12 Reasons Women Think They’re Overweight (Which One Have You Used?)

 

It sometimes takes a little detective work to uncover the root cause...
It sometimes takes a little detective work to uncover the root cause…

The other day I asked my Facebook followers a very personal question. “For those of you who feel you are overweight, what do you honestly think the reason is for you being overweight? No judgment here, I’m just interested in the answers.”

The comments that came in were surprisingly varied and honest.

Of the many answers given, the following list of twelve reasons is a culmination of common themes and answers given.

See if any of them hit a nerve with you personally.

  1. A lack of control and willpower. I make excuses for myself and lack balance when it comes to health.
  2. I am stressed. Stressed with the kids, overwhelmed with life, and not getting enough sleep either.
  3. I’m overly busy at work and home. Often that leads to not planning meals or packing healthy food for the day, or not eating enough. I’m pretty sure that’s affecting my weight.
  4. I hate exercise (or can’t exercise due to medical issues)
  5. Emotional eating and other bad eating habits have plagued me for years. Maybe since childhood. And I struggle to believe I can change it
  6. I’m a sucker for junk food. Sweet, salty, bring it on. I can’t resist.
  7. I just plain love food. Lots of it. Pass the potatoes. And the gravy too.
  8. I think my biggest problem is laziness. It’s too much work to cook. Or exercise. And especially to be consistent with it. Sometimes I can do it well for a while, but then I fall off again, which makes me feel like giving up.
  9. I don’t care. There are more important things than health and fitness. I’m fine the way I am.
  10. My physical and mental limitations make me overweight. (depression, hypothyroidism, boredom, hormonal issues, PMS, digestive issues)
  11. I’m going through a major lifestyle change – there’s not time!! (Just had a baby, changing jobs or schedules, new marriage, moving to a new home, death in family…)
  12. I try and try, but keep falling off the wagon. Why BOTHER?! It’s depressing and embarrassing to fail at this all the time. Hard to get motivated with that going on…

 

That’s not all. Many women also said they didn’t like the feeling of being overweight. Which makes sense.

As these varied answers show, there is no one reason for why we’re overweight. It should be obvious then that there is also no one solution. Still, we think there is, don’t we? Exercise and eat right. That’s the magic fix for everyone. But that’s just behavior. Behavior is always driven by something deeper.

Ultimately, to fix the problem, to actually make a lasting change, we need to understand the root cause.

Once we glimpse what’s driving our behavior, we have a chance. Then we can change our beliefs or behavior to lead to transformative change.

Which of the 12 reasons did you most identify with? Mention them in the comments, or feel free to add your own reason.

 

CONTACT ME here, if you would like help to dig deeper, identify and resolve your own ROOT cause (many times, its not obvious and we are not even aware of it!)  to make longer term success easier and more possible for you.

 

Is your Stress Causing Weight Gain?

Stress leads to unwanted gains or difficulty losing
Stress leads to unwanted gains or difficulty losing


We women struggle with weight.

Especially if we’re over thirty or forty.

Without our permission, weight begins to add itself to our waistline.
Even if we’re eating well and exercising! It’s so unfair.

What’s worse, and what adds to the injustice, is the advice of some medical professionals to “get used to it” because it’s “just how it is”. “This is aging, sorry.” “Nothing you can do about it.”

That, my friend, is bunk. Baloney. Boohockey. Bull.

There is absolutely something we can do about pre-menopausal weight gain.
I know this not only as a medical professional. I know not only as a fitness coach whose clients experience success. I know because I LIVED it. I was middle-aged, over-weight, and desperate for a solution. And I beat it.

Middle-aged, pre-menopausal, unbalanced-hormone induced weight gain is absolutely something we can influence and even conquer.

There are a few factors that worsen or improve premenopausal symptoms (like weight gain). We’ve talked about a few of them. Today I want to address one of the big ones.

It may surprise you to learn that stress impacts both our hormones and fat storage.

Medically Speaking

Cortisol is a hormone that regulates both hunger and fat storage. The more stress you have, the more Cortisol is released. This hormone causes fat storage, particularly around the mid-section.

