The Wrong Way
Managing stress and taking care of your body is one of the most important things a man can do.
So, why don't most men do this? Look around, most men are in very sad shape. They do not know anything about stress management and as a result not only are they stressed out but they look bad too.
Young men are not good at managing stress either but they still look fairly good for the most part. There are some older men who seem to live with less stress and who seem to have beaten back father time.
But most men do not. Most men look pretty bad by the time they hit 30. Years of not managing stress in the right way or not finding a way to manage it lead to a stressed out mind and a bad body. Flabby, pale, thin arms, flat butts, big guts, you name it.
Even the thin men look bad with their tiny arms and thin, flabby bellies.
The big men really have a problem. The bigger you are the bigger and bigger you will get as the years roll by. The more you eat the hungrier you get. After awhile food is all you really care about.
This happened to me and I think I know why.
It is because food is a way of managing stress. It is the last vice we can easily take part in.
It is not that we have more stress than we used to. There has always been stress. It is because there are different ways to deal with stress.
People who are not satisfied with life always look for a way of managing stress or a coping mechanism to make it through the day and to deal with the stress of life.
At one time men would use drinking as a way of managing stress. They would be out in the taverns after work and as many nights as they wanted. There were a lot of taverns. You did not have to worry about the police stopping you. Alcohol was cheap so you could indulge without your family going hungry. You could look forward to a few drinks after work to relieve the mindless tedium of your boring job. An hour or two or three at the bar with a few men like you made life bearable.
But now, not so much. Your job is still mindless and boring. But you do not go to the bar more than a few times a year. It costs so much to buy a beer or mixed drink that you are spending money that you need to survive and to feed your family.
Besides, you are worried that the police will stop you and give you a DUI because the legal limit is so low.
So you do not drink that much and when you do it is with a snsed of guilt and a lack of desire to have fun and a fear of the cops.
Men would also use smoking for managing stress. Smoking is perfect for relieving stress and tedium. Men would be smoking all day, every day right while they were working. At the end of a day of smoking and working, most men would not have any stress.
Of course, smoking is not healthy for your lungs, only for your mind.
Everyone knows that smoking is a stress reliever as well as a way to not eat so much. Once you are hooked as a smoker you would much rather smoke than eat, that is part of the reason people are so much fatter now, hardly anyone smokes.
But what do you do about this? You still have the boring, mindless work and the lack of fun in your life. How do you cope?
You cope with huge quantities of food. It is so obvious that using cheap junk food as a tool for managing stress is the reason for obesity.
Food, especially junk food is still very cheap when you compare it to the cost of alcohol. Food is even obtained free in a lot of cases. It is given away.
You use food as a way to cope, to make it through the day, for managing stress.
This is the realization that I made. It is how I coped. My ex-wife used to say I had a problem with alcohol because I liked to party with my old friends once a year or once every other year. She used to say the reason I was fat was because of one binge drinking night out of the year. Besides being a difficult woman to live with she is not very good at math.
But drinking was never my problem, food is. One night of a lot of beer versus 365 days of excessive junk food. You do the math and tell me where my weight problem came from.
I used food to cope, to deal with stress, to make it through the day. When your work is boring, what else is there to look forward to besides donuts, candy bars and massive lunches? When times were good at work and there was a lot of work the only way I could stay at work a few more hours was to eat a massive amount of junk food.
If you honestly look at it you will see this fact staring at you everywhere.
It is not that there are millions of gluttons out there. It is that there are millions of people who are not satisfied with life and are using food and especially junk food as a means of escape and a way to cope.
Food is kind of like a drug in that the more you eat the more you want. Excessive eating is habit forming. Plus it is a cheap habit. It is not illegal either. You will not get stopped by the cops for having too many candy bars in your blood.
Once you start gaining weight it gets easier and easier to gain. Then, to make matters worse, when you are fatter than you would like to be that adds even more stress to your life.
