Stress and Weight Loss

I’ve been watching videos by Dr. Eric Berg on Youtube and he goes into great lengths about stress, cortisol, which is the stress hormone, and how it affects weight loss. And one thing that he said is that the effects of stress can come from a very early age. He asked the audience to think back to when they first began gaining weight and what stresses may have happened then. It could have been trauma, loss, change, etc.

Mine began when I was very young, around 5. I had Reyes Syndrome and was in a coma for a week. That was the trauma. Then the change happened. Everyone began treating me like I was a fragile doll that would get sick and die. I couldn’t run around like children do, I wasn’t allowed to help in the kitchen, do housework, play with friends or cousins. It was always “must not excite the child.” This continued until I was around 12 years old. After that, came the loss. Instead of being the child everyone kept an eye on, I was completely ignored by my parents, siblings, other family members, and even friends. AND, I was an overweight child, at least 20-30 lbs heavier than my classmates.

However, my entire life has been one trauma, loss or change after another. And stress upon stress. Dr. Berg says this wears down the adrenal glands. Mine must be non-existent and probably why I cannot lose this stomach.

Right now, I live in the least stressful of circumstances than I ever have, and yet I still stress over money, people, my weight/health, and my “woe is me” moments. My heart races, my mind won’t shut off, and I don’t sleep very well. It’s no wonder cortisol hangs on to me like glue.

Here’s an excellent example of how people stress me out. I have a long-time friend who is extremely selfish. She cares only about “what’s in it for me,” and not two cents about how she affects others. Back in July, I ended our friendship. I was just done with her selfishness. Two days ago, she emailed me again. It is a month away from her birthday and this is one girl who LOVES her birthday gifts. I had a feeling she would be in contact the closer it got to her birthday and I was right. She wants to begin our friendship again, but she is not even willing to apologize for what caused it to end. Instead, she deflects back to me and puts the blame on me. Normally, being the kind-hearted soul (or push-over) that I am, I would just sweep it under the rug (all the while worrying about it night after night instead of sleeping) and accept her back. Not this time.

I am finally taking charge of my stress. No more negative people in my life. As Dr. Berg said, there are people who lift you up and people who drag you down. I need lifters, not downers.

Now to get this adrenal gland of my to start working better! That’s my next target.

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The Wonders (or not?) of Bullet-Proof Coffee

There is a sensation sweeping the LCHF world. It is called Bullet-Proof Coffee (BPC). Many sing its praises as a quick alternative to a full breakfast of eggs and meat, giving them energy, fullness for hours, aids in weight loss, and mental clarity. Some (like this ONE) discount it because it has little to no nutritional value and they don’t believe that consuming that much saturated fat is good for you.

Here is the premise of the coffee drink: 1 Tbsp of butter, 1 Tbsp of coconut oil, 2 cups of coffee, and LC sweetener of choice. Some even add HWC (I do).

Personally, I don’t see the problem. I AM on a high fat diet. I try to consume about 80-100 grams of fat per day. I KNOW I am not getting that much in the foods that I eat because my appetite has diminished and I only eat 2 meals per day with maybe a snack at night. So adding that extra oomph in a cup of coffee is a great way for me to get those added fat grams. I am also NOT worried about saturated fats because I have already seen what adding fat to my diet has done for my body in just the two weeks I’ve been on this WOE.

I do not use it as a substitute for a meal though. I consume one cup of this coffee in the morning with 3 eggs and a meat. Then I just use the HWC and stevia in cups of coffee that I drink the rest of the day.

I plan to continue doing this until I see the lab results for my cholesterol in October. If my numbers haven’t improved, then and only then, will I make changes.

Shopping Excursion (09-11-2015)

Yesterday, I went in search of LCHF appropriate foods at my local Walmart and Krogers. This was not nearly as easy as I thought it would be. I envy people who have Trader Joes and Whole Food stores readily available to them. I also long for the days when I was able to work, make a decent paycheck and could afford good quality foods every week. Sadly, this is no longer the case for me. I am on disability and have at most $350 to spend per MONTH on food I can eat. So for me, it really came down to choices, availability, and price.

