Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Feeling Good

I don't know why or how, but I have been feeling so good this week.  The energy drinks actually feel quite effective, and I have had some really phenomenal workouts.  Even my mood has been better than usual, despite being given the added stress of handling two stores while my supervisor is on vacation.  I don't understand it, but I like it! 
Since I want to get more cardio in this week, and morning is the most effective time (on an empty stomach), I have been doing interval walking each morning, and will do either more cardio or strength training after work for the next few weeks until the reunion.  I actually really enjoy the morning cardio outdoors.  At that hour (5 am) all the little animals are out (ducks, turtles, rabbits, groundhogs, skunks), and by the time my walk is ending I usually get to see a pretty amazing sunrise.  It's a really positive way to start the day.  With my body starting to regulate from being off the medicine, I am feeling like my workouts are really effective, I can actually feel my heart rate climb and fall, and that is great for me physically, but also mentally, because now I can tell my workouts are actually effective; I feel like I'm really getting something out of it.  Combined with the excess water finally starting to flush out of my system, it's looking like I'm in good shape to hit my mark of getting under 150 by August 13.  I think this new goal might finally give me the push I needed to break the 150 plane, I have been close to it, but had a few sticky spots with eating which set me back in the month of June, but I am ready to go full-steam-ahead, and not just because of the reunion.  Mentally, eating unproductive things feels really good for a bit, but then usually, after a while it feels not worth it when I realize what that does to my body, and just how much work it will take to reverse.  Even though I believe in going off plan when your body needs it, sometimes after the fact it puts me on a mind trip. 
So yesterday after work, I had really strong cravings for fat, and we don't have anything really crazy in the house, so I decided to do my strength training to see how that affected my craving.  I had a phenomenal workout, I really pushed myself and it felt so good.  But my craving didn't go away.  So I researched how the hormone levels throughout the month effect women's cravings.  One article said that 75% of women have cravings each month.  It's a wonder any of us are fit!  What I learned is that, when your estrogen starts on the roller coaster of ups and downs, your body produces more cortisol,  which makes your body kick into "fight or flight" mode, and when that is in play, it is looking for more carbs and fats for survival.  Seratonin levels and blood sugar levels are also fluctuating, all leading to cravings.  The article I read said if you crave sweets, that your seratonin levels are out of alignment and you should eat complex carbs (not sugary ones) like brown rice or whole grain breads.  If you crave fats, it means your cortisol level is too high, and you should eat essential fats like salmon, or dishes cooked in my favorite, macadamia nut oil.  By the time I have my body all figured out, I will be going through menopause!  At least it is good to know there is a reason we have these odd cravings, and what to do about them.  I had chicken breast and brown rice with low-sodium soy sauce for dinner and a few strawberries afterword, and when the craving didn't disappear, I had a few handfuls of peanuts and read that article.  It is starting to make a little sense.  Our bodies are amazing!
We here in Wisconsin are in the middle of a heat (and humidity) wave, which makes me so glad that I can finally wear tank tops and not have to hide myself in shame!  What a reward for all the hard work!
Hope everyone is having a great week!  Thanks for reading.

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