Stress Triggers and Weight Loss
It’s no secret. Stress can cause all kinds of havoc in our lives and manifest itself in ways we don’t expect. Stress can be caused from ongoing issues or unexpected circumstances. For some people it causes anxiety and depression and for others it translates into more physical symptoms and ailments. This week people in my neighboring communities had their fair share of stress when Mother Nature and other factors caused unexpected flooding. Now they have to deal with loss and the grief that goes along with it. Stress can also be caused from ongoing issues. We all have things we are trying to cope with in this journey we call life. For those of us trying to lose weight and stay healthy it can mean the difference between staying on our plan or taking a detour.
In all the years that I have been obese I never really thought of stress as a factor. But now I can see that it definitely plays a role. I have not been able to sleep, make good food choices or follow my exercise plan lately. So I am tired, my weight went over my trend-line three times this week and my back pain has returned with a vengeance. Emotionally, I am feeling more depressed and my anxiety is through the roof. Changing my way of eating last year definitely helped lessen most of these symptoms. Eating foods that my body was sensitive too caused my body stress so eliminating those foods caused it to decrease somewhat. But my food choices are just one of my stress triggers and I realized that I have not been coping well with the other issues in my life – some ongoing and some unexpected.
So if food choices are a trigger and cause my body stress what happens when other issues cause me to make bad food choices? You guessed it….even more stress! The thing is I know that potato chips are a bad choice for me but it didn’t stop me from having them this past week. Now I am dealing with the aftermath of my decision. Some things in my life are out of my control like the flooding in my community that occurred this past week. But that just means it is more important than ever to make good choices in the areas of my life that I do have control over.
It means I need to take care of myself by eating well, getting enough rest and getting enough exercise. It means that the only expectations I should have are of myself and the choices I make. It means I need to think about other ways to cope with stress instead of turning to food that is not good for me. And it means seeking help from others for those issues that I can’t handle on my own. Doing these things will not lessen the effects of stress in my life from things out of my control but at least I will know that I haven’t contributed to my problems. How about you? How do you handle stress in your life?