April 13, 2009

52 Week Challenge: Week 3 Update

Three weeks into the challenge, I realize my first three goals are becoming habit. My day just doesn't feel complete anymore, and it certainly doesn't run as smoothly if we go radically off the routine, which includes the daily workout for me. Plus, now that I've gotten back in the habit of doing at least some small thing for Hubby, I've started adding in those little things without consciously thinking about it.

The girls are so much happier these days. The routine is good for them, not only because they have some clue what is coming next in their day, but because I have times in the routine where they get to have some unstructured playtime while I tackle my housework, or workout, or make a few phone calls. All in all, this equals one much less stressed Mommy, which means the girls and Hubby have less stress in their days as well.

It's beginning to look like my past weight loss issues stemmed from a stress overload and sleep deprivation.

If you've been looking into weight loss these last few years, I'm sure you've heard about cortisol. It's a stress hormone that follows up on the effects of adrenaline. About an hour after your body releases adrenaline, cortisol hits its peak. The hormone basically tells your body to take in and store energy to replenish what you lost during your "fight or flight" episode and store up in case the danger returns. Cortisol stays in your system until you sleep, and it generally takes eight to ten hours of good sleep to completely flush the hormone from your system.

Did I mention it's one of those hormones that builds up if it's not flushed during sleep? Yeah, stressful days separated by too little sleep can really slam the breaks on your metabolism.

Though judging from the fact Hubby noticed a difference in my size, even before I discovered I can finally fit into a pair of jeans I've been trying to get back into since Sneak was born almost nine months ago, it seems my metabolism is beginning to show signs of life again. (I'm still not weighing in until the last Monday of the month, but I have been doing a happy dance about fitting in those jeans. Yay, no elastic!) Maybe there's hope for that dream yet.

Hubby and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary this past weekend. Maybe it's the effort we've been putting into our marriage again, maybe it's not, but it was one of our best anniversaries yet. (We dated for three and a half years before we were married, so we've been together for quite a while for folks our age, too.) We relaxed almost immediately, and there was an ease, a playfulness that hasn't been there in some time. Talk came easily, and it wasn't a rehash of all the old stories we've told each other a thousand and one times or about work or the girls either, well, not all of it in any case.

I have one more week on this round of the challenge just to make sure these changes stick, so it's time to start thinking about my goals for the next four weeks. What about you?

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