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Motivational Monday's (11/11/19) Topic: Balance in our body

Good morning and happy Veterans Day all!

We all know that our diet/nutrition plays a vital role in a healthy body. Point blank, it is the initial reason that most people come to me looking to achieve their goals, whatever they may look like! Aesthetic, athletic or both! 

HOWEVER, we so so SO often forget, overlook or are simply naïve to how critical the role that different types of stressors play, in providing the much needed “balance” or a happy level of "homeostasis" within one’s body.  

In other words; How does “physical, chemical, and emotional” stress affect my body and keep me from getting to my desired physique and/or performance goals? And how can I combat and improve my quality of life surrounding these areas?   

Firstly, there are three types of stress—physical, chemical, and emotional. Each of these stressors knocks the physical body out of its natural state of balance, otherwise known as homeostasis. Likewise, these three types of stress can be countered by balancing the physical, chemical, and emotional states back into order.

Okay, so we know our body and food impact our emotions, and our emotions impact our body.  But how does this impact weight?!

Originally, the bodies stress response was designed to be useful.  If a lion was after you, it’d be beneficial to have a quick energy source from higher blood sugar, and more energy in your limbs to fight or flee.  Of course, that won’t help you much with handling your spouse getting angry with you (for example), but evolution doesn’t know that.

Our fight-or-flight stress response was built for short-term dangers that physically put us in danger.  When that threat is gone, so is the stress. These days, our stresses are not TYPICALLY so physical, but mental or emotional.  And those don’t tend to go away so quickly. Many of us are chronically, or long-term, stressed. And you can bet that impacts our physiology, health, and even the ability to lose weight, excess body fat OR desired muscle gain!

Good old cortisol is linked to higher body fat, especially around the midsection.  Yup – belly fat! Chronic stress may contribute to more belly fat storage, which also happens to be the type of fat that puts us more at risk for chronic disease like diabetes and heart disease… real talk guys and gals. You see the people walking around with the skinny arms and skinny legs and a HUGE gut… (not good).

When we lead extremely stressful lives, we tend to compound the problem by eating in a rush, on the go, whenever we can grab something edible.  But eating while we’re stressed, or eating too quickly, actually do the opposite of what most of us want. Remember that stress means our bodies are primed to run or fight something.  Blood flows away from our digestive system, and the body isn’t focused on producing the many digestive enzymes we need to properly digest our food. So it might just let our lunch sit in our gut OR run right through you… yikes.

On top of that, when we’re not paying attention, the brain doesn’t start the digestion process like it normally would, and it doesn’t register what or how much we’re eating.  It may “forget” that we ever ate, which can send us running to the kitchen all day and all through the night. That simply isn’t the goal for any of us...

The good news is, we can use my much talked about “mindfulness” practices to consciously change our behavior toward getting into a relaxed mode before and while we eat.  And it’s so simple! Just breathe! A few deep breaths into the belly and full exhales flips the switch from stress mode to relax mode.

Suddenly your body is primed to fully digest and experience your food, which can decrease cortisol, and over time can impact your health and weight!  On top of that, your attention on your food will allow your brain to register eating and make it that much easier to stop the mindless snacking the rest of the day!

So, step away from the computer, take some deep breaths, and eat your meal or snack in peace! This goes for all the other stressors in our lives people, work, relationships, internal personal battles! BE KIND TO YOURSELF. You only have this one mind and this one body. <3

If you do not treat it with love, care and respect, it will not reward you with the physique you are working SO hard in the gym for or give you the level of natural energy you have been pumping yourself full of caffeine with to try and attain… Remember… Rest and Digest. <3



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