Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Stress and Weight Gain


In the past I have given up coffee twice, each time for 8 months.  In the 3 years I have been in my current job I have been unable to.

In the past I used to do a minimum of 2 detoxes a year.  In the 3 years I have been in my current job, I have done 1, which was as recent as errrrrrr...... 2006! (Yep, shortly after joining).

When I started this job I was a size 14 in jeans - I am now a size 18 (although I like to think of myself as being a size 16, but 3 different fitting jeans confirm I am an 18).

Anyway, I know there is a link between stress and food, or at least in my case.  And I also confirm what the web says... i.e. that when stress is the cause of weight gain, the gain tends to be around the middle!  I used to be pear shaped and now I am a pear and an apple (as confirmed by this post).

BUT every year (for the last 3 years) I go to the Yoga Festival.  8 days of yogic food.  And yet I do not cheat... other people smuggle in nuts or biscuits and I never do.  I find it easy to do the yogic diet because I enjoy eating healthy food.  I could crunch on celery sticks or pieces of water melon all day every day, but in a work environment noooooooooooo!!!!!

So, given that I cannot be in a yoga festival environment all year round, I need to break this link between stress/work/food...

Tonight really brought it home.  Between 5 and 6.4o p.m. was quite stressful to say the least, and when I walked to the station, to get my train, the first thing I did was buy a baguette and a latte, even though I know caffeine makes sleeping difficult if I have it in the evening, and even though I am lactose intolerant (I think I like the warm internal fuzzy feeling a capuccino or latte gives me).

I find it incredibly easy to eat healthily on Saturday and Sunday..... but roll on Monday, and I have a problem......

I need to have a healthy JUNE as I am going to a wedding in Ireland on 17th July and I have to be trimmer then than I am now!

I am half a stone heavier now than I was on 1st Jan 2009.

Anyway, I just read this and I can relate to so so so much of it.......! 

Anyway, have a read (click on "this" above) and let me know what you think.  If you have beaten this battle and have words of wisdom for me, then please break the silence of yesterday and let me know...........

I am awaiting all of your advice and can't wait to hear your opinions on this.

Best wishes

Liska x


metro15 said...

Welcome back! I'm afraid I don't have much wise advice to share. I am a total stress eater, and I ADORE baguettes and will eat them often when given the opportunity (which is, thankfully I guess, not often in Toronto.)

The only times I have found myself able to avoid stress eating is when I am prepared and always have healthy food on me and when my motivation level is higher than my stress level. I often find it hard to buy food when I already have food there and ready to eat, so preparing ahead of time and ensuring I'm never out in the world feeling STARVING helps. :)

Liska said...

That is brilliant advice. Thank you so so much. I particularly like the phrase "motivation level higher than stress level". Since I wrote the post, I have been busy (1) entering the yoga festival (i.e. paying) (2) entering the Race for Life again (I did it in 2008 but this year have opted for the 10k version - I MUST BE MAD!!!!) and (3) this isn't something I have done in the last 10 minutes, but I have a wedding to go to on 17th July.
So there, right there, I have 3 reasons to have a high "motivation level". I can't do the 10k fat and unfit, or the yoga festival and I definitely can't go to the wedding like that or my Mum will disown me :-)........ so I only have to carry healthy food ON ME, and then I will have followed your advice to the letter.

I will start that part of your advice tomorrow, by carrying raw carrot, raw celery (both of which I love) and of course some nuts & seeds.

Liska xxx (thank you for stopping by) xxx

HollyALP said...

Liska, I can totally relate! I think I've identified that food for me can become a lot about control. When I feel stressed out (i.e. out of control) I turn to food and think "After everything else this is certainly something I deserve!" And I eat whatever my heart desires really. For me, it's because whatever is stressing me out is something out of my control. Coming home at the end of the day removes me from the work/social situations that get me riled up, but my mind keeps it alive for me. I need to learn to let it go!

I also love metro's advice. I took the time to pack up a fantastic lunch for the day.

And... of course, thank you for all your support. You're fantastic!

Belinda said...

Have you tried letting God take control? Thats really the only solution with anything we do. He created us and wants us to come near to Him and let Him take all your worried.I promise it works 100% of the time. Good to hear from you again. Missed you.

Heather said...

I completely agree! I notice that on weeks where I am more stressed, I dont lose weight or I actually gain. I know that my cravings for food increase and sometimes I give in and use food as a stress reliever. its so hard, and while we can find substitutes to relieve stress, sometimes our lifestyles just make it hard to avoid.

HollyALP said...

Well I don't know about the UK, but it is tomorrow already here, so I'm back to cheer on your start! Send an update at the appropriate UK hour :)

Liska said...

Done x