Yesterday I had a chance to put my recent research to the test, in that I was fairly stressed out after work. I had to work at my supervisor's store while she is on vacation, and just being out of my element stresses me out. I have a difficult time finding where things are kept, and often have to improvise, and the clientel and coworkers are all different. I am a person who thrives on the comfort of routine, where work is concerned. I have been fortunate to be able to set up my store exactly the way I want, where everything is organized and makes sense to me, but being out of that setting is a little frustrating.
So, it was pretty inevitible that my stress (and therefore cortisol) levels were elevated by the time I left work, and when I picked up my kids, my older son's ADHD was in full swing, making him really whiney and defensive, which led to him wanting to both irritate and start fights with my younger son, who reacted by whining. My husband was forced to work a 12 hour shift, and was in a horrible mood when he got home, complicated by the fact that it was nearly 100 degrees and ultra humid yesterday, and he works in a warehouse with no climate control. He was home just long enough to fix a pre-workout mix and then he was off to the gym to blow off some steam. The only thing that really calmed the kids and I was to bring out our pet mouse, Squirt, and play with her. Pets are so magical for stress relief!
With all that stress and cortisol running rampant in my body I was having raging cravings! I wanted comfort food, sugars, salts, fats. It didn't help that I don't have my normal groceries in the house right now, so my version of improvising was a grilled cheese with bacon. Of course, the bread was whole wheat, the cheese was fat free and the bacon was turkey bacon, but still not very nutritionally sound. I was still craving, this time sweets, so I ate some blueberries with splenda, and that seems to hit the spot that needed to be hit, thank goodness. So, it seems the whole stress/cortisol -induced cravings theory is absolutely correct. In hindsite, I should have had a nice peice of fish with some brown rice, but my improvised meal seemed to do the trick of making my mind feel as if I were having a cheat meal.
I didn't do a workout after work, I just didn't have it in me, but I had a great cardio session this morning, which will start me on my way to a better day. Today is the last day I have to work at the other store, so I will be back in my comfortable surroundings tomorrow. I need to remember that there are only so many things I can control about my day, but the ones I am able to control, make all the difference.