I am so far behind in my A-Z Challenge post that if I was officially enrolled, they would most likely boot me out of the challenge. Why I am so far behind? Well, Tax Day was on Tuesday, I have had to stay late at work for a couple of days, and I have had several doctor appointments this week which have thrown my whole routine off. I would like to say I have been super busy, but that seems to be such a weak excuse, and the excuse of the season. So, I won’t say that.
Maybe it is because I have become a little obsessive about this weight-loss journey, and I am mostly focused on that. I don’t know. Maybe I have had nothing to say or maybe I am just a big, hairy procrastinator.
Update on the weight-loss – it is going well – I think I am down about 14 pounds. That’s the good news. The bad news, I received my lab results from my Primary Care Provider yesterday and they are kind of grim (these labs were drawn about 6 weeks ago). As I suspected, my HbA1c (a test to indicate the average levels of blood glucose over the last 3 months), indicates I am pre-diabetic, which I am not really surprised about. I figured with the way I have stored fat on my stomach, it was going to be elevated. Even so it is kind of shocking to see it in black and white. My physician wants me to go on Metformin for about 3 months to see if, with the combination of exercise, a healthy diet, and exercise – I can bring the HbA1c down.
None of that is making me laugh. But then I was thinking, is laughter in anyway helpful in losing weight. Turns out – it might be. Someone did a study about laughter and weight-loss (I wonder how they got the funding for that) and laughter can help. If one laughed solidly for an hour, they could burn off the same number of calories as if they weight-trained for 30 minutes, or vacuumed vigorously for about 45 minutes. I didn’t know there were gradations of vacuuming intensities. I can’t say I have ever laughed solidly for 1 hour in my entire life.
I was thinking to myself, about laughing and the effect it might have on the cortisol levels. I went off and did some research. It turns out, that old saying “Grin and bear it” could actually have some truth behind. Smiling, even a fake smile can decrease your heart rate and possibly reduce cortisol levels, the hormone triggered during stressful situations, and considered a culprit in weight-gain.
I generally smile at people on the street and those I see in the hallways at work. But then I get pissed because they either stare glumly back at me (no one seems to smile anymore) or they are looking down at their cellphones as they walk. Therefore, my act of smiling culminates in feeling quite annoyed about how unfriendly and withdrawn our society has become. I wonder if anyone has done on any studies on what happens to the smiler, and their stress hormones when they are ignored or rejected.
Another article I found, published in the American Physiological Society states even the anticipation of a mirthful laugh, or a happy experience will also decrease stress and the evil hormones that are produced through chronic stress, thereby (and this is my take on the results) decreasing the constant barrage of cortisol in our systems responsible for weight gain.
The bottom line is – smiling, laughing and even anticipating a laugh can help with stress and in turn minimize the effects of stress hormones on our bodies.
Because of this I leave you with two of my favorite videos. It is likely, most of you have seen these videos, and know they are amusing, but just the anticipation of watching them again will help to minimize your stress levels. This is my present to you, my blogging friends!!!!! (Just grin and bear the commercials — there is no way to avoid them!!!!)
And this video just makes me happy and smile!