Caffeine, Running and croissants. What do these 3 things have in common ? Absolutely nothing !! So why am I talking about them today ? I want to chat a little bit about the bad habits that some of us, especially busy women, mothers etc…have fallen prey to on a day to day basis without realizing how much of an impact these things are having on our bodies. Let me explain further.
Are you the type of person who wakes up in the morning and the first thing on your mind is making a cup of coffee because you cannot possibly imagine being able to function without it ? So you drink your coffee, get dressed , head to the gym for your workout (which was a little harder to get through today because you slept a whole 5 hours the night before after binge watching “This is Us” after you got home from work). After your gym session, you realize you didn’t pack a protein bar and you never had time for breakfast before leaving your house because the dog decided he wanted to enjoy the breeze in the yard this morning instead of using the bathroom (this happens to me at least 3 days a week BTW so I didn’t just make that one up haha), so you head to get yet another cup of coffee and that delicious croissant at the coffee shop because you are now beyond starved and this seems like the easiest thing to grab before heading to work or before dropping the kids off at school. You get to work, still tired even after 2 cups of coffee and now for lunch you are craving all sorts of carby, sugary foods and it needs to be quick because you have a meeting to get to. Now the day is over 3 cups of coffee down the hatch, you ordered grilled chicken for lunch which was a good choice, but you also ate that cupcake at the office party because you needed a little pick me up midday. You head home, cook a nice healthy meal for the family, get the kids ready for bed and now it’s time to settle down but you can’t because now you have an energy spike, and you decided to watch some TV, or do a load of laundry. It’s 11pm and now you’re tired enough to go to bed but since you have your phone bedside, you can’t help but check how many people liked your inspirational running post on IG in the last hour so you have to check that before bed. Lights off, your husband is in a deep sleep but now you are wide awake and your brain just doesn’t want to shut down. You finally fall asleep an hour after turning in and 5 hours later that dreaded noise of your alarm clock goes off, and its time to do it all again.
So now you evaluate your routine. You workout 5 days a week, strength training, you run a few days a week, you even take yoga 1x a week to make sure you stay loose for your running. Why then are you having trouble losing weight? Why is most of the weight visceral abdominal fat, and why can’t you build any lean muscle ? Your diet is on point 90% of the time (except for that occasional croissant), you’re drinking your 3 liters of water daily, what going on? The answer is simple. Hormones, specifically Cortisol and our other stress hormones that are putting our bodies in a constant state of defense in response to our day to day lives and the many things that we are expected to handle without failure. It’s hard to balance everything without becoming stressed from the many demands that are expected of us on a day to day basis. Most people, barely make time for self care, and down time just becomes television time which is also putting our bodies under stress since the blue light from our electronic devices, is preventing us from getting proper rest .
Hormones play a huge role in our weight loss journey. Even the most disciplined exerciser and meal planner, can suffer from weight gain and lack of lean mass if they are over stressed , over worked and lacking sleep. Does any of this sound like you? If it does, I want you to take a moment to evaluate your day. Write down what your routine was today, take a look at amount of sleep you had last night, how much water and caffeine you drank , how busy your day was. Take a moment, and try to remember the last time you practiced self care, whether that be a massage, a yoga class, meditation or just reading a book. Do not underestimate the importance of stress reduction and self care in your journey to health and wellness. It’s just as important as food and exercise, actually maybe even more important. A stressed body is not a healthy body. So open up your calendar, and set aside 30 minutes this week for self care. If you do this weekly, it will become a habit and I promise you will see drastic differences in your mood and in how your body feels physically.
Need a little help or guidance in your self care routine ? Have you plateaued in your weight loss journey and want to talk about ways to bring your hormones back into balance ? Send me an email and I would love to set up a Health History call in order to help you get started on some steps towards being more successful in these areas.
In Health and Wellness