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!