Weights, Dates and Protein Shakes

For approximately four years, bodybuilding took over my life. I counted my calories and macro-nutrients meticulously. I hit the gym at least 5 times a week for at least an hour, sometimes at midnight just to get in my cardio for the day after work. I was shredded with a six-pack that could rival any washboard.

For the first time in my life, I felt physically strong. And that is a very, very powerful drug. And one I remained hooked on for quite some time. And… I was tired and lonely and burnt out and quickly learning that it’s not healthy to place the entire burden of my worthiness on the leanness of my body.

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My good friend and boss babe, Liz, recently interviewed me for her successful YouTube channel: SuperSister Fitness! We talk about why I transitioned from weightlifting as my main form of movement to more fluid workouts like yoga and pole dancing. We get into orthorexia (an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating and calorie counting), dating (obvi), and a lot more. Watch below or click here to check out the 13min video.

Byyyyyy the way, I am writing this blog post right now as a direct result of choosing not to go to the gym tonight. This is absolutely something that would never have happened a few years ago. I would’ve dragged my ass in there and forced myself to throw some shit around for an hour until I could permission myself to feel like I earned my sleep for the night. These days, I let me intuition guide me for the most part, with the occasional pep talk to get myself moving when I know I need it (but might maybe possibly want to binge-watch Outlander with a glass of wine instead).

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Intuitive eating and training has been such a delightful change of pace for me, but it is not a weight-loss strategy and in order to properly eat intuitively, one must’ve done the work to be able to actually tap into their intuition (weird, right?). Intuitive eating is not having a burger and fries because you’re craving it/”deserve” it/ “earned” it. Intuitive eating is having an extra serving of protein or eating an avocado or grabbing that green juice because you can sense that your body needs it. And this is why it’s sometimes best to take a linear/logical approach to fitness when first starting and then transitioning into more feelings-based guidance.

Something I see time and time again as a personal trainer with my clients, are people who say they know that they should be doing but simply aren’t doing it. Why? My theory: because people are afraid to fail and afraid to be uncomfortable and afraid to be new at something. And most people get a quick hit of dopamine and a feeling of accomplishment from talking about taking action, but then never actually doing anything. This is why people:

  • buy gym memberships but never go
  • pay for a personal trainer but always cancel
  • buy a book but never read it
  • hire a nutritionist but still eat crap

My suggestion? Figure out what you’re getting in exchange for continuing the cycle of not following through (because there is always something you’re getting). Do you get to avoid looking “silly” in the gym by not even showing up? Do you get to emotionally bypass difficult feelings by drinking/eating/smoking instead of choosing a healthier outlet? Or maybe it’s something trauma-based and subconscious that you need professional help with. (P.S. There’s no shame in going to therapy).

We subconsciously loop thoughts and patterns picked up in childhood that we’ve now deemed as comfortable and normal, whether healthy or unhealthy, so it’ll likely take some awareness and effort to interrupt those. You can only hate, shame and force your body into doing what you want in the short term, and you’ll be a miserable mess the whole time with this approach. This is why extreme diet and fitness programs fail: you never fixed whats happening in your head and in your heart to encourage long-term success.

I have been good at athletics for as long as I can remember. The secret? I was rewarded when I was a child for athletic success on a regular basis. I then subconsciously attributed this as an effective way to gain love and attention. If it’s not something that comes naturally to you, you have to reprogram some of the deep inner workings of your mind that are blocking you from success. I’m hoping to get someone on the Reina Rising podcast to chat about this soon!! But in the meantime, start small, celebrate your wins, and ask for help!

 

 

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Are Soul Mates for Suckers?

Someone recently told me that I’m going to have a hard time finding a man who’s going to appreciate the adventurous, spontaneous, and oftentimes reckless aspects of my personality.

You see, while I’ve ditched the “Prince Charming” narrative and the rose-colored glasses of my formative years, I still seemed to have gleaned an idea of romantic love that isn’t considered “realistic” by some. But alas, the “some” that think it’s unrealistic don’t have the type of relationship I want.

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After a string of anticlimactic Bumble dates, it’s been sometimes challenging to hold onto the vision of what my soul desires. And if I wasn’t doing the work to stay in my worth (via journaling, meditation, self care, talk therapy, etc) it would be nearly impossible.

