Saturday, February 6, 2010

When You Blow It, Keep it in Perspective: Stress and Eating

I have been under some stress lately. Boy, do I wish I was one of those people who gets so stressed they can't eat. I have maintained a fair amount of self-control considering the circumstances. When my cortisol levels are sent into a tailspin, I reach for 1/2 cup of my plain yogurt, toss in some blueberries and drizzle with honey. This has really worked for me countless times.

Yesterday, however, I had a little breakdown. I was stuck in a room full of cookies for 4 hours and lost my sense of self control. I was at a work function (a reception of sorts) where store-bought cookies and sugary mini cupcakes were on display, along with sodas, water, fruit snacks and granola bars. I know, if I really wanted to eat something I could have gone for the fruit snacks or even the granola bars but that wasn't the case. Over time I just became fixated on the cookies. Luckily, I only had one, but also went for one of the mini-cupcakes without much consideration of calories, sugar or fat grams of either. Well, that's not entirely true. I immediately wiped off the frosting of the cupcake, leaving only a very sheer layer, before I ate it. And it was so small it was gone in two bites. Not that any of that makes it healthy, but still.

After work I went to a celebration at a neighbor's house and was literally greeted at the door with an open box of See's candy. I swear, I do not make this stuff up! Well I have not seen See's candy since before the holidays and I just went for it. Part of me felt like I was already having a "cheat day", albeit unplanned, so what the heck. I did also indulge in a glass of wine (my first in a week). Does all this sound like a bad dream to you? Being held captive in a room full of cookies and cupcakes and doors opening with boxes of candy waving in front of your face? I know, its pretty funny.

I could be down on myself but I woke up this morning SORE. Yesterday, my worst cheat day (not including the drinking or dessert I ate on my Vegas birthday weekend, which doesn't count at all) since the new year, I went to the gym on my lunch. This was before all the cookie and cupcake madness happened. I was on the elliptical for 30 minutes and worked my abs, and did 5 different machines, concentrating on legs. I had a great work out. I should have felt like I didn't want to ruin all that by eating the cookie and cupcake. I think that what happened is that my metabolism went a little haywire after the work out and I burned off the protein bar that I ate in a millisecond.

So this is what I mean by keeping it all in perspective. Sure, my diet absolutely sucked yesterday. But I did work out, developed my muscles (in my biggest muscle group) which we all know increases your metabolism to burn more fat. My work out may or may not have cancelled out the goodies entirely, but as long as I stick to my normal routine I should be ok. My running partner agreed to walk with me today because my legs were sore and I felt like I just needed a good long walk and a stretch to release my lactic acid build up in my sore muscles. We did a brisk 3 mile walk and I had plenty of time to share my stresses and came home feeling much better. Its just as important to me to be mindful of my mental health as my physical health...there's only one of me!


  1. Hi Lanae, I love your blog. It is so real and goes to show that we are all human and face the same temptations. It is a contant struggle for me and gets harder the older I get. It is funny how we try to justify our "behaviors" but we all do it. I too am a Snackygirl. I love sweets and carbs. Not much of a drinker so at least I do not have to worry about that. All we can do is take it one day at a time and not get down on ourselves or throw in the towel becasue we have a bad day or set back. Just get back up and keep on moving. Carey Levine :)

  2. Chamomile tea with a little bit of honey is the best way to calm yourself when you're feeling stressed out. It is also a great snack whenever you're craving something sweet but not too heavy =)


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