JEN’S JOURNEY: STRESS… WELL THAT’S NEW

March 30, 2015

stress-pencil-cropped

So I’ve had a pretty interesting couple of weeks:  I purged my pants collection and only kept those pairs that made me feel fabulous.  I decided not to do a fitness show in lieu of eating well for health. I’ve been busy.

It’s been exhausting, to be honest.  But I can’t believe how much I’ve learned in such a short time.

The biggest lesson of this week was handed to me by Karen, our amazingly knowledgeable Holistic Nutritionist.  I made an appointment with her when I realized how stressed out I’d been, and spent an hour and a half filling her in on the details of my eating, sleeping, elimination and exercise patterns.

I’m astounded by how cathartic just the assessment was; it was like seeing a psychotherapist and divulging my mental health issues (which, I suppose food issues are, anyway).

Karen knows her nutrition.

Karen knows her nutrition.

Our follow-up this past week left me reeling.  As I had suspected, I was teetering on the edge of adrenal fatigue.  For the uninitiated (like I was), adrenal fatigue is when your adrenal glands are releasing too much stress hormones (cortisol and epinephrine) and causing your system to be out of whack.  I could go into a whole slew of jargon here, but the long and short of it is this:

Too much adrenal stress leads to poor digestion, fatigue, and unstable blood sugar, all of which I was experiencing.

Poor digestion leads to me feeling yucky, bloated, and fat, which leads to more stress.

Fatigue and unstable blood sugar leads to lots of coffee drinking and cravings galore, which then leads to me eating crappy, not digesting well, and feeling yucky, bloated, and fat… wait, didn’t I just say that?

Basically I was trapped on the hamster wheel of stress, and my body was like, Until you fix the problem, I’m not going to listen to you.

No wonder I wasn’t leaning out like I wanted to!

Talking to Karen was enlightening and refreshing.  Being in the fitness and health industry for over 15 years has taught me a lot, but it’s interesting to note that none of my knowledge helped any when the focus was me.  I was blind to what I needed.  I needed help, and she was it.

So.  I’ve started a plan to fix all of this hamster-wheel crap.  At Karen’s recommendation, I started a few supplements designed to get my digestion back on track.  I’ve eliminated some foods (and caffeine – ughhhhh) for ten days to stop the over-stimulation of my adrenals.

Side note: Have you ever tried to stop coffee cold turkey?  SO not enjoyable. I had to wean off; it wasn’t fun.  But after only 3 days I feel markedly clearer in the head.  Win!!

In addition to the supplements and food changes, I’ve also been given strict instructions to take an hour of “me time” every day.  I balked at that at first – do you know how busy I am, Karen?  But then I realized that an hour (sometimes taken in 10 minute chunks) is not a whole lot of time.

I can do me time for 15 minutes before the little one wakes up.  I can do it on my lunch hour at the gym.  I can do it driving home listening to whatever kind of music I want, car-dancing my head off.  And I can do it at night before bed with a book or a TV show with Husband Jamie.  It’s doable.

It’s been 3 days, and I’m already optimistic.  I feel clearer, more alert, and already I can feel a positive change in my stomach.  I’m starting to feel satisfied after meals instead of crave-y, and even though I thought I wanted more coffee just now, I was pleasantly satisfied with green tea.

Can I change?  I think so.  It’s happening.  One step at a time, and with some help, but it’s happening.
The journey continues.

Jen Wright is an RMT and the owner of Whole Therapy. She is an avid gym-goer and loves to lift heavy stuff.  She sees clients of all ages and stages, especially those who are engaged in bettering themselves.  She believes that pain-free is possible.  For more about Jen, click here.

Jen