Have you been doing everything you know to do and still can't lose the weight?
It's not uncommon in mid-life (especially for women) to see the numbers on the scale begin to creep up because hormone shifts create the perfect storm. Lack of sleep, mood swings, the increase in the hunger hormone ghrelin, our mindset and so much more changes as we move into perimenopause. It's not only the hormone shifts, think of all the things happening in our personal and professional lives during mid-life.
Our careers are usually in full swing. We've come into the phase of our work-life where we have become the subject matter experts. You may be putting in full days, taking calls, answering emails, and closing those deadlines and projects which is using up all that brain power.
After the full day of work, you come home to start the "second shift." A term that describes all "work" that takes place at home. Playing taxi to after school activities, keeping up with the household chores, getting a (healthy) dinner on the table, helping with homework, and let's not forget having a grown up conversation with your partner. Even those of you without children or a partner at home, have household and relationship demands.
Throw on top of the fire planning for the holidays, or a birthday, graduation, or any other celebration and it's a recipe for increased stress. STRESS can make us fat!
Stress creates an increase in the primary stress hormone cortisol. Normally, cortisol is on a bell curve; increasing in the morning hours and decreasing in the evening. However, when we are chronically stressed, it stays high leading to less sleep which means increased hunger hormone, which means sugar, salt, and junky carb cravings. This creates an imbalance in our microbiome and the cycle just keeps going from there.
It's crucial that we monitor and intentionally deal with our stress levels--let's begin with the mind and our thoughts. How do you deregulate after a busy day? It's in the small seemingly insignificant decisions we make daily that matter most to our health. How does your mind perceive what's happening to you? If we have 50-60 thousand thoughts a day and most of those are recurring, are you helping or hurting your waist line?
Think of your stress level like a ballon. You start off the day with an empty ballon. As the day goes on, small puffs of air (micro-stressors) begin to blow it up. If we can allow some of the air to escape throughout the day, you'll ensure it doesn't pop; keeping that cortisol level down. Easier said that done?! Here's how life usually goes.....You start off the day exhausted because you went to bed later than planned. You are woken up before your alarm clock by a kiddo who needs breakfast NOW. You're driving to work and get cut off by ruthless drivers. Finally getting to the office, you fire up your email to discover an unexpected meeting that throws off the plans for the day. All the while, your mind is telling you stories about these circumstances. It's filling your thoughts with negativity, lack, and frustration. Unless you willfully pull yourself back from these thoughts, the cortisol begins to rise.
Releasing the air from your balloon is about putting in Daily Deposits into all Life Accounts. Head over the the Mind - Body Connection blog to refresh yourself on the definition of life accounts and what daily deposits are.
Three Micro-Actions to help you manage your stress level.
Take THREE deep belly breathes as you begin your day. This actually changes your biology and brings the emotional temperature down.
Take a walk. Get out during the day and take a walk outside. Walking and being out in nature lowers stress.
Affirmations. Use positive messaging to help shape your thought process.
Doing these sporadically throughout your day are examples of putting in daily deposits, letting some air out of your balloon and increasing your capacity to deal with all that life throws at you.
Do you already do these little micro-actions throughout your day? Hit reply and tell me about the impact they've made in your life and on your waist-line!