The older I get, the more I realize how we oftentimes sleepwalk our way through life relying on a learned set of patterns picked up in childhood, causing us to then subconsciously attract partners – for better or worse – solely because it’s what we know. (Enter: Trauma Bonding)

“Everyone attracts partners from their prehistoric limbic brain or old brain, aka the subconscious mind. The one that imprinted in childhood… We attract our trauma missing puzzle pieces that our brain believes will make us whole…

[Trauma bonding] means that their trauma attracted your trauma. Meaning that we attract suitors and partners which are the culmination of the traits of the caretakers who raised us. We do this because our subconscious believes that we will be able to work out our undeveloped worth, trauma, and pain through this missing other puzzle piece with our half.” – Lacy Phillips, http://www.tobemagnetic.com

I just finished Lacy’s “UNBLOCKED Partnership” course, available here, and have come to learn something that I long thought to be true: all of my past romantic partners up to this point have been mirrors of where I still needed healing in my life and where I needed to grow my self worth in order to experience the type of lasting partnership I want. I truly believe that you will attract a partner that is a vibrational match for where you are in your life right now.

I’m single because I want the kind of love that is requiring me to transform and transmute some of my deep inner shit. And it’s hard. It’s incredibly vulnerable to look at things that have been silently lurking in the cobwebbed corners of your subconscious and leaching out into your life for decades. And it’s so easy to just choose to numb these things instead of facing it all.

And it is not enough to simply look at these things. Just looking keeps your stuck in the pain and the shame. You have to look, feel, accept without judgement, and allow yourself to open up to another way of living, another reality. You have to get therapy and journal and talk about it and read about it and find ways of healing that work for you. It is not always easy to change how you’ve always viewed yourself and the world around you. But my God, is it worth it.

How many of us stay with someone because we’re afraid of being alone? How often do you make excuses and settle because you think this is just as good as it gets? How many times have you chased unrequited love because you were starving for validation?

 

“So many of us choose our path out of fear, disguised as practicality.”

– Jim Carrey

The more I write, the more I realize that this is truly less about romantic love and more about how one chooses to live life as a whole. Want to attract soul mate love? Yeah, me too. But you have to put the phone down, take the earphones out, look up, look people in the eyes, say “hi”, take responsibility for your healing and your happiness, and remember that we’re all here in this life together.

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Are we all just a bunch of emotionally avoidant alcoholics?

I’m not usually one for writing about a quandary that I’m in the midst of. My ego much prefers talking about how I have valiantly conquered a demon as opposed to addressing one that I am still dancing with. But alas, here I am, sitting at a bar with a glass of wine, about to write a post about how I’ve grown to abhor alcohol.

I have, over the past few months, found myself unusually wrestling with the moral dilemma that is alcohol. I mean… why on earth do I literally poison myself every weekend? What does my life look like if I’m sober? Am I even capable of being sober? What will I do for fun? Will I still have friends?

When I was 18, two years after my parents divorce, I quickly grew an affinity for binge drinking. After all, getting wasted with my fair-weather friends was much more fun than dealing with the emotional wreckage that I was stockpiling underneath the rug.

If I was sad, I drank.

If I was bored, I drank.

If I was with friends, I was drinking.

Alcohol had become a near constant in my life for 6 years. I learned to earn “love” and surface-level social acceptance with mini skirts and one-too-many martinis. And it’s not until this year that I have taken a very serious look at my habits and asked myself if alcohol was pushing me closer to or further away from the woman I want to be. The answer, for me, is clear. But the fear is unexplainable. Why am I so afraid to stop drinking? Perhaps it’s simply because it’s a commonly used coping mechanism to numb out the feelings that someone’s been subconsciously avoiding.

Doesn’t anyone else think that it’s quite odd that we as a society encourage the consumption of alcohol, which is a highly addictive and destructive drug? Doesn’t anyone else think it’s weird that we poison ourselves in the name of fun?

Below are some stats from Kelly Fitzgerald’s Huffington Post article titled “15 Shocking Alcohol Awareness Statistics for Alcohol Awareness Month”:

1. 88,000 deaths are annually attributed to excessive alcohol use. (CDC)

2. Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 51 minutes. (CDC)

3. Long-term alcohol use can cause serious health complications affecting every organ in your body, including your brain. Additionally, it can damage your emotional stability, finances, career, impact your family, friends and the people you work with. (NCAAD)

4. Women who binge drink are more likely to have unprotected sex and multiple sex partners. These activities increase the risks of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. (CDC)

5. 100,000 persons die each year from alcohol-related causes: drinking and driving crashes, other accidents, falls, fires, alcohol-related homicides and suicides. (NCAAD)

