Friday, January 25, 2013

Changing my stress response

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.

Photo courtesy of Buzzfarmers

1 comment:

  1. I'm looking at you tiny, tasty ham sandwich!! ROFL. That was what I need today :)