How do you start to get rid of belly fat caused by a stressful marriage (and the high-cortisol rates from the tension)? One answer is eating a bowl of oatmeal, an orange, and drinking a cup of green tea for breakfast, snacking on walnuts at 11:00 a.m., listening to soothing classical, ambient, or meditation music in the afternoon, and reading a book at night. These are recommended by numerous doctors to relieve stress.
Belly fat can strip 15 years off of your lifespan, and may cause higher cholesterol, higher blood pressure, and higher blood glucose levels. If you’re female, can you get your waist measurement down to 32 inches? Maybe one of the causes of your belly fat is a chronically stressful relationship.
In fact, similar suggestions were offered on today’s Dr. Oz show on what to do about belly fat, metabolic syndrome, and high-stress marriages that may help to cause those symptoms, including decreased immunity and higher levels of cortisol along with high blood pressure and high triglycerides. Unhappily married people suffer from more ulcers and are at an increased risk for heart disease. But there’s something you can do to relieve that chronic stress that comes from being in a chronically stressful marriage for decades.
That stress build up also applies to a job causing chronic stress that you are in for many years where you feel you can’t leave the job and still be able to pay for the basics such as food, shelter, and clothing. Also helpful for insight is my book, Why We Never Give Up Our Need for a Perfect Mother: Trapped at Home by Anxiety and Panic?
If you watched Sacramento TV today, November 18, 2010 (Dish Satellite channel 58) and saw the Dr. Oz show on the topic of whether your stressful marriage is making you sick, you might have noticed the emphasis in the first part of the show focused on how belly fat accumulates in people with high-stress marriages. In fact, you can take Dr. Oz’s Marriage Stress Test, Part I online. Click here to take the marriage stress test quiz. Click here to watch Part 2. Click here to watch Part 3.
Women appear to experience stress very differently than men. And a stressful marriage is worse for women’s health because women internalize stress in their organs. They experience more belly fat, higher blood pressure, and other symptoms of metabolic syndrome faster and longer than men in stressful marriage.
It’s because men tend to externalize their stress by blowing off steam. Examples might be showing anger to gain power, raising their voice, or other explosive types of behavior when stressed at home.
On the other hand, women may internalize stress in their organs, especially in their heart, kidneys, pancreas, brain, and adrenals. Women tend to bank the stress in their vital organs and muscles and in their white blood cells immune system to be spent later by higher blood pressure readings, faster heart beat, lower immunity, and more belly fat. The belly fat is worsened by emotional eating to relieve stress. On the show, one of the tests focused on rating your marriage in your ability to tell your spouse your deepest secret.
In some marriages, the spouse that feels the most stress tends to want to spend time away from the spouse to relax, or even spend time with other people–or alone, whichever is more relaxing. Some people feel so hurt or betrayed by others that they’d rather spend time alone to relax because they don’t trust other people, fearing a female friend might take their husband away from them or betray them in some other manner, or even ask them for money.
In stressful marriages the symptoms of metabolic syndrome often strike more women than men because of the women internalizing the stress in their organs, especially shone by increased heart rates, higher triglycerides, higher blood pressure, and lower immunity. The most obvious symptom is the increased belly fat.
Not related to the Dr. Oz show, is the subject of using poetry therapy for relieving stress in a high-stress marriage. You may not want to call it a bad marriage, just a high-stress marriage. Some couples may be able to relieve stress by writing poetry about their marriage. If you’re married to a man who externalizes stress by exploding in anger or loud words, don’t show your poetry to that person. Write it for yourself and keep it away from the family. It’s to be used as therapeutic catharsis. Then get rid of the poem or publish it under a pseudonym and don’t use locations or names that identify your marriage or family ties.
You may have participated in talking out your deepest secrets by writing poetry when you can’t talk to your spouse. Maybe you wrote lyrics such as: “When stress hits your brain like crack cocaine, that’s a marriage made in vain (or insane).”
So, on another note, check out today’s Dr. Oz site on the health results of marital stress. Ask yourself, “Is your marriage making you sick?” Can you do anything to relieve the stress such as listening to soothing instrumental music instead of emotional eating to relieve the tension? Meditation also helps.
Ask yourself whether stress hormones may be the cause of your increasing belly fat, perhaps even more than genetics. One of the best ways to relieve stress is to read a book that takes you away from your worries. This might be escape fiction or a book on the journey of humankind from the prehistoric past to the present. Or any other book that calms you or makes you laugh.
You might have soothing, classical or slow-beat ambient music (without voices) playing in the background. Don’t try to read with music that has someone singing emotional words as it’s distracting from the calming process. Everyone has something they enjoy doing to relieve stress, such as an art hobby, a special book of inspirational messages, or just some words that make them laughter. Laughter is the best medicine to relieve stress.
As for belly fat, try to stay away from emotional eating used to calm you down. The problem women have that many men don’t is that after a stressful encounter with a spouse or other close relative, your heart beat may stay fast for a half hour or more. That’s when meditation, slow music, and a good book can be of help. Also helpful in raising your immunity is a slow breathing machine, such as a Resperate® or music playing at less than 60 beats per minute. That way, your body and brain tends to move in sync with the rhythm of the music.