stress

In my last post I said that tracking was eye-opening – and BOY! is it ever!! I have tracked most days since then. Simply knowing I was going to write it down has made me much more mindful of what I put in my maw (what can I say? I’m a sucker for alliteration!). In fact, the scale is already heading ever-so-slowly in the right direction as a result.

The most important aspect of tracking, in my opinion, is the WHY of it. Not when. Not how much. WHY. Why did I eat a bowl of oatmeal with half an apple shredded into it at 8AM? Because I was hungry, and I was hungry for that specifically.

Good. Excellent in fact.

Why did I snack on pretzels and peanut butter and a few errant chocolate chips at 9PM? Because I had just put the 5 year old to bed after an incredibly whiny afternoon and the 8 year old was contradicting every single word that came out of my mouth (Not every word, Mom!) and my husband had sequestered himself in his office to study and only came out to yell if the noise level in the house went too high and I’d been going since 6AM and hadn’t even peed in privacy.

So… well, yeah. Maybe not so good on that one.

And there was a lot of that kind of thing. Not just emotional eating, but specifically stress eating. It’s funny, because I don’t consider my life terribly stressful, but the pattern is definitely there. And now that I’ve identified it, what do I do about it? I find a better way to deal with the stress in my life than eating my way past it. A few ideas I’ve brainstormed:

  •  Exercise – exercise is great for stress relief! Too bad it’s so hard to fit it into my days at the moment. I suspect my stress levels will greatly decrease in a couple weeks when the kids head back to school and I can head back to my workout routine.
  • Yoga – I (and likely YOU) don’t have time for a 90 minute class. But we can all take a few minutes for a few sun salutations, right?
  • Time outs – for me! Shutting myself away in a dark room for five minutes does far more for my stress levels than sending the kids to their room. It’s not like they can get into much trouble in five minutes on their own, right? RIGHT???
  • Talk with a friend – thank you, Twitter. No matter what time of day, I can always find a listening ear. Usually it’s Kirsten’s, who is sympathetic, wise, and apparently never sleeps so she’s always there to lend an ear!
  • Change of scenerey – last Saturday everything went to hell within an hour of everyone rolling out of bed. I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Some days are like that. Even in Belgium. Rather than let things erode, I packed a picnic lunch and took the kids to the zoo.We had a fabulous time. Definitely must do more changing of scenery!
  • Romp between the sheets – come on! You know it’s great for stress relief!! Unless the primary stressOR you’re coping with is your significant other. In which case… I don’t really know what to tell you! Get a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey??

I’m going to work at diligently applying some of these in the coming weeks and hope to see the stress eating drastically reduced. How do you deal with stress? Have any tips for the rest of us?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/annflandersgregory Ann Flanders Gregory

    Stress is definitely a healthy living fighter in my house. I have been trying really hard to stress out and eat. Instead I have been trying to exercise when I am stressed out. And not keeping the junk food in the house helps except when the hubby wants Sonic late at night!!
    Hopefully the stress will go down once the kids go back to school! xoxoxo