Choices – I live in a small rural area. Walmart, Krogers and Foodlion are the closest grocers available to me without driving 45mins to an hour to get to a Whole Foods. The choices for organic, grass-fed, free-range and GMO-free foods are near impossible to find. I do admit that there are more and more organic foods being introduced in my area, but they are pricey (will go into that in a moment) and not as much variety.

Availability – As I alluded to above, there just isn’t that much “good for me” stuff available and what is available is in smaller amounts. At my local Krogers (where I do most of my shopping), I counted 5 available fresh organic vegetables – celery, avocados, squash, lettuce/spinach, and broccoli. That was it! In the freezer section, all they had was peas, carrots, and broccoli, in combo bags. Peas and carrots are not LCHF appropriate foods. There were no available grass-fed varieties of meats at Krogers, and only ground bison available at Walmart. There are free-range eggs available at both.

Price – Since I am on a very tight budget, and since there is such a limited availability and choices of organic, grass-fed, free-range, non-GMO foods, there is none of the price reductions you would see at Trader Joes and Whole Foods where they are able to get mass amounts to keep prices lower. When faced with the dilemma of buying 1 cartons of 18 ct. reg eggs @$3.39 each or 1 cartons of 12 ct. organic, free-range eggs @4.99 each, I am afraid I would have to go with reg eggs and just hope for the best. This problem also arose with meats, vegetables, and some dairies. There is just no way on my limited budget with limited availability that I can afford to eat organic, grass-fed, free-range, non-GMO foods.

Did I mention that I do not have the available transportation to get to a Whole Foods? Well, I don’t. No car of my own and no available alternate transportation (bus or train). So a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

My grocery cart:

At Walmart – 8 bags of regular pork rinds (bought them out), package of pork steaks (4 to a package), 2 large bags of vegetables (1 just broccoli, the other a Normandy mix), 2 family size bags of brussel sprouts, 1 bag of mixed mushrooms, 2 jars of Dukes mayonnaise, and a package of sausage patties (12 patties – only one I could find without added sugars). There were a few other non-food items tossed in, but I ended up spending about $90 at Walmart.

At Krogers – 3x3lb ground beef (75/25 fat), 5 packages of smoked sausages (on sale), a whole chicken, chicken thighs with skin (4 to a pack), ham steak, 4 packages of bacon, 3 cartons of 18 ct eggs, 2 quarts of HWC, 3 packs of butter (sorry, no grass-fed Kerrygold here), a variety of whole fat cheeses, 4 packages of cream cheese, 2 containers of whole fat sour cream, 10 cans of chunk light tuna, 3 lg cans of salmon, 2 cans of corned beef (no hash), 2 jars of coconut oil, 1 jar of alfredo sauce, 4 packs of frozen spinach (so I don’t waste the spinach!), 4 avocados, a bag of romaine lettuce (3 to a bag), a small head of cabbage, celery, some spices, and 3 bags of pork rinds (bought them out too). Total came to $213. That leaves me with just a little over $40 in case I need something desperately at the store later in the month.

Things I wanted, but could not afford/find, etc.:

  • steak – lots available, but the price was just too high
  • corned beef brisket – price was just too high
  • bone-in pork chops – price was too high
  • cauliflower – zero available as just cauliflower in the frozen section, available fresh looked like they were on their last legs
  • zucchini/squash – just not enough money left over for them
  • other spices – OMG! the prices on spices is outrageous!
  • grass-fed beef – none available

Well, so that was my excursion. It is very difficult to find “good” foods in my area. It is even harder to afford the few I did find. So I will just have to be satisfied with my frankenfoods and pray that I get enough real nutrition between what I eat and the supplements that I take.