stress from work is biggest impediment

I've noticed over the years if I am super stressed at work, I cannot lose weight. I eventually give up trying to maintain calorie counting, weighing/measuring food, exercising, etc. There were times I was so stressed from work, I'd get home and park on the couch and watch cartoon reruns.

More recently I had a supervisor who verbally abused me to the point of extreme anxiety and stress. I dreaded going to work every day and sometimes I'd leave in tears. Thankfully I no longer deal with that jerk, but my workplace is still a stressful place.

The stress has caused me to got through bouts of depression and it's caused weight gain. For the most part I'm able to keep off the small weight loss from last year, but I had hopes for weighing less than I do at this time. Exercise does not alleviate the anxiety. I know I have to go back to work the next day. I know I have to deal with the same stress and know a lot of things aren't in my control.

I don't get how people who have super stressful jobs stay thin or lose weight. Or how exercise is a stress reliever when they know that jerk boss is waiting there to verbally abuse them. How do people do it?
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Replies

  • MrsAER
    MrsAER Posts: 25 Member
    I guess it depends on how you deal with stress. When I am stressed my appetite goes completely, my current problem is I am so happy and finding it really difficult not to eat junk in 'celebration' I guess.

    Although I understand that doing exercise doesn’t change the fact that you have to be back in work tomorrow, it does release happy endorphins and lead to good sleep so maybe you could set yourself a small doable goal, like go for a walk/run on a Wednesday to signify you're halfway through the week? You could also set a goal of applying for a job once a week too if that would help?

    Be kind to yourself, maintaining your weight loss is great, hope you're happier soon
  • Glinda1971
    Glinda1971 Posts: 2,328 Member
    It all depends on how you deal with the stress. I manage my high stress by controlling my intake of food, I'm super disciplined.

    Because my job is full of "right now " that leaves me with a 10" stack of paperwork. So I control what I can.
  • belimawr
    belimawr Posts: 1,155 Member
    I'm in a high stress job, and to be honest, I don't think it has hurt my weight loss. I always read exercise is good for anxiety and stress, and while like you I find that to not be so true, I keep trying knowing that weighing close to 300lbs caused even more strain on my heart. So, I hope by exercising I hope to offset some of the negatives of stress (then I get depressed and ask "what for?" but then get back out there).

    I spend a lot of my time at home 'vegging out' as well. Staring at the walls, whatever. I've incorporated my exercise into my lunch breaks at work - maybe you could do the same just to keep from completely giving up?
  • samthepanda
    samthepanda Posts: 569 Member
    For me, exercise helps with the stress. I recently had a very stressful time where many things were completely out of my control, and it felt like nothing was working as it should. I found it helped me that at least for that hour in the gym I knew what was going to happen - I knew my schedule, and if it had to change, like the equipment wasn't free, I was in control of what I did instead. If I did a class, and the instructor said 20 burpees that was what I had to do, and I knew how to do them. Also slinging sand bags around released a lot of aggression! I've imagined faces on a few of those!
  • dutchandkiwi
    dutchandkiwi Posts: 1,389 Member
    I am with @samthepanda on this one. A year and a half ago at work we wetn through a very stressfull restructuring, it is still very stressful at present. Though verbally abusive was never an issue there the passive aggressiveness was huge within the building.
    With my excersice and food schedules I knew what was going to happen that day at what time and it gave a sense of control over at least part of my life. It still took me a fair few months to see and feel the longer term positives but now nearly 500 days later I can sense in me an ability to deal with all the stuff because all the other parts of my life are mine and mine alone. The issues that made me feel out of control, now feel less important and as a result impact me less, which in turn makes that I can make better descisions because I can think them through better.
  • Machka9
    Machka9 Posts: 21,863 Member
    Exercise is a huge stress reliever.

    My current job isn't very stressful, but my previous one was. My husband and I would go for a bicycle ride just about every evening after work, and while we clipped along out there, I talked his ear off about everything that was going on. By the time I got home, I felt a whole lot better about it.

    But of course, I had to do that just about every day to burn the stress off regularly.
  • scb515
    scb515 Posts: 136 Member
    I know how you feel. I had a tough time at work recently and on one particularly bad day, I ordered a ridiculously calorific takeaway and ate it all. Cue instant overnight shocking weight gain. You have to recognise that you're not actually hungry, you're making bad choices because you're an emotional eater - you therefore need to work on dealing with your emotions better. I've found running can help - you can redirect that angry energy into something else, and the endorphins help balance your mood. You say you've tried exercise to no avail - what sort of exercise and for how long? I'm not sure aerobics would have the same stress releasing impact as say running or boxing for at least 30 minutes.

    You can't stop people at work from being jerks, and that can be difficult to accept. However, you can refuse to let them derail your healthy lifestyle. I'm hesitant to suggest eating better gives you some kind of control over the situation because that's where eating disorders start, but I do find keeping control of my diet and health by not giving into the binges and by doing regular exercise does help me feel stronger. Staying in good shape physically does help, because if someone lays into you when you're sad and exhausted, it's harder to cope with than if you're just sad.

    Make sure you're getting enough sleep too - there have been some studies that suggest the less sleep you have, the more inclined you are to make bad food choices (which my personal experience supports). Plus the more rested you are, the more able you'll feel to stand strong.

