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June 7, 2007

Oh...I'm SOOOOOO Stressed!!

Some of my loyal readers have been asking, "When are you going to return to doing your blog?"

I know life without TokenFatGuy is tough but I had to deal with a few things before I could return my life back to normal. Not all my medical issues have cleared up yet so my working out has been somewhat limited until all that is resolved. I can still do most of my lifting but all my cardio has been out of bounds.

And on top of that I have been dealing with one of the worst diet killers...stress.

As if my medical issues weren't stress enough, my Mom finally made good on her promise to come to North Carolina to visit and see the house for the first time. Don't get me wrong, I love my Mom...and my step father...and my aunt Linda...but having all three of them for a visit meant getting the house ready. While she's cooled down about it as she's gotten older, when I was growing up my Mom was the worst 'neat-freak' I ever knew. I rarely had friends over...I was terrified that one of them might spill a Coke or something and my Mom would kill them. She wasn't a tyrant...she just REALLY REALLY liked her house clean. I remember I couldn't even leave a dirty glass in the sink.

So yeah, getting my house ready was pretty stressful...and while I'm on the subject of stress. That's this week's topic!

So what happens to TokenFatGuy when he stresses out and spends weeks cleaning his house?

Well, a hormone is secreted in his body called Cortisol...nicknamed the Stress Hormone. This is a normal part of all sort of body functions like regulating blood pressure, glucose metabolism, and it is part of the immune function.

But the part that everyone thinks about is how Cortisol gets secreted in high levels during the body's 'fight or flight' response. And even then it is still a good thing. It helps by assisting in making the following happen...

Quick bursts of energy
Improved memory functions
Enhances immunity
Reduces sensitivity to pain

Sounds great! So what's the problem? Well, the problem comes from the way we as Americans live our lives. We go from one stressful event right to another...and then another. And we never let our body initiate a relaxation response.

TokenFatGuy is the perfect example. He stressed over all the time spent in doctors offices...then takes his house apart for his mother...all the while spending at least 6 hours a day for two months studying to pass his recertification tests. He just keeps going.

So what does this sort of long term stress lead to?

Chronic stress can lead to the following...

Impaired cognitive performance
Blood sugar imbalances
Decreased bone density
Decrease in muscle tissue
Higher blood pressure
Lowered immunity

And of course...

Increased abdominal fat...and the evil that brings.

So like most things, stress in moderation is fine. We just need to learn to stop every now and then.

Now you might be thinking, "Hey TokenFatGuy! What about that 'relaxation response' thingie you'd mentioned earlier? How do we make that happen?"

Nothing could be simpler!

You just need to figure out how to relax. For some people it is just listening to music, others will find yoga relaxing. Exercise is considered VERY relaxing. So is keeping a journal (or in my case a blog). Whatever you find that allows you to calm down...even if it is just for a little while. But make it something you enjoy...otherwise it just becomes another task that you have to force yourself to do. This should be something you like...the hard part is finding the time to do it. But remember it is for your health...so it's important.

Progress Report

The family visit went really well. I'm enjoying having my house back AND I have lots of nice memories of their visit. Apparently I pass inspection.

My recertification tests are complete.
I have a doctor's appointment on Friday. Hopefully, I'll be all better soon.

Unfortunately, the increased stress has trashed my weight loss efforts. I've gained a few pounds back. But I've decided not to stress about it. It's not like I gained it ALL back. Just a few pounds and I can lose them again. I know how to do it now.

And more importantly, now that I've put some of my biggest time consumers to rest, I can pick up working on my blog.

See you all next week....

TokenFatGuy...(oh and it's my birthday)



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday you old fat guy.

June 7, 2007 at 7:56 AM  

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