Reader Inspiration: Diet Blunders & Dealing with Stress

16 Feb
Here’s an update our reader “fattyish”, who is trying to get healthier and lose a few pounds. She’s been stressed out the past couple of weeks, and has fallen off the diet wagon. Check out her story, and my advice to her for getting back on track and dealing with stress in a healthy manner.
Dear Laura,
 
Some might assume that since I’ve let my update letters to you lapse that I haven’t been doing very well on my weight loss mission.  Those people would be correct.  
 
What I’m finding the hardest is to get back on track after a misstep.  That misstep usually happens when I forget my lunch and end up buying.  Sure, there are healthy options when ordering food – we’ve seen proof of that on The Jerp – but I end up using the ordering as an excuse to “treat” myself.  I go overboard and then it’s hard to get back on track. 
 
I’ve been stress eating.  Not snacking – again, that’s never really been my problem.  But I’ve had a stressful few weeks and my portions have gotten bigger as my stress level has increased.  I need to make myself channel that stress into exercise instead of bigger portions but in the moment it’s hard to consider.
 
There has been some motivation for me to stay on track recently.  I’ve been given official instructions for ordering my bridesmaid dress for my brother’s wedding.  Sure, we all want to look good at weddings.  But as these photos will be in my family for… forever… I really want to look good.  June was always my weight loss target but it’s becoming more real in my mind.  I hope that I can use that to keep myself motivated.
 
So, in general, I need to re-motivate myself.  Continue to break my bad habits.  I’ve done a bit more exercising but now as much as I need to incorporate into my life.  
 
I wish this report was better.  Any advice?!
 
Thank you!
 
Fatty(ish)

Dear Fatty(ish),

Oh no, sorry to hear that you’ve been dealing with stress the past couple of weeks! Hopefully  everything will get back to normal for you soon, but as far as your diet goes, never fear, The Jerp is here!

Alright, so you took a couple of steps backwards, no big deal. It happens to everyone. Now it’s time to put that in the past and get s-k-i-n-n-y!!

First of all, it’s okay to “treat” yourself. You don’t have to feel guilty about that. The important thing to remember is if, for example you’re craving french fries, you can have a few of them. Satisfy that craving! Then STOP there. Retreat back into healthyland. Just because you eat one unhealthy item, meal, or even if you go on a fat bender that lasts a few days, you can repair the damage. You’re a smart lady fatty(ish), you know when you’ve pushed the calorie meter too far. So don’t feel like you’ve gotten yourself in a hopeless situation just because you feel off the wagon. You can always pick yourself back up.

So, you’re eating because you’re stressed out, but you know you should be handling this with exercise. Since you admitted this, I won’t lecture you too much. Yes, exercise is the absolute best thing you can do for yourself to relieve stress (and burn calories), but there are also other alternatives that are way better than eating. Although I’d like you to exercise, if it’s late at night, or you’ve hard a hard day and you know you’re just not going to do it, you need to find another way to unwind. Think of other relaxing things you could do such as reading a good book, taking a bubble bath, watching tv, playing with your dog, knitting, whatever, anything besides eating for sport.

Dealing with stress is tough, but doing it with food isn’t the answer. When you find yourself reaching for some stress-fueled snacks, I want you to take a second to think about what you’re doing. Remind yourself that you’re not hungry, and think about your bridesmaid dress. Then take your stress out on one of the relaxing activities above. You might not realize this, but you’re actually making yourself more stressed out by not following your diet plan!

Hope to hear from you soon!

XO,

Laura

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