At the same time, this flooding of hormones also suppresses the thyroid which is in charge of our metabolism. So, chronic stress lowers thyroid function which slows metabolism – another cause for fat storage.

Translation: Stress tells our hormones to store fat.

This is meant to fuel the fight or flight response stress historically required. If you were a cavewoman, stressed out by the cougar stalking your family, your body would fuel you for the fight. Today, in our culture, we need not flee or fight to battle the stressor. Demanding children, insufficient finances, high demands at work, or difficult relationships are our stressors. These modern stressors are dealt with more internally. So all the fuel gets stored instead of used.
That storage warehouse is located on our midsection. Aren’t we lucky?

What To Do About It

Despite this process being knitted right into our DNA, we actually can regulate how our body works. We’ve talked about balancing hormones with food and exercise, but let’s address stress.  How can we combat stress?

Let’s start with how not to combat stress: hiding in any unhealthy behaviour or substance will actually do the opposite – it will cause more stress. Over-eating, over-shopping, alcohol and drug use, and over-use of media and screens can all be tempting as a way to unwind or relax, but they actually do us harm.

Food, drugs, and alcohol fiddle with our hormones (and internal organs), over-shopping can pinch the wallet, adding more stress, and over-use of media and screens leaves us feeling empty, lethargic, and sedentary.

I started with how not to reduce stress because reducing stress is actually highly personal. There’s no ‘one list’ of specific things to do that will, guaranteed, reduce stress for everyone. One person will be energized by being with a group of friends, and another will be exhausted by it for example.

I can offer ideas though. People have found the following to be energizing, relaxing, and refreshing. Try them out. Experiment. See what lowers your stress level. Then keep it up. Add it to your regular weekly (or daily) schedule. This is not about a quick fix, it’s about maintenance. Health is a long-game, not a fast food.

Ideas to De-Stress:

  • Meditation and/or prayer
  • Hang out with friends
  • Play with your kids
  • Do something active (skiing, tennis, snowmobiling, quadding, walk, jog, bike, hike, swim…)
  • Read a book (one you enjoy, not one that feels like homework)
  • Take a day off – do no work. No house work, no yard work, no thinking about work.
  • Do something creative (knitting, woodworking, painting, writing, scrapbooking, pottery, singing, dancing class…)
  • Go for a long drive
  • Check out open houses, window shop in a store you love,
  • Get a spa treatment – massage, manicure, or a nice long hair treatment
  • Go on a retreat, spend some time reflecting.

Even when we eat well and exercise, a high-stress lifestyle can stall any fat-burning success we seek.

Health isn’t a tactical approach. (as Westerners, we hate this, I know. We want results and we want them now!) But health is holistic. It’s a process of maintaining health on all fronts, not just one. We need to focus on clean eating as much as we focus on exercise, as much as we focus on minimizing stress. This is what it takes to thrive in health.

If you’re tempted to feel overwhelmed by this, thinking, “well, I’m not getting them all right, so I may as well do none of them”, don’t give up!!

New habits are hard to establish, and old ones are hard to break. Keep trying. Then try some more. Change one small thing at a time. Think progress, not perfection. It’s the long game, not fast food.

Don’t give up.

You can do this.

 

Please take a minute to COMMENT on this article! I would love to hear from you!

CLICK HERE to receive a FREE PDF re: getting started NOW with Clean Eating!

Is Your Stress Level Triggering Pre-Menopausal Symptoms? How to Tell and What to Do About It

 

Stress can totally work against our body's healthy function.
Stress can totally work against our body’s healthy function.

We women often demand much of our bodies.

Too much sometimes.

We have demanding and stressful careers. Family responsibilities. Our spousal relationship may not be the best. Aging parents can add to the burden. It all adds up to a lot of stress, which takes its toll on the body.

What we find out too late though, is that stress can actually trigger early menopausal symptoms. 

If your body is under even a moderate level of stress and over the age of thirty, it’s possible your stress is to blame for pre-menopause. Check out this list of symptoms to find out if it might be happening to you:

Do You Have These Pre-Menopausal Symptoms? 

