Monday, May 28, 2012

Stress



2 months into my journey I had lost 15 pounds! I was excited, but also a little discouraged. I was excited to be down 15 pounds but I had to work hard not to be upset that I was only down 15 pounds in 2 months. Why was this a struggle? Well because I have heard so many stories of people losing 15 pounds in 1 month when they initially start. Looking back on it I can tell you that stress played a major role in my weight loss. In the past I would assume that being under a lot of stress would cause you to lose weight, and maybe that's how it works for some people, but not for me. I actually hold on to that comfort food...

I think it's a defense  mechanism. Do you remember learning about those in school? Flight or Fight...well I think my body goes into survival mode and when I get stressed my body holds on to every little calorie just in case I need it to survive! I can keep track of my food intake, track my points and even be under the number of points I'm allowed and I usually still gain a pound or two, or more. Sometimes I don't actually gain but I only lose 0-.2 pounds, or something like that.

The hardest part of that is to not get even more stressed. What is my initial reaction to gaining weight? STRESS! What does stress do to my body? ADDS WEIGHT! So it's this vicious circle! After recognizing this pattern (which took a long time) I have learned to look at the scale, review in my head what I have eaten and what my emotional state has been and then decide what changes need to be made. Now when I do that I can say "Ok I've been very stressed the last few days, so this is normal." Does that make me feel better? A little, honestly. Because I know that as I work to relieve the extra stress that my body will let go of those extra pounds. It's just going to take some time.

Sometimes there is nothing you can do to get rid of the stress, you just have to wait it out. Like at that time...(and coincidentally today too) my kids were/are all sick. That is extra stress to me because they are young enough that they lay on the couch and whine all day and holler for me constantly. There is nothing I can do to make that stress go away faster. I can only give them medicine and try to be patient and loving and remember they feel awful. The cost of taking them to the Dr adds stress too. But what can you do about that? When it comes time that you have to take them in then you just have to do it.

Sometimes there is something you can do. Like if you are stressing over something that is really a minor inconvenience, or something that is so totally out of your control (like the world economy) that there is no use in stressing over it. Then you have to find a way to LET IT GO! A little stress is good for you, but too much stress can not only cause you to gain weight but it can have other negative effects on your body, like high blood pressure.

So if you are carrying around too much stress find a way to let it go and then your body will be more willing to let go of the pounds too!

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