I talked a slight bit last week (or maybe it was two weeks ago) how my body was stressed. During my biofeedback session it showed a heck of a lot of cortisol floating around and she recommended I do some “me” time at the end of the day to lower the levels. Considering how much I exercise right now – that does not surprise me. I am causing a LOT of stress on my body. Since there is no way I am going to stop exercising, I’ve got to focus on removing all other areas of stress from my body.
Here is a little bit about Cortisol I grabbed from this website (there is a ton of information out there):
Normally, it’s present in the body at higher levels in the morning, and at its lowest at night. Although stress isn’t the only reason that cortisol is secreted into the bloodstream, it has been termed “the stress hormone” because it’s also secreted in higher levels during the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response to stress, and is responsible for several stress-related changes in the body. Small increases of cortisol have some positive effects:
· A quick burst of energy for survival reasons
· Heightened memory functions
· A burst of increased immunity
· Lower sensitivity to pain
· Helps maintain homeostasis in the body
While cortisol is an important and helpful part of the body’s response to stress, it’s important that the body’s relaxation response to be activated so the body’s functions can return to normal following a stressful event. Unfortunately, in our current high-stress culture, the body’s stress response is activated so often that the body doesn’t always have a chance to return to normal, resulting in a state of chronic stress.
Higher and more prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream (like those associated with chronic stress) have been shown to have negative effects, such as:
· Impaired cognitive performance
· Suppressed thyroid function
· Blood sugar imbalances such as hyperglycemia
· Decreased bone density
· Decrease in muscle tissue
· Higher blood pressure
· Lowered immunity and inflammatory responses in the body, slowed wound healing, and other health consequences
· Increased abdominal fat, which is associated with a greater amount of health problems than fat deposited in other areas of the body. Some of the health problems associated with increased stomach fat are heart attacks, strokes, the development of metabolic syndrome, higher levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and lower levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL), which can lead to other health problems!
Another way to reduce stress (other than the relaxation part) is to feed your body food it knows how to deal with and give it less work to process the food.
I try to follow a Clean Eating guideline but it isn’t always easy. Then I had looked into Glycemic Index and how it affects your body and when you read up on both, they are about the same. For awhile there (after Easter), I was Craving Sugar and the above GI post resulted from that. So since then I have been trying really hard to not eat anything (much) with sugar in it, cut back on my beer, and basically trying to eat less processed food.
Now it’s time to take out the “try” and do the “do”. This week alone, I’ve lost 3lbs of “crap”. I’ve not eaten any of my protein bars that I was using to get something into me quick before heading off to a meeting or training. I’ve been eating what I want (and it’s been healthy choices), and when I wanted to (averages about every 3 hrs), without worrying about calories but more about what was in the food that I was putting into my mouth. And you know what, I’m feeling much better. I got up this morning at 5 (no exercising this morning), and I thought I would be dead beat after yesterday’s workout and I am feeling quite energized. This is good!
The other thing I am going to “try” now for a couple of weeks (I’ll get to the “DO” once I’ve figured out exactly how much I do eat) is to not put any diary or products from, in my body. I do think I have an allergy of sorts and unless I completely eliminate it, I am not going to know. I have what I’ve always thought I had a chronic sinus issue but quite a few times my BioFeedback lady has mentioned I need to cut out dairy. My comment back was “I don’t do cheese or milk”, but that’s not the only thing dairy is in. I have Whey protein sometimes twice a day. So I’m switching to Rice and Hemp for awhile to see how it goes.
?? Are you supposed to drain off the oil on the top of a bottle of Natural Peanut butter? I like the non sugared flavor but I don’t want to mix in the oil. It would make it creamier but it just doesn’t seem right to mix it all back in there J
Hope you all have a FANTASTIC day!
Lots of activity yesterday again:
C25KW4D1 in the Am, 20 minute lunch walk, 20 minutes on Arc Trainer, 60 minutes with personal trainer. In one circuit she had me doing one legged squats on an upside down bosu with my other leg on a bench. I SO STRUGGLE with those ones and it raises my HR. I was a sweatin’ when she was done with me.
Pedometer steps: 14522
Won’t be much today – going for deep tissue with the massage terrorist at lunch – like I’ll feel like working afterwards, then I’m off for Hot Yoga at 4:00. Crossing my fingers that today is a much better day. I’m planning on eating and drinking lots….