6. Excessive alcohol consumption increases aggression and, as a result, can increase the risk of physically assaulting another person. (CDC)

7. Of the 3.9 million Americans who received treatment for a substance abuse problem in 2005, 2.5 million of them were treated for alcohol use. (Drug Free World)

8. Approximately 17 percent of men and 8 percent of women will be dependent on alcohol in their lifetime. (NIAAA)

9. Because of the astounding 80,000 deaths that are related to alcohol abuse every year, alcohol abuse is the third highest cause of death in the U.S. (CDC)

10. 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking. (NIAAA)

11. Approximately 7,000 children in the U.S. under the age of 16 take their first drink every day, which is a major problem because those who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcoholism than those who begin at age 21. (Rehabs.com)

12. Excessive alcohol consumption cost the United States $223.5 billion in 2006. This amounts to about $1.90 per drink, or about $746 per person. (CDC)

13. Alcoholism includes the following four symptoms: craving, loss of control, physical dependence, and tolerance. (NCADD)

14. Teen alcohol use kills 4,700 people each year — that’s more than all illegal drugs combined. (MADD)

15. 5.3 million adults −- 36 percent of those under correctional supervision at the time -− were drinking at the time of their conviction offense. (NCADD)

This is an epidemic. And what’s even more disturbing is the fact that if someone chooses sobriety, we assume they’re the one with a problem because they couldn’t find a way to manage their drug use in a socially acceptable fashion.

“When promoting alcohol, marketers sell a better human experience, relief from the human condition. And in doing so, we promise the opposite of what alcohol really provides.” – Annie Grace

Holly, the creator of Hip Sobriety, said it perfectly in this Instagram post:

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Hi friends; i think it’s always interesting when we see an article like this, that isn’t sensationalized but really just the truth—that something we are doing is killing us collectively, that our societal relationship to alcohol blinds us to the toll it takes. An example: at a breakfast with the CEO of weight watchers, Mindy is asked her 3 biggest concerns for women’s health or healthcare in general; she mentions the opiate epidemic, fails to mention the alcohol epidemic; also she tells us she just bought her own winery. If we wonder why we are so quick to say opiate epidemic, and nod heads and be all “yes that must stop now!” and watch as the death toll rises with our hands to our face as we think about Big Pharma and (rightfully) scream about Purdue; and why we can’t say words like Big Alcohol (a trillion dollar industry led by a handful of mostly white men; it’s Big Alcohol) or Alcohol Epidemic, it’s because we have normalized alcohol as good, and necessary; and something only a few people can’t hang with (who have alcoholism); and we’ve collectively condemned heroin and opiate use. We are SUPPOSED to make alcohol work and there is something wrong with the individual; THEY are diseased. We aren’t supposed to make heroin or fentanyl or cocaine or meth work and there is something wrong with the drug being available and used, with society; an epidemic. We can stand and point at what we’ve all agreed is bad; we can distance ourselves to see what’s going wrong; but don’t fuck with the thing that Whole Foods sells next to the kale chips, that 2/3rds of us do. This is just another article that most ppl will find as a shock if they read it at all; that will lay buried in broad daylight, until we reach a tipping point that finally acknowledges how alcohol has been murdering us on the sly while we make Rosè jokes and incorporate it in as an accessory to life; until we as a whole to reject the fucking narrative, not just those of us who know firsthand how it ruins.

A post shared by Holly Whitaker (@holly) on

My intention in this post isn’t to talk anyone out of cocktails with friends or having a glass of wine tonight. But I do think it’s imperative to question why we do the things we do.

“No one ‘gets’ to drink and it’s not some kind of privilege to be able to tolerate ingesting ethanol. It’s a privilege to have discovered that you cannot.” – Holly Whitaker

I only speak for myself when I say that I know alcohol has more negatives than positives. And while I still drink socially – for now – I can say that this is something I will be sitting with to find out when and how and why I may stop drinking all together.

I’m curious, are your drinking habits something you’ve ever thought about? Would you ever consider giving up alcohol entirely?

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Slap Back for a Clapback

I have a very vivid recollection of the first (and last) time a man ever hit me.

I was 21 and at a popular bar with my girlfriends in Pacific Beach, San Diego. We were dancing, drinking and having a great time. As we were walking across the jam-packed dance floor, a man whom I had never met before, decided to forcibly grab my hair in a caveman-esque fashion, stopping me dead in my tracks due to the combined force of his hand and my surging rage. Men touching me in bars was unfortunately nothing new. But this time it was different. This time it was too rough and I had had enough.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” I turn around to say to him.

