Pandemic Weight Gain Revealed How You Cope With Stress
Now’s a great time to address your self-soothing.
Lots of people gained weight through the pandemic.
The conventional wisdom is that stressful times call for comfort food measures. It’s okay to eat and drink until you feel better because when life is scary and hard, that’s what you do.
My take is that isn’t true or helpful.
Yes, the pandemic was scary and disorienting. There will likely be other times in your life that are as well.
In fact, how much of your current eating is about self-soothing? Women often feel that their bodies are conspiring against them to make weight loss difficult but haven't examined how often their eating is a response to anxiety.
Turning to highly processed food is self-destructive, and hunkering down to eat sugar isn’t coping.
The rub? It doesn’t work. In fact, you’re simply compounding the problem.
Twenty-nine pounds is enough weight to be considered obese, to have your knees hurt from basic movement, and for your body to feel bad.
That’s a difficult situation piled on top of another one. Gaining that much weight is a distressing affair and makes it more likely you’ll turn to a diet (self-harm) to ‘fix’ it.
The weight gain is simply a by-product of using processed food for self-soothing and not the problem in and of itself.
Eating processed foods to feel better seems like a good idea if you haven’t sorted out how you might self-soothe and support your well-being. Hardly surprising in a country filled to our eyeballs with junk food, bad ideas, and a lack of meaningful dialogs about self-care.
As a society, we’re barely beginning the conversation of recognizing and tending to our internal life. If turning to obesogenic foods is part of your stress playlist, you are hardly alone, but consider this an opportunity to rewire your stress pathways to more beneficial practices.
Here’s one idea that has the potential to alleviate anxiety, help you sleep, calm your blood sugar, and build fitness.
Take a walk outside, hopefully in a little nature.
One walk isn't going to fix this issue, but it starts you down the path of rewiring your self-soothing patterns.
I suggest you leave your phone, lace up your old sneakers, and let the glorious magic of putting one foot in front of the other shift your cells and emotional well-being.
Walking outside for however long you can is an absolute tonic for distress. My rule of thumb is to keep going until I feel my chest unclench.
My long-held movement practice is why when the pandemic arrived, and my world got very quiet, I went outside for hours of walking and bike riding. I didn’t go home until I felt too tired to continue or the anxiety had sufficiently abated.
Learning to tend to yourself is important life work. I suggest a walk for you right now to think about that and challenge self-soothing methods that no longer serve you.
You can learn, you can do better–that will probably happen on a walk.
We built a FREE workshop to show you a different (and much better way to lose weight).
You'll learn these insights:
1. The exact way to make healthy eating a breeze—without relying on willpower (or motivation) at ALL
2. How to spot what’s really sabotaging your self-control (and keeping you STUCK) without having to go on another diet
3. How to ENJOY your food–without measuring, weighing, or counting a thing
"What a terrific presentation! I wish it had been available to me years ago." - Kathleen