Managing stress, managing weight

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Numbers don’t lie, so I’m hoping to change mine.

Starting this month, I’m getting serious about managing stress and managing my weight.

Why now? Every year around this time, my employer’s insurance provider requires that we answer online health surveys or else pay a higher monthly premium.

The questionnaires are harmless enough, though tedious. In the past, I’ve indicated that I’m in the “preparing” or “contemplating” stage with respect to establishing best practices to keep my stress level and weight down. Now it’s time to take the next step – to actual commitment and maintenance.

I don’t imagine it will be easy. And so I’ve prepared for the weight management piece by keeping a very informal journal of what I’ve been eating. Not to track portion sizes or calories, but simply which foods I’ve been eating – or not.

For me, it’s helpful to look at the big picture and see that I’m gradually moving toward smart, healthy food choices most of the time. I’m under no illusion that I have the willpower or desire to completely eliminate certain foods. But this way, I can still hold myself accountable if I continue doing simple things – substitute fruit for a cookie or pastry; elminate soda pop; eat more veggies; drink more water; stay away from fried foods (even calamari!); and, most of all, limit servings of seconds.

Being married to a personal trainer who’s extremely knowledgeable is a two-edged sword. There’s no one better who can be a consultant. But I also don’t want to beat myself up by subjecting ALL of my food choices to Lori’s professional judgment. Eating the right thing most of the time – versus all the time – is my goal.

As for stress management, daily exercise is something I already do. What I can do more of is take a break during the day – just get up from the desk and go outside from some fresh air and a short walk. What else? Keep things in perspective. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Be a patient driver. Be a more forgiving person. Understand when people’s actions or attitudes are beyond my control.

Image: 123rf.com, Le Moal Olivier

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