Responsibility 199, what is it?

Responsibility 199 is a belief; I believe that to be healthy and to increase my longevity I need to weigh 199 pounds or less...
Responsibility 199 is a need; I need to reduce my weight, reduce my percentage of body fat, and the elevated threat of disease my present condition presents...
Responsibility 199 is a mission; I recognize that achieving 199 will be a challenge, perhaps the hardest I have ever undertaken...
Responsibility 199 is a commitment; I acknowledge that I must commit to action, commit to change, commit to myself and those I love to achieve this mission, to increase my longevity...
Responsibility 199 is ME.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 107 - Stress Triggers Chow

Yesterday I made that smoothie you see there. It had been a while since I made one, we had a bunch of fresh ingredients on hand, so I went for it. Yes, I served it in a beer glass; I am a guy. What is it, well lets see if I can remember. I don't always measure ingredients, actually I seldom do, for this smoothie, I was just throwing stuff in the blender that looked good before giving it a whirl. The ingredients; greek yogurt, milk, strawberries, a banana, a wedge of watermelon, almond butter, sugar free cherry preserves (I admit I am addicted to cherries), crushed ice, uncooked steel cut oats. Probably sounds weird when written out, but if you tasted it without knowing the ingredients I bet you would have enjoyed it. I sure did, very yummy.

STRESS - stress is pinging me today like sonar ruins a submariners day - My wife enters the hospital tomorrow morning for surgery and will spend a few days there before returning home to recover for a month. We've both done well to put that reality aside while we vacationed, but with the vacation over, back to work today; we can't keep it put aside for much longer. Stress is something I usually keep at bay very well, actually I thrive in it. But this stress is different than every day stress, I think. It feels, smells and tastes differently, therefore I likely need to deal with it differently, or do I?

I've seen a number of bloggers chat about stress and how they succumb to eating poorly when stressed. I am no different, I can probably attribute a good half of my obese-ness to eating because I was stressed, bored, pissed, whatever emotional state I looked to sooth through food.

Today, I am stronger in the head than I used to be and thus at less risk to stress eating. But, being committed to getting healthy and being healthy for the rest of our lives we know that this is a daily effort. Each day we must make a mental commitment to good choices before we can then succeed at actually executing them. No matter what the day brings as it wears on, stress, joy, misery, amazement, smiles, jeers, whatever; we have to leverage our mental strength to not eat because of emotion.

Sounds so easy doesn't it? Ha! If only it were.

The fastest way to set back those weight-loss goals is to give into emotions and eat to calm them. So how do we not do that which we know will harm us? First we must learn what triggers us down that dark path, the path of the stressful chow down.

What triggers your stressful chow down?

For me idiots stress me to a bad place. I know, idiots is a bit strong. When working with others who refuse to learn their craft to be able to contribute at a high level, they drive me to eat burritos. Nothing wrong with ignorance, we are all ignorant at times. If you work hard to learn hard and deliver hard at what you do, no stress on me working beside you there. But if you are careless about your work, then get outta my way and pass me that burrito!

Another is complete lack of organization that causes lost time, money, effort; whether at home or work. That said lets understand I am not uber-organized, but, I am organized enough in all things to be productive. In the past I have been super organized about eating, so organized that I had the cookies right next to the candy bars which were right next to the twinkies, etc... so being organized has a bad side too I suppose.

When spinning my wheels because I am in an unorganized mess, I look for king size snicker bars. If all are working to improve the situation and its organization, no stress on me working alongside the effort to get better. But when the complete mess around us is accepted and ignored, then get outta my way and pass me that candy!

So, lesson objective; know what triggers you and watch out for them. Then, have a page in your mental playbook ready to go to when stress triggers you. Everyone's playbook may look different. Here is mine...

Each day as I start I have a mental plan of when & what I am going to eat across the three meals and two snacks. When stress pushes me, I pull out that playbook and am reminded to stick to my healthy eating plan. Just having that playbook reminds me I am committed & dedicated to Responsibility 199.

If I must eat, in my desk at work, truck glove box (who has real gloves in there) & pantry at home I keep these places ready with healthy snacks. At hands reach I have a healthy choice awaiting, makes it easier to succeed and suppress the trigger to chow down.

An alternate to eating during stress is even better than grabbing healthy choices. Hobbies are great alternatives, if you have any that is. Myself, I guess blogging is a new hobby of sorts. When tempted to get into the chow down line, jumping on the blogs is a great way to avoid doing so.

I know some who say reading a book does it for them. Reading reduces their stress and gets their mind focused else where. Reading, not-blog reading, but books I can do it for a while but if I am really stressed it isn't a quick enough relief. Writing on the other hand, that does calm me. Whether it be an email, a draft of tomorrow's blog, whatever; writing allows me some escape from the source of the stress.

