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Thread: Struggling/wondering if anyone else has experienced stalling due to stress?

  1. #1
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    Jun 2012
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    Struggling/wondering if anyone else has experienced stalling due to stress?

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    Hi everyone, I haven't really posted much here before - mainly due to lack of time! Quick bio; I'm 47 year old female, 5"2 (163cm), curvy hourglass shape, hit that height, shape and 145 lbs/65 kg by the time I was 13. Have always loved food and good food - never really did SAD as was always too interested in being healthy, so never ate junk, takeaways, sweets, was a chef for 10 years, have always made sure at least 50% of my diet is veggies and variety of.

    I'm not a fitness guru but have always done something (cycling, walking, hill climbing, yoga, swimming, some gym work but it's really not my thing, and love heavy gardening - digging, composting, building rock walls etc) pretty much 5 days a week so while I've carried the weight I have always been fit, strong & healthy.So basics were always there.

    Starved the weight off by age 16 down to approx 125 lbs/57 kg, struggled to keep it between there and 62 kg until my late thirties when it started creeping up through there to my early forties not matter what I did to an all time high of 180lbs/82 kg. Got it down to 165lbs/75kg 3 years ago, mainly by "accidentally" doing PB (didn't know what PB/Paleo was at the time, but knew that carbs are NOT my friend!)

    Then 18 months ago (April 2012), life got complicated. My husband had an accident which meant he couldn't work for 6 months. He'd lost his job the year before and was starting a new business, which had put enormous financial pressure on us anyway, then suddenly it doubled when he had the accident and I had to work much longer and harder to try not to lose everything. A month later (May 12) my father died. A month after that, found PB which took off another 3kg's made me feel better and most importantly stabilized my weight effortlessly at that 71 - 73kg/156 - 160lbs mark. Thank god I did otherwise don't know if I would have coped! July 2012 saw my cousin go to the doctor with headaches and die 2 months later form multiple brain tumours - we weren't enormously close but it was the first time anyone of "my" generation had died - intimations of mortality etc. November 2012, I blew a 12 year old knee graft and the surgeon subsequently told me there was so much damage it wasn't worth doing another surgery and I was too young for a replacement knee so just needed to work on getting it strong but I can't do as much now - simply stepping on a pebble the wrong way with my knee at the wrong angle can wrench it enough to have me limping for 3 days. January 2013, my husband Roger had a heart stoppage then a quadruple bypass. I was still doing PB but truly starting to struggle by now. My workload went up yet again, carrying finances for both of us and needing to care for Roger at the same time.

    He's better now and re-starting his business, I'm still having to work very long hours and life is by no means secure but I feel positive about the future. I was leaning more towards the 20-25% of the 80-20 rule for the last 6 months (being winter didn't help - lots of parsnips and pumpkin and I think way too much dark chocolate and red wine, but hey I needed something and food has always been a real source of joy and pleasure for me . Now spring has come, things are looking up and I've cut back to really truly basic PB.

    BUT, I'm exhausted, not losing any weight at all, my fitness is dropping off as I seem to have serious muscle fatigue all the time, sleeping OK but never feeling refreshed. My question is I guess:

    Is it possible that the stress described above really can affect things that much?? Am I at my best genetic expression and should be happy with the fact my weight is stable, for the most part I'm fit & healthy, my health markers at the Doctor's are great (blood pressure, cholesterol, sugar levels etc)?? Anyone else out there finding that stress is stalling/stopping that weight loss and how did you change it if at all??

    I would love to get back even to that 145lbs/65kg place, but I'm just finding no matter what I do and yes I've tried IF too, I just can't shift it. Sprinting with my knee is almost impossible (running, biking or swimming) which is probably not helping. I'd love to just do more, but in order not to lose everything we have worked for over the years and to support Roger until he gets himself back up and running, I still have to work a ten hour day.

    Anyway this has become an epic and I didn't mean it to and yet it has been very cathartic so thank you for your patience if anyone reads this!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    New Zealand
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    Hi Cat, i read your story, it's great to get the factors out of your head and onto paper/screen where you can see them clearly. Best wishes for your journey from another primal kiwi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Los Angeles
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    I have read in "Primal Blueprint" as well as a multitude of other articles how stress alone causes the release of cortisol and other chemicals that in themselves can cause you to gain adipose tissue as well as cause hunger and thus result in greater calorie intake. At times I have found myself asking, "am I really hungry or is it just stress or something else masquerading as hunger." It sounds like you are going through a tough time with things beyond your control. Your attitude seems great about it all though and I think that alone is a great sense of "control" that you have over your situation. You could maybe use that as a device in and of itself to reduce your stress levels all around. When I have been in difficult times I sometimes have used my own inner calm or physical safety as an excuse or even the only excuse say everything is ok and I'm not going to worry about anything. I am alive for now and that's all I need.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2011
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    Yes, it can of course. And really, worrying about your weight is just one more stress. I would stop focusing so much on that and focus on treating the stress.

    A very small amount of meditation - like 10 minutes (you have to build up to it like a minute a week... Meditation is HARD) can have profound effects on your stress hormones and brain function. It also creates a skill that you can call upon throughout the day with little 3 minute or less meditations. But you do have to practice regularly to be able to bring it up.

    For meditation: sit quietly in whatever position is comfortable to you. Square breathing- breath out, hold, breath in, hold, repeat. Let your mind go blank. If you have a thought, just let it trail away. You will have a lot more intrusions when you start, and then as you practice you will get more and more skilled at holding a blank mind. I find going around the muscles of my face and then my body and deliberately relaxing each muscle to be conducive to effective meditation- everyone has their own "tricks".
    “In God we trust; all others must bring data.” W. Edwards Deming
    Blogging at http://loafingcactus.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Oh, also "too young for knee replacement" is bogus, that went out at least 15 years ago. Patients don't put up with that any more- if you really want a knee replacement find another doctor. Yes, it will mean it won't make it your whole life and you will need a second one, but so what.
    “In God we trust; all others must bring data.” W. Edwards Deming
    Blogging at http://loafingcactus.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Northern California
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    Fatlapcat, have you had your hormone levels checked? Full thyroid panel, cortisol and progesterone would be worth checking, stress can really affect them and in turn affect weight loss.
    Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

  7. #7
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    gergirl Guest
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    Leaving the stress and what it can cause aside for a minute...be good to you.
    After all and because of what you and your family have been through: your body seems to defend the weight, so stop fighting. It is your basis, your reserve to cope with all the bad luck and provides the energy you need for struggeling in life; if your blood etc is fine, so what? Focus on relaxation without food. Maybe yoga will do. I like meridian stretching, activationg the chi and relaxing the mind at the same time.
    best wishes, gergirl

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