12 Ways to Stay on Top of Stress

You know how you have those weeks (or maybe months or years) that just seem to be loaded with stress? I know it’s all relative — one person’s stress is another’s holiday. People with two children think having just one child is a piece of cake, and so on. I’ve had one of those weeks — I’ve been on the road a lot and dealing with an injury, work hasn’t been going my way, and my seven-year-old has been possessed by an alien. And I’m not talking about a friendly alien that wants to know what this planet is all about — no, I am talking about someone who wants to launch a full-scale assault, but only in public places. To be honest, this stress has even made it more challenging to relate to my husband in a free-and-easy “girlie” way. I’ve had more tones of “wife” in my voice during this past week than I’ve had in my entire relationship.

It takes a million years for one gene to change in our bodies. One million years! I’m bringing this up because, physiologically, we’re the same humans we were 300 years ago. But look at how things have changed in that short time. Some things make life easier now: washers and dryers, transportation, abundance of food, electricity, etc. But some things make life today more insane: cell phones, traffic, increased population, fake food, TV, busy schedules. I heard a statistic from a doctor-friend that we make more decisions in one day than people used to make in a year. No wonder we’re stressed out and reaching for doughnuts or alcohol to cope.

All this craziness and high-speed living isn’t going away. Since we can’t change our genes, we have to create a map to navigate this crazy life. What can you do to try and stay on top of the stress so it doesn’t affect your health, happiness, or waistline?

1. Exercise. Amen for endorphins. Believe me, they’ve helped me many days with my perspective. If you have to work out, then go take a brisk walk and get that blood flowing. It isn’t about working out to lose weight — it’s about being healthy and staying sane.

2. Eat the real stuff. Crappy food (fast, processed, and loaded with sugar) doesn’t help your chemical brain and body handle stress. Living food, real food, helps support your mind and body while it’s trying to deal with the million things coming its way. Every time I reach for the chocolate, I’m looking to feel something from it. Don’t get me wrong — if it’s just a little here and there because I enjoy the taste of it, great. But if I’m using it the minute I feel overwhelmed, then that’s when that food is no longer OK to eat. It doesn’t make the problem go away, and then I just feel bad about eating the food to pacify myself. Grab green food instead. Put things in your mouth that are going to support your immune function and keep you levelheaded.

3. Notice. Try not to let the stress overtake you. Recognize the situations that cause the stress and notice them coming your way. You have a better shot at fending off the full effects of the stress when you can anticipate it.

4. Get it off your chest. Talk to a friend or partner about the stress. Sometimes just getting it off your chest can help unload some of the burden.

5. Keep your sense of humor. If you do have the chance to talk about it, try to see the irony and humor in the wacky bits. I think someone is dead in the water once they lose their sense of humor.

6. Stay grateful. My daughter has large lungs and verbal skills she likes to display. Just when I start to wishfully think about her being quiet, I remind myself to be grateful that she can talk to me at all. In almost all of our problems are boatloads of blessings. “Oh, I don’t feel like going to the gym.” Well, Amen that you have the means and the health to even be able to wrestle with the idea of going to work out. Make a habit of saying thank you. You will notice the sunny spots a lot more often, and not just the gray skies and storms.

7. Ask, “What’s the hurry?” Have some fun. We’re always so busy going somewhere, we miss just enjoying the moment. If an opportunity comes your way to do something fun, take it.

8. Take a deep breath. When you feel the stress getting to you, take a moment. Get away, even if it’s just for an hour, to be with yourself and your thoughts. Some people like to take a walk, meditate, lock themselves away in a beautiful bath, or go to church. Find the peace and the silence.

9. Keep it simple. Simplify where you can. Does Junior really need to be in 78 activities at the age of 5? Do you have to go to every little party or gathering you’re invited to?

10. Turn off the TV. A lot of it is bad news anyway, and it robs us of hours that we could use to be getting other things done. Since everyone complains that they have no time, get some by unplugging from the tube.

