More of Airmid's influence, methinks ...
So, I've been looking for more ways to encourage me to be healthier ... reduce stress and therefore encourage my SNS (Sympathetic Nervous System) to stand down which, in turn, would lower the cortisol content in my bloodstream and thereby allow me greater control over my metabolism.
Cortisol is that hormone in a woman's blood stream which reacts directly to elevated SNS function (read as a prolonged state of high stress) which is directly responsible for stress-based weight gain and lowered metabolic burn. Simply put ... once a woman's stress levels raise beyond what her body/brain considers to be a healthy level, the cortisol in her bloodstream is activated and she begins storing increasing amounts of the foods she eats throughout the day. The higher the stress level, the more food is converted to storage. Likewise, the longer the stress level remains elevated, the more likely the person is to become stuck in a fat-gain scenario as the fight or flight hormone levels (including cortisol) continue to rise.
Back in November, that's where I found myself ... a situation where I was trapped in a weight gain scenario as a result of the action of my cortisol. Being that the main causes of my severely elevated stress were (and still are) things over which I have no direct control, it was unlikely that waiting for the situations to resolve themselves was an option. According to the Dr, I was on track to hit 136Kg (300lbs) by next May if my rate of gain continued. Not a circumstance I was prepared to face without trying anything I could to bring it back under control.
After a consultation with the Dr, calorie counting was identified as my best option. Being that I did, in younger years, break my metabolism and suffer (as a result) starvation syndrome for almost a full decade, it was determined that I would likely respond best to a moderately reduced calorie intake over a longer period of time to allow my system to become adapted to the lower intake. The idea is that, if the loss is nice and gradual, my body won't freak out over it and I'll be less likely to rebound once I've hit my target.
I've been using MyNetDiary's online site and mobile app for my iPhone4 since then to account for everything I put in my mouth. In just under two months, I have managed to halt the weight gain and actually lose some 5.44Kg (12lbs). This has become very encouraging and I'd like to see this trend continue. I recognize that, in order for that to happen, I need to up my activity level ... exercise+sweat=fat loss (note I specified fat loss and not weight loss).
To that end, I'm undertaking the 2012 Get Off Your Broom challenge ... 12 weeks of making a point to focus on getting off one's fanny and moving. I am starting a week late but no matter, that simply means that I'll go a week longer than the other folk who are taking part.
As part of my Dr's advice, I am not supposed to be focusing on the numbers (weight/measurements/etc) so we'll forego that part of the writeup and put the emphasis where it really belongs: On gradually adding activities to my daily routine that will allow me to create new active habits.
I am mostly sedentary at this point ... so, in the interest of making a start, I went and bought myself a month's pass to the Surrey leisure and recreational centres and a *gasp* bathing-suit ... the idea being that, I'm going to get into the pool.
Theoretically, this should be starting this week ... we'll see how well that works out being that my cycle also falls this week. Failing that, however, I'll need to find something else I can do.