Weights and Balances (Year 2 Issue 3)- June 25, 2014

June 25 2014

Weight Loss Stress: Facing a Disruption of Routine

We experienced severe heavy rains on Friday May 2nd in the Tampa Bay area.  The rains were so intense and fast that the building in which I work became flooded and my office had standing water about 2 inches deep.  Luckily, I got most everything off the floor before the “wave” it and saved my boss’s computer tower with barely 10 inches to spare as the water “waved” into his office.

When I came into my office on Monday, I had a 4 foot tall de-humidifier and two industrial fans inside my small office.  The sound was deafening.  I felt like I was working on the tarmac at an international airport.  The constant blowing air was something. I felt so dry but with the total lack of being able to concentrate due to the loud roar, I wasn’t able to keep up my “normal” routine of drinking about six 8 oz glasses of water a day while at my desk.  I felt out of  routine even at home.  It took a couple of hours each day for the constant roar to get out of my head.

The good thing,  I didn’t stress eat but I didn’t feel peaceful, calm all week and it showed or didn’t show on the scale.  I weighed in exactly the same as I had the week before.  I physically had more activity as when I got home I walked more to work off the stress and to feel calm again.  But the scale did reflect I was out of my “normal” routine.  Water does make a great deal of difference when you are losing weight.  On Friday, May 9th, I started relocating my office to another office where I was told I needed to be out of my current office by May 23rd because of a reorganization, not just the flood damage. Today is May 15th and I feel that I have everything moved to the new office and cleaned up the old office as best as I could with the flood damage.

What I am happy about is that I did not resort to stress eating which would have certainly kept the scale from staying level.  Six months ago this would have been emotionally hard for me to see “no loss” on the scale but this time, I am good with it.  One thing I think helped me was that I had put on a pair of size six white jeans the night before and that thought kept me focused/grounded.  I would have never imagined a year ago being able to wear a size six anything! So, later in the day after my weigh- in, I went to Macy’s and found 3 more pair of size 6 jeans on the clearance racks and purchased them and they fit!

Self Sabotage 5

I had been reading for over a year that stress will affect and stop your weight loss and I see for me last week that was true!  I am pushing for better news at the scale this Saturday.  I know I have my “old” routine at work back for the most part, so I know I should get some good news this coming Saturday even with eating at Maggiano’s Little Italy on Friday for a late lunch!

Success!   I weighed in on Saturday, May 17th and I had lost 2.8 lbs.!  Getting back to the basics and more of a routine certainly helped!  I drank all my water each day and then some!  I am only 8.6 lbs. from my goal! This is getting both scary and exciting!


Breaking Bad—-Habits: Overeating

At one time or another we have all over eaten.  But there are other levels for overeating that can cause long-term health issues.  Dr. Daniel Amen is a world-renown neuropsychiatrist who has devoted his career to researching over-eaters and why we do it to ourselves. The basis for over-eating can be a symptom of a much larger problem that we are not resolving in a productive manner.  To determine what is the cause of our over-eating we have to look deep within ourselves and be prepared to face what might not be some not so pretty things about ourselves.  Some are very self-aware and can do this soul-searching on their own but many of us need the guidance of someone who is trained to deal with these issues.

Are there effective strategies for overcoming overeating?

Here is a short list of some strategies which through his research Dr. Amen has discovered to work for over-eaters.

