This three-week habit for me is learning how to deal with stress better. I know this may be hard to believe (sense the sarcasm) but I a high strung person and wound emotionally tight. It’s not that I freak out over things but I do internalize a lot of which leaves me feeling emotionally bunched most of the time which then comes out in very negative ways aka emotional eating. For example in August we lost both my father-in-law and my grandfather a week apart from each other, then my husband hurt his back and then got a week long flu which left me to hold it together, pick up the pieces and gain 8lbs, which I am now struggling to take off. For me there is a very direct correlation to my eating and stress and since I want so badly to stop doing this I have to first deal with the root of the problem which is the way I handle stress, but I also believe to understand how I handle stress I need to understand where those habits come from.
For the last 10 years plus I have really struggled with food, I have gained and lost over 100 lbs. in that time. This up and down has taken a huge toll on my health and self-confidence it all started when I was 21 I met the love of my life when I was at college (Luke is everything to me but everyone has that first love), six months after we started dating we got the news that he was going to be deployed to Iraq. That was the most devastating moment of my life but I had no idea how hard the next year and half was actually going to be. After he left to go over seas and I had to go back to my “normal life” it was tough because none of my friends understood what it was like, there was no one I could talk to, and the only one who got it was half way around the world in a war zone. Oh and don’t forget at that time there wasn’t Facebook or even Skype. Anyway, by the time he got back we were both a mess and grew apart, this is when I started binge eating.
Then throughout the rest of my 20’s I was a goddamn disaster I had 12 boyfriends, moved eight times and had seven different jobs. I was transient to say the least. Every guy I dated between Christopher and Luke were real losers from drug addicts to drug dealers to guys that weren’t going anywhere in life and every job I had was a dead end and wasn’t anything that fit me. Then to make matters worse for myself for one guy I even did a figure competition just hoping he would find some worth in me, when that didn’t work I started with the binge eating again, gained 50 lbs. and have had a tough time since losing weight. It’s a very frustrating and stressful place for me but I’m now at a point where I am ready to learn how to manage my stress and habits.
The other reason I have chosen to learn how to manage my stress is because I took a biological test and because of how much stress I carry with me and my eating habits I have a biological age of 34 when I am only 33. Now for me I am deathly afraid of wrinkles and being old, I know I have a lot more years on this earth but I want them to be quality years and lived to the fullest.
I personally think for most people stress is the biggest problem because in todays world there are so many competing priorities and everything needs your attention right NOW. Since I have the kind of schedule where I have people and members that drop in and want to talk or clients that need my time I have had to build in time to de-stress. These are the ways that I have started to reduce my stress,
- Workout to feel good and not to try to maintain my weight (I’m actually getting better workouts because the pressure I put on myself isn’t there anymore)
- Relax when I’m driving, I get really frustrated with other drivers because I am always anxious to get to my destination and by the time I get there I am infuriated which definitely doesn’t help my stress.
- I have started meditating. This one is really hard for me because getting my mind to focus on just breathing is so hard but I am giving myself time to learn and keeping the bigger picture in mind
- Stretching, I have noticed over the past year my body getting REALLY tight which I a tell tale sign that I am holding a lot of stress and tension in my body.
This is a lot to manage and a lot to keep in mind but the thing that’s making it easy for me to stay on track is that I remind myself to “cool my jets” and breath when I feel like I am getting worked up over something.
For any of you reading this and ready to make a change but finding it hard, break it apart into smaller steps, and remember slow progress is lasting progress. Over the last three months I have changed six habits, but those are six habits I didn’t have before and in a year I will have 24 ingrained habits. Even though it is painfully slow I am making progress and if I can do it trust me you can do it!