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Stress Really Weighs on Me

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Monday, January 14, 2019

We've all seen it...that image of a depressed or upset woman lying in bed stuffing her face with bon-bons. Personally, I'd love to do nothing more at the moment, because while I was praying that I would hear back today about a job that I really wanted, after an interview last week, I got the unpleasant form-letter email: "...While your skills are certainly impressive, we have decided to pursue other candidates..." Gee, thanks for the compliment. It sounds strangely identical to the one that was written in another form letter I got from another potential employer exactly one week ago.

I can't go into details, except to say that I made a really stupid, spur-of-the-moment decision last August to leave a job that occasionally stressed me, thinking the grass would be greener elsewhere. I seemed to quickly forget something my former pastor used to say: "Remember that the greenest grass often grows over a sewer." I am now officially having to report to my own personal sewer every day from 8 to 5, and I've never despised any job so much in my life. Unfortunately, I can't just go back to my old job, because it's not available anymore. Even more unfortunately, I've submitted 10 job applications since December and gone on 3 interviews, 2 of which have already sent me those callous form letters. "You're so great...but we don't want you." Nice.

I cried when I got that email this morning because I so desperately want...no, NEED...to depart from my current state of employment. I don't take blessings and God's provisions lightly, so I am grateful to have a job, but I'm also suffering a great deal with this one. It is actually making me miss my teenage retail jobs, even though minimum wage was only $3 back then and I made so little that they paid us in cash in little manila envelopes. At this point, that sounds better than the stress I'm dealing with now. I have to give myself a pep talk every day just to clip on my work ID and walk in there, and I am highly tempted to never return when I walk out for my lunch break every day. I take those lunch breaks in the car rather than in their relatively nice breakroom/cafeteria because even being in the building nearly gives me hives. I have never been so stressed by any job in all my life, and it's for a lot of little reasons. I cannot blame it on the company, my boss, or my co-workers really. It's just that it's about as good of a fit for me as those clothes in my skinny boxes are. The thing is, I WANT to get back into those, and I want nothing more than to leave this ill-fitting job. At this point, I'm seriously considering if the blue of a Walmart greeter smock would look good on me.

I tell you all of this because it does relate to my weight-loss journey. Why? Because as I sobbed and bawled over that email this morning, my 300-calorie breakfast seemed less appealing than normal. I wanted to instead eat every single piece of candy I could find in my house, every morsel of food that even smelled like chocolate or has a tinge of sugar. I wanted to run to a grocery in my pajama pants and buy five boxes of bon-bons and sit in bed bawling my eyes out and stuffing them in my face. Over the past couple of years, more than ever before in my life, I've come to realize that I AM an emotional eater, and if emotions can be personified, Stress is definitely my significant other.

To combat this, I decided to light the Stressless candle my very mom-aware daughter got me for Christmas, I had a long conversation with God about His timing, and I dug up a list I put together some time ago. That list is a culmination of information I gleaned courtesy of Google and also my health alternatives-knowledgeable family, who have spent their lives learning and teaching how foods and herbs and vitamins can be beneficial. I have no excuse not to know that bon-bons shouldn't be the go-to for stress. Instead, I am trying to reach for the following healthier, lower-calorie foods. If you're stressed out and anxious, depressed or ticked off, or any other icky emotion, I implore you to save yourself the stress of a bad weigh-in by turning to these too:

-- ALMONDS - Full of B2 and Vitamin E to boost the immune system during times of stress. Also consider PISTACHIOS and WALNUTS.
-- ASPARAGUS - Full of mood-boosting Folic Acid.
-- AVOCADO - Lots of Vitamin B for nerve and brain health.
-- BANANAS - Full of Potassium to regulate electrolytes and blood pressure.
-- BLUEBERRIES - Antioxidants and Vitamin C to repair and protect cells.
-- BROCCOLI - Even more Vitamin C than oranges to lower blood pressure and the stress hormone Cortisol.
-- OATMEAL - A warm comfort and releases feel-good chemical serotonin.
-- ORANGES - Vitamin C to regulate blood pressure and stress hormone Cortisol.
-- SALMON - Omega-3 to balance adrenaline, especially during times of stress and anxiety.
-- SPINACH - Mega-Magnesium to regulate Cortisol and give a sense of wellbeing.
-- SWISS CHARD - Balances the stress hormone Cortisol.
-- TURKEY - Tryptophan that helps you release more of the feel-good chemical serotonin.