  •  Balance blood sugar levels – low blood sugar levels are often associated with food cravings (This made sense to me with so many times knowing that diabetics “crave” sugar/carbs- There have been several eating plans based on the Glycemic Index and this has proven to help many lose and maintain weight loss. )
  • Decrease the use of artificial sweeteners– most sweeteners are 600 times sweeter than sugar and can cause you to crave more food and more sugar (I have wondered about the long-term effects of these sweeteners on our brains and the constant “tricking” that goes on, do we crave more and more to keep “tricking” our brain to thinking it is getting the “sweet” sensation which is counter-productive of reducing what we take inside?)
  • Manage Stress– chronic stress can cause obesity, addiction, anxiety, disorders and cancer (I know personally that is easier to over-eat when stressed since you want to trigger the “positive” feelings associated with the food in trying to overcome the uncomfortable feelings associated with stress and anxiety.)
  • Outsmart Your Environmental “Triggers”– the mall, the airport, the movie theater, family gatherings; eat before you go or bring healthy snacks with you to consume.  (I think this is such an awesome strategy!  I have found it to be effective for me.  Taking dishes to potlucks, etc. that you know are healthy choices help alleviate the anxiety of the unknown food you might encounter too!)
  • Discover Hidden Food Allergies– allergies can trigger cravings; reduced blood flow to the brain and cause brain inflammation or inflammations inside the body.  (I have a lactose intolerance/sensitivity and have noticed that when I eat dairy based foods that it causes the bloating/inflammation that can be accompanied by other not so pleasant sensations.)
  • Practice Willpower – say no to the things which are not healthy for you; it gets easier! (This is the simplest but the hardest to do.  I call this “won’t” power; I won’t eat this or that!  It does get easier in time!)
  • Movement in your Daily Routine-This helps to overcome genetic predispositions to obesity; reduces cravings; and reduces stress. (This is so true!  The more I can walk/workout the less stress I feel and my body released those positive endorphins that keep me smiling.)
  • Catch your Zz’s!– less sleep equals more cravings! (If you are tired, it is easy to overeat as your judgment is not at its peak/clearest thinking! Not getting enough rest can inhibit or even stop weight loss.)
  • Natural Supplements – Supplements can help to take the edge off cravings. (I am not familiar with many of the supplements he suggests, so I cannot really comment on this.)

This is general information which I hope to explore further in the future.  Knowledge is power and if we can recognize certain issues we have with overeating within ourselves then we can begin to use effective strategies to overcome our overeating.

Exercise 35

Weights & Balances (Issue #26) December 4, 2013

December 4 2013

Challenging Ourselves

This week has been extremely stressful at work as some are facing layoffs and we do not know who “those” are at this time.  I have felt my energy has been zapped and not what it could me.  My sleeping patterns have not been regular for a few days.  So I am feeling “stressed” and trying to work through my stress without turning to food for comfort.

Today I had a day of weight assessments with my trainers.  I had pre-tested myself on some machines a couple of weeks ago and felt my upper body strength and lower body strength had really deteriorated since my last regular gym visits four years ago.  I wasn’t looking forward to the trainer’s assessments and have to face the realities of  not only being four years older but my body having been neglected for four years.  It is true, if you do not use it, you will lose it!

When I had pre-tested myself I was only able to chess press about 30 lbs. but today I maxed out at 65 lbs.  I was very proud of myself to say the least!  With the leg press a couple of weeks ago, I felt that 70 lbs. was the entire weight of the world but today I was able to press 195 lbs.  Another victory for me!

With all the stress this week, I was looking forward to channeling all that toward my weight assessments today and I did!  I felt great when I finished them and thought about the wonderful massage that I had scheduled weeks ago for this evening.

I have been very much focused on not turning to food during this stressful period.  I have been successful and even had 2 of my daily point allotment left yesterday when I went to bed.  Each day is self-contained, as is each meal and each snack.  All are opportunities to make wise choices.

I feel often we “give up” or turn to food in times of great stress because we do not know what else to do.  We have gotten into the habit of “eating” our emotions.  After eating our emotions we experience a great deal of guilt.  So why do we go there again and again?  Haven’t we heard time and time again if we want a different outcome we have to do something different from what we have been doing?

Today getting to the gym and focusing all my energy/strength and stress on lifting those weights was the perfect release for me.  I do not control what decisions will be made at work about layoffs but I can and do control what put into my mouth and the amount I move my body.

Remember control the things you can and challenge yourself even when you think you can’t do it, just do it!

Stress 6