Thursday, April 18, 2019

Stress Alert: Stress Wrecked my Diet

It’s Friday!  I for one am so glad about that fact.  It’s been a LONG week!   Really long!  Work has been a bit stressful and that stress infiltrates every aspect of my life.  It affects my sleep.  It affects my energy levels.  But most importantly stress affects my diet.

I started out the week strong!  I was on target with my eating over the weekend.  My weight was not dropping fast, but I was maintaining steadily at my current low.  All was looking good.  Monday was stellar.  I ate my nutritious lunch while I walked around the lake at work.  I was on the lower end of the caloric range that I strive to remain within. I was doing great!

On Tuesday the stress started to hit.  (Vent alert...but just for this paragraph!).  My current job is working with the launch of a new program/product.  It is chaotic.  I expected it to be chaotic.  What I did not expect was the absolute inconsistencies when I ask one person a question versus another. (Yes, asking people in authority)  That is super annoying...but then add in a third person who has a different answer and what do you have?  Confusion.  Adding to that mix is a random person (you never know who) that will check your guessed it, person number four has a totally different approach and belief on the way things are supposed to be done.  On top of that is the overall frenzy because this program is blowing up and busier than expected (and lots of people have quit and ARE quiting which adds to the general vibe of panic)  and we are struggling to keep up with the work so we are constantly being pushed and badgered.   It is very easy to adopt the feeling that you can’t do anything right (seriously, we are not told that in those words but when all you are getting is negative feedback due to the fact that you did the work based on person number ones instruction but person number 3 is checking you using a completely different matrix how else are you to feel?). I am not used to this.  I learn easily.  I do well, even with changes.  I strive to be the best and do a good job. It’s been very uncomfortable for me to say the least.  And the stress has been building!

So as I was saying, Tuesday the stress started and I ditched my healthy lunch for a cafeteria lunch that included chips and a container of Reece’s Pieces.   Now the Reece’s Pieces didn’t really concern me because I bought them to last the whole week maybe even next week!  Except that the stress got to me and I found myself eating them that afternoon with no control.  (I did eventually put the away!).  I was disgusted with myself for my change of plans.  I tracked my food (managing to stay below the top end of my caloric range) and moved on. I didn’t recognize the stress eating at that point 

Wednesday I did it again!  I eschewed my healthy lunch and headed for the cafeteria.  As I stood in line, I  literally knew that this was stress eating.  Knowing it didn’t make me turn around and retreat to my healthy lunch.  Nope, I was determined to eat my sorrows!   I somehow DID have the presence of mind to avoid the foods that I really wanted and got a lower calorie sandwich and I DID choose the bag of chips that had the least calories!  That’s a win right?  The brownie that I got....well ok that negates the wise choices of sandwich and chips!   I sat and wrote my friend an email while I ate and I even told her that I was stress eating.   But I still ate every crumb of that brownie.  On the drive home I could think of nothing other than ice cream!  I had to stop at the store anyway!  So I had ice cream in the evening.  My saving grace?   Dinner had been pre-planned and was a very healthy low calorie /no carb meal!  Jason has even brought me home a package of Reece’s Cups!   I did maintain self control and I only ate one (ha as if my stress eating had much control!).  I wasn’t going to track my food.  But then on Thursday morning I was reading a blog post from someone and saw the title that had something to do with tracking food.  I couldn’t even read that post until I tracked my food.  It honestly wasn’t as bad as I expected. (1616  over my caloric range but not by as much as I feared).    I stepped on the scales with real fear on Thursday morning...but the scales were holding steady.  However I knew that unless I got it under control they would move...and in the wrong direction.

So Thursday....the stress was still quite present and overwhelming.  (Ha I did go online on Wednesday night looking for another job!). But I know I can’t allow this job to ruin my efforts!  I want more out of, I was determined to beat it!    Well, it wasn’t overly successful.  I ate another sandwich and a bag of chips at the cafeteria...and my calories were over for the day ....100 calories over my top end.  What’s worse?   The weather was fantastic and I sat inside shoveling food into my face versus being outside and enjoying the weather!  And I ate the rest of the Reece’s pieces. (All tracked). 

Friday has arrived.  I’m making no promises!  However I am making changes.  Rather than my fruit and cheese ‘snack’ for lunch that I normally eat while I walk, I am taking more...something that will not leave me tempted to retreat to the cafeteria.  It’s nothing crazy.  A Pb&j, some pretzels and kiwi.  Am I saving lots of calories?  Not really...but it will help me to break the cycle of heading to the cafeteria!

So my weight....I am still hanging onto this lower ‘decade’ on the scales.  I having popped over. But it is CLOSE!   (In fairness it was close before I started stress eating!).  I am going to take this week as a learning lesson.   I know that at 1600-1700 calories I pretty much maintain!  

Stress eating is a bear!   It is really the pits to recognize it but still just sit back and allow the food addiction take over.  It is crazy.  But I know what has happened.  That’s the first step to fixing it and fix it I will!!!