zen frogWelcome to our healthy lifestyle challenge lead by our program dietitian Vicki Bovee and her husband, Bill. Because we can always do better to live a healthier lifestyle Vicki and Bill decided to work on a weekly challenge together to provide support and accountability for each other and hopefully inspire you to make healthy changes. Follow along with them as they tackle a variety of challenges to eat better, eat more mindfully, and improve physical health and emotional well-being. Vicki and Bill invite you to participate and accept the challenges to improve your lifestyle too. Some of them may be difficult and please feel free to modify the challenges to accommodate your dietary needs and physical abilities.


Challenge #37 Stress busters
We all deal with stress and some days are worse than others. It seems there aren’t enough minutes in the day to get everything done or there are situations that are making us crazy. Stress has negative effects on our health including depression, stomach ulcers, heart disease, eczema or other skin disorders, and a suppressed immune system which leads to a whole host of health problems. The University of Maryland Medical Center and Psych Central report that 43 per cent of all adults suffer adverse effects from stress and 75 to 90 per cent of physician office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints. We may use unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with our stress such as overeating, drinking too much, using pills or other drugs to relax, zoning out in front of the TV or computer, withdrawing from family and friends, or taking our stress out on others.

Your stress may not be coming from just one thing but may be a case of being overwhelmed… your plate is too full. When you realize you are reaching your overload point you may find it helpful to identify and make a list of the things that are stressing you out. Then divide the list into two columns, things you can control and things out of your control. You can’t control other people but you can be in charge of yourself. Whenever everything seems out of your control just remember you can always be in charge of your eating.

We were looking at a busier week than usual and we figured this was a good week to use stress buster strategies. You may already know some strategies that work for you and if they work, keep using them. I already have some in place. On work nights I get organized the night before, I practice Tai Chi several times a week, and I take a walk just about every day. But when I get overwhelmed I tend to get scattered trying to get too much done and result is more stress. We used the stress buster handout from our non-surgical weight loss program’s stress management class. The list is by no means comprehensive but it may give you some helpful ideas.

Vicki’s observations:
• In addition to what I normally do, I made a daily effort to include a couple more strategies.
• Challenge #29 had us doing a good deed daily and writing down our gratitude list at the end of the day. I have been pretty good at keeping up with this because it does work for me. This week I made sure I did it daily.
• I listened to music or read to help me relax, especially in the evenings.
• I love March Madness and all those basketball games were a big diversion for me.
• After work one night we planned a dinner out and went to a Historic Reno Preservation Society lecture. That gave me something to look forward to for a couple of days. (If you aren’t familiar with HRPS, I encourage you to check them out. We have learned so much about Reno between the lectures and the walking tours. Membership is very reasonable and it is a great bang for your buck.)
• I took a day of vacation at the end of the week and although it was a busy day, I had a break from the office.

Bill’s observations:
• I work from home and that does not mean I am stress free, but it does allow me to go to the gym most mornings which relieves a lot of tension.
• The best part about the gym is the Executive Workout I do after I ride the bike. This workout consists of the steam bath, sauna and ends with a whirlpool soak. I know it sounds exhausting but it works wonders for stress relief.
• Vicki printed out a stress buster handout and this was very helpful. During the week I would try applying two of the suggestions each day. I love #14 “say no”.
• I tried to focus on positive thoughts and stayed away from negative talk.

Years ago when I was taking a class at UNR, our teacher said something that has stuck with me and I have repeated it often. “I don’t have to like it, I don’t have to understand it, but I do have to accept it.” We can’t always change what we don’t like, but we can change the way we react. Take care of yourself and the rest of it won’t seem as stressful.

Next week we walk the tightrope and it didn’t take long to notice results.

Eat Smarter…
Vicki Bovee, MS, RDN, LD

Want to catch up on what you’ve missed?
The road to success is always under constructionhttps://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-weekly-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #1 Eat everything sitting down. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-weekly-lifestyle-challenge-week-one/
Challenge #2 Eliminate cheese as an ingredient. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-two/
Challenge #3 Walk sideways in your home. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-three/
Challenge #4 Include a fresh herb in your daily meal plan. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-four/
Challenge #5 If there is food in your mouth there should be nothing in your hand. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-weekly-challenge-week-five/
Challenge #6 Eat the MyPlate recommendations for fruits and vegetables. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-6/
Challenge #7  Stand (and walk if possible) while talking on the phone. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-7/
Challenge # 8 Don’t eat out of the package. Put your food on a plate or in a bowl. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-8/
Challenge # 9 Keep a food record. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-nine/
Challenge # 10 Power down while eating. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-10/
Challenge # 11 Eating to reduce inflammation. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-11/
Challenge # 12 Eating to help our environment. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-12/
Challenge # 13 Switch it up. https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=2576
Challenge # 14 The road to success is still under construction. https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=2583
Challenge # 15 Little bites. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-15/
Challenge # 16 Drink your water. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-16/
Challenge # 17 Count your chews. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-16/
Challenge # 18 The 100 Bite Diet. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-18/
Challenge # 19 Start your day right. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-19/
Challenge # 20 Holiday moves. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-health-lifestyle-challenge-week-20/
Challenge # 21 Limit TV time. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/limit-tv-time-wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-21/
Challenge # 22 The Paleo Diet: Eat Like a Caveman. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/eat-like-a-caveman-wbi-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-22/
Challenge # 23 Sweet dreams. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/sweet-dreams-wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-23/
Challenge # 24 What color is your plate? https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/what-color-is-your-plate-wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-24/
Challenge # 25 Six month reflections https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/six-month-reflection-wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-25/
Challenge # 26 Retro-walking. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/retro-walking-challenge-26-of-our-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge # 27 Gimme a high fiber https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=2861
Challenge # 28 The Half Plate Rule https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/the-half-plate-rule-challenge-28-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #29 Feel Good Week https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/feel-good-week-challenge-29-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestye-challenge/
Challenge #30 Try one new healthy food a day https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/try-one-new-healthy-food-a-day-challenge-30-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #31 It’s a stretch https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/its-a-stretch-challenge-31-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #32 TLC for heart health https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=2933
Challenge #33 The sounds of silence https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/the-sounds-of-silence-challenge-33-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenges/
Challenge #34 10,000 steps a day https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/10000-steps-a-day-challenge-34-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #35  35/350 https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/35350-35-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #36 Have a super week https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/have-a-super-week-36-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/

Vicki Bovee is the Registered Dietitian for Western Bariatric Institute and leads the non-surgical weight loss program, “Health and Lifestyle Program.”

Contact Vicki at vbovee@westernsurgical.com

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