Can Simply Reducing Your Stress Help Reduce Your Waistline?

By Cindy Bishop on 10/24/2005
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  • Gm_meditationDepression
  • Weight Gain
  • Lower Coping Skills
  • Higher Risk for Illness and Disease

And the thread that strings all these unwanted maladies together?  STRESS!! 

There was actually a time when I believed a certain amount of stress was necessary in my life.  I guess it helped me feel ‘tuned in’ to the world. Rushing around, trying to do too many things and thinking it was some indicator of success. Oh, I complained about it, ‘I’m so stressed out!’, yet there was still some kind of addiction to it. Adding insult to injury, I actually believed that being overworked in some way helped me lose weight.  When I was undergoing real stress I lost my appetite – not an entirely bad thing, right?

But of course, when the stress subsided and things got back to normal (is there such a thing?), my appetite returned with a vengeance. Whether because of deprivation or a sense of reward the previous abstinence from food was short lived.  Hindsight is 20/20 as they say, but the real key is connecting the dots in our behavior when it is happening.

Other women I know have just the opposite reaction to stress. The more stress piles up, the more they eat.  Trying to fill up, or satisfy a void that stress creates…that void, I believe, is a sense of peace and contentment.  Either way…it all links back to the same cause and effect.

Paula Rhode, PhD, a professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine did a research study which showed evidence that women who were unsuccessful keeping lost weight off, fell victim to old negative eating behaviors due to stress and the inability to cope effectively… 

"Incorporating stress and mood-management techniques into future weight loss programs may help to prevent or delay weight regain,” says Rhode.

These findings seem logical enough, but it’s easier said than done to simply vanquish stress from your life.  Like anything else we have to work at it.  Putting ourselves first and making that a priority.  There are many ways to get stress under control . The first and best step is to begin taking control of our schedules.  Decreasing unnecessary activity (be realistic!), and increasing activity that is good for the mind, body and soul. Because it really should be Love Your Body Day’ – everyday!

A healthy lifestyle weight loss program:

On this topic, Green Mountain at Fox Run is holding their second annual Self-Nurturing Mindfulness Retreat for Women this January starting on the 4th – 7th.  This may be a great start to the New Year, with a healthy weight loss program  that teaches mindful eating and a new outlook on how to  get back to and stay in touch with a healthier, happier you.

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