Yes, a half-gallon of Ben and Jerry's would make me feel better right now. Chocolate has magnesium, right? Certainly, if I were a drinker, this would be a most worthy candidate for a Merlot or Margarita Monday to take the edge off. A giant bag of Ruffles might settle my ruffled feathers for a while. But in the end, I think I'd do better to opt for some of the above choices. I know God will give me the right job in due time, and I know my weight-loss will come in due time as well. The next time you have a little stress, don't eat your weigh to a bigger mess!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon Hopefully you get something better soon and may you turn to all the good stuff you mentioned in the meantime.
    768 days ago
    Thanks for posting your insightful blogs. I just found them today and enjoyed reading some of them. emoticon
    I am so sorry for your job situation and hope you are able to change it or come to terms with it or something!!
    Seeing how much you have accomplished with making changes in your life with weight loss shows that you are strong and able to stay focused. If things get a little blurry it seems you don't just lose sight and give up.
    That workplace does not control you or own you. It pays you so you can live. The negativity and insanity can really infiltrate our heads and it is so hard to stand up against it at times. So - we go to our cars for breaks and regrouping. Or go to the restroom and do squats or sneak in some steps by walking around the entire office to go throw away a piece of paper etc...
    Hang in there and see the strength you really have - they don't own you. emoticon
    770 days ago
  • JERICHO1991
    Praying for job fulfillment, not stress.
    772 days ago
  • 2DAWN4
    I will be praying for you! God has the perfect job lined up for you!
    773 days ago
    773 days ago
  • CINDY247
    Sending ((hugs)) & saying a prayer for you 💖 I tell myself "don't eat your feelings"
    773 days ago
    Toxic job situations are the worst. I will say a prayer that the right job finds you soon. Stay strong.
    773 days ago
    Prayers for you that your job situation resolves quickly. Stress is no fun, especially when it's constant. That's probably what makes this more difficult. One individual stressful situation may lead to the urge to binge on something, but as the situation resolves, the urge reduces. When the stress is constant, persistent, ongoing... then so is the urge. And at least for me, the more I think about avoiding a binge meal, the more I crave it. It's the diversions that help me: The walk during a lunch break (except in cold, rainy/snowy weather, sadly). A book or magazine or newspaper -- in real printed form so I need to use two hands to hold it the right way and turn pages, not just swipe with the thumb of the hand holding the device while eating with the other hand. Oddly, even something like going to the grocery store after work can help. It gets me out into a well-lit, generally cheerful environment, using both hands to push a cart, and walking up and down every single aisle "window-shopping" all the different brands and logos and colors. Of course, I need to be careful about what I buy, so I don't stock up on junk, but that's easier to do when I need to decide to buy it. Once it's at home, it's free and too tempting.

    So hang in there, and keep your focus on making things the best they can at each moment, whie you work to make things better in the long run. Peace.
    773 days ago
  • MSTINA0519
    Stress is the absolute DEVIL
    773 days ago
  • JUNEAU2010
    Hugs! I came to a similar, though, in degrees, less dire, decision about my job. It's a long commute from home that wears on me, the stress is constant...But, I would not be able to replace the money elsewhere and I do have a bit of flexibility about working from home when I'm under the weather. Still, that analysis also brought my own emotional eating issues front and center. I thought I had dealt with that!

    I hope and pray you get the answers and the situation that you need!
    773 days ago
    I feel the pain. I lost my job due to our company being bought out when I was 65 years old. Full retirement age for me was 67. Not too many companies want to hire a person of 65 knowing they will be retiring in a couple of years. I tried for over 1 year and got countless "thanks but no thanks" letters. I will keep you in my prayers and hope that you get a positive letter or phone call soon.
    774 days ago
    774 days ago
    Don't give up or give in! Best wishes to you on your job search. :)
    774 days ago
    Jobs are funny things at times and they are either a good or bad fit. Hope you get a great new job soon but very smart to eat the right stuff.
    774 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    774 days ago
    I'm also a stress eater plus a bored eater. Or an eater while reading.

