17. Don't wait until things calm down

Apr 28, 2020

I will eat right when things calm down. 

When she was younger Kelly was able to maintain a healthy weight because of all the sports she played. As she got older and settled into her career as an accountant she started steadily gaining weight. Her desk job was sedentary and she missed all the activity her younger years provided. Over the course of a decade she gained close to fifty pounds of fat. She reached a point where she had to do something about it and started working to lose weight. 


Initially she moved through the first steps of her new program with ease. She incorporated new habits into her life and was feeling in control and on top of things when a double whammy hit: tax season started and her hours at work became much longer, and her husband’s small business started facing financial problems. All of a sudden Kelly’s stress skyrocketed and she found it much harder to practice hitting her macros like a few weeks earlier. Some days she could put everything together and stay on track, others she wasn’t so successful.

“I think I’m too stressed to do this right now” she commented. “I just have too much on my plate.” Literally and figuratively. 


Does this sound familiar? If so you’re not alone. Like Kelly, many people believe focusing on their nutrition will make a stressful situation even more stressful. It has been demonstrated time and time again that this is simply not true. When you are going through a stressful time and lose control of your eating that loss makes you feel MORE stressed, not less. Staying on track during stressful times will help you feel more in control and will likely LOWER your stress further. 


Think of a time when you passed up the donut or breakfast pizza. It’s more likely you felt good due to your restraint than you feeling bad for missing out on the temporary relief those foods provide. Small wins in your eating can contribute to day feeling good all day long. 


Recall a time when you ate a bunch of food at a restaurant. Inexperienced people think “Eating a big indulgent meal will make me feel good.” But they don’t. “I wound up feeling bloated and guilty” is a common response.

The more you think about it the more you will realize that resisting donuts and pizza reduces stress. You will feel more in control and full of positive feelings and energy that can be applied to your work and family when you eat right. On the opposite side overeating at dinner and reaching for crap food leads to feelings of guilt, distraction, and more stress. 


When you are busy you may think you can’t be disciplined in your eating too. But exerting your will power will make you feel better than giving into your cravings. 

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