I’m allergic to cardio.

I’m not being sarcastic.  I honestly believe that something about the cardio is triggering cortisol production.  I’ve been taking a cortisol manager prescription since last November.  The instructions on the bottle say to take one each night before bed – two if under stress.  I’ve been taking two every night this month.

I need to lose 25 pounds of fat in 90 days.  That will get my body fat down to 11% by the end of June.  I will then have about 8 weeks until the show to stabilize and then cut that last little bit.  So, a month ago, I tweaked the diet and I’ve been doing low-intensity, steady-state cardio every afternoon.  And every evening, my body is physically stressed.  I feel it as chest tightness – don’t worry – nothing cardiac is wrong.  My doctor is all over it.  Because I used to have high blood pressure, I’m monitored very closely.  So I know the cause is the cortisol.  It feels like it’s sister, adreniline, but it lasts longer.

When I suspected cortisol last fall, I saw doc and she confirmed it.  I’ve since identified triggers.  I try to avoid them as much as possible – but sadly, a new trigger is one of my students.  Can’t avoid her.  Just need to prepare.  But I get the same physical reaction to cardio as I do to a stressful situation.

I do NOT feel it after I lift, so it’s not just about working out.  After I lift, I feel amazing.  Euphoric, almost.  It’s quite addicting.

So I need to stop doing what I’m doing.  I need to do something else.  Researched it again and I keep coming back to the same solution, even though I don’t really like it.  I’m pretty sure the answer is high intensity interval cardio.  That kind of cardio releases the same kind of hormones as lifting.  I knew that.  It’s just that I wanted to do cardio every day and I can’t do HIIT every day.  It will run me down.  So for a week or so, I’m going to run an experiment.  I’ll do the HIIT every other day and see what happens.

I really have to experiment now with the diet and the cardio to find something that works for me.  It doesn’t matter whether what other people do – it only matters how my body is reacting.  So tomorrow – no cardio.  See how I feel.  HIIT on Wednesday.  It’s all good.  Less time on StairMonster is a good thing.  Wonder if she will miss me?

Just out of curiosity, I looked for a picture of 25 pounds of fat.  Found this one.  It works if you add the top and bottom shelves…

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