Monday, August 23, 2010

What I Feared; Stress and Weight

I had been doing very well with maintaining weight during my recovery, until last week. As tons of weight loss pill ads will tell you, stress will make you keep fat. Chronic stress can elevate cortisol. Cortisol can slow your metabolism, alter your blood sugar levels, causing mood swings, fatigue,and cause our bodies to want to conserve fat.

Stress was once great for the flight or fight response humans needed to survive in the world. Now the stress is a constant in a lot of people lives, as it is in mine.

For those who don't know, my husband is going to be deployed to the middle east, in a dangerous place, in about two weeks for a year. My oldest daughter moved out for college, to the other side of the country. My oldest step daughter just moved in. My youngest son, who has been home schooled for the last four years, decided he wants to go to Jr. high and the husband told him he could. Finally, my youngest daughter has asked if she is old enough for a boyfriend yet. UGH!

All of this seems to be weighing very heavy on me this week and it shows on the scale. I am up to almost 180 again. Some of it is stuffing my feelings. If you are busy cooking and eating, you aren't worried about life. Same thing can be said about the dojo.

You don't think about the boy down the street smiling at your 13 year old, when you are getting hit by a man with a massive fist. Concentrating on learning a new kick can temporarily remove the thoughts of the desert heat and sand.  When you do something 'wrong' and fall on your face, and laugh with your friends about it, everyday problems dissolve.

There is something about a fight class that is so much better than eating to help my anxiety. When I am done sparring, I can sometimes ache, and sometimes have pain, but the worries I came into the dojo with, do not seem as bad when I leave. Worries aren't as heavy. Is it the endorphins drugging my mind like a Valium? I hope so. I need to get back to it, I need my fix.


  1. Sorry to hear about your worries, Patty. I hope things turn out okay for you.

  2. Thanks Karen. I have no doubt that it will all be fine. Just venting I guess. We all have worries, most have worse than mine. Just thought writing about mine would let others know they aren't alone.

  3. Hey Patty - best of luck to your husband. If you think it is of any help, please let him know that I'll be praying for his safe return and that I'm grateful for his service to our country.

    As for all your worries, you've already shown that you are a strong person. I know you can handle it - it does sound like a lot to deal with, but it will pass and will all will work out in the end. You've got a friend in Georgia who'll be thinking about you, if that helps any at all :-) Osu!

  4. Wow. Talk about alot on your plate.

    You've hit on a very important aspect of strenuous excercise. It IS the endorphins and elevated hormone levels that bring you the feelings of contentment and energy. Working out not only provides an outlet for stress, but it makes you better able to cope with stress as well. Good luck, and keep at it.

  5. Thanks Sandman, all prayers help. I think as soon as school starts and when the hubby departs, then things will settle down.

  6. Thanks Paul. I think endorphins and hormones are huge part if it. When the exercise is done, I can think clearer. I can deal with the problems one at time instead of a flood of thoughts. Who would have thought that karate would be better than anti-depressants?