This was the morning of January 13, 2015. I was still recovering from stress. The night prior my stomach felt like an endless void that nothing could fill. After the stress of the fatiguing day and a bit of extra eating we can still have this emotion or fear that we'll revert back to being over weight, as if it would happen overnight. It won't. But our emotions sometimes don't believe that.
I had spent most of my life hiding from the camera. But now it's kinda my job to show people I'm real, not a fraud, or to just be an example or make a point. Mainly the point of this picture was to assure myelf. I was still fatigued and feeling a bit insecure. I definitely needed the coffee I was drinking.
Randy always says he likes me best in my old jeans, with no makeup and my hair mussed up and flowing all around. So I put on the jeans I bought 4 years ago when I'd first reached my fat loss goal and lost 85 pounds. I was so happy back then and far more insecure about knowing if I could actually keep the weight off. So today I was putting the jeans on to assure myself once again that you don't gain 10 pounds overnight. Yes, the jeans still fit and actually yes they look pretty good. Not bad at all for a 54 year old.
In fact a person could over eat for many days. It's when you let it go on for weeks and months with no regard for limits that will get you into trouble. You can decide to stop at any time. You can decide you are not doomed because of a few ego depleted choices. Any time you want, just stop.
What caused the stress for me?
Randy and I work as reserve deputies for the local Sheriff department here. We got a call Sunday night regarding a situation up in Tahoe, California. We are both busy, but we knew all the rest of the guys were busy too and they needed a couple of us for the entire day Monday. Even though our schedules are busy, our work is more flexible than most so we said we'd do it.
Law Enforcement is a fatiguing job. There's a lot of gear to maintain. There's a lot of training and qualification to keep up on. There is an effort to be made for a high level of alertness. The situation were going into was potentially dangerous and not to be taken lightly.
So my plans for the next 48 hours were shifted. That alone can cause stress.
Randy took this picture of me towards the end of our shift up in Tahoe on Monday. We spent 7 hours walking around with all that gear. Just the equipment belt alone is 35 pounds. It was cold and we spent a lot of time speaking with people in the public and being on high alert.
It was a beautiful yet grueling day!
I didn't mind that it was a stressful day. In fact I was honored that Randy and I were called to duty by the Sheriff's department.
It's just part of the life we have chosen to lead and our choice to be volunteers for the Sheriff's department.
It wasn't the kind of day to try and be on a diet. I did pretty good staying away from the sugary pastries at breakfast but I had a pretty hardy lunch which I kind of regretted. Not because of the calories, but because I wasn't used to the heavy food and it gave me a stomach ache. I had a coffee after lunch and we were back on foot on high alert so I had to push it out of my mind.
When we finally got home and unpacked I made myself a typical soup and went with a lighter version (less carbs, mostly vegetables). But even after eating far above my caloric needs for the day I stumbled around the house in a strange state and wanted to eat the whole jar of nut butter and preserves. I was so fatigued my whole body hurt. I knew I just needed sleep, and desperately.
My stomach felt like an endless pit, like a void that nothing could fill.
Sometimes when you think you need to eat there is a void that needs to be filled; Sleep, Love, Hugs, Rest, Assurance, Water.. oh yeah water. I didn't drink quite enough. I drank enough to be safe, but enough to keep the inconvenience down. I do that on purpose and it's just how it is being in uniform. That can't be made up for at night right before you go to bed. I just do the best I can.
How do I deal with the stress hunger?
When I was losing fat for 3 years I had a tactic I used and laughed about every day, almost after every meal, and for sure when I went to bed most nights on a calorie deficit, I call it "Getting the heck out of Dodge!"
I always want more food. I tell myself I can have more next time. I get myself the heck out of dodge (out of the kitchen, away from food, etc). Sometimes it means sequestering myself somewhere. Sometimes it's just getting immersed in work, chores, or some sort of project (away from food!)
Monday night finally got my sleep. Tuesday morning I got my hugs and assurance, Randy told me I was pretty, (and yes the jeans still fit, and yes the picture was pretty - just as Randy already tried to assure me of), water and coffee. Then I had to focus on getting back on track while keeping up with work and responsibilities.
It's LIFE. Stress is okay in the short term but at some point it must be resolved.
We all have to manage everything responsibly; stress, sleep, time, food, exercise, water, just like a checkbook. It needs to eventually get balanced.
The thing is WE OWN IT. It's not the circumstances, it's how you deal with the circumstances in the short term and over time.
On Monday when I worked foot patrol with Randy it was also 1020 days in a row of logging diet and exercise on MyFitnessPal.
Once again it is all about consistency over time. NOT PERFECTION.
If it were perfection we would never succeed.
If it were perfection we wouldn't be human.
It is accepting that you are human and not perfect AND not giving up that will get you there.
You are human.
You are not perfect.
It does not matter.
That's how we do it!
Never Give Up
Live Your Dream
It is always another beautiful day to MAKE GOOD CHOICES!
PS Here are some great links on how to deal with stress and hunger:
"Become Stress Proof"
"What Scientist Learned about Reducing Stress"
"Stress and Taming your Eating Habits"