Jesus Take the Wheel

I don’t even know how or where to begin this post because its just so damn complicated.  Crazy that I don’t have a clever opener here, right?  Thats how confused I am.  Let me give you a visual- I am like a puppy running in a circle around it’s self chasing its own tail.  Its funny because that is also exactly how I felt right after we got engaged.  I was so excited but I didn’t know where to start. This time I also don’t know where to start but I am not necessarily excited.  

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been eluding to some test I had done and some results I was trying to make sense of.  I consider myself a pretty smart person.  I’ve overcome some of my own personal odds to do some pretty remarkable things (at least to myself).  Yet here I am just not getting it.  I was initially hoping the doctor would give me the easy answer like, “Yep its your thyroid” while she throws a bunch of magical pills at me. Then the following week I’d be steadily starting to shed unwanted weight.  Nope, not that easy. 

Yes, my thyroid test did come back a little erotic when looked at over the last 3 years, but that is something that we are going to continue to monitor over the next couple months.  So for our sakes, lets just put a pin in it for now.  The biggie of the blood and “dry urine test”(there’s a visual) were my cortisone and my cortisol levels.  They were off the charts.  No, I am not using that as a turn of phrase, but 0 literally there was a chart and I was not on it for 1 -2 of my 4 check ins throughout one day.  So in a nut shell, my body is in a constant state of “fight or flight” holding on to every calorie it can because it thinks I am about to go to battle with no food to consume.  Silly body.   

This may seem like a really dumb statement, but I never really equated that how I felt emotionally could actually be related to how my body felt and reacted inside, resulting in producing some sort of chemical reaction and throwing my body’s normal course of business into Black Friday mode.  The 2 didn’t connect in my head.  I had separated emotional reactions and body reactions.  Let me explain this a little further.  If I was sad it was because of an emotion.  If my stomach hurt after eating it was because I overate.  I didn’t realize that because of the emotional sadness I could put stress on my body and when I ate a certain food my body may not be equipped to handle it because my body was too busy taking care of the emotional stress part.  Again, you may be saying “DUH LAURA!” but this didn’t occur to me until these last couple weeks.  Its like a light bulb went off. I am still not sure what I need to do with the light at the moment, but I am trying to figure that out.  

I saw a very good example just this week about how a body can react under stress.  Here is a real life situation comin’ at you… Part of my daily diet process is that I weigh myself every morning when I first wake up.  I’v been doing since we met.  When I started, I was doing this because it gives you a good read on how the foods you ate yesterday reacted with your body.  So Thursday AM I wake up and weigh myself.  I clock in at 157.6LBs.  I think “This is great news! I am on track for my weekly weigh in tomorrow!” Celebrations and confetti get ready!  Thursday goes like this: Weekly status meeting at work that I run.  They can be stressful especially when you work with your family. At the conclusion of the weekly status meeting, I then  quickly tried to get myself together for next week knowing that I won’t be in the office on Friday since we are leaving town for the weekend.  I tie up some loose ends and write some nasty emails that really get my blood boiling, but its all apart of the job, right?  After work I workout.  Then I ran around the City trying to get some last minute errands done to get the house ready for the Dogsitter.  Get home, take care of the dogs, make dinner, eat dinner, take shower, clean up house, sit down and read a little, then go to bed.  My food for yesterday was my usual protein shake in the AM, homemade chili for lunch (which I have been eating all week) and  a fish “taco salad” for dinner.  Yes, I ate dinner a little bit later than I like to , but I needed some fuel after my workout.  I also drank a hell of a lot of water yesterday, around 120oz.  Wake up Friday AM bright and early to start my day with a good weigh in and measurements.  Step on the scale excited to see some movement.  I am sure you all know where I am going with this…  158.2LBs.   Yep, I didn’t overeat and when I did eat I ate pretty clean, drank water, worked out, and still gained .6LBs. 

As I reflect on my day what was so different?  Well, its the meetings, the rushing to get things wrapped up for the week and ready for next week, the constant list of things that need to be done before we leave and never once did I sit down and take a deep breath.  The only relaxing part of my Thursday was that at 10PM I sat down to read a little more of my book.  10PM! 

I used to joke that I lost more weight when I was eating Taco Bell every weekend and going out drinking with my friends.  But maybe it wasn’t what I was putting into my body, but more how my body felt.  That was during a time when I had a lot less stresses in my life.  Also, when I was studying for the California State Bar I really thought it would be a good 12 week period of weight loss since I was working out about 5-6 days a week and not drinking.  Nope.  I can’t remember how much weight I gained, but I remember being very disappointed at the end of the 12 week period.  At the time I blamed emotional eating, but I guess now we know the culprit.   

I am not going into too much detail behind the science of how stress and weight loss interact because I still have a lot of information to manage through and a lot of conversations to be had. I more wanted to introduce the concept to you guys as I think this may become a major theme in upcoming posts. 

My doctor did caution me that that I should not make any major lifestyle changes when it comes to my diet and exercise at this time.  Especially seeing as the holidays are coming up and any drastic change may just cause more stress.  I did do some “extra credit” by grabbing a book to help explain the relationship between stress and our bodies.   Its a good read and does a pretty good job of explaining something very technical and medical to us “laymen”, but I am still confused as all hell.  Maybe that is why my doctor told me to sit back for a little and just take a daily regimen of holistic, witchcraft vitamins through the holidays while also trying to find daily tweaks to my routine to calm the fuck down. Huh!  Good luck telling that to a woman with a self proclaimed PhD in planning and filling up the social calendar.  

Now that I have seen this happen in real time with the .6LBs weight gain in a 24 hour period of solid work, I will admit that there are some little tweaks that need to be made to my daily routine.  So far, at the request of my doctor, I have hired a wedding planner, at least an hour before I go to bed at night I take away all technology and screens so that my body can start to make its way into sleep mode, and I am currently trying to get myself to take 5 minutes before I start my work day to meditate.  This one has been quite difficult because I am someone who just wants to get started on things once she walks through the office doors.  Also, its really funny to explain to your old school, Italian uncles that you need 5 minutes to meditate then she will get on that phone call.  This is just something that needs to be done, and maybe its not meditating but something else that I can find to do daily that will help me to relax a little more. 

Mia Bella Lotta’s Call to Action:  What is that small, yet significant change that you can make in your life to slow down and relax?  I always said I would do anything to get some weight loss going.  I even “joked” that if I couldn’t get a leg up I was going to turn to some more extreme medical intervention.  So if I was going to spend a butt ton of money on medical intervention why not actually do something free, daily that helps?  I get it, we are the generation of instant gratification, but this is a little ridiculous.  So lets all slow down and find what brings us a little inner peace so that maybe we can just make it on to the chart next time.   

WEIGH IN/MEASUREMENTS: 158.2 LBS, Chest 36.5, Under Boob 30, Belly Button 32, Below Hips 38, Largest Part of Butt 41.5.

SONG OF THE WEEK: “That’s the Way” by Jo Dee Messina

Well I know from experience
Nothin’s ever gonna make perfect sense
Oh, one day you get what you want
But it’s not what you think
Then you get what you needWell, oh, that’s the way it is
You gotta roll with the punches
That’s the way it goes
You gotta bend when the wind blows
You live you learn
You crash and burn
It’s hit or miss
And that’s the way it isYeah they say your soul is growin’
But sometimes I feel like throwin’ somethin’

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