11. Sleep. If you’re rested, you have a better shot at handling things. Not to mention, you may not stress out as easily if you have a chance to recover at night.

12. Drink water. I have said it before: Americans consume 21 percent of their calories through liquid consumption. Hydrate with water. Help you entire system function better just by drinking enough water. Oh, and by the way, if you don’t think that weight loss and proper hydration have a relationship, think again. Shift the paradigm on its side — don’t think about exercise and nutritional eating just as something you have to suffer through to get into those jeans. Instead, think of them as armor that will protect you in this crazy world, with all of the bazillion details you deal with every day.

2016 Gabrielle Reece . All Rights Reserved.

Taking Charge of Your Own Life

There is always the question of which came first, the chicken or the egg? I was just talking with someone who asked me, “what were some of the things I learned from interviewing athletes over the years.” It dawned on me: even though each individual had walked their own unique way on the path to physical success (some worked out like scientists, others just put their noses to the grindstone) they did have a few key things in common.

They all seemed to take RESPONSIBILITY for themselves. There is no blame game. These individuals didn’t give themselves any excuse to not get it done. If they were tired, or didn’t feel like it, they still just sucked it up and went to work.

So you’re saying, well Gabby, bully for them — it’s their job. Yes, but my point is did they get where they are because of their attitude or did their attitude create their environment?

I often wonder the same thing about our lives and our bodies. Thematically, you will see some similarities across the board with people who are happy and healthy. So which came first? They’re born happy and create this peachy life that adds momentum to their joy, or they attack everything with a certain positiveness that molds their surroundings?

I think the same goes for our lives and our bodies. If we are placing blame and making excuses, how are we ever going to possess the reality we dream of?

So what am I saying?

Today take inventory of who you really are and how you approach things. Do you own it? Or do you have a million reasons as to why you can’t get it done?

Next, what do you really want from yourself, and how do you dream of your body being? Is it fair or realistic? Part of people being successful is knowing how to create realistic goals that reflect who you are.

In other words, I don’t want to set myself up to dream of being a petite size 4 when my natural frame at its lightest is a size 8. Why? Because I’m 6’3” and that’s who I am. So have things match who you are. If you have bigger hips and butt, well, then your goal is to have the hardest, strongest, hottest hips and butt YOU can.

So we know that we have to take RESPONSIBILITY.

We need to KNOW WHO WE ARE when creating our goals.

STAY POSITIVE. This takes a little stamina and a positive attitude can help you have the endurance to keep going.

All the athletes I spoke with were COMMITTED. Don’t wimp out. If you want to make a change, then commit to it rain or shine, summer or winter.

If your life and body have been on a course you would like to improve, then do it. You are not a permanent victim to your reality as you have known it and helped create it. The good news is we are not chickens or eggs. We are spirited and powerful people who can change the direction of our lives. So stop saying “I want to lose weight,” and “I want to meet someone.” Let’s go!

Once you deal with the fact that it’s the way it is because of YOU then YOU can take back the control and start making changes.

If you are depressed and can’t see your way out of it, then get some help. There are times we all need help. It’s OK, and nothing at all to feel weird about. Things get overwhelming at times, and a little help is all you need to get them in check.

By Gabby Reece

My Holiday Health Guide

All right it’s time to blow off some steam and go to a few Holiday parties. Hey, parties are a good thing if you can just manage them properly and not get beaten up by late nights, crappie food, and too much booze. It’s a drag to roll into the New Year feeling “fat,” and hung over. Not exactly the energized, go get em’ attitude to tackle the fresh start we were looking for. You have to be a party master and come out feeling like you just danced your butt off, laughed, and got to hang with people you don’t normally get to see. Here are some of my personal tips.

1. Eat before you go out.
Not only will you not get as drunk, but this will keep you from eating 12 mini burgers or little fried finger food wonders. Make a point of eating something healthy to give yourself a head start. You’re already going to a party so be diligent before you let loose.

