Anyone who is weight conscious for health and appearance reasons, and hopefully, both, is probably familiar with more than a handful of diet options, and sometimes with confusion about which road to take as a diet choice.  Making choices in and of itself can be stressful, but what I would like to underscore is the importance of starting a diet with a minimal amount of  life stress.  If this is impossible, the next step is to be aware of the stress and work to manage it.  Stress is one of the most powerful triggers for emotional eating, which we all fall prey to from time to time, and for some a good part of their waking life.

To me, the biggest source of stress in our lives is not the event itself, such as a demanding job and relationship problems; rather it is our overblown negative emotional reactions to these events that is stressful.  Let’s say you are dissatifed with work, really unhappy at your job and cannot make a move right now.  Sometimes in our emotional upset we lose track of what we like about our job, including what brought us there in the first place.  Taking an inventory of the positive aspects of work and there will always be some, puts our work life in perspective.  We can also stop and ask ourselves how we have grown in the job so far and there will always some growth even though it may not seem obvious.

Let’s take a look at relationships that are stressful. Often we do not examine our expectations of others and the stress comes in not accepting people for who they are.  Some relationships can be overly competitive with one-upmanship, but the stress dissolves once we realize that beneath the surface loss, nothing is lost because we still are who we are with our finest qualities and flaws at the same time.

If you are seriously considering losing weight at this point in your life or some time in the future, taking inventory of the stresses in your life, how you overreact to them, and seriously considering the positive aspects to the situation will make for a much smoother dieting course.  Even the most stressful life events have another side to the coin, which is often that through these stresses we grow and take on a new and more positive perspective on life.  In order to do that, you have to always look for the other side of the coin.

I hope that these thoughts provide some seeds to think about how to approach life stresses. Many of us are too accustomed to stressing out over stress that our brains just shut out the possibility of another side to the picture.  We owe it to ourselves to always look to the other side.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates

Photo- June Rousso