On a scale of 1 to ‘for the love of all that is holy, not again’
How stressful is your life?
The other day a video found its way from my phone to the mythical place where dreams are born and also go to die; Instagram.
A classic satire piece about people who claim stress is the cause of al their problems.
Specifically stubborn fat, classically belly fat.
While this may indeed be true in some cases, plus there is some info worth delving in to regarding excessively elevated levels of cortisol, insulin resistance and a whole host of other things such as adrenal fatigue, that amount of excessive and sustained stress isn’t not that common.
Ah, I can hear it all ready – “Well you don’t know me, blah blah blah.”
Okay, I get it, you’re special and your life is far harder than everyone else’s. Now hush and go back to your doughnut.
We tend to take our bodies for granted you know.
Stress, while a tragic an horrible thing to be under, it’s not quite a simple as people think.
I’m sure you’ve heard the terms eustress & distress.
If you haven’t then this is a nice play to start and you can delve further from here:
Here is what they mean in short:
Eustress – positive stress
Distress – negative stress
When people come under fire from life they see it immediately as the negative form, which it might be however it might not, a topic for another day.
So you’re under a lot of stress, thus gaining fat is the result.
Because the stress is making you overeat, which it kinda is and at the same time you’re making the choice to over eat due to how it makes you feel (habit = trigger, response, reward etc).
To combat this you go to the gym and absolutely destroy yourself with all the HIIT (which isn’t really HIIT), multiple classes and 2+ hour sessions as the norm 11 days per week.
Yet you still continue to gain fat.
Stress clearly is the culprit, or is it?
Well yes and no, you see the truth is this; the picture is far bigger than you’re perhaps willing to see and stress is perhaps only one, or maybe three pieces out of a 100 piece puzzle.
Yet given how it’s easy to blame and vilify we will do that instead of seeking the root cause/other factors.
Fun fact; you need stress to survive 🤗
One of the main reasons we are where we are is because of our ability to adapt and overcome multiple stressors.
Pretty neat right?
Right, I’m rambling so I better get to the point.
Stop blaming everything on stress because it’s not the only factor.
Here is a simple 5 step guide to help you become better:
1 – Keep a diary that is 100% honest & true (food, feelings the lot)
2 – Take a good long look at the diary and see what is going on
3 – Find gaps in your life, such as poor sleep, poor food quality etc
4 – Address the gaps with actions, behaviour change and new habit formation (plus old habit degradation)
5 – Repeat steps 1-4 from this day onwards
Above all else you just be willing to help yourself.
Stress is a necessary part of life, you can’t get around that, however how you CHOOSE to deal with it makes all the difference.
React emotionally or respond intelligently, choose wisely.