MANday Week 12 Is Stress Eating You?

Stress is what happens to the body when the mind stops it from beating the hell out of some ass that richly deserves it.

Picture that for a second and feel the energy bouncing around that body.  What do you do when you feel that angry?

Last night I got a phone call that whacked me out and I went straight for the chocolate chip cookies. Not good for a guy who’s not exercising and getting ready for a MANday photo! But the obvious alternative isn’t socially acceptable.


Today I’m thinking about the link between stress management and diet. Two people come to mind. One lost someone close to him and then gained an unhealthy amount of weight. The other eats whenever something bothers him. Both people are at risk for all sorts of problems and will probably die earlier than someone who exercises and eats a healthy diet.

Why did this happen?

Probably because junk food is really soothing and for some reason it makes difficult emotions more bearable. Women seem to become aware of this in high school, but for men it is more subtle.

When I moved into a place where I couldn’t store chocolate ice cream, I found myself driving to a little take out place for a hot fudge sundae whenever I was really stressed. I have no idea how long I’ve been doing this, but my guess is it has been decades.

The cycle isn’t a good one. I get stressed. I eat junk. I gain weight.

What if when something bothered me I did a few pushups instead of eating a cookie?

I wonder if I’d feel better and be better able to deal with other stresses that come along.  It seems to me like pushups are a better way to burn off that anger and frustration than eating chocolate. Maybe I’ll get past the annoyance faster that way.

For the next week, I am going to try and substitute pushups for cookies when I’m annoyed and see what happens. Want to try it with me? You know you do.


23 Comments on “MANday Week 12 Is Stress Eating You?”

  1. Tasha Turner says:

    It’s a great idea – exercise instead of junk food. I think I’ll let you try it and tell me how it works out before trying it myself.

  2. cindysamuel says:

    Ummmmmm….yahhhhhhhh…I can support you in anything you do CJ, but pushups???? Can I have a substitute,please?

  3. cmb43 says:

    CJ the pushups sound like a great idea but I think I’ll try walking instead. I can’t do pushups, so you try that and I’ll walk and see if that works and we can compare.

  4. Veggies, Cindy Lee? Haha! However they’re not a very satisfying substitute for chocolate. My solution is dark chocolate Hershey kisses-3 maximum, but one usually does it for me. (I have to be careful to let it melt and not chomp and swallow without tasting.) Milk chocolate, though I like it, just doesn’t work. A little chocolate is way better than a whole sundae or even a couple of cookies.

  5. nerdthatruns says:

    perfect idea….i used to run whenever ppl pissed me off, but now that i run everyday already, and people seem to love pissing me off constantly i can’t fit more than 2 runs in a day before i’m too tired to run….push ups are a better alternative

    • cjwestkills says:

      Wow. Running every day is fabulous. I’m trying to work up to 5 days a week. I’m guessing that you don’t have to worry too much about calories or keeping your heart healthy. For those mortals among us, those extra calories hurt.

  6. No I’d be like, “Okay I did 20 push ups, so I can have two cookies!”

  7. Lil Gluckstern says:

    You are absolutely right. Although food makes us feel better when upset, inevitably we feel bad if food is our issue. A quick walk, anything physical is a better expulsion of that bad energy than eating. That being said, it’s a habit we have to put in place. Anything physical helps me. I’m not of an age where push ups are an option, but even dusting helps 🙂

  8. Kim Mullican says:

    After my divorce from my first husband, I got a heavy bag. When I’m pissed I beat the $hit out of it… and I feel better. It’s really great exercise and I’m a huge supporter of women learning self-defense anyway. Punching and kicking are great for the entire body. The only downside is using the bag when angry means no stretching first…

    • cjwestkills says:

      Great idea Kim.

      I used to love to hit the heavy bag. Caution for guys, it can be hard on your wrists and elbows if you go after that bag hard so be careful.

      • Kim Mullican says:

        That’s not to say I don’t “do” comfort food… the extra 15 pounds I’m trying to lose is evidence of that… but the bag is great frustration relief.

  9. […] MANday Week 12 Is Stress Eating You? ( […]

  10. […] Last week I started an experiment. When I’m stressed about something and tempted to reach for a cookie, I get down and do a few pushups. The idea was to change my habit of eating when stressed to a healthier habit of exercising when stressed. If it works and I can find relief from stress in exercise, it will be doing double service. Relieving my stress and doing my body good at the same time. […]

  11. Nissie says:

    I have the opposite problem. When I’m stressed, angry, hurt, upset in any way, I can’t eat anything. My appetite goes out the window and when I try to force myself to eat, I can’t seem to swallow past the choke hold. That’s not very healthy, either. So I will try the exercise thing when I’m ready to smack somebody upside the head.

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