2. Go to parties where you know you’re going to have fun, and like the people.
Don’t be afraid to say “NO” to an invitation. You may end up doing more drinking to escape the people you are trying to avoid. You will do more talking, laughing and dancing in an enjoyable atmosphere. Unless it’s work, try to remember that a party is supposed to be fun. Not another Holiday “obligation.”

3. Don’t stand near the bar or buffet table.
Avoid creating a situation where you are mindlessly eating or drinking. If you’re that bored go hang with someone you enjoy or leave. Don’t force the fun.

4. Drink water in-between each drink.
You will get less drunk, and since you are staying hydrated you may avoid the headache in the morning.

5. Go cut a rug.
Let it fly. Even if you don’t love dancing go get your groove on. It keeps you away from the food, and it’s hard to drink when you’re busting a move, it’s also a change to blow off some steam. The dancer who has the most fun wins, not the dancer with the best moves. Believe me no one cares how anyone else dances.

6. Don’t stay too late.
Nothing good happens late. Get in, have some fun, and know when it’s time to go home. Believe me you won’t be missing anything.

7. Use the party to reconnect with you.
We play so many roles in our lives (Moms, wives, executives, Dads). Forget that. Just go be your hot self without all the labels. It’s important to take advantage of situations where we can remind ourselves of who we are.

8. Ladies dress in a fitted outfit.
That’s right; this will encourage you not to grab every little morsel that passes your way.

9. Drink water before bed.
Even though you have been drinking water all day make sure you get some more in before you hit the hay. I even take my vitamins before I go to sleep. You never know where you can get a little extra help from.

Happy Holidays, Gabby

Staying Young


I was eating with my husband (Laird Hamilton) the other day, who is a very young 49, and asked him the age of one of the men he surfs with.  I’m not talking about leisurely surfing; I’m talking about high level performance surfing with wave faces of 60 feet. He said that his friend is 55 years old and then it hit me.  These boys are going to be tearing it up well into their 60’s and I am going to have to stay young for a really long time!  I’m not talking about looking 20 I’m talking about keeping my mind, perspective and the things I do with my time young.

Domestic living (having kids and keeping a home) can make you want to knit and ‘play bingo’.  I realize the day in and day out of domestic living really does fall on the woman and we can understandably succumb to the demeanor it takes hook, line, and sinker!  How do I worry about dinner and laundry without buying into the entire attitude through time where I find myself baking cookies and wearing elastic waistband pants?  This might make you go up in arms, but no wonder so many men leave for a younger, more fun girl.  I don’t actually think men are as wrapped up in that the new girl being young and cute (even though that doesn’t hurt) vs. it has to do with that the other wives get ‘old’ in attitude.  Men and women are different whether we accept it or not.  Imagine your guy comes home for twenty years to a face that registers I’m tired and possibly a little bored for about 12 of them?  It isn’t fair!  I know this, and if we had a guy that did all the stuff at home we wouldn’t want to have sex with them or they would be our gay friend.  So we take it on and then we get beat up by the monotony.

How can we avoid this?  I’m not sure other than recognizing it, and keep moving!  Women are smart and even smarter if we don’t let our emotions completely run the show.  I will recognize when I’m acting like an old hag and snap out of it.  You can’t believe what a girlish laugh or giggle does for a home.  Let’s not lose our girl to being a woman.  Let’s save her and cultivate her.  This way when our young husbands of 50, 60, and 70 are living it up we will not be shouting to them ‘when are you going to grow up?’, but rather ‘what time can you come out to play?’.  Oh, and to those women who have opted to stay home to take care of everything I take my hat off to you.  I don’t care if juggling a career and house is a lot to orchestrate it’s pale in comparison to what it takes to be at home.  You women who do it with a joyful hand are real heroes.

Keep playing!  Young is a number but it really is an attitude.

Written by Gabby Reece