Stress makes you fat. That’s what I’ve been reading about lately. There is a lot of good information out there dealing with the effect that stress (either real or imagined) has on your adrenal gland, which in turn effects your thyroid and your cortisol levels.
My life is stressful. In reality, everyone’s life is stressful. It doesn’t take having 9 kids, a traveling husband, bad neighbors, and a daughter getting married to constitute your life as stressful. Stress is different for everyone, but everyone has it.
For me, I don’t like complaining about the difficulties in my life. I chose to have 9 kids. My husband travels a lot, but he provides well for us and is a great man. The joy of watching my daughter grow into a married woman far out weighs the stress of planning a wedding. My horrible neighbors is the one area that I seem to complain a lot about and they have been the subject of many blog posts. Stress is all around me; however, I usually hold up pretty well in the midst of it... I think.
Yet... I suspect that stress is playing a large part in my state of health. I am a good eater (for the most part). I am pretty active.
So why am I still fat?
The answer to that is honestly way more complex than I can articulate, especially since I am still figuring it out myself. So my new focus is on the effects of stress on my health and weight.
I’ve had a busy and exhausting week. My sister from Florida was in town, which I love and look forward to each year, but I was sick with a cold that hit the same day she arrived. I’ve had the threat of lice looming since my kids got home from camp. Even though we have seemed to avoid that horrible mess, the threat alone is enough to send me to the crazy ward, especially as I prepare for weeks of family and friends staying at our house, a huge rehearsal dinner that I am hosting, and all of the other wedding preps.
Needless to say... I needed to reset my nerves and center my mind by taking a walk on my favorite trail.
Which I did today! Boy, it was great. The weather was perfect, almost autumn like. The sound of the creek radiated peace into my being and I had a good half hour to talk out loud about all of the things weighing on my mind. I had been on trails twice with my sister in the previous week, but this alone time, though the effort was slight and short in duration, was the best activity I could do for my health.
De-stressing our lives can be rather.... stressful. When we think about all the aspects of our existence that causes stress, we can freak out more. It’s kind of like looking down at the ground while you are walking across a tight rope high in the sky. Once you lose focus, it’s easier to fall.
I have a lot of work to do. I need to fine tune my diet (bad diets stress our body), remain active doing exercises that I enjoy (rather than stressing my body by over working it doing things that I hate), get to bed earlier, turn off electronics even earlier, stop watching shows that cause my adrenaline to spike (dang... Walking Dead is coming back on soon), relax more, and pray even more. I have a feeling this will be a long, long journey.
I am certain there is much more for me to say on the topic of stress. I will continue to read and learn and then I will relay it to you. But for now... I am so glad I have my trail. I’m thankful for those wooden benches where I am counseled by the chirping birds and trickling stream. That long dirt path does more for me at de-stressing my body than anything else I could do.
*July 30, 2014