At least I can control my weight
Ever had a bad day and thought: "sod it I'm having a takeaway"?
If you're a regular human being then I'm guessing the answer is yes. We all have occasions in our lives when we're feeling too mentally or physically exhausted to cook. We've all had a bad day at the office and reached for a glass of wine. But what happens when we go through periods where every day seems to be a bad day?
Stress is sneaky
It creeps up on you. You have a tough day or a bit of drama in your life and you battle through. When you do finally have some time to yourself you don't want to spend it cooking and reach for convenient foods or something sweet to treat yourself for surviving the day.
That's fine of course, but then the drama extends and you have another tough day. Naturally, you respond in the same way.
Then, a tough day becomes a tough week.
A tough week becomes a tough patch and the tough patch, becomes the new normal or at least a situation you can't see an end to in the short term.
In situations like this, it's easy to slip into the habit of not looking after yourself and for many people that entails not eating or drinking healthily. We're too low on energy to do the things we know we should. So with no end in sight how do you respond?
Do you just keep going as you are?
If you keep going as you are you get what you're currently getting. This is probably some weight gain.
You also get something else: another thing to be fed up about.
So now you're feeling drained by what's going on and you're feeling crap about your body too. This makes feel you feel worse and creates a cycle where you are more likely to reach for comfort food or alcohol or at best make you less likely to commit to healthy actions. It's a dangerous thing because these are foods and drinks that make you feel sluggish and give you even less get up and go at a time when you need it most.
A different focus
I've been there myself. I allowed a stressful situation to creep up on me, coped by overindulging in food and drink then felt rubbish about my body. I had less energy too.
Since losing weight though I've been really pleased with my body. It's not really about how it looks, although I am MUCH happier with that, but about what it can do. I feel fitter and stronger than everand I have more energy too. Now that I've felt these benefits I want to keep them and see what else I can achieve.
In order to keep these benefits I think about tough times totally differently. Here's what how I approach it:
I tell myself: "At least I can control my weight".
There have been times in the past where I've thought "sod it" in response to tough times but now I focus on what makes me feel good. I focus on the things I can control and what I can feel good about in my life.
I couldn't help the time I was about to work with a large client and they froze their budget ahead of the Brexit vote.
I couldn't help that that another project I was due to work on got put on hold after the Brexit vote.
Threats to my potential income caused a lot of uncertainty and hit my confidence and my pride for a bit. I could have responded by comforting myself but now in the tough times I tell myself "at least I can control my body."
"At least I can be proud of my fitness"
"I might not be achieving what I want elsewhere but at least I can achieve my health goals.
My weight and my fitness are solely dependent on me. Other people can get in the way of my other goals but no one can stop me achieving my personal health and fitness goals. At times when I feel rubbish about other things at least I can feel good in my body. When the chips are down I pick myself by doing some exercise or planning some healthy meals for the week. Work might make me tired but at least I can choose to eat things that give me more energy. This is my new approach to self-care.
When things around you are hectic, focus on what you can control.
What things in your life can you be proud of that aren't dependent on others?
There's nothing wrong with a glass of wine but when 'stressful' becomes the new normal how will you adjust?
Will you let it creep up on you or will you hold on tight to the things that are important to you?
Will you create another thing to feel rubbish about or create something that will make you feel good?
Will you let your circumstances rob you of your progress or will you use your progress to help you deal with your circumstances?
There are many things in life you can't control but your body is yours, it can whatever you want it to be.
What do you think?
How do you respond to stressful times?
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