Weight Loss Struggles – Stress!

I have heard from so many of you lately and I am finding it to be an issue for myself too.  Stress!

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What makes us stress eat?  What makes us find comfort in food? I know it has to do with the chemical balance in our brain and how certain foods trigger pleasure sensors that produce different sensations.  That is the extent of what I know on the subject except that this is just a short term fix.

I have found for myself, that I crave my comfort foods and sugary foods.  I love Mexican food and could eat it daily.  It is my comfort food, and yes you can eat vegan at a Mexican restaurant.  Again, this is just a quick fix.  I enjoy it while I am eating but then I leave feeling overly full and bloated for the next day or so.

Sugar is something I try to keep out of my house because I know I won’t be able to hide it from myself and it makes me feel even worse.

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What are your comfort foods? Comment below I want to hear from you.

For others stress often puts us in a place of not being in control.  There is an outside factor causing the stress.  So they do something they can control and that is eating.  In my opinion, just the way someone who has an eating disorder such as anorexia believes to be in control of their body I think others do the same on the opposite spectrum.

So what can we do?  I wish I could say that this was going to be easy.  If it were I would not be writing this post. Cravings are usually disguised addictions.

First, get all trigger foods out of your house.  Do not have anything that will cause you to overeat, sneak just one or encourage a midnight feast.

Second, keep a journal.  When you feel the urge to eat something you know you should not write out what you are feeling.  Are you anxious, overwhelmed or sad.  Write it out and see what emotion seems to be the biggest trigger and what food you are wanting.  Then find other ways to deal with that emotion.  Sometimes if you continue to write that will help or go for a walk or talk to a friend.  Try to find something that will bring you relaxation other than the temporary food fix.

Lastly, try to eliminate the stress.  I recently read a book that said to look at your daily to do list and see what are you doing that is benefitting you the most and what are you doing that is really just wasting time.  He said 80% of what you do is really not useful.  So find the 20%, get rid of the 80% and be more successful at what you do.  I do realize that some stress cannot be removed.  What our family is going through is nothing we can control, but I have eliminated other things that would intensify the stress.  I workout and try to laugh, both are great stress relievers.

I really hope this helps and I would love to hear your comments of things that have helped you overcome stress eating.  I would also like to hear other areas of struggle so I can address those.

Keep moving forward.

Jen

 

Out of the Shadows

This is a post I never intended to make, but with several people connecting with me lately, with the same issues, I thought this might be the nudge I needed to get it out there. Living life as a Pastor’s wife is like living in a fish bowl so I have always been known to be pretty open this is just one part I tend to keep quieter.

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After my first child I had mild issues with postpartum depression. I had heard that some women struggled with it so I really did not think much of it other than, this too will pass. After my third child was born I felt fine until she was 9 months old and I quit breastfeeding. The feelings of postpartum overwhelmed me and I felt very alone.   At the time I was also starting a new job as a 911 dispatcher which involved shift work and added stress.  For stress release I began running for the first time every morning when I got off work.

The other aspect of this was that with each pregnancy I gained more and more weight. With the third pregnancy I hit over 200 pounds. I delivered a 9 ½ pound baby and only lost 5 pounds. How do that work?

There would be a picture here but I did not take any.

So here I was overweight and depressed. I did not even recognize myself. I have a degree in Exercise Science and had worked in the fitness industry for several years.  I was very ashamed that I had not taken my own advice.

The realization of depression really hit when our church took a group to the Women of Faith conference in Houston, Tx. I remember sitting in the Toyota Center with easily 10,000 women and I felt so alone. I wanted to sneak away and hide and cry. So I did.

I left the conference got in my car to leave. At the first light out of the parking lot I was hit by another car and spun through the intersection. Thankfully my husband had on star and they did everything because I was so shaken I could not even think straight. I remember looking up into the rear view mirror and seeing two of my friends (one who had a bulging disc in her back) running down the street to be with me. I clearly heard God speak to me, “See you do have friends that love you.”

From there they took me home and talked with me the whole way about how I had been feeling and encouraged me to see a doctor. I was not so convinced, but my back was sore enough to get me to go. When I got there the Dr knew there was more wrong than my back. We talked and she prescribed. That was the last thing I wanted but knew I really had no choice.

That was me 9 years ago. Since then God has placed so many of the right people and opportunities in my life. When moving to Florida I had the privilege of coaching marathon teams for charity. This kept me active and helped me to lose some of the weight. I lost my Dad three years ago and that again brought it’s own struggles, but I was surrounded by an amazing support system.

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When we were planning to move to Houston, TX. I was presented the opportunity to become a coach for BeachBody and to help others in the same situation, I was in. I jumped on it for that reason, I also wanted to be able to coach and not have to start over every time we moved.

Since starting with BeachBody I have taken the attention off myself and my feelings and have been able to talk to others about theirs and have found God being able to use my struggles to help others. You all probably don’t know this but you help me with my weight because I know you are watching.  Since January 1 of this year I am down 15 pounds.  I am now the lowest I have been since baby number three and she is 9.  So I am pretty happy about that.  I did P90X and did not lose weight but I lost half my body fat and doubled my muscle mass.  I then lost the rest of the weight with T25 and Shakeology.  However, I am still a work in progress.

2011

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2013

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In June BeachBody challenged us to Dream Big.  I set the goal to help people lose a combined 5,000 pounds.  So far we have reached 700 pounds gone.  Through the challenge I have had the privilege of working with people across the U.S. and Canada.  Recently, I had one participant say she feels better than she has in 21 years. Although she has reached a small milestone she feels like she has lost 100 pounds.  I have the joy of getting stories like this often.

I say all this to hopefully let you know that you are not alone. We all have struggles of some kind or another. Some just do a better job of hiding it than others.  Life is not easy.  We will always have our bumps in the road but anything is possible.  Whether it be overcoming depression or weight loss or just getting healthy you can do whatever you put your mind to.

I am always available via email of FB to chat.