This is the type of stress you feel when you do not feel good about yourself because of the excess weight. You avoid doing active things because you are too heavy to do those things. You feel bad about yourself because you are not doing anything fun so you eat more. Eating is easy. Eating is cheap. Eating you do by yourself with no one watching.
Eating junk food is the cheapest form of entertainment there is and the last vice we have.
Think of it this way, you cannot even buy one beer for $4 at a bar. but you can buy a dozen donuts. One beer is a lot healthier than a dozen donuts but you will be more satisfied in the short term with the dozen donuts. I mean who is satisfied with one beer, that is just ridiculous. You can be well on your way to managing stress after 3 or 4.
Men were a lot healthier when they were stopping for drinks every day or most days of the week. No one can deny this. Just look at pictures from the probably the 1970's and before compared to pictures from now. Men from those days and earlier were mostly lean. They managed stress by drinking a lot fairly often. They did not need to eat donuts and candy bars and chips every day. They managed stress by stopping for a few drinks every night.
Alcohol, of course, can be a bad thing if it consumes your life or you get so drunk and hurt someone. But excessive eating is worse because it is something you do every day, day after day until you are too fat and too unhealthy.
Excessive eating can even be done right while you are working. You can sit in front of the computer and eat donuts and candy bars. It is even encouraged because everyone knows that the constant eating keeps you awake and energized.
This article is not meant as an excuse to keep eating yourself into a massive version of yourself or as a call to get drunk every night of the week.
No, the solution to this problem is the awareness of the cause of the problem.
The cause of your overeating is you managing stress because your life is not the way you want it to be.
If your life is the way you want it to be you will not have stress and you will not need to find ways to cope. There is nothing to cope with. Why would there be, your life is great?
That is the goal. To start working toward that great life you want. As you are working toward that great life you will be more easily able to not gorge on junk food as a way of dealing with boredom or stress. You will not need to do that so much anymore.
This is not easy to do. But it will not happen until you realize that this is the true reason you overeat. This is why there are so many obese people. This is so sad. Every time you see a person who needs to lose a lot of weight you are seeing a person with something missing in their lives. Or this person had something missing but still uses food to cope with any type of stress they encounter.
This seems to be my problem. Any time I get a little stressed I turn to junk food to get through this. Any time there is food cheaply or freely available I eat it as a preemptive way to combat future stress. I know how I am and even though I am taking steps to correct this, it is still there. It lurks under the surface.
Sometimes stress manifests in my life because of a recent episode of dealing with my ex-wife. Dealing with her seems to make me want to eat. I ate like a pig when I was with her and I turn to food after a particularly rough encounter with her.
Sometimes stress manifests in my life because I am frustrated with a lack of money to do something fun. Eating some junk food does not cost that much. When the things you want to do cost a lot relative to the cost of the food, I get the food.
A huge stress factor is lack of sleep. What do you do at work when you are tired? You eat junk food of course. You do not want to lose your job because you are falling asleep at your desk? You go to the vending machine or candy box and buy a few bucks worth of candy. Now you can work a few more hours and stay awake.
Think of it this way.
You are not fat because you are a gluttonous pig. You are fat because there is something off in your life. You just need to find it and correct it. This may be hard. You may have to search deeply for the answer, but the answer is there.
The cure to being overweight is realizing this and being willing to deal with it.
I was in a bad marriage. Once I left I was able to lose a lot of weight.
Currently the type of work I do is not much in demand. There is no overtime needed. The overtime pay pushed my pay way up to be almost respectable. There is the constant threat of layoffs. Every Friday could be my last. Pay has been cut 10 % and the health insurance premium has tripled in the last 2 years. So yeah, the amount of work related stress I have is enormous.
I just try to make it through the day without binging on junk and for the most part I have.
Again, I know what my problem is and I am working on it.
The ultimate cure for you is to lead your ideal life or close to it. But you know that part of your ideal life is being at your ideal weight so weight loss is part of the equation.
The main part of the equation is finding a way of managing stress that does not include eating junk food or even a lot of good food.
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