So, yesterday was National Cinnamon Crescent Day. I’m serious, people. Wow.
*blank stare, multiple blinks*
A day to celebrate a cinnamon crescent.
Okayokayokay… so this brings up a kind of serious point that goes hand in hand with Stress Awareness Month: stressing about food. Sometimes clients come to me overwhelmed and frazzled–stressed to the max about some aspect of their health. Usually about food. To be fair, easily 1/3 of my client base is dealing with some kind of restrictive diet and trying to find their footing with how to eat. It can be stressful.
But when I run my group programs, I often find people stressing about food in a way that’s just not needed. Especially in a weight loss program where people associate what they eat as the major factor of success in weight loss. In fact, I have a few friends like this. It’s one thing to analyze your food and know what you’re eating, but it’s quite another to be completely stressed out about it.
What people don’t realize is that stress (from any source) creates a storm of chemicals and hormones in our body that isn’t good for anything (especially weight loss). Your body’s adrenal glands are stimulated to create hormones that were designed to help you in times of stress. These include adrenaline and cortisol.
Adrenaline will cause your heart rate to quicken and increases your blood pressure. Cortisol will increase sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream and sends “shut down” messages to body functions that aren’t needed in a “fight or flight” situation. This would include digestion, reproductive functions and growth functions; but also alters immune response.
Long-term exposure to stress can disrupt all of your body systems. In fact, elevated cortisol levels have been found to be a trigger for mental illness, but also tied to diabetes, abdominal obesity, bone loss and a broad range of other issues. And adrenal fatigue from constant stress has been known as the source for an additional list of complaints including exhaustion, body aches and loss of hair.
There are going to be PUH-LEN-TY of things that cause this storm of hormones in your body. Don’t add to it by stressing yourself out about your food. I often tell my clients that the goal is to eat well (whatever that means for your individual body) such that National Cinnamon Crescent Day is a drop in the bucket to your overall eating regimen. It’s not NEVER eating crap. It’s ensuring that eating crap is by far the exception–not the rule.
In the meantime, if you need help determining what’s right for your body–I’m here to help. And I’m particularly good at ferreting out the things that are disrupting YOUR individual body’s symphony. Let’s talk.
References: The Mayo Clinic Biological Psychiatry: A Journal of Psychiatric Neuroscience and Therapeutics Psychology Today