tends to build up in my life, I somehow get a little better out in the field. However, this past week has been a bit different, mainly because I am trying to not overwork my body while also trying to stay in shape, which I ironically feel I am starting to fall into. That’s right, I feel like I am falling “out of shape,” if there is such a sentiment. It’s been weird of course, merely to the effect of so much happening in my life. My mother once again had to go to the hospital, and since I would rather be with my mother in her time of need, I have put off some fitness stuff that I needed to attend to, even with a half marathon in a matter of a few days. This time it was a little different for my mother, for it wasn’t her heart that was causing some problems but her appendix, which ruptured over the weekend. It wasn’t that my mom ignored the possibility she had an appendix problem, she just didn’t know she still had her appendix, thinking it had been removed during one of her pregnancies. Either way, my schedule has been thrown for a loop these past few weeks, and I feel like I am getting more and more out of shape even though I have had friends tell me I am looking better than usual. Really? It seems hard to comprehend at this moment, merely because I feel full and bloated right now from just eating a potato laden dinner but perhaps it is a mind over matter situation.
But this recent incident once again brought up the fear of the unknown. This upcoming weekend is a challenge that I find worthy, one that I know will fully push my body to places I could never expect. I know I am not ready in the body-I can tell with my training and due to my weird schedule this past week-but it will be a mind over matter situation. The mind is quite a powerful tool in regards to fitness, because we often times disregard just how large a role it plays in our development. There have been plenty of studies over the years that indicate the strong and healthy correlation between a moving body and a moving mind. http://www.bbc.com/news/health-20026099 One particular studied indicated just how important it is for elderly people to keep moving and keep working out. I find it weird to think about these sort of things, merely because turning 70 or so is such a far off number. I just wonder what the heck is going to be going on for me when I turn 37 years old, 236 days. Yup, sometimes living day-to-day is not the best option for anyone, but it is certainly a part of my life that makes me wonder about the future. What will it be like for me in the future? Will I ever get rid of this gut that never wants to go away? But let me ask you, what do you think is the best way to fight anxiety, especially the soul crushing “I have no idea what I am going to do right now” sort of anxiety that can take down your life and turn you in a Debbie Downer.
I like pointing out other people’s success stories, merely because it keeps me humble in a way where I don’t get a big head about myself. While it certainly stinks to see how some other people have improved and done better than me in shorter periods of time, at least it provides a good backdrop of what is necessary. Anyway, anxiety has been running pretty rampant in my life as of late, especially due to the confines of something as arbitrary as money. But other stresses have been there too, like my head hurting quite a bit of late, primarily due to me staring at computer screens all day and causing headaches late in the day. And of course, there is the hospital stress. I have never been one to like hospitals, primarily due to the stench that seems to permeate throughout the floors, even if the hospital is a good one. I was instantly out of sorts when I visited my mother this week, for the anxiety hits me pretty hard the instant swath of “hospital” smells start hitting my nostrils. But the great thing for me, even though I have been lacking this week, is how much fitness can help out with anxiety. I read a good story recently about one woman that lost 100 pounds and found her bliss in fitness. http://www.shape.com/fitness/cardio/running-helped-me-overcome-depression-and-anxiety It sounds a lot like my own story, where a sudden change in life has forced out a long term change that must be taken seriously. Much like Ms. Skarzynski, I too want to find that happy place, a spot in my own life where I can just pick up my things and say “Screw it!” to the rest of the world. I want to be able to just do something on the fly because I can, not because I’m forced to. I just want to seek out a way to get ahead.
There is probably good reason why I keep thinking my stomach isn’t reducing in spite of what my friends tell me. Perhaps it is! http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/mind-body/stress/stop-stress-for-good-exercise-to-fight-stress/ The stress of life can create plenty of problems, primarily in your blood pressure and your eating habits. Much like most of society, I have been eating a little too much this past week due to some of the issues, and for the moment, I feel really bloated and uncomfortable. I haven’t been sleeping well and I haven’t been concentrating well either. But the surprising detail that was kind of news to me was the fact stress CAN make your stomach appear bigger. Apparently, there are are plenty of interesting side affects that can happen when stress starts taking a hold of your body. While I often times think it is is just a little bit of work or life fatigue, a great many of the symptoms I have been running into can be directly related to stress. http://lissarankin.com/10-signs-you-have-way-too-much-cortisol
Let’s see here. Headaches? Check. Backache? Check (though that might be because I am due for an adjustment!). Sleeping poorly? Check. Craving unhealthy food? Does having an insane desire for vegan sweets count? So yes, a great many of the things are hitting me. The culprit of course is most likely cortisol, which always gets a bad rep in health circles. Just about everything bad in regards to good health and fitness can be linked to cortisol. I mean, where do we begin with this guy? High levels of cortisol can mess with your blood pressure. Your bones can lose density if you start producing too much. You start having blood sugar imbalances, which is where the aspect of snaking and overeating start to take place in your body. (I’ll admit, I have been eating a little more than usual lately, namely peanuts and extra coffee, which of course leads to an already mentioned problem) More serious problems can result in lower immunity, which means you can get sick on top of your stress problems. Let’s not forget some other issues like decreased muscle tissue and increased body fat, which can lead to other problems like diabetes, stroke and other health related problems. It makes one believe cortisol is pretty awful on all levels. But a lot of you probably watch professional sports, especially football, where the term you often hear is “cortisone shot.” It seems to be a popular way to fight body inflammation or when someone is really feeling some bad pain. The main reason for this is because one of the biggest positives for cortisol is the reduction of inflammation in the body, especially after an injury occurs. The best way to put it is when you suffer an injury, you are not in as much pain as say a day or two after, when the stress of knowing your injury’s severity starts kicking in, making you feel anxious and bothered. Hence, the reason why you might get a cortisone shot to help relieve the pain (though it is not recommended to get a whole lot of these). And then here is the more interesting side of cortisol, which is aptly described as the “flight or fight” reflex. Strangely enough, while we may have a natural reaction to danger, sometimes we might not sense just how tough the situation is. Without the cortisol in our body, we might just take our sweet time when a dog is chasing you or when you are trying to reach the end zone while four gigantic men are trying to run you down. Without this natural hormone in our body, mankind might have been nothing more than a piece of crud stuck between the teeth of various prehistoric predators. And of course, when you are not completely stressed out, it does do a good job of managing your insulin, your blood pressure and your blood glucose.
But alas, much like modern society in general, we always have to find the boogie man. Right now, the boogie man is stalking me pretty close, making me crave the vegan scones I used to eat en masse at Whole Foods or have a strange desire for eating at Chipotle every day (though the beautiful employee at the one I occasional go to might be the root cause, hehe). I am stressing out about my mother, merely because seeing her in the hospital is something I don’t want to have to go through again, and this time she is in way more pain than her previous visits. Plus I was a little stressed about going to a vegan meet-up tonight, even though I have to cancel due to the fact I would rather visit my mother than do that (gotta have priorities!). Hopefully with my next paycheck I will get to finish paying off some bills that I have fallen behind on, making some of my money problems go away. But until then, I think the half marathon this weekend will provide more than just a chance to break some personal records. It might give me a chance to finally unload some junk rattling in my head. I mean, I was feeling great for nearly a week after my previous half marathon, even though I had just been laid off from work the week before and my car had just broken down, which led to an eventual month-long ordeal of wondering when I would ever have another car (unfortunately, still have it). So let’s hope the weekend brings some good tidings for me!
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
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Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.