Passing the Stress Test

Some people lose their appetite when they get walloped by stress. I start craving carbs. I want to pump my body with carbohydrate-rich foods in order to trigger the biochemical release my body is seeking.

And yet, over the past few weeks, I've managed to find other ways to cope with the types of stress that would have had me diving into the cracker cupboard not so long ago.

  • I have allowed myself to feel what I need to feel. Instead of running away from painful feelings, like anger, frustration, sadness, and grief, I acknowledged and experienced each emotion. And then I moved on.
  • I have asked for and received the support I need. I am fortunate enough to have a large circle of friends and allies -- people who share my passion for various causes and who are there to support me when I need a pep talk or a listening ear. I tapped into those sources of support and wisdom on a number of occasions over the past few weeks.
  • I have tapped into the stress-relieving powers of exercise. I hit the treadmill to burn off my frustration. The treadmill can take it! Not only do I benefit from the instant release that comes from working out frustration on the treadmill; I am better able to cope with the next stressful event. 

The scale continues to show steady progress. But I am convinced that the most significant progress I am making is the change that is occurring inside my head. I feel calm, centered, and like I am nurturing myself rather than depriving myself. This is how it should have been all along.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
— Lao Tzu