Sunday, March 11, 2012


Several years ago, I got involved with a side project. It kept me working late into the night quite often. I was also under a lot of pressure at my regular job.   Then in the middle of all of this, I switched jobs which required me to get up quite early to commute into work. During those few months, I gained a lot of weight. In less than a year, I think I gained more than 50 pounds! Looking back, it was amazing we were able to put in as many hours as we did on such little sleep. My health really took a dive and I was at high risk for all sorts of problems. I felt that I messed up my metabolism during that time but couldn't figure out what to do. I ended up going into the doctor's for some help on being so wiped out. They found my thyroid levels were low and got me on some medication. That did help turn things around and not too long after, I started getting serious about getting my health back.

I talked with my older brother tonight about being tested for stress levels. The doctor was surprised at the high levels of cortisol through out the day. Cortisol is a hormone that our body produces as a reaction to stress.  His doctor told him not to exercise more than 45 mintes at a time and to do interval type training.

I have recently been feeling some of the stress feelings coming back and have had trouble losing weight. I wonder if all of this training that I have been doing over the last year has been stressing me body too much and is causing some of the problems that I have been having. I did some reading up on cortisol and stress and think I may be onto why I have been experiencing some set back lately. No doubt about it, training for a marathon stresses the body.  We've had a lot of upheaval at work as well.  Nobody is losing a job, but things are moving around a bit in our department.

Am I going to quit training? No, but I am going to see what I can do to be better about getting a better night's sleep, reducing stress in other parts of my life and just being aware that I need to be healthier.
How do you react to stress? Maybe those urges to eat something is not just a lapse in will-power but a natural response to your bodies response to stress. Raised levels of cortisol increases appetite.  Dang hormones!  :)

Stress comes in many forms, emotional and physical. Make sure you are aware that excessive stress can be detrimental to your best intensions to be more healthy.

Long run report
I never thought I would say this, but my 10 miler long run was pretty short compared to last week's 23 miler. Winter weather still comes and goes, but we are getting warmer temperatures more often. Saturday was a beautiful day. I didn't go very far up the canyon on this run, but I made it two miles up before I turned back around. I liked this view of Cascade which is one of the seven peaks that Gordon and I will be climbing in our adventure starting this summer.

Glad to see Big Clyde getting back after it.

Hang in there and I will too!


  1. (Thanks for the mention, Bruce!).

    As for stress, I don't have a great answer as to how I handle it. I used to "treat myself" with candy, pizza, etc. For the past two years, those times are much more rare. I think that exercise, laughter and other interests or hobbies are good for us.

  2. Stress creeps into my life is multiple ways. I have to be careful to not "overdo" .in anything I try. I found that remaining calm is m best defense with stress. And if course sleeping well is very important.

  3. I have to tell myself to workout to help my stress - even just a short walk around the block helps me keep the stress level down and my attitude is a better, too.