October 23, 2014
The potential for stress has been huge this week. It has taken all my NLP training and repetition of every stress management technique in my (thankfully huge) arsenal to stop myself being completely overwhelmed. But if ever there has been a time in my life to 'practice what I preach' then it has been the past week.
The same has applied to my nutrition and wellbeing. Everything that I have learned on my weightloss journey here on WLR has been brought into play and to say that it has helped to keep me sane and focussed is no exaggeration.
I have to confess that 'active pursuit' of weight loss hasn't been on my agenda. However I have been keenly aware that I have to make sure that I am able to cope and do what is needed to be done.
A similar event from my past saw me spending three weeks of my life existing on seemingly endless mugs of espresso-strength coffee; anything from the nearest vending machine - which dispensed nothing other than crisps (albeit it in seven different flavours) and chocolate bars of differing varieties. This was supplemented by constant cans of fizzy drinks of an 'energy drink' nature.
Looking back I recall then that I got little or no sleep at all - averaging two hours a night over the three-week period. At the time I put this down to 'stress' - but was actually due to the fact that my entire being was being fuelled (actually overloaded) with every legal stimulant I could get my hands on. My brain was telling me that I had to keep going and, before gaining the knowledge I have now, I used the 'high sugar quick fix' method that so many of us have as our default setting.
This time has been very different. The situation is, if anything, worse than last time but my capacity to get myself and those who are relying on me through it is much greater. I am taking active steps to ensure that my brain and body are given what they need.
I am lucky. Even in the past five years the general attitude towards health and wellbeing has made a huge shift. The vending machines are still in place but now I have options that really do make a difference. Fresh fruit; yoghurt; cereal bars; bottled water. I have access to all of these.
I have been having a small carton of pure orange juice and a banana for breakfast; lunch has been a chicken or prawn salad sandwich (on brown bread). I have discovered 'mini malt loaves' and have several in my bag at any given time - either for my mid-afternoon snack, or to hand out to family and friends when I spot their energy levels flagging.
Likewise there is usually a bottle of water in my hand and another close to hand. During the quiet two hours of early evening I have made an effort to eat a more substantial meal (although my appetite does seem to have lessened at the moment) - usually a baked potato or egg-on-toast and have made a point of having a cup of hot milk before I go to bed.
Admittedly, I am not getting the eight hours sleep my body usually demands but, right now, five hours a night is good enough and I am sure that the way I am fuelling my body is making a huge contribution to my ability to get good-quality rest which enables me to keep going during the day.
Don't get me wrong. It isn't easy. It is a conscious decision to keep the mini malt loaves in my handbag rather than heading to the newsagent across the road to fill up on crisps, sweets and sausage rolls. I do have to remind myself that the 'energy drink' will be a short term 'hit' and that bottled water will serve my body and mind far better and for far longer.
If you had told me two years ago that all the information, wisdom and knowledge I have gained from my weightloss journey could make such a huge difference to my ability to cope with and get through my current circumstances I would not have believed it. It is impossible to comprehend just what a difference that adequate rest and the right fuel can make.
From the simple things like waking up relatively refreshed first thing in the morning with the feeling no matter what 'today' brings I can deal with it, to the fact that because I am on more of an 'even keel' I am not constantly bursting into tears, or snapping at my loved ones because a sugar dip has made me take leave of my patience...
The tools and resources here at WLR will undoubtedly give you the power to take control of your weight and be key to successful weight loss... but their power goes way beyond that. Right now they are playing a huge part in helping me stay in control of life. It is reassuring and empowering. And right now exactly what I need.
I wish you all an empowering and wonderful weekend (with the bonus of an extra hour in bed as the clocks go back!)