Friday, June 27, 2014

Fit-Trish: Stress! It's making our bellies bigger!

Welcome back to another week of Fit-Trish: A series dedicated to fitness on a budget. This week is going to a be a little bit different to past weeks. It is 6:30am and I have decided to re-write my post today because I wanted to discuss something that's been slowing me down in my fitness journey.



I have been writing this series now for 5 weeks. I am starting to feel discouraged in my weight loss journey. Not because I am not following my plan I made for myself, but because I am not seeing the results yet. Now you are probably thinking, "Really? It's only been 5 weeks girl?!" Let me explain.

Stress has a huge chunk of my daily life,I know I have written about this before, but I feel it is a very important part of a lifestyle change . Stress can do some funky stuff to our bodies, and weight gain is one of them. I woke up early this morning to research stress and what it's doing to my body physically. I did this because I have noticed my stomach seems to bulge out more lately than it did before I started being healthy.

I came across an article on Women to Women called "Weight Loss and Adrenal Stress." This article is geared towards women and it really hits home. Stress causes weight gain when the adrenal glands are over worked. The body prepares for disaster and starts storing fat and calories. This ultimately leads us to crave more good, lose energy, and that leads to weight gain. This weight gain normally is localized to the stomach area. The adrenal glands will release cortisol in excess amounts when we are stressed. It will stay elevated in our bloodstreams causing our glucose levels to stay elevated in our abdominal calls. This is what is causing the larger waist.

I thought I was doing a better job at managing my stress. Maybe I was for a little while, but I can definitely tell its elevated again and I feel helpless in making it go away. I wrote about some of my stress related symptoms here. Most of those symptoms seemed to have gotten better, but not noticing my stomach growing rather than shrinking gets very discouraging.

I am going to follow these steps listed in the article to see if I can start to maintain and balance the cortisol levels in my system.
  • When you eat matters: Eat smaller meals in regular intervals. Don't starve your body.
  • Have healthy foods on hand: Better snacks choices help reduce the cortisol overload.
  • Supplement your daily diet: Take a daily multivitamin which helps control cortisol.
  • Disconnect: Shut off all electronic devices by 8pm and relax with something like a good book..
  • Sleep: Get to bed by 10pm. Make a goal to sleep 8 hours so our body's recharge and regulate.
  • Exercise: Try to take a 15 minute walk after meals. This makes our bodies and our minds happy.
  • Have fun: Enjoying your time is very important in maintaining stress. Do it often!
  • Don't forget to breathe:  Deep breathes help to calm your body down. 3 or 4 deep breaths often make us feel better.
  • Just let it go: (No not the frozen song.. ) At the end of the day remember yourself. You cannot EVER make everyone happy. You must make yourself happy first. Help where you can, but if you are not happy, you can't really make someone else happy. Always remember that!
Now that is a great list in which I am going to follow this weekend and see how it goes. My best friend will be in town with my goddaughter who is 4. We will be doing all kinds of fun things so it will be easy to disconnect and have some fun. I am going to fight my work stress and let it go.

Have a great Friday everyone. I hope this helped some of you fighting that pesky stomach bulge. Stress is a very real thing and it really does a number on us. Let me know if you are planning to follow these steps or if you have your own methods of dealing. I'd love to hear them!

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