Weight Loss Tip Tuesday – The Stress Monster

Hey ya’ll! This weekend, the hubs and I were in a mood to just go. Anywhere. Just go. So, we ended up on Alberta Street. We parked somewhere random and walked til we found a place that had a line and tantalizing smells begging us to come and eat their yummilicous food. That magical place happened to be Bollywood Theatre. Random, I know. I’m an Ayurvedic Chef, so middle eastern/ Indian cuisine intrigues me. We were not disappointed.

After, we ventured down the road a little ways to the infamous Salt n’ Straw for ice cream. The line was hecka long! But it only took a half hour or so til we were able to eat our delectable treats. Way back when, we saw Salt n’ Straw on the Travel Channel. They were featuring a smoked bone marrow and bourbon soaked bing cherry ice cream. Ever since then, Jon has always wanted to try it. Turns out it’s seasonal. He had to wait about a year for it. So needless to say, he was excited! I think he liked it. I never eat anything that can be transplanted, it’s my policy, so I didn’t eat any. Instead, I got an amazing carrot watermelon sorbet. It was fabulous.

The line...you can't even see it all!

The line at Salt n’ Straw…you can’t even see it all!

Now that I told you about our treat splurge, let’s talk about the weight loss tip for this Tuesday. In particular, how stress relates with weight loss.

Stress. It’s a normal part of life. Everyone experiences it, and it’s actually a good thing. Our bodies are always under some form of stress. Even when we sleep, our lungs continue to breath, our brain continues to be active. Stress increases our ability to perform. It’s only a negative thing when it causes damage to the body or mind due to us being revved up neurologically and chemically for too long. Here’s a graph that illustrates this:

Graph

Picture in your mind a football coach. He gets to practice and he says,

”Ok you wonderful gentlemen, I would appreciate it if you would get your drills done. If it’s too hard, that’s ok, you can stop and I’ll still appreciate your effort.”

The players would feel no stress. They won’t reach their potential. They would stop when they started to feel uncomfortable, when things started becoming a little too hard.

Now, picture the opposite. The football coach comes to practice and yells,

“Ok you pansies! Get out there and get your drills done! If you don’t do them we’re going to do bleachers til you throw up and cry for your momma!”

Bleachers

The players are going to do what the coach says because he’s holding them accountable and making them get things done. Some players will be able to run the fastest and the furthest. They will thrive. Look at the graph. They will be at their optimum performance.

There may be some players that aren’t up for the challenge. They’ve done too much and they’re not ready to do anymore, they have passed their optimum performance and are on their way down. Once they pass that point, they aren’t motivated, they don’t really care anymore and they feel gross.

Have you ever felt like that? Stressed for so long that it’s just too much? It’s not even worth it anymore?

Stress

It’s important for us to find that sweet spot. The spot where we can achieve anything we put our minds to, but not pushed to the edge. Each person is different. We need to find the place where we thrive and be aware not to go over that.

Let’s talk about cortisol. I’m sure most of you have at least heard of it. It’s the stress hormone. It is released by the adrenal glands in response to fear or stress. This is part of our fight or flight mechanism. Once the alarm to release cortisol has sounded, your body becomes mobilized and ready for action. This was super helpful way back in the day when cavemen had to fight lions or wrestle alligators. Not so helpful for every day situations that we face now. If there isn’t a physical release for fight of flight, cortisol levels build up in the blood which wreaks havoc on your body.

If you have a build up of cortisol (which most of us do) it can lead to weight gain, difficulty learning, poor memory, increased blood pressure and cholesterol, increased risk of heart disease and lower your immune function – have you ever gotten a cold after being high stressed for a while?

Clearly, it’s critical for us to learn how to manage stress, because life isn’t going to stop throwing curve balls our way. There are several things you can try:

  1. Regular physical activity

-Get out and move your body! It’s one of the best ways to relieve stress!

  1. Socialness

-Hang out with people that you enjoy being around

  1. Laughter

-Oh yeah, laugh it out! Studies have shown that life is so much better when you laugh! Haha!

  1. Music

-Listen to your favorite songs that fit the mood you’re in

  1. Adaptogenic herbs

– Need more than just laughter and music to combat your stress? There are several herbs

that are phenomenal such as Ginseng, Lemon Balm, Rhodiola and Ashwagandha to name

a few.

6. Meditation and breathing exercises

-I absolutely LOVE meditation! There are so many different types! Check back on Friday for the

scoop on meditation!

My brother's pic from his mission in Africa. Looks like paradise to me!

My brother’s pic from Africa. So serene!

What are some of your favorite ways to de-stress?

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2 thoughts on “Weight Loss Tip Tuesday – The Stress Monster

  1. Love your blog…you have the very best energy in your blog and every thing i’ve seen in your blog is healthy sound advice for everyone. I call it “living after the manner of happiness.” Anyway, well done and thank you for reading my post.

    Liked by 1 person

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