Nancy Minus 25: STRESS, Anyone?

By Guest Blogger Nancy Ayapan, DCF

“Skin color, family structures and relationships, ages, occupations and manifestations of the disease are different, but we are all powerless over food” These words, which comprise the daily meditation for Overeaters Anonymous, were some words of wisdom that came from a friend who was sympathizing with me about stress, children, and overeating. I have to tell you that I could not agree with it more. As I reflected on how this week went for me, compared to previous weeks, I realized that stress is my biggest enemy (does anyone else have this problem or is it just me?). I blame stress as the #1 reason why I was not as successful in losing weight this week. I have also come to the conclusion that I am an emotional eater and when I am stressed, I eat. The question is, what do I do to fight this battle?

I say I am an emotional eater because when I am stressed, nothing is more comforting to me than eating (especially overeating takeout food), even if I am not hungry. I am being truly honest when I tell you that this weekend I over-ate the chicken wings and those delicious Chinese egg rolls that come with the pu-pu platters, and all I can say is “Thank God there were not any crab rangoons!” For the most part, I am able to be prepared and not eat more than I can handle; however, on this particular weekend, I was overwhelmed, and tired of not only dealing with runny noses and children whining but also with not being able to get enough exercise and sleep throughout the week. 

In thinking back about my week, what is most striking to me is the amount of stress we all deal with everyday, and the fact that how we handle it is key to success in our well being, and essentially our lives. For me, personally, weekends are not only very busy, but also very stressful. You see, besides caring for my two daughters, I also help my sister and brother-in-law in caring for my 2 nieces and my 2 nephews, one of them being a child with down syndrome, (come to think of it, it’s like running a daycare). Needless to say, there was a great deal of whining, not listening going on, and I felt like I had to keep them all entertained every 5 minutes. So when my sister came home with takeout food, not only was it one less thing to do, but at that moment, it became easy to let go, even though at the end I knew it was not the best choice.

Having said all this, there is one thing I feel I did right this week: I did not give up (like other times). You see, in the past, I simply quit, because I gained a pound or two from overeating. However, I did not give up this time; on Sunday I started from the beginning – I ate better, went for a long and brisk walk. I am also working on learning other healthy ways to deal with stress, eat healthier and take things one day at a time!

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