Stress is a big deal these days. We may not realize it, but totally changing the way we do things is stressful. Staying home is stressful. Not being with extended family and friends is stressful. Not going on vacation is stressful. Just thinking about going to the grocery store or even to church is stressful.
We’ve all been through a lot in 2020 and it shows. And now it seems to be carrying over into 2021. But as we venture forward into the world, poke our heads up out of the holes we’ve lived in for over a year, we’re realizing some things about 2020 that we didn’t factor in.
Those of us who are getting older, though, are realizing that diets aren’t working like they used to. And if we’d be honest with ourselves diets never worked to change our habits for life. If they had worked, we wouldn’t be continually running back to them to solve our issues.
The other issue is one I know all too well. If you already weigh say 250 pounds or more, 30 additional pounds can be dangerous as it will lead to diseases of all types. But the biggest danger may be the reality that what you are eating is basically stress. That bag of chips? It’s actually Stress. That box of cookies—stress. That tub of ice cream? Stress. All those brownies you baked? Stress. All those yummy new desserts you tried out on your family when you just wanted something different and yummy to eat? Mark it S-T-R-E-S-S.
What you are eating is STRESS plain and simple and it will add more pounds than just the food alone. Eating stress is really no fun at all. Chronic stress is a big factor in behaviors such as alcohol or drug abuse and the one I am talking the most about today—overeating.
When we are in the midst of stress and turn to food we pretty much do it mindlessly. Most of the time we are not even aware of what we are eating. We think we are eating it because it will make us feel better. Instead, we sit in front of the tv watching reruns of old movies and before we know it we’ve eaten a whole bag of chips but we haven’t even tasted a single one.
The culprit here is not the food. The culprit is our inability to deal with the emotions we are feeling. Using food to try to solve our problems only gives us more problems to deal with. Soon the doctor is warning us that our blood pressure is too high. When we don’t pay attention to that we find our blood sugar is too high as well. We begin to have mobility issues and fatigue and brain fog.
We know we have a problem with overeating but we keep telling ourselves that as soon as everything gets back to normal, we’ll be able to lose the weight. The problem is we have already begun to rely on our old friend, sugar and foods with high carbohydrate content.
They just make us feel better … for a moment. Then we need more of the same kind of food to get that same feeling. It’s a cycle that never stops. As a matter of fact it can easily last through an entire movie marathon.
It helped us forget about all our problems, but if you wait a minute, you’ll find the problem is still there and therefore so is the stress. It hasn’t gone anywhere. You have just temporarily drowned it under a mountain of food you didn’t need to consume.
This is the first of a series I’m calling Eating Stress. This podcast and the three that come after it will be compiled into a training along with the video to each podcast. It will also contain a downloadable transcript that will include action steps which aren’t on the podcast or the video.
To sign up to get notified each week when the new video is added to the training, go here: https://teresashieldsparker.com/stress/. Videos and transcripts will likely be added each Friday.
Overcomers Academy link— https://teresashieldsparker.com/overcomers/