Stress and anxiety can do tons of scary things to our body. Among tension headaches, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, muscle tightness and heart palpitations (I suffered from all of these), it can also cause problems with unwanted weight loss or unwanted weight gain. For me, I experienced unwanted weight loss four years ago, and it took me what felt like forever to both look and feel healthy again.
At my lowest weight, not only did I look like death warmed over me, I also felt like it; I was exhausted, fatigued and suffered from daily stomach aches. Fast forward to Summer of 2015, I’ve gained close to 15 pounds back, closing in on the goal weight of what I used to be in high school. I look better, I feel better, my clothes fit again and I’ve built back muscle that had depleted. The best body weight for a woman is the body weight she feels best in, seriously.
So how did I finally start feeling like myself again? It took time, but it was pretty simple.
1.) I gave up meat
Most vegetarian/vegan proteins have more protein than regular meats without the cholesterol and fat!
2.) I fixed my unhealthy sleeping pattern
Who would have thought staying up all night and waking up at 2 p.m. was bad for a person?
3.) I get moderate exercise
I’m no bodybuilder, but I’m stronger than ever. Walking, bike riding, squats and lifting 40 pound boxes of wine at my job have definitely improved my appetite.
4.) I plan my meals and snack throughout the day
I make sure I eat, I pay attention to my portion sizes and I don’t let myself go hungry for hours anymore.
5.) I started Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
I’m not about stigma tied to mental health, and I’ll freely admit that therapy has done wonders for me and my emotional well-being.
So if stress and anxiety are doing weird things to your body weight that you don’t want happening, it’s not hopeless! Just a few lifestyle changes and the commitment to those changes can make a world of difference.
(all GIFs from Giphy)