First of all, OMG 446 of you visited my website this weekend. So thank you!! I'm so excited and I hope my stories are refreshing and transparent.
Okay back to this week's content.
One of the effects of anxiety and depression is struggling with your weight.
To be fair, finding a healthy balance between eating well and exercising can be a struggle for everyone, with or without anxiety! For me, I tend to exhaust myself with my everyday emotions so adding things like tracking what you eat or the pressure to exercise every day stresses me out even more.
In 2015, I also discovered how stress or heavy anxiety can affect your digestive system.
After a breakup, my body went into a season of intensified anxiety and depression. I knew I needed to do something to get out the anxiety funk so, I started running 3 miles a day and eating super healthy. (well, however I could with my $150 college grocery budget ha!)
One weekend, on a trip to one of my best friend's home town, I started noticing I was having pain in my abdomen. I was hot all the time and anything I ate made me feel nauseous. When taking tums wouldn't suffice, we went to the doctor. The doctor told me I had IBS. (irritable bowel syndrome). Sounds gross, right?
The mayoclinic.org explains it best. I'll let you read it on your own time.
The causes of IBS however are, get this, unknown. What the ?!?!?
I did do my research though, and the triggers or causes of IBS are Hormones (check), Food Allergies or intolerances (ehhh maybe not), or Stress (check and check).
Ways to prevent IBS are: Counseling. Biofeedback. Progressive relaxation exercises. Mindfulness training.
JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL.
No, but seriously it all comes back to anxiety and if I am trusting God. Womp womp.
After that incident, I set out to fix all of my problems. I limited my diet to foods I knew I could handle, (aka vegetables and fruits) I kept running, and I went to see a counselor again. Pretty soon my symptoms had decreased and I was back to living a "normal" life.
To prevent these symptoms from coming back I knew I needed to find a way to maintain my mental health, weight, and just live an overall healthier lifestyle. I have tried a lot of different diets over the years, but I always seemed to yo-yo right back to my heaviest weight.
Heavier weight (left), Lower weight (right)
Right now, weight watchers seems to be working for me.
At first, I was like noooooo that's what people did in the 2000's then when they stopped the weight came back. But when I started looking into it, I realized the purpose behind Weight Watchers. Up until now I had been tracking my calories in my fitness pal or exercising excessively (or not enough). Tracking calories opened my eyes to how much I was putting in my body but it didn't steer me to eat any healthier.
Weight Watchers, however, makes you very aware of what is in the foods you buy. After a month of tracking what I eat, I started noticing how much food is sweetened or enhanced with chemicals. Slowly, I started choosing what to eat based on the nutrients in the food and not how many calories it would cost me. This was a massive shift in my thought process.
Instead of buying/eating foods I knew would comfort me, but ultimately lead to self-hatred, I started buying foods I knew would be nutritious AND enjoyable.
After three months on weight watchers, I am now down 6 pounds. Which feels great!
I have found a good rhythm and a few awesome blogs that show you how to make WW approved meals you might be craving!
Like this bagel recipe from Skinny Taste!
So tell me! What do you love? What helps you maintain a healthy lifestyle?
If you want to try Weight Watchers here is a link for a free month!