Poor choices don’t change a thing

Everyday we have stress in our lives, I have never met anyone that this wasn’t true for.  Well the last two days little things here and there have caused me some new stress or an increase at least.  All day I have been trying to decide how to handle it, the one thing that kept coming to my mind: careful what you choose because eating/drinking/shopping/being lazy won’t change it.  It sounds like a simple concept, but how many of us reach for one of those solutions to deal with stress?

As I have said I work with people on making lifestyle changes and whether they realize it or not they make a big impact on me, probably more than I do on them.  One day one of them shared that they had a big problem at home with an appliance exploding.  I held my breathe quite literally because they had just stopped smoking.  They said they wanted to reach for some cigarettes, but said to themselves “will it fix that appliance and mean I don’t have to call for repairs? No it won’t”.  After I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief I commended them for that awesome insight.  I have shared this now with other patients to help them get the same perspective it gave me.  I might feel temporarily better doing one of those things I mentioned above, but long run it won’t help.  In fact I can soundly say after many years of experience it only causes me to get mad at myself or feel guilty later.

This is part of the cycle of relapse, we have something happen (life) and we look for relief in the things we know.  For me the thing I knew was eating, ice cream or any simple carb I could get my hands on.  It would be one thing if it had been the complex carbs like vegetables or fruits, but nah give me mashed potatoes and I was a happy Fat Girl.  While this still holds true (mashed potatoes still taunt me) I like to think with the practice of the last few years I make better choices more often than not.  So here at the choices I made today instead:

  • I ran my miles at the gym- I had to do a lot of self talk on this because today I momentarily let myself dwell on the fact that the race isn’t until November and no one would be the wiser if I didn’t follow the schedule.  It was a close one at the beginning of that run…
  • I said no to myself- I had been toying with overeating today and using the fact that I was going to run as an excuse.  I had to say no, which I am doing right now even.  I know I have had plenty to eat for dinner despite what my belly is trying to say.  I will instead drink water and probably have a bit of milk soon since it’s close to bed time.
  • I got online to find my supports- I worked on my page, did a twitter chat, read some inspiring things, and wrote this blog.  All of these things help me stay on track.
  • I addressed the issues I could- seriously this is the last thing that people ever choose to deal with stress when it should be one of the first.  It’s just too uncomfortable for people and they don’t want to go there if they don’t have to, so instead they numb themselves to the issue by engaging in what ends up being self destructive things if taken too far.  For an addict/alcoholic moderation is a great concept, but applying it…well…a totally different story.

So instead of picking some of those options think to yourself, are they necessary, will they help me, or will then end up causing more harm in the end?  If the answer is yes they pick another option and if you aren’t sure what other options there are, just ask.  Maybe you can use those supports I listed yesterday or a family member or a friend, but ask for help if you need it.  Tomorrow’s a long day so I probably won’t get to post, I will see you all on Saturday!

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