This post is for you want to lose weight, but you are overwhelmed, overworked, stressed out, and your coping mechanism is FOOD!
I’ve always wanted to be that girl who, when she gets stressed out, busy, or overwhelmed, she forgets to eat! No such luck! I eat the MOST when I am stressed or overwhelmed. I’ve clearly identified to myself that I am eating to avoid work, projects, or assignments. When I have a task I don’t want to do, or a phone call I don’t want to make.. I’ll eat first! It can be disastrous. The harder the project, the more I eat, and it’s usually not carrot sticks. When I’m tired or overwhelmed, I eat! Eating can be so relaxing that it helps me forget, for just a moment that I have so much to do.
So, if you can relate and you’re like me, I’ve identified 5 key things that help me to get over it! These 5 things, if put into practice can turn you from a ravenous ball of stress, to someone calm and able to make GOOD food decisions!
1) Tackle your most difficult task BEFORE the first bite!
This has been revolutionary for me! Even before breakfast, and before I start eating for the day, If I can identify the one thing I don’t want to do.. the one thing that is going to throw off my rhythm for the day until it’s done.. the one thing that keeps reappearing on my to-do list every single day, If I get that done first, than I give myself permission to eat what I’m craving AFTER it’s finished. If I start eating before I tackle it, it leads from one meal to the next, until I find I’m grazing for an hour or more, still trying to AVOID my task! Mornings are better for tackling that hard thing anyway, so do it first thing (Eat Your Frog), and THEN have those pancakes that were calling your name! Chances are, you’ll eat the pancakes, and get back to work, cause you are no longer trying to AVOID work!
2) Practice Relaxation
If the reason you are eating is because you’re stressed out, the natural antidote is to relax! This may look different for everyone, but some of my favorite ways to relax include:
- Going for a walk
- Rigorous exercise
- Watching TV
- Reading a magazine
- Taking a bath
- Getting my hair done
- Chatting with my kids
Whatever relaxes you, do that BEFORE you reach for the sugar cookies!
3) Chomp on something healthier!
Sometimes it IS nice to just repeatedly take bites of something- it’s quite relaxing it itself. So, if you can be self aware enough to know you only want to eat to put yourself at ease or to forget about your day, choose carrots or other veggies! There was a week when I was very overwhelmed. I was DETERMINED to not overeat this week, because I know myself, and I was waiting for the temptation. To try to avoid it, I bought loads of sugar free gum, and decided to just chew gum anytime I felt stressed or felt like heading to the pantry. Well, that much gum doesn’t sit well with me! Unfortunately, it came with so much excessive gas my family couldn’t even bare to be around me! Next time, I’ll “chew”s carrots! lol
4) Write About It
The life changing moment for me happened when I identified on paper all the excuses I gave myself to continue eating when I didn’t need to eat. The excuses ranged from:
- I deserve it,
- It’s only this once,
- It’s the only time I’ll ever get this cookie ever again in my life
- I’m tired, and need some energy.
- I’ve been so good, I need a break from my diet…
The great thing about writing this down, is that as soon as you are AWARE of your excuses, the sooner you can be real with yourself and realize those excuses are all lies. I learned this from my favorite podcast here! So, when the stress and the overwhelm creep in, and you start reaching for the graham crackers with frosting, first write down what you are doing, and why you are doing it BEFORE you give yourself permission to do it!
5) Get a hobby!
You don’t need everything to be about food! Get your mind off of food, and give yourself something else to look forward to. What do you enjoy? Do you like to crochet, ride bikes, take photographs? If you don’t have a hobby, or something that will relax your mind by doing something you enjoy, figure out what that is before you do anything else.
So, there you have it! The next time you have a deadline that is stressing you out, before you reach for the nutella and scoop it out by the spoonful- STOP! Be mindful of why you are taking that first bite. Practice relaxing, being mindful, and getting the task done before it turns into a graze fest and thousands of unnecessary calories.