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Stress Sucks: An Update of Sorts

Stress is no stranger to me. It’s caused me small breakdowns, hair loss, and even an autoimmune disease. More than anything, it’s made me fat. I handle stress better now thanks to everything I’ve learned these past few years, especially mindfulness. Overthinking, mainly about unknowns, contributes mightily to stress. You don’t overthink as much when you live in the present. But these past few months living in the present has been a challenge. So I’ve been stressed. And stress sucks.

Weight Loss Update

Remember that weight loss challenge I did? I lost forty pounds in six months! You may have wondered if I’ve been able to maintain that weight loss. The answer is no, I haven’t. The challenge ended June 30. The very next week I had my first of many job interviews. I went right from the physical and mental stress of the weight loss challenge to the stress of a job search. Over the course of the next several months I gained back twenty of the forty pounds I lost. I am obviously not rid of my eating disorder or overwhelming desire to turn to food when I am under stress or feeling emotional. The uncertainty, the waiting, the hoping, the expectations, the rejection, the disappointment… food is still the salve.

Stress sucks and I still haven’t learned to cope with it. Tremendous progress has been made, yes. But the struggle is still very real. My go-to coping mechanism remains that of eating and numbing my emotions with food.

Stress Abated

But alas, the stress is broken and I feel much better. You see, my job search finally came to a close this week when I formally accepted a new position and resigned from my current one. I feel like I can have my life back now. I feel like I have something new and exciting to look forward to.

But then why am I currently craving potato chips and chocolate like my life depends on it?

Because addiction is a cruel mistress.

Over the past several months I haven’t been able to string more than four successful/healthy days together. I am addicted to flour and sugar and shit once more.

The causes for my eating are diminished yet the cravings remain. I don’t feel well. My face is broken out and I’m bloated. My cravings make me cranky and I feel tired.

Next Steps

But I know what I have to do now. I have to find the strength and energy to power through a detox of limited flour, sugar and processed foods, and abstain from alcohol. I managed to do this for four days a couple weeks ago and I felt like a rock star; my energy surged, I lost seven pounds, and my cravings subsided.

I want to start this next chapter of my career feeling great! I have a few weeks to prepare, and know precisely what I need to do. Wish me luck!

And yes, of course the goal is to stop taking two steps forward and then one step back when life gets tough and stress comes knocking. But this life of mine is a journey and I’m still learning…

How do you cope with stress?