The Metabolic Power of Relaxation – Chapter 1

This chapters is much-needed in my life.  I eat FAST, and when I mean FAST, I mean I eat my lunch at my desk and my dinner over the sink.  I rarely have time to sit down for a meal with my boyfriend Chad, typically I’m studying or working while we eat dinner and he’s typically watching TV.  Yesterday I was at the Aveda school getting my hair cut and colored.  I was there for 6 hours and gobbled down two Lara bars, not what I would call relaxed eating.

All of what Marc David says in this chapter really resonated with me.  I’ve had trouble with stomach distention since I started working in my current position, so for 10 years.  I was tested for celiac disease by a doctor because the distention was happening so frequently.  Although I did not have celiac disease, the doctor gave me a prescription and needless to say it didn’t work.Relaxing : Business concept shot of a middle aged man or businessman relaxing with hands behind his head at an office desk with computer in a green field with a bright blue sky. Shot on location.

Although I haven’t experienced the stomach distention for a few weeks, I can remember a particularly stressful day at work in which I was pulled in a lot of different directions, I had to complete my work early that day as I was leaving to meet the new Healthy Eating Specialist at Whole Foods with my friend Nancy.  I quickly ate a handful of peanuts and was out the door to meet my friends.  What happened as soon as I got to Whole Foods was quite unfortunate, the stomach distention was one of the worse I’ve had and thinking it was due to rancid peanuts I just wrote it off as a food poisoning type of situation.

What I’ve learned lately is it had nothing to do with the food, and everything due to the stress that I was under, my food was not digested completely, and the quick manner in which I inhaled the peanuts caused the distention issue.

Relaxing : Pretty woman laying on the grass near laptopI am grateful for this chapter in the way stress is highlighted as a problem for digestion and literally turns off digestion while you are trying to eat in a stressed body state.  The biology and biochemical response description resonated with me.  I thought about that day at Whole Foods and everything that was said about the decrease in gut flora, salivary distinction, and gastric emptying time all applied to that situation.

In addition to the stomach distention, I’ve also had another issue described in the chapter, trying to lose those last few pesky pounds.  The past three months I’ve had weight that has hung on.  I’ve even added a new work out program to my day, but the pounds still clung to my body.  I agree with Marc David’s assessment on how relaxation can burn calories and release those last pounds.  In biochemical terms, the cortisol that increases as stress response adds lbs and fat to the mid-section, it can’t really be released unless that stress dissipates.  This concept, though really strange, makes a good bit of sense to me.  Stress creates a ball in my stomach and once I’m relaxed I’m in a state where I’m not worried about my weight, my appearance or what is going to happen next.  I’m enjoying the moment.  I believe being here in the moment releases that stress that was once kept inside.  To illustrate this point further, you will want to listen to the following teleconference between Marc David and graduate from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Holly Thompson (founder of Nutritional Style).  Check out for the recording.

Healthy_eating : Healthy breakfast in the garden. Stock PhotoAlthough the variety of exercises toward the end of the chapter give a great sense of slowing down, my favorite suggestion is to increase the time it takes for your meals and to concentrate on eating.  I know for myself, it’s not always possible to sit in a quiet area and pay attention to only my food.  I am trying to really taste my food each time I eat.  I notice that I eat far less if I’m actually enjoying my food, and I’m beginning to only eat when I’m actually hungry, rather than eating when I’m bored or stressed.

Give some of the exercises in this chapter a try to let me know how you do, I’d be curious about your experience.

Have a great week!!!!!


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