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.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jac August 15, 2011 at 5:02 pm

CBG, this post spoke everything I feel at the moment. I’ve lost 40 lbs so far but in dealing with financial stress, looking for a job and my best friend’s wedding I don’t even have the motivation to take myself to the gym. And what’s odd is, I keep saying things like “when the wedding is over” or “as soon as I get these bills paid” …SIGH… I have to just break through it. Thanks for the motivation!

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shay-d-lady August 16, 2011 at 10:56 am

this is so true.
ive been dealing with some pretty stressful events in my personal life and boy i tell you my cravings did seem to become worse and I gained a few pounds.
i also found it harder to motivate myself to get up and get active.

i have to realize these are old habits and that i have to take care of me and I have to learn to control the things i can especially as it pertains to my health. its struggle but im starting to see that each day is a day to begin again. one of my biggest issue is letting a minor set back derail all of my efforts.. Im getting better about that

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L.P. August 17, 2011 at 9:05 am

You look gawgeous!

I totally agree… This year has seen a lot of major, major stress for me… And of course all the gains I had made last year were slowly erased and the weight crept back up… or more like rushed back on. I couldn’t even fit in clothes I had bought 3 months prior. Major breakdown. I decided to focus on the WHY and it has helped tremendously. Giving up control was the answer for me. My need to control every single thing –> Stress. I let it go and breathed and slept better. :)

Congratulations on the single digits! ;)

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Jade August 29, 2011 at 12:34 pm

You look great CBG, but more importantly you sound like you feel great, and that’s…GREAT! I’m curious to know how you ended up with your cousin as well, but I’m sure it’ nothing you can’t handle. Just another obstacle for you to conquer and probably help and guide in the right direction. Hope everything works out for you hon…you sound like you’re doing a pretty good job of juggling everything though. Keep it up!

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