Puppies & Fitness, Cortisol, Stress & Adrenaline

by | Jul 29, 2022

Imagine having the bottoms of your feet completely torn apart and still being able to run miles upon miles without stopping.

It’s not difficult.

You just need a massive amount of adrenaline.

Just ask Preston.

Preston is our 4 year old Feist mix and he’s probably a type 3.

Little man is full of anxiety and loves his routines.

He also wants to make sure that everyone in the house is safe and happy.

I got Pressy when he was about 7 weeks old from a rescue.

It was love at first sight.

He showed up to my apartment, I held him in my arms, he kissed my face, and it was game over.

About a year later, Mel got a pity puppy named Leia.

Lei and Pres moved in together about 2 years ago and they are besties.

Now, let’s get back to the ability to perform super human feats through a massive adrenaline spike.

The effects of stress and adrenaline

You see, Preston cannot rest until he knows that his whole fam is taken care of.

It’s a tall task for one little puppy but he tackles it head on.

2 adults, 3 kids, and a fur sister … he’s got a lot on his plate.

His job would be significantly easier if it weren’t for that damn pool in the backyard!

I’m not sure if Preston had a dramatic experience with water in a previous life or what … but he cannot relax when humans are swimming.

He races around the pool at full speed and tries to “save” anyone who dares enter that dangerous abyss.

If you are even considering jumping in the pool, Preston will flip out and will try to snag you before you leave your feet.

We’ve talked to the vet about the amount of stress that swimming causes for poor Pressy and they gave us some medication to try.

Nothing works.

No amount of medicine or CBD will calm him down when humans are in the water.

He will run and run and run until his paw pads are torn to shreds and his nails are filed completely down.

We try to keep him inside but he doesn’t like that option either.

The next day, when the adrenaline has dumped, Preston can barely walk.

He rests a lot and hobbles around the house.

However, if anyone dares enter the pool again … his adrenaline will hit and he’s off to the races.

What does this have to do with anything?

Well, a lot, actually.

You see, during these stress inducing days of swimming, Preston barely eats.

Even treats which he normally loves are no longer of interest to him.

Why?

Because adrenaline is an appetite suppressant.

When you’re under a lot of stress, adrenaline and cortisol will be elevated.

Cortisol will mobilize stored energy to help you face whatever threat (stress) you’re facing.

Your ability to break down and digest food is put on hold because all energy is being placed towards survival.

All stress is a perceived threat to your body.

In the short term, you’ll probably eat less and lose a bunch of weight because you are mobilizing stored energy.

Most people think that cortisol causes weight gain, however, it actually is responsible for pulling fat out of the cell.

I remember going through my divorce several years ago and losing a ton of weight.

I was rarely hungry and my body was wasting away.

10/10 do NOT recommend losing weight this way.

Because in the long term, it’s a disaster waiting to happen.

If adrenaline stays elevated too long, you’ll quickly become desensitized to your body’s own adrenaline, which can make you feel like crap.

If cortisol stays elevated too long, you can potentially end up with thyroid issues, gut health issues, a slower metabolism, depressed immune system, and low sex hormones.

No fun.

Once Preston recovers from the stress of his lifeguard job …

He eats everything in sight.

Almost like the stress causes a restrict and binge cycle.

This happens in humans as well.

In the acute sense, stress can be beneficial.

Lifting weights = stress.

Being able to recover and adapt is where the magic happens.

If the stress persists, cortisol and adrenaline stay elevated and that’s when problems arise.

If you have no way of managing that stress then you might find yourself with some of the issues I mentioned above, including restricting and binging.

We can all learn a lot from Preston.

Mainly, that your body and your metabolism are one giant stress barometer.

It reads the inputs and outputs, both internally and externally, to make decisions about the likelihood of survival.

If it feels safe, it’s able to respond the way we want it to.

If it feels threatened, it will take whatever measures are necessary to ensure our survival.

Now … remind me how your results are driven simply by calories in vs. calories out??

Oh right, they’re not.

It’s a much bigger picture that requires an understanding of the individual and YOUR unique disposition.

Interested in 1:1 Coaching?

And let me know that you’re interested in the 1:1 signature coaching program.

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