    Take care. I hope things get easier for you soon.

    x
  • lauracups
    lauracups Posts: 536 Member
    Out of all the reasons we tell ourselves we can't lose weight stress seems to be the number one. The choice how to deal with it is yours, every moment of every day a choice is made. Are those choices helping your over all wellbeing? When you are about to choose to react to a stress by eating STOP, log it and in the notes section write down your "why" . At the end of the day take an honest look and decide if you want to make a different choice next time. You are not a slave to someone else's issues so cancel your subscription. You are not a captive of habit, you have the ability to change. You do have a choice to respond and not react. The difference between the two is just a moment of calm reflection.
  • 999tigger
    999tigger Posts: 5,236 Member
    edited May 2015
    Clearly you need to get rid of the cause of the stress which entails getting a new job.
    Exercise is geat for stress if you put enough effort in, it allows you to switch off and focus just on doing the exercise. People handle stress by learning techniques on how to deal with it, mindset and managing behaviours plus looking after yourself.
  • LiveLoveRunFar
    LiveLoveRunFar Posts: 176 Member
    999tigger wrote: »
    Clearly you need to get rid of the cause of the stress which entails getting a new job.
    Exercise is geat for stress if you put enough effort in, it allows you to switch off and focus just on doing the exercise. People handle stress by learning techniques on how to deal with it, mindset and managing behaviours plus looking after yourself.

    Absolutely. Only thing that works for me for job stress is a good strenuous run afterwards. If I know the next day is going to be stressful, i do a walk/or run in the morning before work. At work, I walk at lunch. MOVE MOVE MOVE.

  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 46,697 Member
    Nerdycurls wrote: »
    I've noticed over the years if I am super stressed at work, I cannot lose weight. I eventually give up trying to maintain calorie counting, weighing/measuring food, exercising, etc. There were times I was so stressed from work, I'd get home and park on the couch and watch cartoon reruns.

    More recently I had a supervisor who verbally abused me to the point of extreme anxiety and stress. I dreaded going to work every day and sometimes I'd leave in tears. Thankfully I no longer deal with that jerk, but my workplace is still a stressful place.

    The stress has caused me to got through bouts of depression and it's caused weight gain. For the most part I'm able to keep off the small weight loss from last year, but I had hopes for weighing less than I do at this time. Exercise does not alleviate the anxiety. I know I have to go back to work the next day. I know I have to deal with the same stress and know a lot of things aren't in my control.

    I don't get how people who have super stressful jobs stay thin or lose weight. Or how exercise is a stress reliever when they know that jerk boss is waiting there to verbally abuse them. How do people do it?
    No job is worth your overall health. You still control whether you stay there or not. Don't use money as the excuse to stay. While money is important, what good is it if stress causes you a stroke? You'll end up using that money for physical rehab.
    There are other jobs. Just like taking on new challenges, it can be intimidating, but don't just let your life go by being stepped on by your boss.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

  • DrWhoIsYerDad
    DrWhoIsYerDad Posts: 263 Member
    I've heard that stress increases a hormone called cortisol which can lead to more belly fat, maybe that is a factor. I stress over everything at work !
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 46,697 Member
    I've heard that stress increases a hormone called cortisol which can lead to more belly fat, maybe that is a factor. I stress over everything at work !
    Cortisol is also increased anytime anyone exercises or plays a sport. Just sayin'.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

  • P0PTART
    P0PTART Posts: 50 Member
    I'm going through this same thing but I don't just eat bad, I've also turned myself into a lazy slob. Thank you for this post! I've been lurking in the motivation board looking for I know not what, but for some reason I found it your post.
  • kpodaru
    kpodaru Posts: 133 Member
    if i don't workout, i would have murdered half the people at my office!!! i need to workout; not only does it make me feel amazing and badass but it helps keep my mood stable (i'm prone to depression) and really does help with stress.
  • Nerdycurls
    Nerdycurls Posts: 143 Member
    edited May 2015
    I think I should point out I am not overeating-- hence why my initial weight loss is maintained. The problem is the stress takes over-- I'm too exhausted to get home and weigh food and prepare for the week and then incorporate that into exercise. The job search has taken up a lot of my time, too. I spend about 15-20 hours a week looking and applying because I've recognized I can't stay at my job. It's just too unhealthy. There were times when I did log and realized I wasn't eating enough--- but I'd get sick to my stomach thinking about eating. Well, because I was sick to my stomach from work in the first place. The stress was so bad I didn't get my period for a couple of months (if that makes a difference).

    I'm not sure how else to deal with stress. There are people at my work-- including my current supervisor-- who seem to make it a goal to make things as difficult at possible.
  • pennyks88
    pennyks88 Posts: 169 Member
    I've had several high stress jobs in the past, and trust me when I say that it will not get better until you get a new job. Right now you just need to focus on your mental health. Keep applying for jobs. Good luck!
  • mwyvr
    mwyvr Posts: 1,883 Member
    Machka9 wrote: »
    Exercise is a huge stress reliever.

    Yup. I used to fly weekly to a very stressful work situation that took me away from my fiancée soon to be my new wife... for almost a year, week in, week out. I was fit back then and the only thing that kept me sane was running every day after a long day at the client.

    My wife, who never lost track of the importance of fitness to her, unlike me, keeps sane by riding her bike to work and back, virtually year round. By the time she gets home she is grounded once again.
  • mwyvr
    mwyvr Posts: 1,883 Member
    Nerdycurls wrote: »
    I'm not sure how else to deal with stress. There are people at my work-- including my current supervisor-- who seem to make it a goal to make things as difficult at possible.

    That's really unfortunate.

    Sometimes you have to fire your boss | client. Unfortunately we don't always have the luxury of being able to walk away, and even if we think we can manage it, facing that reality can seem even more stressful than living with it, but of course that isn't the case.