Stressed? It’s probably making you fat

I quit my job. My last day was Wednesday. And it feels great to be (temporarily) jobless. (No worries mom. I start my new job on Monday!)

My old job made me angry, frustrated and sad. All the time. I was constantly irritated and took it out on the closest people around me (Sorry Bobby!). I dreaded waking up in the morning and going to work. Worse, it affected my health (back aches, moodiness, abnormal test results) and my job performance. More importantly – according to Bob – it kept me from posting on this blog. This stress was definitely having a negative impact and it only made sense to get rid of that source of stress. So I quit my job!

Everyone knows that stress is bad. Especially that chronic stress that we typically endure in our modern lifestyle. Some stress is unavoidable (deadlines, emergencies, babies being born, etc.). But when a bad situation takes over your life and you become chronically stressed, then this can have a very pervasive effect on your quality of life and your health.

Stress is corrosive not only to the way you feel, but also to your body (probably a bit of a chicken and egg situation). Cortisol is a hormone that, when your body is stressed, becomes elevated. With chronic stress comes constantly elevated cortisol levels, which – like high levels of insulin – is not good for the body. It makes most people fat.

Robb Wolf is a big advocate of getting rid of things that stress you out. As he likes to say, “Find ways to minimize bull-shit in your life.” In his book The Paleo Solution and in a few of his podcasts, Robb advocates that his clients, listeners and readers get rid of unnecessary things that cause unnecessary stress.

Think about it this way. You know that nice car you have? The one you dreamed about and now drive? Well those car payments, insurance bills, maintenance fees, cosmetic repairs, parking tickets, etc. are causing you and your wallet pain.

Or how about (dare I go here?) that boyfriend you can’t live without? Well all the bickering, fighting, compromising, and sacrificing are causing you to get fat (or too skinny).

The list goes on. And my job was on it.

There are many things in life that do cause stress but are worth keeping around. (I can only imagine the stress I caused my parents, but very grateful they didn’t get rid of me.) Life, after all, is about tradeoffs. But when the bad outweigh the good, GET RID OF IT. You will be happier and healthier for that decision.

This entry was posted in hormones - cortisol, stress and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Stressed? It’s probably making you fat

  1. Bob Ewing says:

    Excellent post! Extremely well-writted too. And I love the Robb Wolf quote. I’m glad that you’ve found a way to reduce your stress at work. Now all you have to do is get rid of that boyfriend baggage & you’ll be set.

  2. Scott Ewing says:

    I think you should ditch the boyfriend too… Talk about excess baggage!

    BTW – that cat pic is fantastic

  3. I’ll take you both up on that boyfriend advise. He is going to be out this evening so I’ll just move the new one in.

    And Scott, notice how Bob complimented my writing? Well he thinks you write like shit.

  4. lovetotrain says:

    you are all hilarious. great post!

  5. scottdworkin says:

    moist, soggy, and fuzzy roast beef curtains this is brilliant!

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