• Irregular menstrual cycles
• Light or heavy menstrual flow
• Lumpy or tender breasts
• Fibroid tumors
• Endometriosis
• Mood swings
• Water retention and bloating
• Sleep problems
• “Foggy, fuzzy” thinking and memory lapses
• Anxiety and depression
• Inability to handle stress
• PMS
• Hot flashes and night sweats
• Vaginal dryness
• Weight gain

If so, you may be on the long (often more than ten years!) path to menopause.

(Quick pause here – menopause is the body’s cessation of the menstrual cycle. But it doesn’t happen overnight. Pre-menopause is the body’s long process of preparing. It slowly reduces the degree and frequency of ovulation until finally it does not happen anymore. The process results in hormonal imbalance, which produces many of the above symptoms.)

What most women don’t know is that we have the power to change it.

We can influence our hormonal balance. 

But it’s going to take a bit of work. Because we’ve been wrecking our hormones for a while. Incrementally, every day, our habits actually work against us, pulling our hormones in directions they shouldn’t go.

Other ways we women ravage our hormonal balance include obesity, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, and excess caffeine and alcohol. These add to the problem instead of helping the body cope with what is demanded of it.

Effects of Hormone Imbalance: 

  • Low sex drive
  • Bloating
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches before menstrual period
  • Mood swings
  • Irregular periods / excessive bleeding

When hormones are balanced, we tend to feel more alert, energetic, and ready to take on the challenges of life!

So how can we tell if the pre-menopausal symptoms are, in fact, happening because of hormone imbalance?

That’s an important question. Because stress, age, and lifestyle choices are not the only consideration. Some of the symptoms listed can be signs of other conditions. That’s why it’s important to consult a physician or nurse practitioner with knowledge and experience in the area of hormonal balance. (I’m one.)

How To Help Re-Balance Your Hormones: 

Like I said, there is something you can do.

But I kind of don’t want to tell you. Because I’m afraid you’ll roll your eyes and say, “Pfft. I knew that.” But sometimes the most powerful truths are the ones you’ve heard a thousand times from a hundred different places … but you may have just preferred to keep your head in the sand.

Trust me, I know. I’ve been there, done that.

Okay, here’s the deal.

Rebalancing your hormones can be simple, but takes the work of doing these things: 

  • Reduce caffeine (did I lose you already? Come back! You can do it!!)
  • Reduce alcohol (yes, you can do it.)
  • Exercise regularly (If you hate exercise, you probably haven’t tried these fun programs)
  • Eat clean. (If you’re really new at this, just start with eating some kind of vegetables every day. Or add one superfood shake a day….perhaps join a clean eating challenge to learn more)
  • Reduce stress (Meditate, schedule some quiet time every day and every week, using that time to do something that recharges you.)

I’ve been where you are.

I’ve been fatigued, unbalanced, and unaware – and I’m a Nurse Practitioner!! So don’t feel bad. It happens to us all. At least you’re not stuck, right? There IS something you can do.
And I can help you through it.

Need a health or menopause coach, or some advice on which exercise  program to try out? I’m your woman.

Have some questions you’d rather not post in the comment section? Contact me here.

Or, if you are having the pre-menopause symptoms above, some hot flashes and night sweats and are looking for some natural solutions,  download this free PDF!

A Happy Grouch?

The grouch

Is it possible to be a happy grouch? Not certain about this one…

Had a very bad evening today…just felt so many cravings and was hungry and very grouchy … To top it all off, I gave in to a few too many cravings which then made me feel weighed down and even more grouchy and lazy too! 😡

With the encouragement of a friend, I forced myself to do a 20 min cardio workout then tried really hard to smile for the camera. I do admit feeling a wee bit better after exercising, but still feeling bloated and so grouchy! Grr…

Not sure if I am still recovering from my cruise vacation, or if it is life challenges getting me down…but sure hope that a good night sleep will get rid of how I feel. Tomorrow is a new day, right? 😳

Give me some positive encouragement in the comments to lift me up please! 😊

#lifechallenges #difficultpeople #stress #therealworld #AthleticGrandma #FitnessGal1969 #theplateisfull