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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

FOOD FOR THOUGHT


Ok, I may be going out on a limb with this post, but I've actually been thinking about it for a few weeks. It recently occured to me that my level of anxiety has increased a great deal in the last year, not only because of our employment issues, but also due to the political climate. I have always had a stubborn soul and have never been one to accept opinions by just listening to someone else's say-so. I have spent a significant amount of time studying the issues, reading articles, searching for my own political opinion. The church encourages us to search for truth and I feel good about my current political positions. I have no regrets about the great effort I have made to come to my conclusions. However, in the process, I began to see this quest take a toll on my health. I was so busy studying the issues out in my mind, that I was sleeping less, eating more, and feeling more generally anxious. In other words, I was beginning to target stress reactions in my body.


I recently read on about.com that there are three basic components to a successful weight-loss plan: diet, exercise, and stress management. Even last year when I was doing very well with my diet and exercise goals, I continued to neglect my stress management. It has now become well-established in both the medical and alternative communities that stress produces an adrenal substance called cortisol. Cortisol cause you to gain weight, sometimes very rapidly, and hampers your ability to lose. To make matters worse, cortisol somehow triggers your body to gain weight more around the middle, significantly increasing your chances for diabetes, heart disease, and other life-shortening diseases.


People who have no plan for stress management are generally more apt to eat emotionally, turning to food for comfort. In fact, this food abuse, mimics drug abuse in many ways. Stressed out people are also less likely to work out because they are either too busy or too exhausted in the morning or at the end of the day.


Some great ways to manage stress include: meditation (especially scriptures study and prayer), exercise, trying new and rewarding hobbies, yoga, watching a funny movie, reading an uplifting book, or going for a family walk. If you find yourself feeling stressed out, perhaps it's time to turn off the news and climb into a steamy bubble bath.


The trick for me, will be to incorporate stress management into a life FILLED with obligations, errands, opinions, and assignments. But I do feel that learning to cope with my hectic life is possible and just may be the missing link in my search for a more fulfilling and healthier life.


Do you have too much stress in your life? I found a great online quiz that helped me pinpoint some specific problems I have in this area as well as some great solutions. Visit the following link to take this worthwhile quiz: http://stress.about.com/library/weight/bl_weight_test.htm

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting topics.I am looking this type of topics, I need more informations because everyone knows "Health is wealth" is very much known to all and everyone wants good health.That means no one wants to leave this wealth. So, Let us build a food habit discipline, keep pace with work, rest and or exercise to Achieve good health, The ultimate wealth.
Our Healthier Living

jnkeller said...

Thanks so much for this K! I feel like we live almost identical lives! I've been struggling with my stress management too. It's so hard for me to find outlets that don't stress me out too. :) I'll have to try some of these suggestions. You are an inspiration! It's nice to know I'm not alone in my stress struggle. :)

K Walton said...

Thanks for visitng, Anonymous! And thanks for the love! I love comments! Nicole, I can't tell you how much hearing you say that touches me. I definitely agree. . . we're "kindred spirits!"