Friday, April 19, 2013

Raging, cortisol, and just another day in the life...

I'm writing this with two of my ragers yelling their substantial sets of lungs out at me (one is wearing the shirt of the other and both want me to punish/kill the other).  Over the years I've become highly skilled at just getting on with the day as they scream around me. Too bad that isn't a skill that is useful anywhere else in my life!

 It also makes me so highly aware of how hard it is for me to lose weight because ( warning - if you get bored by explanations then skip this part) my cortisol levels rise when  the screaming starts, its an automatic physiological response. Here's how it works -when the body/brain is under chronic stress it produces an abnormally high amount of cortisol - more than it can process. And, the process is disrupted so that instead of having more cortisol in the morning when it's supposed to be there for energy, you have more at night; and, this slows the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. Cortisol does a couple of other things too. It helps the body release insulin which can lead to an appetite increase; and, it increases blood sugar so even when the stressor has stopped, the excess glucose that was produced gets stored as fat and, worse yet, it tends to get stored as abdominal fat. 

I'm sure I gained ten pounds from the screaming this morning!

In case you're wondering, I'm not making excuses for my fatness, I just like to understand how it all goes together so I can plan the best way back to health  - this is my life and I have to adjust my stress management to my benefit- to my survival.

I did fine with eating yesterday - low calories count and nothing unhealthy.It was easy to do, the first day of any health plan is always easy. I didn't get any exercise though. The first time I went to the gym to swim I found they had changed the schedule so the pool was being used for a seniors aqua fit - I was so grateful they wouldn't let me in!!!! Then I went back later and discovered that the new bathing suit I bought online was definitely made on Mars by teeny tiny little Martians because while the size on the label was the right number, I couldn't even squeeze it up past my butt.

I know I can do 20 other things for my daily activity, but I only like swimming and if I start to force myself into activities I hate, well, we all know where that ends.

So, off to my second day of health.

What are you doing for exercise? Do you have an eating plan you want to share? Love to hear from you. I need all the support I can get.