Whether you want to face it or not…your attitude is making you fat.
Legit: There are some genetic medical conditions that mess hormones up and create excess weight, yes.
For most of us however, here are the excuses we give ourselves – go ahead, check yours off the list:
- “Healthy food is expensive, we can’t afford it”
- “I’m so crazy busy I don’t have time for the gym”
- “I don’t have money for a gym membership or trainer”
- “I just can’t stick to a diet”
- “We go out all the time on the run with sports, etc”
- “I’ve always been heavy”
- “I have big bones” *You have bigger, denser bones over time to be able to physically hold and support your excess weight…A regular frame cannot hold an extra 50-200 lbs. It takes a constant beating and the bone cells (yep, bone is aliiiiive) get busy bolstering the bone up to be more hearty so they can withstand the load. Frame sizes vary, yes – but bones don’t make you fat. #physiology
- “I try so hard and nothing ever changes – so why try at all”
- “One drink won’t make me fat! -sub in cookie, pizza, pizza party, vacation, weekend, blah blah blah”
- “I could never go without my wine (again, sub wine for: bread, cheese, latte, mexican, etc etc)
- “Well, he loves my body the way it is.” Awesome, but he loves for your heart to be healthy too…
The list goes on and on and on.
A couple things need put into perspective…
Life is hard
Nutrition and exercise are NOT the only factors
Hormones rule the game
So let’s break those down:
Life is hard – YUP.
We post our highlight reel on facebook or instagram. You may see or do it yourself – post false humility to seem ‘real.’ The human body, mind, spirit is so, so, so gentle and nimble and soft – which as a mama you see and know in the tender moments when your child’s capacity to handle a certain emotion, situation breaks. Adults, once you graduate college or post-grad..it’s as though we forever disregard that fact and pretend we can take on endless forces. The truth is there is only so much capacity in a given day to give before restoration. All day, forces work on us. The stressors (not just “stress” from work/home), are numerous. Environmental stressors are air quality, water quality, electronic device emissions – it’s real and it’s affecting all of us more each day. Physical stressors – daily movement and exercise, sitting at a desk, hunching over the computer, schlepping kids, giving birth to kids, sleep quality or lack there of. Emotional stressors, you all are well versed there. PLUS the regular ole stressors that we think of – external pressures from things we ‘have to do.’ That, you’re also well versed on.
So, while life is grand and blessed and full of opportunity. It’s also full of stressors that need managed or your hormones will go wonky! If you’re in the camp that thinks yoga, journaling, positive thinking, meditation, tai chi, or ‘woo woo’ type things won’t do crap to make your life better…you are sorely sorely mistaken.
Brain waves run at a 4 different levels during a day. They can switch you from Beta waves, your cognitive functions of daily life and tasks and stressors, to Alpha waves for awake relaxation, visualization, creativity – good for problem solving, and Theta waves for meditation, intuition and memory, and Delta waves for deep meditation, sleep, and healing since they favor production of human growth hormone (aka why babies sleep so much). Human growth hormone also functions for adults as our repair hormone. Think – you have a hard workout, now you need to heal.
Different waves trigger production and/or release of various hormones. The most notable and familiar is cortisol. Beta waves trigger cortisol production, “The reason why brain waves are important is because the beta cycle causes an elevation in blood sugar levels and blood pressure throughout the day. Chronically high blood sugar levels can cause hyperglycemia, metabolic syndrome, weight gain, and eventually diabetes. Without retreat to the alpha and theta waves, concentration, relaxation, and overall health are compromised.” – http://americannutritionassociation.org/node/257
So get you some happy waves! Don’t burn out in Beta.
Diet and exercise aren’t the key.
You haven’t been lied to, but you haven’t been told the whole story, either. Don’t you hate that. Getting your nutrition in check with whole, real food is key, but it doesn’t have to be completely on point to get results…hmmmm, whaaaaa?? If your hormones are in check, your body takes care of it’s metabolism fairly easily and makes proteins/fats/carbs to use out of whatever you give it. It’s like wicked smart! The biggest problem is we give it too much! Excess of any macronutrient is a stress to your body, so portions of anything are key to long-term success.
