Like many of you, I have had my struggles with gaining and losing weight especially in times of increased stress. For a little more of my story click this link:
Some people, like me, stress eat and go to comfort foods to feel better (in the moment), or…especially during a pandemic; it could be just boredom.
Stress can be about anything…a relationship, work, money, health issues…anything. If it stresses you, your body can and will respond.
And with all that is going on, it’s no wonder people are stressed. During these times, I’m much more likely to put on the weight. My emotional eating usually starts with dessert type foods (read: cookies/brownies/cakes/chocolate), and quickly spirals out of control as I self-sabotage and crave more and more of the sugar.
Other people lose weight when stressed. Our bodies are really interesting, we often go into our fight or flight mode when we are stressed. Sometimes that “fight” means putting in more time/energy/thought…stress, into the thing we are worried about. Our bodies can also get overstimulated and reduce our desire to eat or in some people their body just doesn’t absorb enough of the nutrients.
If you find yourself in either of these positions, you are unlikely to feel good about the situation you are in. And though the grass seems greener in the other person’s plight, just forcing yourself into the opposite eating habits will likely cause more stress to your mind and body.
The first step is to take a pause. Acknowledge where you are at, and where you would like to be. Very often it takes a good meditation or workout to get my mind…a) off the sugar b) out of my own thoughts/stress. You need to find a way, to get out of your own way.
Forgive yourself. We can be REALLY hard on ourselves when we make mistakes…whether it be at work, at home, to yourself…it’s ok. If it is something that is out of your control…that it is just that, out of your control. You stressing about it isn’t going to help; it’s only going to hinder you.
How can you change your habits and get back to healthier decision?
I know it’s going to sound cliché but take it one meal at a time. Choose something that you love that was part of your healthy eating patterns. If you have been adding things you don’t need (second portions, dessert, more drinks), just for that meal, don’t have it. Don’t put the pressure on yourself to lose 19lbs in one meal…or eating perfect for the rest of your life. Just get through the next meal.
If you haven’t had the desire/hunger for food, set an alarm for your next meal and make sure you have it. It may help to have someone to eat with, visit a friend, family member (you can even FaceTime or Zoom a meal). Which gets me to my next point.
Get support. I like to call myself out to someone to be held accountable. Be vulnerable, allow yourself to admit that it hasn’t been the easiest time. Trust me, you will find that the more you talk about it to someone, some people, you will hear their struggles as well. We all struggle.
Another option is professional help…someone to talk to, someone to workout with, someone to help you with dietary restrictions/requirements. Accountability is a HUGE factor in our successes/failures. Get some help and/or accountability, for now, to guide you through until you have it under control.
Your Chubby Trainer