Monday, November 7, 2016

How were you affected by the book "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers"

Reading the book we zebras don't get ulcers was a very upsetting experience for me.  I work in a very high stress high pressure environment in TV and the more I read the book the deeper trouble I felt I was in life wise.

One huge problem I have when I am stressed and I am stressed most of the time is over-eating.  I am always hungry and I never fear full.  Chapter 5 gave me a lot of insight into this.

"You're a zebra running for your life, don't think about lunch.  That's the reason we lose our appetites when we are stressed. Except for those of us who, when stressed, eat everything in sight, in a mindless mechanical way."

I realize I am what is called "hyperphagic" (eating more).  I always wished I was one of those people who lost their appetite when stressed but it is just not me and I always wondered whu.

"..of there are large amounts of CRH and gulcocorticoids in the bloodstream, you are probably in the middle of a sustained stressor. Also a good time to have appetite suppressed. You can pull this off only if the appetite-suppressing effects of CRH are stronger than the appetite-stimulating effects of glucocorticoids." p.73

"What else separates the stress hyperphagics from the stress hypophagics? Some of it has to do with your attitude toward eating, Lots of people eat not just out of nutritional need, but out of emotional need as well.  These folks tend to be overweight and to be stress-eaters....At evene given point, about two-thirds of us are :restrained" eaters. These people who are actively trying to diet, who would agree with statements like, "In a typical meal, I'm conscious of trying to restrict the amount of food that I consume." ... Restrained eaters are actively restricting their food intake. What the studies consistently show is that during stress, people who are normally restrained eaters are more likely than others to become hyperphagic."

This restrained eater hyperphagic propensity thing sounds like me.

I really got worried about all the talk about chronic stress and disease risk.  My stress is just too long and too frequent.  Also there is an incredible lack of predictability in my work life. I don't ever know when the producers and directors are going to like that sets and when they aren't and I am going to have to make last minute changes. This lack of predictability is the source of much of my anxiety. Also I am a free-lance and have gone from job to job for 22 years. Jobs last from 1 week to 10 months.

I also don't have much control of my life working in TV. My work schedule is changing all the time. I don't know what people want from me most of the time because they have a hard time explaining.  Also where I go every day to work changes.  I don't chose any of these things.  They are all sent to me late at night in the form of a call sheet.

On the positive side, I was encouraged by the idea of outlets for frustration helping the rats to be less likely to get an ulcer. Yoga and Art are my outlets for frustration.  But sometimes I have to work so many hours I let them go and that's when I get in trouble emotionally.

I also have a lot of social support in the form of my husband Tim and my cousin Lucretia. Their love and encouragement have helped me deal with my difficult career,

As to the "perception of things worsening" that's something I am very guilty of. I hear myself and others say all the time "the business (TV and Film) keeps getting worse."

These are the reasons I want to get out of TV and be a yoga therapist. I hope I can pull it off. I need a change for my mental health.

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