For me I think it was exercise.
I was about 125lbs and exercised every day. I ran and did a variety of DVD workouts, from dancing to pilates and yoga and everything in between. My weight gain started when I decided to change it up and get on the exercise bike for an hour at a time, three times per week. I did an “interval” workout on the bike, which means climbing hills, and also had three pound weights in each hand, pumping my arms in various ways. According to the bike’s measurements I would burn 450 calories with each workout, not including the weights, so let’s estimate perhaps burning 600+ calories (?) When I tell this story, everyone then says “so you must have looked great burning all those calories!” Um no. The conclusion of the story is that in three months I gained 10 lbs! All fat, all in my midsection.
Since then it seemed like all other exercise just continued to stress me out. I literally would get up and put on my workout clothes and procrastinate until noon because I just did not want to workout! So little by little, no matter what I ate I just started slowly gaining, getting another spurt of weight gain after doing Jillian Michaels workouts for a few months.
Cortisol is my arch nemesis!
I’ve just always worked out and taking a break from that has been really hard. I’m just barely starting to work out again a few times per week but really only doing things that I enjoy and monitoring my temperatures. I’m dancing and doing yoga and that’s it.
Another huge cause of stress in the last few years is getting more and more involved in the traditional food movement. I have read so much and even taught so many WAPF based classes that I had become so stressed and afraid of all processed foods, especially those that were not prepared according to WAPF standards. Yes there are lots of traditional foods that I enjoy, like kombucha and sauerkraut, but my whole body would just sort of tense up if I saw a raw kale salad (the goitrogens and phytic acid! Oh the horror!!!) Unsprouted beans?! Unfermented grains?! Oh, no no no no NO! And what evil thing is Monsanto doing now? And the bees! They are all going extinct! What are we going to do about that?!!
I’m so tired of the stress. Now every Sunday my family and I go to a local lake to go jet skiing. We eat chips and dips and grill hot dogs and drink margaritas. I’ve said this before on another thread, that I am fine with the fact that I will most likely die of hot dog and margarita cancer. I would rather that than all the illnesses I have attained because of my stress. I am not there yet, but I am working hard and just chillin and being happy.