Here’s a quick review of 4 Reasons your Diet is Failing to help course correct if needed.
Exercise, gahhh. Hearts and flowers all over this for me. Exercise is almost a cure all in life. I love the quote “When in doubt, go workout.” I’m not positive who said that, but I LIVE by it. Doubts and frustrations and challenges creep up..every hour it seems when running 2 businesses. There is NO better faster way to clarity – than a nice workout. It has a 100% conversion rate in getting me from ‘wah wah wah’ to ‘OMG I know, I’ll do X, Y, Z and here are all the details.’
Exercise is a must for hormone balance, bone density, lymphatic movement (immune cell distribution), toxin removal, cerebral flow, a good sex life, a good work life, so many things.
BUT – if you’re torturing yourself at a workout you freaking hate. Please stop. Just stop. NO one is forcing you to do it, and you’re likely creating reinforcing a negative connotation in your mind and body that you don’t want to do it. That works against you actually making it a life skill. What did you enjoy as a kid? Softball – go do that! Dance – go do that! Do you prefer to walk over run – then do that!
Personal note: I don’t run. I hate it. I’ll occasionally run Tabata type sprints on a treadmill…but for like 4 minutes and I’m done. I’ve never felt bad doing yoga or a hike, in fact I always feel immensely better. So that’s what I do. I lift weights (its an 85% love), do lots of yoga (100% love), and walk outside (100% love). That’s it.
Hormones run the game.
Hormones are the signaling molecules to make all processes happen in the body and mind. They fall into 4 main classes: Amine, Protein, Steroid, and Peptide. That’s the classification of what they’re made of and a how they are received. Hormones are produced by glands or cells in your body and travel via your blood to a ‘target tissue’ or their destination to have a certain effect.
I will save the physiology lessons for another day.. here’s what you need to know:
- stimulate or inhibit growth, repair, and healing of tissues
- control sexual arousal (no sex drive while nursing)
- hunger cravings (yup, hormonally driven)
- wake-sleep cycle
- lactation, love, bonding (awww…you know these well)
- activation or suppression of immune system (!!!!!!!)
- fight or flight responses (mama bear mode)
- drives all life cycles: growth, puberty, parenting, menopause, death
- control reproductive cycle
…literally everything, ok?
Here is the kicker:
Hormones can be stimulated or inhibited by:
- Plasma concentrations of ions, nutrients (what you eat..)
- Other hormones (they like to cascade from one to another)
- Environmental changes: Light, Temp, etc – all of the external factors
- NEURONAL INPUT AND MENTAL ACTIVITY
I just want to make sure you re-read the #4. YO! What you think about and to yourself, what mental states you put yourself into, the way you FEEEEEEEL (ooooh so woo woo), the way you talk to yourself all drive your hormones.
So please, get your head on straight first. Go to counseling, change your thought patterns, give to others (and stop thinking so much about you you you), try yoga at home, meditate (for real….the BEST thing ever, and everyone sucks at it- that’s ok!), do anything you need. Your body will thank you. Your family will thank you. Teach these to your family, become that family.
My personal strategies if you’d like to know reality:
- 5 Minute Journal in the morning and night. Any journaling or reading is great.
- 5-10 minute meditation, sit and try. Sometimes its a disaster, but you’ll feel it when you hit theta mode, pay close attention. My morning routine is key, and YES you have to get up earlier, worth every minute.
- After reading books at night, my 21 month old little guy does “big breathing” with me. He gets it already.
- Working out – 2-5 times per week, no more than 30 minutes each. Yoga, weights, walking/hiking.
- Accumulating ‘tranquility’ points by noticing and smiling at the little tiny things in life during the day.
So check yo’self before you reck yo’self.