“Whatever the fuck I want,” he says back with a cocky, misogynistic smirk on his face, which was quickly met with the slap of my firm palm.

I was prepared for the fragile male rage and slander that had become customary when rejected.  What I was not prepared for was being met with a reciprocal slap to the face. I was stunned. Speechless. Without any idea what to do next, I walked to the nearby security guard to explain what had just happened. The decision? If they kick him out (and this was a big “if”), they also have to kick me out, because I was apparently the one who instigated the violence. WHAT. THE. FUCK. Needless to say, we left the bar and I never went back.

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“Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them.”

– Margaret Atwood

Just because women are used to the inappropriate behavior – the catcalls, the groping, the dirty DMs, the subtly suggestive and unwelcome comments – does not mean it’s okay. And I think we’re all just now starting to realize that. Women are finding their voice. There is a collective re-traumatization that is happening now as women begin to share their stories, and it’s calling for healing and the empathy of men.

“Some days I am more wolf than woman and I am still learning how to stop apologizing for my wild.”

– Nikita Gill

I pray that our world is changing… that our society is awakening. So that when, or if, I have daughters one day, they won’t feel the need to hold their breath with their keys strategically interwoven in-between their fingers as they walk to their car at night. So that they won’t have to text at least two people the details of their first date, “just in case.” So that they won’t have to keep their eyes and hand glued to the top of their cocktail because they’ve heard countless accounts of girls getting roofied at bars and parties. So that they won’t feel restricted to only running in daylight where people (aka. witnesses) are plentiful. So that they won’t deliberately try to make a “resting bitch face” after getting catcalled in an attempt to look as unapproachable as possible; So that they won’t silently wonder if they’ll get attacked if they clapback. So that they won’t question if anyone will even believe them if they say they’ve been assaulted (God forbid) because “What were you wearing? How much did you drink? Were you flirting?”

“It’s tempting to say that’s sheer paranoia, and most men are wonderful. Most men are wonderful. Except, of course, for the ones that aren’t. One in three women are victims of domestic violence, and in 55 percent of cases where women are murdered, domestic violence is involved. In 93 percent of those cases, the perpetrator is their husband or boyfriend or an intimate partner. Or, as the Huffington Post puts it “Who Is Killing American Women? Their Husbands And Boyfriends, CDC Confirms.” And before someone says “but women kill their male partners, too!”—yes, they do, two percent of the time. Ninety-eight percent of homicidal partners are male.” (1)

I have been blessed with more positive interactions with men than bad ones. But the bad ones have been downright terrifying at times. From being stalked for miles on end, to being inappropriately groped by a stranger. These are things that sear themselves into a woman’s memory and change the way she experiences life until she releases and heals them; thus freeing up space to see, trust, and ultimately, celebrate men.

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This is not a time for men to sarcastically complain about not knowing how to “appropriately” speak to a woman or what “consent” means. Go listen to some of John Wineland’s content. Women want to feel safe. We’re tired of the rape and roofie jokes. We’re tired of hearing that a man’s reputation is more important than a woman’s safety. We’re tired of lying and saying “sorry, I have a boyfriend” because we’re too afraid to just say “no.”

Let’s call in safe vocality and healthy boundaries. Ladies, it’s time to speak up and heal. Men, it’s time to listen and love.

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(1) “Women are afraid men will Murder them.” Jennifer Wright. https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/politics/a15300130/sexual-consent-versus-coercion-aziz-ansari/

Sex, Shame and Spirituality

Sex.

We have a lot of desires, feelings, beliefs, fears, and stories wrapped up in this one word. And I’ve been feeling called to write about this, even though it makes me uncomfortable. And even though, ironically, I used to write a dating blog called “No Sex in San Diego” when I was proudly abstinent.

I didn’t have sex until I was 30 years old. I’m currently 32. I signed a Pledge of Purity at my church at the ripe, innocent age of 13. Little did I know then that this vow of abstinence would be my saving grace through the rebellious and reckless years of my late teens and early 20’s. It was a literal Godsend. However, I also didn’t know then about how Purity Culture can mimic signs of sexual abuse in women while compounding shame and “wrongness” around having any semblance of sexual desire.

