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Did You Know? Holiday Stress Can Make You Fat


(c) Shutterstock Reducing stress in your life may help you keep off extra weight.

(c) Shutterstock
Reducing stress in your life may help you keep off extra weight.

(StatePoint) During the holidays, it can be all too easy to overeat. But there’s more at play when it comes to packing on pounds this time of year. Another holiday tradition that can affect your weight is stress.

Here are some important things to know about your body’s response to stress:

Stress Hormones

We all have a built-in stress response. It’s a complicated set of physiological reactions that help keep you alive during dangerous situations. Here’s how it’s supposed to work:

You experience an acute stressor. Thousands of years ago, this could have been a tiger trying to eat you. Today, it could be the in-laws coming to stay with you over the holidays. In response, adrenal glands release the stress hormone cortisol into your bloodstream, initiating an increase in blood sugar used for immediate energy to fight, run or slam on your car brakes.

Once the stressor is dealt with, the cortisol leaves your system and things return to their normal metabolic state. But unfortunately today, many of us are constantly stressed, causing significant metabolic imbalances.

Chronic Stress

From when we wake up to when we go to bed, the average person deals with hundreds of low-grade stressful events, like rush hour traffic, projects with impossible deadlines, troubles with kids, spouses or pets.

According to Michael A. Smith, M.D. host of “Healthy Talk” on RadioMD.com and senior health scientist with the Life Extension Foundation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this state of affairs is chronically elevating cortisol levels, which means blood sugar is constantly being mobilized for energy.

“And when you don’t burn the sugar, it gets stored as body fat,” says Dr. Smith. “This is just one of the metabolic imbalances caused by too much cortisol. There are many other problems caused by chronic stress that can pack on the fat.”

For example, too much cortisol, which results in a drop in serotonin, can drive sugar cravings and significantly increase appetite.

Solutions

New research shows that white kidney beans can suppress appetite. So if you’re craving a snack, have a serving of kidney beans instead of reaching for holiday leftovers or a bag of potato chips.

Feeling tense? Try some stress reduction activities, like jogging, meditation or breathing exercises.

Also, consider adaptogenic herbs, which have long been used for their mood balancing and stress reducing effects. For example, a number of clinical trials demonstrate that repeated administration of rhodiola extract exerts energizing effects that increase mental focus.

For more information about reducing stress and suppressing appetite, visit www.LEF.org/appetite or call the toll-free number 1-855-840-4615.

You may not be able to stop your in-laws from visiting, but understanding how stress affects your body can help you prevent weight gain this holiday season.

 

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How Jesus handled stress


TheSpringsPastor Barry Briggs

The Springs Church

135 N. Grant, Cedar Springs

Nobody carried greater stress in life than Jesus. Not only did He carry the weight of being the Savior of the world on His shoulders, but there were constant demands on His life. People wanted to see Him. People were trying to trap Him. People were trying to kill Him. Nobody has ever experienced greater stress than Jesus did.

Yet, if you look at His life, He doesn’t seem to be bothered by it. He handles all the pressures with peace. In fact, we never see Jesus in a hurry, even though He had the most important assignment in life. No matter what the world threw at Him, He handled it with grace.

I want to learn how to do that. I want to learn how to be at peace under pressure. I want to learn how to handle stress. Fortunately Jesus gave us a model. And if you will follow Jesus’ example, your stress will go down and your fulfillment and joy in life will go up.

So how did Jesus handle stress? He did it in three ways: By getting alone, by getting away, and by getting together. Let’s unpack those.

First, the Bible says if you want to learn to be stress free like Jesus you need to get alone with God. Mark 1:35 (NIV) is the secret of stress relief.  It says, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.”

What’s Jesus doing? He’s having a quiet time. He’s getting alone, getting quiet, and spending time with God. Over and over in the Gospels we see Jesus doing this. Look at Luke 5:15-16 (NCV), “News about Jesus spread even more. Many people came to hear Jesus and to be healed of their sicknesses, but Jesus often slipped away to be alone so He could pray.” Notice it says Jesus did this often. You need to do this often too. You need to have a quiet time every day to reflect, renew, and recharge.

Next, if you want to reduce the stress in your life you have to take time to get away. Trust me, Jesus had more important work than you or I do. But He frequently took the time to relax, to go to parties, go to weddings, to kick back and have fun. Jesus said, “I, the Son of Man, feast and drink…” (Matthew 11:19 NLT).

The Pharisees accused Jesus of being a party animal. They said this guy’s always going to parties, always eating and drinking. Do you want to be Christ like? Go to a party. Enjoy life. If you’re too busy to take your vacation time, you’re too busy. If you’re too busy to pray, you’re too busy. And if you’re too busy to relax, you’re too busy. Life is meant to be enjoyed, not merely endured.

Jesus lived a stress free life because He would get alone, get away, and finally because He would get together.  Look at Matthew 26:38 (NIV), “[Jesus] said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me.”

