I recently read an article detailing the effects of stress on one’s health, fitness and all round wellness. We often underestimate the impact that a high-stress lifestyle can have on our bodies and mind. I can attest to this impact – the stress from my professional life, especially over the last two years, affected both my weight and mental wellbeing. I was always on edge, never present in the moment and worrying about this or that deadline.
I’ve read many quotes that go something like, “If you don’t take the time, you will never have time…” to do things like working out, or your hobby etc. I can only speak from my personal experience with work, with my family, with my health and wellness, when I say; that is easier said than done. There are days or even weeks where I just feel that there isn’t enough time in the day, that I could use an extra two hours here and there or an extra day.
Over time I gained weight because of unhealthy snacking while working at my computer at night, I didn’t get enough sleep, it got to a point where I started to feel uncomfortable in my own skin, my confidence levels declined and I didn’t recognise myself. The stress had had a negative impact on my hormones. I reached 105kg.
In March of this year, I decided enough was enough, I had to take control of those things that I could control. I wasn’t able to control what happened at work; deadlines are deadlines, but I could control what I ate, what time I went to bed, and how I dealt with the stress. I decided that I would be more aware of why I was doing things, why I was eating, why I was feeling a particular way and what I wanted to do in response to those things in my life. Being conscious and asking myself why helps and it is something I do if I have a craving, if I feel a particular way toward something or situation. I then ask myself what type of response is appropriate, what type of response would result in an outcome that helps my goals. So I would ask myself; “would eating that biscuit or chocolate contribute to my goal of weight loss, why do I want to eat that biscuit or chocolate?
This questioning technique helps me slow down and really interrogate why I want to do something and what the consequences would be if I carried on down that path. I implemented this strategy with a diet plan. I don’t eat processed sugars and have moderate carbs. From March to date I am down just over 7kgs. I’ve set small goals which are attainable, the fist goal was to drop 5kgs within a certain period of time – that was achieved. I am onto my second small goal of dropping another 5kg within a certain period and all is on track.
This is something that is sustainable, and it fits into my busy professional life. I feel good and I am motivated.
I will be posting about my milestones and give you my take on what works and what didn’t. Watch this space.