At 29, I had made the choice that I didn’t want my Virginity Identity anymore and that when I next found myself in a committed relationship, I would gladly let it go. I had no idea the physical, emotional and psychological side effects that my years of abstinence would have on my ability to enjoy sex and to trust men intimately. (It didn’t help any that the first person I had sex with ended up being emotionally abusive and manipulative).

But alas, I had finally admitted and begrudgingly come to terms with the fact that I was a highly sexual woman with desires, but I had not yet released the shame, the guilt, or the idea that I would be unloved by God and my future husband if I chose to have sex now. There was this idea of being “unpure”, of being dirty. And it was hard to shake.

“When someone has been taught that the very body that can and does bring them pleasure can ‘turn against them’ either by being vulnerable to being taken over… or by desiring sexual intimacy while being told that every bit of that feeling of desire, thought of desire, or action of sexual desire is wrong, a sin against the God they dearly love, a violation against their future husband or wife, and an impingement upon their future happiness (this is what the purity movement preaches), the most earnest and tender hearted Christian’s are left in a position to hate themselves and turn against their own body and against themselves.”

(“How the Purity Movement Causes Symptoms of Sexual Abuse”, tinaschermersellers.com)

So here I am, exploring sex for the first time at 30, sorting through my relationship to God, and now everything is compounded by my asshole ex-boyfriend who essentially told me my body was broken because it wouldn’t just relax and orgasm. The shame, guilt and trauma-like feelings came flooding in with full force, and there was no Noah’s Arc in sight to save me from feeling it all.

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I battled with my body’s repetitive shut-down. I battled with my demon dialogue. And I battled with the fact that I was with a man who told me I wasn’t good enough. And then I battled with how I – an empowered, independent woman – even wound up with a man like this.

I don’t think my experience with sex and shame is a unique one just because of my religious past. I don’t identify as Christian anymore. I have taken some of my church-day philosophies with me and gladly left some behind. Nevertheless, our culture has been hard on women. We’ve heard it all before, but sexual women are labeled “sluts” while sexual men are awarded the title of “stud.” This may seem innocent, but it plays out into the intimate lives of women as adults.

This culture tells women that their bodies aren’t really theirs; bodies are only bargaining chips, which can be devalued like a new car driven off the lot. Women aren’t inherently valuable, the thinking goes, except so long as we have untouched vaginas to give our husbands (because our partners are always husbands). Virginity trumps intelligence, humor and compassion. The notion that both partners might benefit from having dated around, experimented, and figured out what they enjoy and want from a healthy relationship? It doesn’t even register.

(“‘Purity’ culture: bad for women, worse for survivors of sexual assault” by Jill Filipovic, theguardian.com)

Hence why we have to be a “lady in the street but a freak in the sheets.” This is why women don’t ask for what they want in bed. This is why women don’t speak up after sexual assault.

“Abstinence-only education is just one example of our bizarre relationship with sex, which can be seen most clearly in the way we treat women. Women and girls being sexy for someone else is more or less OK, as long as no actual sex occurs, and as long as the version of “sexy” has appropriate markers of being middle- or upper-class. Women who exhibit a degree of sexual agency by acting – rather than only appearing attractive – or women perceived as inappropriately powerful or aggressive inevitably face being branded sluts and whores.”

(“‘Purity’ culture: bad for women, worse for survivors of sexual assault” by Jill Filipovic. theguardian.com)

I am happy to say that I’ve done a lot of work over the past few years to overcome a lot of the negative associations I had with sex, with my desirous body, and with my spirituality. I have danced, sung, prayed, meditated, cried, kissed and fucked most of the shame and pain away. God and I came to an agreement that I (read: we) were made to enjoy sex.

I am grateful to each and everyone of my sexual partners. I am grateful I didn’t wait for marriage. I am grateful to now be able to really, really enjoy sex. And I am fucking grateful I have finally permissioned myself to say all of that out loud.

I’m curious: what are your beautiful or not-so-beautiful experiences with sex?

For those of you who might benefit from this, some of the things that really helped me step fully into my sexuality are: masturbating, pole dancing, creating a sexy playlist, sexual healing (via Rewilding for Women), forgiving my ex, oh… and HAVING SEX (with partners I trust). And to my most recent ex: thank you, for you were one of my most profound healers.

Top 3 Benefits of Infrared Saunas

As I sat naked in my private and cozy Far Infrared Sauna in San Diego, sweating my ass off, I found myself grinning ear-to-ear with my eyes closed as I listened to a Chakra-cleansing meditation under the glow of the changing rainbow-colored light above my head.

