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No matter what age you are there is probably quite a bit of stress in your life.
For me, stress came from the daily homework assignments from the mandatory eight class schedule in high school and now from test days and finals week in college.
Anybody else a STRESS EATER?
I am a HUGE stress eater. Thank gosh high school is over and I only have to deal with a select few days when I have a test, project, or paper due. Due to my lack of exercise and poor dieting growing up I have struggled with high cholesterol since I was a child. Luckily, in my case, it never got high enough to cause serious concern; however, at a recent doctor visit I learned that cholesterol should be below 200 and mine was hovering around 260. YIKES!
ARTICLE: The ten commandments of cholesterol control
How stress impacts our bodies physically:
- Lowers immune system making us more vulnerable to illness
- Causes an increase in the hormone cortisol, thought to increase belly fat
- Heart attack/failure, arrhythmia
- Muscle tension
- Stomach issues
- Skin irritations
- Low fertility, erection problems, pregnancy problems
- Blood clots
- Hardening of the arteries
For more information on the items listed above take a look at this Stress Management article.
Here is a good video for stress reduction for men:
Adding exercise has greatly improved my well-being, even without drastically changing my diet. My blood pressure, heart-rate, and cholesterol (though still high) had all lowered when I had them taken at the doctors office this month.
To overcome emotional eating WebMD.com has a short video promoting Linda Spangle's book “Life is Hard, Food is Easy,” as well as tips on changing your eating habits through:
- Setting up a healthy home environment
- Finding your triggers for emotional eating
- Finding alternatives
- Celebrating success
The biggest problem holding me back before was my self-defeatist attitude. If I messed up my diet or didn’t exercise on a specific day then that was it, it was over, I had completely and utterly failed.
It’s important not to be so hard on yourself, if you mess up one day try to get back to it the next.