Tag Archives: stress

motivation for change

14 Sep

Sorry for the blog hiatus; a new semester has begun, and that always means upheaval here at the home of a college teacher! Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about motivation lately and trying to figure out what will motivate me to make healthy choices, and I wanted to toss some ideas out there in case any of them help you.

I am not particularly motivated by rewards that I promise myself–mostly because, if it’s something I want to do and it’s feasible, I’m not going to wait until I hit a goal to do it. Instead, I think about giving myself time and care every day to reduce stress and make me more able to commit to healthy choices and maintain them. Time is tight around here, like it is for most people, but I take a long hot bath any night that I want to; it helps me sleep and reduces my stress, which makes it easier for me to say no to junk food and yes to exercise the next day.

When I really struggle, I try to pause and think about why that healthy habit matters. If I’m longing to snack on unhealthy foods, even though I’m not hungry, chances are good that I am not in any frame of mind to contemplate why I want it. If I’m stressed, bored, sad–whatever it is that is making me want to overeat or stop thinking about healthy choices–I’m not going to be in the mood to sit down and think about my inner feelings. (It’s great if you can do that; it’s just that I can’t.)

So, instead, I let myself off the hook on figuring out why, at least right then.

I stop, remind myself that this is emotional eating, not hunger, and then I give my future self the gift of a healthier choice. I imagine me, the next morning, getting up knowing that I did exercise yesterday. I imagine myself knowing that I did eat my vegetables or that I didn’t eat mindlessly. This only works for me if I actually stop and imagine myself in the future, being grateful that I made the healthier decision.

I know how cheesy that is, but hey–it works for me. It works better for me to think about my behavior as the gift, rather than promising myself gifts if I change the behavior.

I also thought you might like this little diagram. Check it out.


stress reduction

20 Sep

One of the big recommendations for dealing with PCOS is to reduce stress. This has a number of benefits for PCOS ladies in particular (though it is a good idea for anyone). Stress reduction can:

* Reduce cortisol (the stress hormone), which can help cut back on the tendency to put on abdominal fat–a problem for PCOS women that can lead to heart disease and other health problems…as well as muffin top.

* improve sleep, which can in turn help with weight control.

* reduce depression and anxiety.

* help you deal more easily with the curveballs that life throws you, including PCOS-related problems such as breastfeeding woes or fertility issues. They are big problems, but reducing your overall stress level will reserve your energies for dealing with these instead of panicking over the little things.

I’ve recently started reading zen habits, a great blog with many different approaches to stress reduction, simple living, and enjoying the moment. While you might not want to give up shoes or even declutter your house, some of the suggestions on this blog are easy to implement and great for stress reduction.

A couple of my favorite posts are this one on not hurrying and this one, which offers 12 ways to decompress after a high-stress situation.

Take a look–it’s worth it! The post about slowing down is especially useful, in my opinion–because most of us don’t allow enough time for any task we “need” to complete. Which things do you really need to do? What do you really want to do? Can you cut back enough that you’re not rushing?