Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Stress Eating and Diets - the struggle is real

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Image source: Confident Body


Anyone who knows me knows very well that I do not like diet programs or products that make me skinny in ten days or that suggest I'll lose ten pounds in two weeks, etc. I have tried many different diet theories only to realize three things:

#1 They only work IF you follow the program exactly
#2 They stop working when you resume "normal" life
#3 They are expensive

One thing they all have in common is that fine print on the back that says something like "this product works best when combined with sensible diet and exercise regiment"Well come on now, that IS the problem for many people!  Does it take me to the gym? Will it prepare my meals? Will it slap that cookie out of my hands? NO! It will not. You still need to have the willpower to do all that on your own. So then what's the point of the pill, shake, or prepackaged meal?

I am a stress eater. I actually hate that label. But yes, this Fitness Trainer who often helps others get in shape and make good food choices has weaknesses. It is a struggle.  I will convince myself that I must finish that french baguette with butter so that I don't overindulge the next day... ha ha! Don't judge me, bread is delicious.

As we prepare for another military move I find myself eating certain foods I don't even love. They were just there, in my pantry. I'm not sure I even gave it much thought when it was happening, until I started feeling bloated and fatigued because everything I ate was loaded with sugar and, of course, carbs. UGH!!! Have you ever done that?

As I embark on a journey to reinvent myself in my career field I am, once again, learning and expanding my knowledge of all things healthy living. I have been reflecting on my actions and my reactions to stress. Questioning my relationship with food and researching ways to make better choices particularly in times of high stress. I will start with water - I need to drink more water, period! How about you, how's your water intake?

I am not a fan of eliminating food groups because I end up seeking them out or I spend countless hours figuring out my next meal or snack.  Instead I try (and need to try harder) to focus on what I should be eating and why. I love the idea of crowding out the junk instead - eating more of the good so there's no room for the bad.

Dieting affects my family as well - I'm either cranky or serving nothing but spinach for dinner. Have you tried feeding spinach to kids? They think I'm trying to poison them.  Confident Body, Confident Child wrote a great article on the consequences of dieting around children which also reminded me that my actions with nutrition can build the foundation for my children's relationship with food- I have so much to say about this but that's another post. So good to read different perspectives and points of view on this issue. Sometimes we get lost in our own needs and forget that our actions have an effect on those we love most. The last thing I need to hear is my 68lb, 11 year old saying he needs to lose weight or go on a diet, NOOOO!!! 

This doesn't mean I wont fail and grab something awfully delicious, but the least I could do is eat with intention and not to alleviate my stress.

We all have a story or weakness, what's yours?

Have the day you deserve,

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