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!!