Cortisol & Stress: The Comeback Girl’s Downfall of the Past

by The Comeback Girl on August 11, 2011

Many of you may have wondered, where the he!ll is the Comeback Girl. She leaves and she comes back and she leaves again. Well I have more on my plate than ever before. My “little” (pregnant) cousin, who is 19,  has moved in with me, my social life is a little ….well social, work is reDONKulous and there was a part of me that wondered if I could REALLY keep this weight off and move towards my goal of a 6/8. Well I’m in an 8. So the 6’s are around the corner.

Many months ago, I’d lose a little bit and the slightest bit of stress would cause me to gain the weight all over again. It was such a slippery slope. When I tell people that cortisol (the stress hormone) is real, I’m not playing, as I type this I can feel a little weight creap SERIOUSLY. But the difference now is I can arrest it quickly. I know how my body is supposed to feel. And this ain’t it. So I do some slow breathing, some meditation, drink more water and get my a!ss back in the gym.

The beauty I think about releasing weight (even during stressful times) is that one stressor, even a series of stressors and a slice of cake won’t make you fat overnight. It’s the habitual old ways of thinking, believing and eating that gets the weight on and makes it stick.

The gym really is addictive. Being active in a program you enjoy, be it zumba, running, spinning, swimming or just taking a long walk releases the feel good hormone, seritonin. And it puts the stress in perspective. I truly believe movement puts you in connection also with your higher guides, be it God, Mother Earth, Source, whatever you’d like to call him or her.  And so if you looking for an answer: like why the he!ll did I get stuck with a 19 year old pregnant relative who acts like she’s 10, and has no job…you likely will get the answer when you really get moving. (I’ll let you know what I come up with after my workout tonight).

But stress can be a slippery slope. Not only does your body metabolize fat differently in a stressed enviornment, one also has a tendancy to eat badly with food cravings like sugar, processed flour, etc. All the foods that give an INTIAL feeling of comfort and saity, but then drops you down lower from where you started.

I truly believe that it’s possible to endulge when you’re mind is right. You don’t gain the same weight (usually none at all) when you’re enjoying a dessert because it’s your kid’s birthday or you’re on a hot date with your man and just want some chocolate ice cream. Why? I believe it’s because you’re body isn’t fighting the stress response. The body is wired to protect, even during dehydration or any other stress factor. It holds on to weight, water, whatever it needs to, in order to overcome the “emergency” that the body believes its in.

But being stressed is a time to eat clean, get your mind right and return to some sense of calm.