The stress is stressing me out

A sad face.
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So – lots to talk about today so I’ll just jump right in…

My husband has taken a job in another state where he’ll be working on the road for the next 6-8 weeks. This stresses me out to no end.  While I’m thankful for the opportunity to earn some income during this cold, dreary winter, I rely on my husband a lot for the day-to-day things, and plus I just like having him around. I think the hardest part for me is not knowing when or if he’ll be able to come home during that time. He might come home in 3 days, or he might not come home until spring.  He’ll find out more when he goes to the main office tomorrow, but for right now, it’s really creating a lot of anxiety for me… and can you see where this is going? Although we’ve known for a couple of weeks that he would be going, yesterday the anxiety came welling up from inside and would not be stopped. I was ravenous when I got home and so I had a good old fashioned binge. I couldn’t get the food in my mouth fast enough. I didn’t even go to Boot Camp last night because I was just in such a funk that I couldn’t make myself go, even though it’s probably the one thing that would have helped me release some of this anxiety. Hindsight, and all – whaddya gonna do?   I went and laid down on my bed hoping that a little nap and a self pep talk would help me calm down. It didn’t. I slept a little but I didn’t really feel better. I managed to get through the evening and then at bedtime, in the dark and the quiet, it all came out. I started crying. I couldn’t help it and then I couldn’t stop it. My husband finally said, “Jill I’m not going off to WAR!!” Can you imagine what a mess I would be if he WAS going to war?  We talked for a while and I cried a little more, and then I finally fell asleep. Today I feel a lot better – I think I just needed to get it out. I’m still anxious about his leaving, but ultimately it will be a good thing for our family. Also I plan on using the time he is away to get into a regular work out routine and start experimenting with some healthier meals – maybe when he gets back his wife will be a wee bit thinner!

Another reason I didn’t go to Boot Camp is because yesterday I finally felt pain-free. For 2 weeks now, I’ve had sore muscles – a knot in my back by my shoulder blade, a pulled groin muscle, and a pull quad muscle. You know how “they” always say that you should ease into exercise and not try to jump into anything too strenuous for fear of injury? Yeah, well they were right. I’m out of my league with Boot Camp, but since there are only 3 classes left, I’m going to finish them. I doubt I will sign up for another round, at least not yet. There is a Zumba class on Tuesday and Thursday night that I think I would enjoy a little more – that might be my next foray into fitness.

Something else that I have been wrestling with is the need to jump on a weight loss bandwagon. All the talk about the new WW program has me thinking that maybe I should start tracking my food. I’ve been toying with counting calories or points or doing something along those lines. I feel a quiet desperation to do SOMETHING to help this weight come off, and exercise alone I’m afraid is not going to cut it. The only problem is, counting calories makes me crazy!! So it’s crazy that I would even think of doing that, right? But then when I think back to all the times I tried counting calories, I wonder if maybe my calorie goal was too low. Let’s face it, I’m kind of a big girl now, and 1200 calories isn’t enough for me. Maybe if I shoot for something like 1700-1800,  I would feel a little more in control? I don’t know – some of you have been with me for awhile – what do you all think? I need some perspective here, so be honest with me please.

I think I have more to write, but I’m running out of time.  Wish me luck – and send me lots of non-crying vibes!  🙂


9 thoughts on “The stress is stressing me out

  1. (((hug)))!!! Oh, Jill, I can sure understand how you’d have such mixed feelings about it. (And I know my main reaction would be stressing about it, too…I get bummed during the times my Mr. has had to go to Michigan for a few days to tend family business. 6-8 weeks? Ugh.)

    And here *I* was, getting all bummed and stressed about comparatively trivial stuff going on with me. I’ve been struggling lately, too. I’m trying to not freak out and do anything extreme, but it’s hard, it’s not like I’m only up a couple of pounds this time.

    Since calorie counting makes you crazy, and I suspect that (like me) scaling back too far too quickly triggers feelings of deprivation, maybe try just writing everything down for a week. Don’t count the calories, but note when and what you eat and (where possible), how much. Also, maybe what you’re feeling or craving at the time. At the end of the week, analyze it for trends: do you feel like you want more in the morning or evening? Is there a healthy substitution you can make for a particular craving when you’re feeling sad or bored? See if you’re eating about the same amount of volume or calories each day, and then scale it back just a little bit, maybe 200 at a time, until you see the scale start to move in a downward trend. Sneak up on it, maybe?

    I find planning in advance kind of helpful, too. Schedule what I’m going to eat and when, and stick with it, more or less. I did that today, and while I made a couple of on-the-fly adjustments, I’ve done pretty well so far. Although it takes some thinking, I found that it took away the having-to-think-exhaustively-about-it-all-day part. I knew when I had something scheduled and it helped me wait it out. When I started out and was losing big, I was making a daily food plan where I counted the number of servings of foods, rather than precise calories. It worked pretty well for awhile, and I’m thinking of going back to that plan…I’m looking at my old checklist, and I can see where I’ve really deviated from it. (I used the Prevention magazine low carb plan – which isn’t extremely low carb at 125 grams per day – and spread the portions throughout the day, weighting toward dinner. Now I’d probably weight toward breakfast. Anyhow, I can send you the link if you’d like.)