When a work spending time on hobbies may not be ideal, nor may reading for leisure. Getting up and taking a walk to the opposite end of the building, or the other building, works for me. I work at a large corporate complex so this is an option for me sometimes. Otherwise at work if I can't wander, I change to another project. I manage a half-dozen projects at a time on average and when one is driving me to burritos, I put it aside and grab hold of another for a while. The point, do something different.

And of course, work out to relieve stress. Exercise leads to fitness, duh... which leads to increased energy, yep - duh... which leads to increased confidence, uh-huh it does... which leads to better ability to deal with stress, true? For me it is.

 What do you do to put the stress chow down back in it's box?

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!


  1. Hoping everything works out well with the Mrs... In our thoughts... Don't eat..

  2. Wishing the best fro your wife, Patrick! Yes, that stuff is stressful!

    I love that you have healthy plans for your stress now. Ww are all different so we need to find what works for us, what new behaviors we can put in place of the old bad behaviors.

    I work out for stress but I also get on the computer, get out & go somewhere nice or just take a walk to pull away from it.. sometimes it depends on the situation. Sometimes I just swear & get it out! :-)

  3. Wishing you both well. If you haven't done so already, and have the time today, try to prepare a bunch of foods. Have fresh fruits veggies already cut up, marinate your meats, etc. The more preparation you have done, and have on hand, will make the temptation to stress eat a little easier.

    One of the things that always helped me with stress was knitting. Gotta pick that up again..

    Best wishes to you both!

  4. prayers for your wife

    I find that if I plan ahead (and sometimes even write out my plan), then my eating stays level even during stressful times. Last week my hubs had a heart procedure, out of town. So ahead of time I mapped out the closest grocery store and made a list of what good foods I would keep in the hotel. And while I was waiting on him at the hospital, I keep a water bottle and a good book in my hand. I devoured the book instead of junky snacks.

  5. Best of luck to your wife! I hope the surgery goes well and she heals fast.

    What do I do to keep stress-eating at bay? #1: keep busy, and stay out of the house. If I'm home, I'm going to chow down, so it's best to schedule my social calendar to accommodate a bike ride, visit to the movie theater, whatever. It doesn't matter so long as I'm not home.

    If I AM home, though, I need to prepare some safe foods. For instance, I'll cut up a whole cucumber and leave it on the counter (that's MUST be easily accessible) so if I need to dive into some food, at least it's healthy and low-cal.

    Know what stresses me out a lot? Being bored!

  6. I'll be praying for you and your wife, Patrick.

    Thanks for the good tips on dealing with stress. These are important for me now and I'll keep them in mind. I'll come back to you in an e-mail later.

  7. I seldom do smoothies, but this morning I had a "smoothie in a bowl" that was about as thick as soft serve icecream made from frozen berries, spinach, lite vanilla soy milk and greek yogurt. Sweetened a bit with stevia, it was magical (and you cannot taste the spinach).

    Bless you and your wife! I hope all goes well.

  8. I'll be keeping you and your wife in my thoughts and prayers and hope for a quick recovery!
    Sounds like you have a good plan to deal with stress and yes blogging has definitely been a way for me to deal with it.

  9. All good wishes to your wife, and to you and your family. I will be thinking of you.

  10. Best of luck to MrsR199 tomorrow and during her recovery. Make sure and have an insulated lunch bag with good stuff to stave off the hospital snack machines. The last time I had to dash to the emergency room, I was there, waiting for 20 hours and succumbed to a truckload of bad stuff. When I'm super stressed, movement is best. Taking a long walk is usually best. Just keep your cell phone handy. If I need to stay home and am stressed, music is good. Best is playing the piano. Next is music that takes me to a better place (60s classic rock). I love to read, but if things are really bad, I sometimes can't read. Good luck to the both of you, you're in my prayers.

  11. Everyone thank you so much for the kinds thoughts for my wife & family.

    Nice list of stress eating relievers too...
    go somewhere
    read a book
    keep busy
    stay out of the house
    bike ride
    movie theater
    playing the piano

  12. Hope everything goes well tomorrow - I'll be sending good thoughts your way.

    The weirdest things stress me - like physical pain - sometimes I want to eat that away. Doesn't work in case you're wondering, lol!

  13. I don't know that I do have a really great eating-from-stress coping mechanism. I guess I'm trying more of my best to not have as much stress in the first place. My telecommuting has done wonders for that so far.

    I need to get back to more of a physical fitness regimen though, too.

    Healing thoughts for your Mrs.

  14. What a great post patrick, so honest & immensely helpful to us all. I hope everything goes well tomorrow for your wife & you manage to stay on top of your goals. I will definately be thinking of you!!!