Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Stress - another factor that determines my eating behaviour

It became clear to me today that stress management is another important factor that I need to be paying attention too if I'm going to make any permanent changes in the way I eat.  I tend to be a bit of a basket case who thinks everything to death and worries too much.  I also tend to consume lots of caffeine which just magnifies these habits.  Unless I either a) prevent this stress from occuring, b) learn to deal with it, or c) start smoking again (just kidding, not a valid option), I will continue to crave sugar when I'm feeling overwhelmed.

Today started off well, healthy breakfast, good lunch.  Cookies at work were not much of a temptation. Went out to dinner which was planned, although earlier I had decided to skip on the dessert.  A day of lots of coffee and mismanaged stress left me feeling jittery when I left work, and feeling the need to eat a big heavy meal to calm down.  Hence the burger, fries, and brownie with ice cream.  Then of course comes the fatigue, bad digestion, negative mood, etc.   Once I get into this "fuck it" mindset it's already too late, so I think the solution needs to come in the prevention.

It's frustrating when making one change requires me to make another change first, which requires another change, and so on.  Not drinking coffee in itself is a huge ordeal for me.  I've quit 100 times and always start again, I'm one of those die-hard can't live without coffee fanatics.  So while this is an obvious solution to reducing my anxiety, I don't seem to be able to just do it like that.  So maybe I need to dig deeper,  what change to I have to make in order to be able to let go of coffee?  Well, better sleep would be one thing.  Also, another supplement that I've learned about is l-tyrosine, which is supposed to be stimulating and help with caffeine cravings.  Or maybe just switching to tea would be enough of a compromise to reduce anxiety levels.

Meditation is another useful tool for dealing with stress.  I took a week-long course about 6 years ago to learn Buddhist meditation, and have been doing it ever since, with some breaks here and there.  Lately I've been on a break because for some reason the meditation was getting more and more difficult and my mind was racing.  But maybe this would be a good start to help with the anxiety aspect of my sugar cravings.  The chromium and l-glutamine supplements are helpful, I do know that, but not all cravings are caused by unstable blood-sugar.

Anyways, it seems like I have lots of things to work on to get my act together.   Hopefully writing about my madness will somehow keep me sane

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