Stress will make you fat–RELAX

Do you eat when you’re stressed?  Do you eat when you’re procrastinating?  I know I do.  When I have something on my mind, it’s a double whammy.  I can’t plan great meals because I’m preoccupied and I eat too much because I’m stressed.

The thought occurred to me in Pilates yesterday that I love the feeling I get when I’m stretching out freshly worked muscles.  In fact, it’s as good as food.  I started wondering what else feels as good as food for stress relief.  Here’s a short list:

  1. Easy exercise.  I know some people like to burn it out when they’re stressed, but I don’t.  I don’t want to get all sweaty and tired when I’ve got a lot to do.  But, a walk outside, a short Pilates (or yoga) session, a half hour of yard work, or a bike ride distracts me a little and gives me a chance to clear my head.
  2. Sex.  Do I need to elaborate?
  3. A single glass of wine.  I’m not much of a drinker so 1 glass of wine relaxes me perfectly.  Two glasses makes me tired.  A glass works especially well if I drink it on my front porch where I’m not likely to notice any housework that needs to be done.
  4. Coloring my hair, doing my nails, experimenting with make-up.  I liked gussying up when I was 13 and I still do.
  5. Singing out loud.  Really loud.
  6. Going to bed.  This should be a no brainer.  Obviously, if you want to relax, go to bed.  But, when I’m stressed I feel like I should get something done.  Sometimes, it’s better just to sleep.
  7. Making a list or a schedule.  When I see things written down, I feel better about getting them done.  There’s almost never as much to do as I think.  (As an added bonus, I often show my list to a few family members and ask if they’d be willing to take a few jobs off my hands.  This is how I found out that my son really doesn’t mind cleaning the bathroom.  Who knew?)
  8. Writing.  If you need to vent, leave a comment for me.

The point of this is to assure you that when you are experiencing pleasure, particularly non-food related pleasure, you are doing a good thing for yourself and you should be encouraged. Relax.  Enjoy yourself.  Your body can take care of itself.

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