The night before Jesus went to the cross He went to a place called the Garden of Gethsemane. He went there to pray, but He didn’t go alone. He took His friends with Him. Even Jesus needed a group of friends to help Him through the tough times, and He was perfect. Like Jesus, when we’re going through stressful times we need friends to be there with us too.

Stress is increasing in our culture. So you’ve got to take some intentional steps to combat the stress in your life. What are the steps? Jesus modeled them for us: get alone, get away, and get together. Do this often and it will reduce your stress.

Hear the full sermon at thespringschurch.info. Click on media.

 

 

 

 

Posted in From the PulpitComments Off

Main Street


So long, Steve, and thanks

The paper you’re reading was produced on a Macintosh computer. By “produced,” I mean typeset, proofed, designed, and sent out of town to the printer directly from the Mac. Steve Jobs’ invention changed publishing in ways that are nearly indescribable. You had to have been there, and I was.
The Post and Squire have at least a dozen Macs and we couldn’t do a paper without them. Personally, I’ve owned five or six Apple computers.
The early electronic computer was “Eniac,” built at the University of Pennsylvania and put into operation in 1945.  It occupied a whole floor of the Engineering building and weighed 30 tons. Steve Jobs had not been born.
In 1976, as you’ve probably been hearing this week, the Apple Computer was invented in Steve Jobs’ parents’ garage.  Steve was 21 yrs old.  From then on he took control of the company, imagining things he would like to have and then making them.
My own first computer was an Apple II, a desktop model. You had to hook it up your TV because there was no monitor. There was also no hard drive.  You got a manual that told you how to write your own programs. You could save your programs if you bought a “floppy drive” and “floppy discs” (which were actually floppy). My Apple II was great. It had a mouse!
Steve Jobs went on to imagine and produce the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. All have been extremely popular.
Steve is gone now, too soon at age 56. Let’s hope that somewhere there’s another communications genius driven to think up products we might like to have—only to discover that we couldn’t do without them.

High stress

The doctor remarked on a new patient’s extraordinarily ruddy complexion. “High blood pressure, Doc,” said the man. “It comes from my family.”
“Your mother’s side or your father’s?”
“Neither,” replied the patient. “It’s from my wife’s family.”
“Oh, come now,” said the doctor. “How could your wife’s family give you high blood pressure?”
The man sighed. “You oughta meet ‘em sometime, Doc!”

Best try

“Dad,” said Marcus, “I’m late for football practice. Would you please do my homework for me?”
The father said, irately, “Son, it just wouldn’t be right.”
“That’s okay,” replied Marcus, “but you could at least give it a try, couldn’t you?”

Primary education

A second grader came home from school and said “Mom, guess what? We learned how to make babies today.”
More that a little surprised, the mother said, “That’s interesting. And how do you make babies?”
“It’s simple,” replied the girl. “You just change ‘y’ to ‘i’ and add ‘es.’”

Disclaimer

These sentences were composed  on a Macintosh computer. No animals were killed or injured in the preparation of this column.

Posted in Roger on Main St.Comments Off

A Healthy Relationship with Stress


Stress is your body’s natural response to demand or pressure. While periodic stress
is normal and can be good for you—helping you to act quickly, overcome challenges, and boost your immunity—ongoing stress can lead to a number of health problems.
Unfortunately, being “stressed out” is a feeling that many Americans are all too familiar with. During the holiday season, it’s easy for the everyday stressors such as work, family obligations, and the poor economy to seem amplified.
Stressors are everywhere. Traffic con-gestion, arguing with your partner, losing your job, divorce, the death of a loved one, personal illness or injury, being a caregiver, and major life changes such as getting married, having a baby, or moving to a new city—all are common sources of stress.
When exposed to a stressor, your body releases a surge of hormones that causes your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to narrow, which, in turn, raises your blood pressure. Though temporary, stress-related spikes in blood pressure may be damaging to blood vessels if they occur too often and can lead to long-term high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
Every person has a different reaction to stress. Some people experience physical, mental, or emotional symptoms which may include headaches, fatigue, insomnia, stomach problems, anxiety, depression, irritability, crying spells, forgetfulness, poor concentration, low productivity, and confusion. Others may isolate themselves socially, feel lonely, lash out, have a lowered sex drive, or make less contact with friends. Negative habits that some use to handle stress, such as overeating, smoking, or alcohol or substance abuse, can also lead to obesity, addiction, and other serious health problems.
The way you cope with stressful events may be the key to avoiding long-term damage and improving your overall wellness. Try to identify the events or occurrences that make you feel stressed and who or what in your life they are related to (eg, family, friends, work, traffic). Take note of the physical and emotional changes—such as muscle tension, headache, or problems with decision making—that occur when you are under pressure, and use them to gauge your stress level. Plan healthy ways of dealing with stress—take a walk, breathe deeply, practice yoga or meditation, listen to music, or connect with a friend—and apply them when you start to feel stressed or anticipate a stressful situation.
If you feel overwhelmed by stress, your doctor can provide you with further information on counseling and stress management techniques.
For more information, go to www.apa.org/topics/stress/index.aspx.

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