I laid the scale on the floor and hopped on to confirm what I had suspected for the last few weeks, as I noticed that my jeans were getting progressively looser.
From the moment we put the offer in on the house, I secretly hoped that the stress of the legal paperwork, the preparation, the packing and the move itself would help me shed a couple of pounds (as it did the last time I moved, 19 years ago).
Well, it worked… almost ten pounds dropped!
In some ways I was happy as it meant that I will likely fit into some summer clothes that have been at the back of the closet for a while… as soon as I locate the box in which they are stored. But in other ways, it was also a reminder of the ways that stress impacts my body.
Even though the home purchase, the home sale and the move were indeed joyful, positive events, the trajectory did present moments of late nights, early mornings, not-so-restful sleep and sometimes uncomfortable adrenaline rushes through my midsection, like a case of feral butterflies in the tummy.
The sensation of knots in the stomach in stressful times is normal for me and, not surprisingly, acts as an appetite suppressant. It has been that way since I was very young. Every major life event whether it involved school exams, job interviews, important work presentations, or just rites of passage in general, usually meant a few pounds dropped along the way.
I think it is just my body’s way of dealing with the “fight or flight” response to what life throws at me. By not ingesting more food than necessary, I don’t turn into the “Stan” character from the “South Park” cartoon series and throw up when stress gets the best of me.
But in this case, the move presented an additional layer to the equation, in the form of an increase in my metabolic rate.
After a full day’s work, it didn’t matter how tired I was, there was always something to be done whether it was deep cleaning, home improvement projects to get the house ready for resale, or to pack in preparation for the move to the new home. With a firm deadline for all of the tasks, I really could not slack off too much.
Because of that, I was indeed getting my daily 10,000 steps and my strength training by lugging hardware and heavy boxes, every… single… day!
I suspect that because of the additional non-stop activity, I was steadily burning extra calories, but not in a training-for-a-half-marathon and a proud-of-my-results sort of way.
When I signed on the dotted line to put in the offer on the house, I knew exactly what I was getting into. And frankly, there was no better time to do it, as things were relatively calm in my personal and work life, to provide some sort of balance. From a timing perspective, this was truly the best time to pull the trigger on a major project like this.
Just the same, a move is a major life change that occupies significant head space, and consumes much time and energy. For that reason, I think it would be fair to say that it was no accident that I hadn’t moved in 19 years given the other things I had on my plate over those years.
The loss of ten pounds is not a complaint nor is it something that I say with any sense of satisfaction. It is just a fact of life for me. I don’t consider weight loss due to stress worthy of a badge of honour and frankly, I would not recommend moving more often as a weight control tool.
Fortunately, the reality is that the stress and the transition period were temporary, as we are pretty close to the finish line. With every box we open and every project we complete in the new home, the place is becoming our own, but there is still a lot of work ahead. Fortunately, we do not have a hard date staring us in the face to get it all done.
In recent days, the adrenaline rushes have faded, my sleep quality has improved and my appetite has returned. And better yet, the pace has finally slowed down to help us appreciate the calm and serenity of our beautiful country property.
Looking back, I am very pleased with the many steps behind us to get to this point, as well as the road that lies ahead.
While the weight loss could be seen as a bit of a reward for having survived the big transition from city life to country life, the question is how long will it stay off?
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