    It may not work for everyone, but I've found having a sucker to suck on instead of eating sometimes helps.
    774 days ago
  • LIZZIE138
    I truly feel for you because I’ve lived your situation. Know that in time you will move onto a better job, the right one just hasn’t come along yet. Your faith in God will get you through this crisis.
    Keep grabbing the good stuff to eat more often than the bad stuff. Your body will love you for it. emoticon
    774 days ago
    God’s timing is everything! It sure can be tough to wait on Him sometimes!
    774 days ago
    I know what it feels like to be working where you don't want to be. I do hope that you find a job that you will be happy at it. In the meantime, chin up and carry on. Just think that it helps pay the bills. Good luck in finding your ideal position.
    774 days ago
    I totally get it! I have worked at a stressful job almost 7 years now - think crazy boss, screaming, swearing, flipping out, firing people, rude to clients, etc - and I dread going in everyday. But, at 53, I know I am not likely to get another job that will pay this well and I like getting 5 weeks vacation, etc. So, I have to suck it up also. I am super bad for stress drinking - when I get home I feel like a beer! I have joined an intense boot camp program to go to after work instead. It is get for relieving stress. And when I get home my arms are too sore to lift a beer! Have a great day - Heather
    774 days ago
  • VONGAI34
    Am praying for you, Hope you set a better job. You deserve a peace of mind
    774 days ago
    Sorry to hear your job is in the sewer.... u have talent and God will open the door to a new one that is awesome! emoticon
    774 days ago
    My daughter is going through the same thing.
    774 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    775 days ago
    Hope your job search goes well. As always keep SPARKING.
    775 days ago
    I had a job like you described. I would literally cry on Sunday evening thinking about going to work. The stress was so strong that I developed health issues from my hatred of this employment. I can actually recall coming home and SITTING in front of my refrigerator and just eating. We know where that leads. I was depressed and getting fatter.

    It was hard, but I quit that job without another one lined up. It was scary but the weight that lifted off me was amazing. I started my Spark journey shortly after that and I began to read up on the benefits of exercising instead of eating your feelings.

    Now when stress or boredom hit, I will go for a walk or read a fun book or just get away from the temptation.

    I love the last line and plan to keep in in mind for boredom and stress related situations.
    775 days ago
  • JUNETTA2002
    775 days ago
  • no profile photo SILVERNANCY
    emoticon Glad you’re blogging again. emoticon
    775 days ago
    A better fitting job is out there for you!! I keep a prayer list--putting your future job on it!
    775 days ago
  • THINCPL2004
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    775 days ago
    Do not give up.
    775 days ago
    776 days ago
    I am an emotional eater too, and it is a tough, tough habit to break, eating everything in sight when things are tough (and things are tough far, far too often!). I am a 'recovering' emotional eater, but I have a long way to go. Good for you for resisting the temptation to drown your sorrows in food!! That's a huge big deal. :-)
    776 days ago
    Try not to stress too much!!!! emoticon I hope the job search goes well!!!! emoticon
    776 days ago
  • EISSA7
    There is nothing more that I’d love to do than tell you to walk right out of that place, life is too short blah, blah, blah....but, alas, realistically, ya gotta live and that takes $$$$....So, instead, I will tell you to keep applying for whatever interests you....something will come your way! emoticon
    776 days ago
    Best wishes on your job search. Hang in there!
    776 days ago
  • TWEDEE777
    Good luck on your search!!
    776 days ago
    Great blog! I’ve been there too, and this too shall pass. I know, easy to say, but you know that too.
    776 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13354694
    776 days ago
    Oh, Autie, I'm so sorry for your job troubles. I have so been there...I MOVED for a job that turned out to be an illusion, and it was soul-crushing. I wound up moving back and going back to the old job, so your sewer-yard metaphor was particularly apt! I know you'll get through. You're a tough lady!
    776 days ago
  • NEWNANCY2012
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    776 days ago
  • LIS193
    776 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    Great list of foods!
    777 days ago
    I really like 75HEALTHY4ME' s job-hunt prayer. Sending strength & caring.
    777 days ago
    I pray that you find a job that makes you happy and pays well! ! Thank you for the list of wise food choices. ..I like everything on the list except for oatmeal (just can't stomach it) emoticon
    777 days ago
    There is nothing worse than having a job you dread going to everyday.
    I have been there . Just hang in there and know that the right job will come along. Stay strong.
    777 days ago
    Hope things get better for you soon. I remember the stress of my last job. I too would sit out in the car on breaks, just to distress and gather my calm to go back to work. I also regained a huge amount of weight. The snack machine and I had a real thing going. But finally that period of my life ended and I was never so relieved. Hang in their know we are here for you.
    777 days ago
  • no profile photo CD924924
    Thanks for sharing, and hang in there!
    777 days ago
    So sorry the job hunt is so utterly frustrating and dare I say, cruel!!! Keep @ it. HUGS to you
    777 days ago
    777 days ago
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