    As for exercise, being a “real healthy person” does not correspond to any particular domain of fitness. It sounds to me like you enjoy dancing and walking and yoga, so why not do those for awhile? (Maybe a walking DVD workout would be helpful? I know winter weather can be really sucky.)

    I hope you don’t mind that I’ve written a novel here, but I’m feeling your pain this winter. I hope this helps, if only to let you know that you’re not alone in this.

  2. I think that 1200 calories is too little. Not that I am a successful weight-loser!! But at leat 1500 would be more realistic, even for quick weight loss for a small person. I believe 1800 calories is the “starvation” line that they judge third-world countries by! (Probably based on an adult males’ needs, though. Isn’t everything.) Maybe try and work out how many you are eating now and then plan to reduce that a bit, as pubsgirl suggested.

  3. My husband just left today for 5 weeks of training. We’ll boo-hoo together. 🙂 I also look forward to establishing a routine (one that will get all out-of-wack once he returns, I’m sure). Speaking of “out-of-wack,” I haven’t Zumba’ed, yet. I saw a couple of day’s ago that the class is offered locally. I’m afraid I’ll throw something out of wack by trying to move something that hasn’t moved that way in a long time.

    Counting calories drove me insane, too, and that was before three kids! I haven’t been following your blog as long as others, but I do know the pain, depression, and hopelessness that surrounds binge eating. Binging fills a void.

    There’s a woman here that is on the “X” diet, AGAIN (it’s a dangerous diet, and I don’t want to give you any ideas). She says it’s her 5th time and that it works each time; she goes on it after she gains weight back. It.Works.Each.Time — that’s kind of an oxymoron to me. If there is an “each time,” that means it didn’t work. I see the same thing with many people and counting calories and different fad diets. (“It worked for me before.”) It it drove you crazy to count and record, then that method may not be for you.

  4. Ah, so glad Pubsgal wrote first. Haven’t even read it, but when you were asking for advice, I thought, that’s about Pubsgal’s calorie range, I hope she offers some advice.

    I’m not sure why the calorie counting drives you nuts, except that if you were shooting for 1200, yeah, that’s no fun. For me, I just keep a piece of paper on the frig with a magnet, and the calorie book close at hand. Usually I know the calories or it is on the carton. I don’t spend much time looking stuff up in the book. Mostly it is a limiter for me. Makes me look at reality. Like when I am having a big breakfast, and then mid-morning I want another big breakfast. Well, when I write the calories down, I might go ahead and have that. But then I know I have to plan something creative and light for the rest of the day, esp. dinner. So then I know what is coming and I don’t get upset about it. That’s what I’m doing right now to get this vacation and xmas weight off.

  5. SO MANY THOUGHTS. I echo the wise pubsgal and wonder if you dont know the answer deep down inside?
    I love how you phrased it a quiet desperation to do something and perhaps by being QUIET AND STILL you can tease outward what would work for you.
    (does that make sense?)

    Im a tough one to relate to the husband traveling in a way as as much as mine is my BETTER HALF and OTHER HALF and when he’s gone I feel as tho Im missing a limb—I might see it as a gift of time to ONLY FOCUS ON ME.

  6. Jill,

    Perhaps you can use this time to watch your kids really step up to the plate. I have been married 31 years and my husband has always traveled. My kids are on their own now. They know how to take care of themselves. They cook, clean, pay their bills, run their errands, make their doctor appointments. I gave them much responsibility when they were young and kept increasing it because I could now work and run the house alone. They thank me all the time for my “boot camp” house! The three of of us worked hard during the week with mundane tasks, i.e laundry, cooking, yard work….and enjoyed each other on the weekend. It also made my husband happy to come home & not have to do the little things but just enjoy us! Jill, it is always about the quality time and never the quantity. You will be just fine because you are strong, smart, and you have a great sense of humor. If I can help in any way (tips..etc), please let me know. The REASON we have been married for 31 years is BECAUSE he is gone several weeks at a time. Hang in there.

  7. Oh dearie, I feel for you! I would break down and bawl (after a carbfest) on hearing that news. I don’t know about the weather where you are but if it’s like here, it’s not helping… you have to do all your usual stuff against a background of ice, snow, school delays, and general darkness and anxiety. I am still figuring out my own way here so I don’t have great advice. With your husband gone, it can be an opportunity to spread out with projects he might mildly disapprove, sprawl over the whole bed and get all sleek for his return– look on the bright side, right? Best wishes. I’m pulling for you.

  8. This sounds like such a hard time! I too have eaten myself into a funk and lost all motivation (or felt too full) to complete a workout (or anything really). It’s a hard place to be. :0( Also, it might be worth seeing a counselor about. For reals.

    With regards to a calorie target…maybe this will help and maybe not, but I’m 30, weigh 130 at 5’7″, exercise (either just walking, jogging or strength training) for a half-hour most days of the week and my regular calorie intake is about 1900-2000 calories. And I have an office job. If you go to one of those calorie calculators ( and plug in your goal weight, then eat that amount every day and certainly no less, you’ll slowly get to your goal without feeling deprived. But if the binge monster is coming out, it might feel better to talk it out with a friend or professional too.

    Man, I could never eat 1200/day. Just thinking about it makes me feel deprived!

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