Headline in the Globe and Mail:
It’s Harder to Stay Slim These Days
Given identical caloric intake, a person today would be 10 per cent heavier than three decades ago, according to researches at the U of A and York University.
The study published in the journal Obesity Research and Clinical Practice, compared the body mass index and dietary data of 36,377 adults in the U.S. between 1971 and 2008.
For me personally, this explained better why I still couldn’t lose weight despite my attempts. But it didn’t make me feel better – no sir. This stressed me.
The researchers concluded that factors other than diet and physical activity might be contributing to the increase and called for further research.
They point out other research suggests weight can be affected by pollutants, lack of sleep, prescription drugs, chronic stress and a highly processed, low-fibre diet.
I’m not an expert on diet and weight. However I have researched chronic stress for my adult coloring books which, by the way, work well to reduce daily stress to help make better decisions.
There is Good Stress and There is Bad Stress
I want to talk a bit more about stress.
Stress can cause medical conditions from heart disease to cancer.
This is true when the person experiences constant, oppressive, chronic stress, like when you’re caring for a spouse with dementia or living in a refugee camp.
Then there’s the good stress which could produce conditions such as headaches, stomach aches and a reach for another glass of wine.
Good stresses include public speaking, interview for a job, getting married, training and studying.
Even though this kind of stress could explode into a chronic form, generally it ceases once the source is complete.
When I was researching and gathering photos for my adult colouring books, I felt that stress. It was enjoyable, however, pushing to finish gave me concern to pace myself so I wouldn’t burn out.
Some people are claiming stress is good for.
I don’t know… maybe. In fact, here’s some proof from the American Psychological Association that the right kind of (well-managed) stress can lead to a happier life:
Myth: Stress is always bad for you.
According to this view, zero stress makes us happy and healthy. Wrong. Stress is to the human condition what tension is to the violin string: too little and the music is dull and raspy; too much and the music is shrill or the string snaps. Stress can be the kiss of death or the spice of life. The issue, really, is how to manage it. Managed stress makes us productive and happy; mismanaged stress hurts and even kills us.
Another Myth: A study published in the Psychological Bulletin concluded that “[s]tressors with the temporal parameters of the fight-or-flight situations faced by humans’ evolutionary ancestors elicited potentially beneficial changes in the immune system. The more a stressor deviated from those parameters by becoming more chronic, however, the more components of the immune system were affected in a potentially detrimental way.” In plain English, the temporary bump in stress caused by planning a trip, writing a novel, or seeking non-profit status for your organization won’t kill you.
If the stress of doing it all is keeping you from enjoying your life, something has to change.
Everyone has those times where they’ve just had it. For example, I’m writing my 3rd color book in a series and the now added marketing requirements for my first two, eats up time.
When I run out of time, I get antsy. I get stressed.
So I’ve learned to take at least the first half hour of my morning, remind myself today I’m willing to made a good day, spend 5 minutes coloring a little page, and move forward feeling better about the tasks at hand.
I remind myself to appreciate my environment where ever I am and what ever I am doing.
Appreciation is the magical elixir that pacifies stress. If you try to do it all and you feel cranky, resentful, and unhappy — that’s the beginning of chronic.
Let’s embrace some stress because it’s a motivator. However, become very aware when it slips into a chronic condition that is affecting your well-being as well as your relationships. Relax.