When Life Gets in the Weigh
Sometimes life can be very stressful. In such moments, maintaining a healthy diet or even thinking about losing weight is the last thing on anyone’s mind. At various times in your life, you will probably face a variety of challenges and depending upon your personality, you are likely to have your own way of coping. So, dealing with stress is different for all of us.
Your personality will play a big part in how you react to certain things and the way you connect to other people. For instance, if you are highly sensitive to criticism, then you are likely to hear things in a way that may make you believe you have done something wrong or are at fault. That will be the case even if you aren’t! If one of your traits is always to give in to someone else, simply because it’s easier to do so, you are highly unlikely ever to put yourself first. All of these factors can impact the way you eat and the type of food you chose is usually a good indicator of how you feel about yourself, at any given moment in time.
The challenges many of us face in life are not conducive to creating the headspace we need to move towards change. This includes having the desire or will power to enter into a weight loss programme. Many of us are so bogged down with ‘life’ that we don’t even acknowledge to ourselves that our weight is an issue. In other words, we are juggling so many roles and emotional challenges, we have no time to stop and assess where we are and where we want to be.
As with many people, you probably struggle to deal with complex situations on a daily basis. In your early adult years, these may have included the combined challenges of parenthood, maintaining a healthy home and work-life balance. In later life, many of you have or may encounter relationship breakdown, failed marriages, divorce and issues linked to those experiences, such as loneliness. Frequently, this can also coincide with caring for parents with dementia or personal health scares. All these factors lead to increased levels of stress, which can result in weight gain.
Your relationships and the environment in which you live, affect your self-esteem and can trigger chaotic eating. If you are experiencing a bad relationship, it will impact the space you have in your head for your thoughts and how to care for yourself. Even worse, If you are in the middle of a divorce or experiencing relationship conflict or undergoing another challenge, such as a difficult time at work, it’s even harder to maintain the motivation to eat healthily and increase your daily activity. Life’s stresses deplete your energy and as a result, your stress hormones are all over the place.
When stress hormones are erratic, it leads to unstable blood sugar levels, making it even harder to maintain a healthy weight. The cravings of unhealthy living become harder to resist. In other words, when your relationship is in trouble or you face another significant life challenge, you are more likely to indulge in ice cream and reach for a chocolate bar as a comforter!
In such circumstances, it is so easy to put others first, making do with the leftovers (and we don’t mean just food!). How often do you say to yourself, “If only?" “If only I weren’t so tired I would do some exercise.” “If only I had more time I’d join a slimming club.” “If only I had some support to help me with the children, I would be better able to look after myself.”
‘If only’ is your wish list of what and who you would like to be. Something or someone is preventing you from putting your own needs first, but the truth is, you are probably your own worst enemy when it comes to ‘if only’.
YOU matter and are not just a ‘leftover’. As soon as you start to believe that, then a change can take place, motivating you towards getting yourself into shape, both mentally and physically.
Repeatedly telling yourself that you matter is the first step to thinking about what you need to do to feel more positive about who you are. If weight loss is your goal, then be honest with yourself about what is standing in the way of you achieving that.
The environment you are in and the issues you face, are all going to have their impact on your motivation and readiness to change the way you think about your health and weight. At times of conflict, it is so easy to hide behind the person we show to the outside world, while inside we are desperate for things to change, but we frequently can’t see a way forward.
How much easier would it be, if you felt there was a real understanding of the issues you face and a support network out there to help you tackle the things that are making it difficult for you to address your weight?
With support to take the first steps in creating the space in your head, you can address your life challenges and embark on a weight loss programme. YOU can do it, you can be happy and you can be the weight you want to be.