Effects of stress in just six weeks

The past two months have been hugely stressful and, as a result, my health has suffered. What happened?

In January, I was going to the gym five times a week and had the biggest change in my fitness. Diet was on track. I was eating mostly vegetables combining raw and lightly cooked.

Stuff arrived to change how I felt. In the first couple of weeks, that’s ok. I went to exercise three times a week to fit in the other things, the other stuff. See that stuff became pervasive. It creeped into my mood driving me to search for instant gratification. I know carbohydrates are really not good for me. All I need to do is look at a carb and it is instantly on my hips.

Yet, for the past six weeks, I have slowly reversed my diet away from vegetables to the beige-ness of carbs and processed food. It is so easy to do. What’s more, when the carbs stopped giving the instant hit, I started to have a glass of wine of two. That’s a combination of guilt and like any addiction, you need more to get the same effect. Lord knows, how much my weight has increased.

Let me tell you what has happened to my body. This is not easy to share.

Over the past two months, I switched from an anti-flammatory diet to one that does nothing for my body. Eating beige food aka processed food has very little that is helpful to the body.

Added to that the wine killed off my gut bacteria so, my immune system is now compromised AND the manufacture of the happy hormones – endorphins, dopamine and serotonin have reduced. This means I am less likely to seek pleasure, have coffee with friends. Dangerous, right?

This is in just 6 weeks.

Last week was a doozy for stress levels as I didn’t get the house I wanted even through I had started packing. It was when packing, I developed an injury. The muscle in my left buttock has been strained. This makes being mobile not that easy. I asked the pain what it needed from me to feel better. ‘Go to the gym,’ it answered. I also did a lot of self love and relaxation over the weekend. (I thought I had been looking after myself, obviously not nearly enough.)

This morning I jumped back into going to the gym with my injury. I did 2km on the rowing machine and some bench presses with 7kg weights. That’s 2 kg lighter than in January, just 6 weeks ago.

I am sharing this because it is so easy to succumb to stress and then adopt a lifestyle that is not conducive to aging without limits.

Here is a graphic summarising what is damaging and beneficial. The lure of the items on the damaging side is strong. Yet, it will shave years off your life or worse, there’ll be years of ill health leading to a reduced quality of life.


If you, like me, have succumbed to consuming more from the damaging side and would like to have help and accountability to move and stay on the beneficial, please book a Free Fifteen where we find whether we’re a good fit.
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Pain is a cry for help

Pain is our body’s cry for help

I’ve been doing research and found that people in their 40s start to have twinges, creaks and pain when they move.

Despite this being a common phenomenon, it is cause for alarm. Anyone who has creaking, twinges and pain, please take notice.

Our bodies are regenerating organisms. They are built to serve us and they do a magnificent job. They depend upon us to eat the foods that best sustains it and to move around so the joints and muscles are kept in good working order.

Even when we don’t feed it or move, our bodies do the next best thing, it reallocates nutrients stored to a place in most need. The body works in the NOW. It doesn’t look into the future and say ‘Mm, better not move that nutrient from the bones because it will cause damage later on’

Body says, ‘Attention, urgent need for nutrient X in knee for example’ Action is taken immediately so the knee has the resources it needs.

Body will continue like this for as long as it is living. It makes the assumption that new nutrients will arrive. After all, it sends out messages to Brain that things are going awry.

Body continues to send messages to Brain. These messages increase in intensity as time goes by.

Body can’t do anymore. It is on the receiving end of our actions.

Slowly, body succumbs to disease and damage only because no one is listening.
No one is increasing the intake of much needed nutrients.
Body can only process wine, bacon, bread, pasta, cake and red meat for so long without needing to have big helpings of fresh vegetables.

Pain is our bodies cry for help. Listen to body. Listen to the creaks and twinges. These are the first signs that all is not well. Remember, our bodies are designed to last our lifetime without damage and fatigue.

The Curse of Processed Food

Eating out & eating processed foods taste yummy at the time. Taking the easy road now may lead to years of disease and ill-health later.

Eating out amongst Australians now reaches more than four times a week. This means we are relying upon restaurants and cafes for our daily intake of vegetables and what we get is an overdose of salt.

Sydney’s George Institute for Global Health released an alarming report on the state of the nation with salt intake. Men are consuming more than double the World Health Organisation recommendation amount of five grams a day. Australian women consume more than seven grams every day.

We are trading easy today for long term health problems of heart and kidney disease. These diseases change our quality of life just when we are ready to enjoy the increased leisure time and playing with the grand kids.

Here are some simple things to boost your intake of fresh food:

  • Do something new and prepare a fresh salad with some meat, poultry or fish. This can take the amount of time to prepare at home as it does waiting for your takeaway. The benefits are enormous. You are in control of what is going inside your body.
  • If you want to eat with friends, invite them to yours. Prepare a meal for everyone or ask them to bring the protein. Even have a barbie.
  • Meeting in your home makes the whole event more relaxed and the conversation may go to places you’ve not been to before.
  • Make two meals a day healthy
    Take control of breakfast and one of meal of the day. See breakfast as a way of having vegetables rather than cereal – these are part of the processed foods you are reducing.

I make a vegetable dish of onion, chilli, tomato, mushroom and kale or spinach. It is quick to cook – everything can have a slight crunch. It’s tasty and keeps you going until lunchtime.

For the other meal, you can choose a salad. Be flexible about the ingredients. Combine what you have and add a dressing if you wish. I create a homemade coleslaw looking salad with french dressing rather than mayo.

Start flirting with these lovely vegetables. Your body will soak them up, turning on your detox system, activating your internal anti-aging compounds and generally boosting your energy levels.

After all, we are designed to consume fresh vegetables and protein rather than
Big Mac, fried fish and chips, pizza, noodles and the rest of the easy food we consume.

Remember easy now may mean years of disease and disability later.

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