How did this happen + effects of stress on our bodies + Please answer a question for me

I have a confession. I just poured myself a bowl of chocolate chips. I’ll prove it. See…..

And I seriously just ate a salad for dinner. ugh!

Let’s talk stress for a few minutes….

In anticipation of warmer days ahead, I journeyed up to my attic to pull down my bin of summer clothes. I just love going through the clothes that have been stuffed away for 6+ months. It can be like meeting an old friend and new clothes shopping at the same time. You get it, I love warm weather and the clothes that go with it. Shorts, tank tops, graphic tee’s and my favorite flowy pants. They have elephants all over them and they are super comfy. I just couldn’t wait to slip them on. (Here they are from a picture I took 2 years ago)

What happen next really surprised me…. They didn’t fit me. To my shock and awe they had somehow shrunk in the attic over the winter. They were not the same loose and comfy pants I remembered. How did this happen?

It couldn’t possibly be that I had eaten too much. Too many nights on the couch eating a snack before bed. Emotionally eating after a hard day. Or not being mindful of my stomach saying “Um, Karen we are full over here. Let’s stop eating now” I mean I make healthy”ish” food choices. For pete’s sake! I was training for a half marathon all winter, running all the miles. How did this happen?

Could it be that my body is stressed?

On top of taking care of kids, the house, making time to workout and all the other things that go along with raising a family. I am watching my husband bravely go through treatments for a brain tumor. Also taking an online class for Nutrition and Healthy living. And if that wasn’t enough I just took on another project that is absolutely amazing but slightly time consuming. WOW!!

Life can be full of amazing things. It can also be full of pretty scary things. What I know is that we do not have to “feel” stress for it to affect our bodies.

Here is my quick description of what happens when our bodies are stressed and how it affects our weight.

Stress triggers our sympathetic nervous system. Which is our fight or flight mode. This is the same response when we are scared or in danger. When the Sympathetic Nervous System is activated it then in turn activates a hormone sensitive lipase. This hormone then works to break down the triglycerides in the fatty acids and dumps them into our blood stream And because we are stressed and in a Sympathetic mode, that fat goes right to our adipose tissue (fat cells).

Since avoiding stress in life is not an easy thing. What can we do to avoid the weight gain that potentially comes with it and the negative effects it has on our bodies.

2 Things

1. Change your source of fats. Choose Unsaturated fats from plants and avoid saturated fats that come from animal fat, dairy and eggs.

Okay. Maybe that isn’t so simple but I promise it is doable. Be mindful of when you are full. Choose low sugar fruits. Lower fat options. Healthy carbs from those same fruits and veggies. Avoid high fat meats. Starches. (yup that means grains) and processed foods and sugar.

2. Lower your stress.

I could give you the cliche but very powerful scripture 1Peter 5:7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.

But what do you do when you pray and give your cares to God but still “feel” stressed? I have 3 things that you can start right now that I pray will help you in a huge way.

  1. Worship. When we take time to worship we are focusing our attention on God and off of our problems or responsibilities. Our bodies also go into the parasympathetic nervous system mode and relaxes. Psalm 89: 15 Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of your presence, Lord. And who doesn’t need more of the presence of God in their day? So let’s all turn on that worship and just let it go!
  2. Plan. I am a checklist junkie. I actually will make a list in my planner, write it on my calendar on the fridge and make another list if I am feeling really ocd about my day and getting it all done. While I get a weird high off of making lists, maybe you don’t. I want to encourage you to just give it a try. OR find what motivates you to stay organized and a bit more on top of your to-do list.
  1. Run. Don’t worry I am not telling you to go for an actual run. Well… maybe. ha! Exercise also activates our Sympathetic Nervous System sending the fatty acids into the bloodstream. But unlike the stress response, those fatty acids instead of going to our fat cells causing weight gain. They are going into the muscles and being used for energy to fuel our workout. Now I am not suggesting you take up running. Though I do love it and secretly think everyone should too. 😉 I am recommending you move your body in some way. I do suggest finding some form of exercise you will fall in love with. Or at least tolerate. Walking briskly, swimming, hiking. There are so many to choose from.
  2. BONUS. Slow down. Be more intentional about your movements, your thoughts and your breathing. Try it. It really works. Walk slower across the room and see what a difference it makes on how your body feels. Talk a bit slower and really think about the thoughts running through your head. Think Sloth like here!

Okay! Please answer a question for me? Who else has a problem with a robot either, 1. stalking customers. or b. cleaning the floor. Are you really relying on a robot to clean the right way? Is this even sanitary? Who’s idea was this? I was so shocked when I saw this thing rolling through the store. Also! I seemed to be the only one who was surprised….. Please send help!

One last thing…. Remember I am not a professional. All the information here is based on things I have learned while becoming somewhat certified. While adding in my own findings and what has worked for me.

Karensign

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  1. So, i agree with ABSOLUTEly everything you say here! Including the running part! There is no exercise quite like it! In addition, we can gain weight when we Don’t get adequate sleep. We get increased levels oF ghrelin which is the hunger hormone and decreased levels of the fullness hormone called leptin. In other words, Sleep deprivation reduces leptin and increases ghrelin. A weight gain catastrophe waiting to happen!! Ive had experience!! Thanks for these tips, Karen! God is using you in ways you dont even realize! Glory to God!!

    1. Yes! Thank you for the reminder of getting enough sleep. When I don’t get enough sleep I crave ALL THE CARBS because my body is looking for energy. Then I can find myself eating more or things I don’t normally reach for!