Last week I started the Fit4Mom L.E.A.N. Mommy program. It is an 8-week nutrition and weight loss course. L.E.A.N. stands for Learning Eating Awareness and Nutrition. It isn’t a diet but a course designed to specifically work with the emotional/mental aspect of weight loss and nutrition.
Our first week had a great discussion on stress and what stress does to our body. When you experience stress your body dumps hormones (mainly adrenaline and cortisol) into your bloodstream. Ideally you would be prepared to fight or take flight. In our modern world, these two options are typically not valid. Instead we take a fake it until we make it attitude and try to stamp down our feelings. We can do nothing about the released hormones. The best situation would be to use exercise as a way for your body to work through its feelings so to speak. Again not always possible in our world. For instance, last week Baby Bug was sick again with a very quick high fever. She kept hovering between 101 and spiking quickly up to 105.4. Since she has had a seizure before from a fast rising fever, I am a complete wreck when she gets this sick. I have to constantly hold her and check her temperature. It is rounds of bath treatments, breathing treatments, medicine, occasional sleep and lots of cuddling. I do not have the option to go for a run or any other exercise while caring for her.
What happens to the body when we are constantly stressed and have no outlet for the hormones? We can develop long-term chronic conditions including but not limited to:
- High blood pressure
- frequent illness as a result of lowered immune system
- digestive disorders
- weight gain, especially in the stomach area
- tension in the head and neck, and back aches
Hmmmm…I suffer from all but the first two. I think I can sufficiently deduce I suffer from long-term issues from my stress. I do feel constantly stressed. I have for so long I don’t remember what it feels like to not be stressed. The L.E.A.N. Mommy Program appears to really focus on helping to deal with stress. The first technique we are taught is how to meditate. Mediation is a technique I could use when I can’t exercise while stressed. I’ve tried doing mantras, saying prayers and since I’m Catholic I have done the Rosary all to some form of success. I’m looking forward to learning more about how to handle my stress. Tonight is our second weigh-in and I’m ready to find out if I’ve had some loss yet.
Off to drink my enormous amount of daily water.
Do you think you have issues dealing with stress? Have you come up with some great techniques for dealing with it especially in situations when you can’t use exercise?