We Long Islanders are currently in the midst of our fourth noreaster. Driving into the storm as I headed off to work, having to make sure all my students had a safe early dismissal and then driving through the storm to get home conjured up all kinds of bad feelings. Now, that I’m home, safely tucked under the covers, and in my pajamas, I am thinking about stress and how I react to it.
I am confident that my weight gain happened (at least in part) because of how I deal with stress. This is what I’m thinking now that I have the benefit of 200 DAYS into my journey. I have learned how to create some good habits to replace my old unhelpful ones. For instance, I even considered doing some yoga after surviving my commute home as a way to decompress. I didn’t do that but I did think about it! Thinking is the first step to doing, so that’s something, but one thing I didn’t do was eat and that is a huge victory.
My stress reaction could have prompted a setback. It didn’t this time, but it is not crazy to think that it could have. When I was at work, I ate my lunch and didn’t even realize I was done until all my food was gone. This is something to think about because I was left feeling unsatisfied – I still felt a little hungry. I wasn’t hungry, I was stressed, so what if that was my tripwire for a setback?
The Weekly last week focused on what to do when setbacks happen. One suggestion that really stood out was to write a letter to your future self to read when setbacks happen. I did it, and here it is if you want to read mine:
Did any of you try this? It may feel silly to write a letter to yourself, but it’s a really good strategy. Think of it this way, by writing a letter, you are writing your story. After 200 days of writing every day, I can tell you that writing is a powerful tool on this journey because it is like magic, it makes us all brave.
If you are in the midst of setback now, write it out – what do you want most for yourself? Then, hold onto that because that is your “why” and that is the thing that will get you through this difficult time. Even if you don’t believe in yourself right now, believe that I am right – you can do this. Thank you for reading.