“I feel like some of my baby fat is going away, and that’s not just physically, it’s psychologically. I think that your body is in tune with your mind and your spirituality and your heart. If things are going better, I just think you look better.” ~Drew Barrymore
No, this is not a post about diet and exercise! Diet and exercise had nothing to do with it.
So around March of 2013 I started to notice some weight creeping back on. I didn’t freak out about it at first but over time it just kept coming and coming. Within a year, I had gained practically all the weight I had lost when I first went Paleo in 2011. It was so frustrating to see the weight creep back on. I had no control over it. Nothing I did had any impact. My diet hadn’t changed. I was still very paleo and worked out regularly. I even got super strict with my diet but that didn’t work. Nothing worked. I felt completely helpless and out of control. It was depressing.
I am happy to say that I am currently back into my XL shirts. (It was very depressing to have to go back up to XXL, by the way) I am almost back down to my pre March 2013 weight and the same goes for my waistline. I am getting both, compliments and “you are too skinny” complaints. I feel great and have more energy for training and, most of all, I feel better about myself which is reflecting in every aspect of my life.
So what did I do? I got rid of stress. That’s it! And just like that, the weight came off, effortlessly!
Below are the five things I started doing to relieve stress:
1) Mineral Salt Baths
As a big tough guy, it’s kind of taboo to have a soak in the tub. Recently, I was in on a conversation about how a guy was less of a man because he admitted to taking a bath. All the guys listening laughed but I kinda just kept my mouth shut thinking to myself, I love my baths. Soaking in the tub is very relaxing for me. Just the simple fact that I am taking time alone for myself is restorative, not to mention the benefits my body gets from absorbing the minerals in the epsom salts.
I usually soak in the tub once a week but my goal is at least twice.
2) Hot Yoga
This is something I did admit to and got a rash of shit for. I don’t care though, it is doing wonders for my body. I actually used to practice years ago and loved it. So much so, that I actually got my teacher cert.
When I move to the city and saw the there was a hot yoga studio just minutes from my apartment, I knew it was time to start practicing again.
What I get out of one hot yoga class:
- two hours without my phone
- mobility training
- breathing exercises
- 90 minutes of sweating my ass off (purging toxins)
- the occasional peek in the mirror at how ripped I’m getting
3) Stopped Doing Work I Hated
Truth is, I was let go. I was a real estate agent and really hated it. So much so, that when I became debt free a year ago, I felt I had no real reason to continue working so hard in the field I hated. This caused me to do very little, if any work, and as a result my broker let me go. I don’t blame him really. My lack of enthusiasm for the business caused me to actually be a bad real estate agent.
Although I was a little upset to lose my residual monthly commission, the fact that my heart rate doesn’t jump up when my phone rings is well worth it.
4) Ate What I Wanted
This is a biggie! Once or twice a week, I let myself eat whatever I want, guilt free. It’s awesome. This started when I went to Mexico in July and had practically no choice but to eat some non paleo foods. It was then that I realized I could eat foods I really loved and not die or worse, gain weight.
To tell the truth, my trip in July confirmed a theory I had before I even made the trip. In the height of my recent weight gain I weighed more than I did when I lived in Mexico in 2010. I hadn’t even heard of paleo at the time. I ate what ever I wanted and drank beer everyday and didn’t put on a pound the entire 5 months I was there. What was the difference between the 2014 paleo Dave and the 2010 pre paleo Dave? I was completely in love with my life. I was stress free and didn’t have to worry about a thing and loved every minute of it.
Allowing myself to indulge here and there is causing me less stress. I used to be like, “better not eat that, fatty” and would stress out about it. If I did give in, I would stress out even more! Now, I’m like, “treat yo self” and it make me a much happier person.
5) Ended a Bad Relationship
Right off the bat, (is that the right saying?) let me say that the woman I was in the relationship with is a wonderful, beautiful, amazing and sexy person. I mean, I am eating a slice of pumpkin pie that she made for me as she proofreads this post. I have nothing negative to say about her. We just weren’t a match, that’s all.
The problem was, even though we weren’t a match, we kept trying to make it work. When I explain it to people I use the square peg – round hole analogy. We were trying to force something that didn’t fit! Forcing it and forcing it creating so much stress and that stress compounded our unhappiness.
The moment we made the decision to end it, I immediately felt a sense of calm and relief.