the end of the day.
Its wonderful to have the support from my husband. means a lot to me.
current weight: 194.0
Fitness Minutes: (37,978)
195 7/2/18 12:17 P
My problem is that stress makes me want to sleep. The morning is really the only time I can work out, so if I sleep in I'm finished. I try to focus on the positive of getting up and working out, How it will set a better tone for the day, and leave me more ready to tackle my problems.
Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out. ~Robert Collier
Running teaches me that I am capable of so much more than I ever imagined.
118 Days until: Philadelphia Half Marathon
Fitness Minutes: (18,371)
7/1/18 9:48 P
I have suffered considerable stress/anxiety and depression, but fortunately it hasn't impacted on my diet at all. My exercise is limited by skeletal issues. When the depression etc. was at it's worst I used to go for walks every day. No I don't.
@CLMART3 this is a great observation - a very common pattern for many dieters, and it is certainly real for me. Like you, I keep up my exercise schedule (I know it helps to reduce stress), but time after time, stress leads to eating a few unplanned bites... then many more. I experienced this in the past 3-4 weeks. Paradox: I eat those extra bites to relieve stress, but they don't, actually they induce cravings that are hard to struggle with, so my stress level increases. A vicious circle! I fall into this trap sometimes, but I'm more aware of the pattern than I used to be, so I notice it earlier. That stops the vicious circle, and starts a positive upward spiral in my mood: I stick to my plan, my cravings diminish and go away, I can focus on the stress in my life and resolve problems... and in a few days I'm back to normal.
My favorite quote from The Spark, I feel it is relevant to this thread: "When life is difficult, you've got to take control of what you can. When confidence is low, that's exactly when you need to be at your healthiest, strongest and most energetic. There is no better time to create your own little corner of sanity and positive feeling."
Goal weight: 58 +- 1 kg /// 128 +-2 pounds CET (Europe, Hungary)
Maintenance Lessons Learned: -go on with the healthy lifestyle learned in weight loss phase -just add healthy foods gradually to stop losing -work out every day - 30-60 minutes is enough to maintain weight and good mood -do not try to balance overeating by extreme workouts, it is not going to work -avoid overeating, instead of satisfaction you get stronger cravings
357 Maintenance Weeks
Fitness Minutes: (74,267)
6/29/18 9:50 P
Stress really got me off track-way off! My stress went way up when my husband retired. After 30 years of having my own schedule and healthy eating program suddenly he's home all day and eating out 1 or 2 meals a day because he wasn't eating the "healthy crap" I made. Trying to stay on track is hard but getting better.
Fitness Minutes: (4,524)
1,159 6/29/18 6:35 A
I am so sorry for your loss. You've been through a lot these past couple of months, so I do wish you the best.
I have the opposite reaction when I am stressed. Many people turn to food for comfort, not me. When I was laid off from my job, I couldn't eat. It felt like there was a knot in my stomach. I had to force myself to eat because I knew I had to keep up my strength. During the first couple of months of being laid off and looking for work, I lost 15-20 pounds. Friends said I looked great and asked me how I lost the weight. I said,"I lost my job". :(
SERDE was fortunate to find work in less than a month. I was out of work for nine months before I found a contract job. That led to a permanent job that eventually laid me off 2.5 year later. Luckily, I was better able to cope with the stress when the second lay off occurred.
Each time I was laid off, I knew I couldn't stay in the house all day. I made it a point to take a daily 2-3 hour walk. didn't matter where. I just needed to get out of the house because there are only so many cover letters and resume tweaks you can do in a day.
Whenever I am stressed out, I take a really long walk or I hit the gym for a workout. Being active helps me cope with stress.
But yes, even now, when I am stressed out, I wont eat. Oddly enough, when I'm happy, I eat. LOL.
Stress definitely affected me. This past couple of months-- April 28- laid off from my wonderful job, health insurance coverage ended that day May 5- graduated with degree from 6 years of night school May 13- heart attack May 15- accepted job offer after 2.5 weeks interviewing May 16- started job May 19- COBRA health coverage began. Went to ER May 21- Stent placement to fix 3 blockages in artery May 22- Discharged May 24- Back to full time work May 28- 89-year-old Dad to ER May 30- Dad into home hospice June 4- Dad dies at home Funeral/cremation/internment planning. Care for 88-years-old Mom June 16- Funeral June 18- Internment
At the time of my heart attack, my weight was back up to within 8 pounds of my all time high. D: I've lost 10 pounds since my stent placement and am determined to live healthily, including improving what I do with stressful situations.
I think stress impacts my weight loss efforts when it come to energy . I internalize when I stress and that usually leads to slight depression, when I become depressed I dont want to do anything, much less exercise. however its a revolving door if I make myself exercise even for 10 or 15 minutes I will feel better .Then I will have increased energy ,, which leads to therefor exercise more, which intern reduces the depression. Even with that said I have learned how to get ahold of the depression once I realize the cycle has started , but I have not come up with a good game plan for dealing with the stress at hand and stopping the cycle from starting in the first place. I do know getting plenty of sleep helps me deal with stress better.
In the past, I've found that prolonged stress has caused me to gain weight through a combination of hormonal changes (my adrenals do some major changes when I'm stressed, which then impacts everything else), lack of sleep, increased appetite (especially for carbs) due to lack of sleep, and increased sitting (since most prolonged stressful situations that I've had have involved a lot of research to try to find solutions).
Over the past few years I have changed my approach to tackle stressful situations immediately with exercise (which minimizes my adrenal responses), and by increasing relaxation techniques to keep up my sleep levels (and so minimizing impact on my appetite).
Kudos to you for keeping up with the exercise as your main coping mechanism! That will help your body get back on track with hormone and sleep responses, which will help you get back to your healthful eating habits more easily.
Edit to add: The adrenal hormone changes were diagnosed and monitored by my doctor --- so it wasn't just a supposition on my part!
Edited by: URBANREDNEK at: 6/27/2018 (16:09)
Sir Terry Pratchett:
"Science is not about building a body of known 'facts'. It is a method for asking awkward questions and subjecting them to a reality-check, thus avoiding the human tendency to believe whatever makes us feel good."
stress definitely has affected me in the past. But MY emotional eating probably saved some people . Who knew ice cream could save lives?
I admire people who always respond to stress with exercise... unfortunately I'm not wired that way. I wish I was. When I am stressed, I get very irritated and I look to distance myself from people, both physically and mentally. For me, food became the mental pacifier. Now, thankfully, a pot of tea and some soothing music calms me down.
Sheryl, New Jersey EST, SUMMER 5% Challenge-KITCHEN CHAMPIONS
Pounds lost: 3.0
Fitness Minutes: (18,371)
6/27/18 9:31 A
There was a stressful situation at work that lingered for months and as of yesterday was an issue that might affect our office and staff. Off and on during that time, even thought I continued to exercise, I noticed that my weight loss slowed down and my excellent eating habits started slipping. When the situation was alleviated, It now feels like a weight was lifted off of me and I am back in control.