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These Infrared Sauna sessions have been so unlike the painstaking electric or steam saunas, which usually leave me feeling depleted, exhausted and unnecessarily frizz-headed. Infrared Saunas are different because they heat your body from the inside out using Infrared light which penetrates human tissue… as opposed to just making the room hot AF, thus, making you feel hot AF.

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So, aside from just the nice little sweat soak, what are the top 3 benefits of using Infrared Saunas?

• Detox – The infrared light can reach deeper layers, helping to cleanse the body from heavy metals and environmental toxins. “When compared to traditional Swedish saunas, infrared saunas allow you to eliminate about seven times more toxins,” writes Amy Myers in her article on MindBodyGreen.

• Heart Health – If used at least two times a week, Infrared Saunas have been shown to lower blood pressure, activate the circulatory system and improve blood flow.

• Relaxation- This is by far my favorite benefit of using a private Infrared Sauna room. The Infrared light lowers cortisol (stress hormone) levels, relaxes muscles and decreases inflammation, allowing you to just melt into a relaxed, euphoric sweat puddle. These are just some of the tracks I love listening to during my 40-min sauna sessions to up my relaxation game:

  • “Say Yes” by Veeresh and the Humaniversity
  • “Chaitanya” by Hari Deuter
  • “Balanacing your Chakras with Healing Energy” by Great Meditation
  • “A Different Drum” by Peter Gabriel
  • “Awaken the Snake” by Peruquois

Infrared Saunas are also notorious for boosting collagen levels which leads to glowing skin, ramping up metabolic rate and torching calories; although, as a certified personal trainer, I would advise people against using saunas as a weight loss tool.  And if you find a location that offers Chromothrapy – which is the science of using colors to adjust body vibrations to frequencies that result in health and harmony – then you’re in for even deeper healing!

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

3 Ways to Stop the Stress/Weight Gain Cycle

 

Have you ever heard that “stressed” is “desserts” spelled backwards? There’s good reason this witty one-liner has caught on. How many of us, in times of anxiety or uncertainty or stress, have turned to an extra slice of cake or just one more scoop of ice cream for the instant (although, very temporary) gratification? And then without much delay, comes the food guilt that just ultimately makes everything worse. This is because stress can drastically alter our food choices, oftentimes leading to over-consumption of fatty, sugary “comfort foods.”3

If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. There’s a very real reason why we turn to food in times of stress. I am going to share with you below three healthy solutions to stop this emotional cycle with stress and food. But first, let’s take a closer look at how stress impacts our weight.

While short-term stress is a natural response, long-term stress cranks out the hormone called cortisol which increases appetite and, over time, wreaks havoc on our body and mind.Studies have shown that chronic stress is linked to higher body-weight and an increase in the amount of fat stored specifically around the waist.1  And when 25% of Americans rate their stress level as an 8 or more on a scale of 1-10, this becomes a very important topic of conversation for those who are trying to stick to an effective weight loss diet.2

Here are three proven ways you can stop the sinister stress cycle while improving your overall happiness and sticking to your weight loss goals:

  1. Get Enough Sleep

I know, I know, easier said than done, right? But what if I told you that better sleep and weight loss are linked together? When you get a good night’s sleep, cortisol drops and you become more likely to make health-conscious decisions throughout your day like exercising and eating nourishing foods. (Blog post on encouraging better sleep habits coming soon!).

  1. Move Your Body

Whether it’s a quick 10-minute “time out” walk, a 30-minute H.I.I.T. session, or a personal training session, breaking a sweat is proven time and time again to be a serious mood booster. According to the American Psychological Association, 62% of active adults claim exercise is an effective stress management tool, yet a mere 17% of adults reported exercising daily.6

  1. Practice Mindful Eating

Things such as skipping meals, guzzling caffeine, and chowing down on sugary or carb-laden foods (which spike insulin, triggering stress-like symptoms), all play a role in how you feel.  When you’re feeling stressed, try finding a quiet place to sit down and practice the benefits of eating slow instead of falling into the grab-and-go mentality.

“”[Mindful eating] slows you down, makes you more aware of portion sizes and helps you get out of negative, automatic food habits like overeating while watching your favorite TV show,” psychologist Dr. Susan Albers writes on the Huffington Post.”5

Here are some food “dos and don’ts” for when you’re stressed:

Don’t: ice cream, soda, donuts, sugary drinks, chips, candy, fried foods, cookies, pretzels, pastries, alcohol, and coffee.

Do: black or rooibos tea, water, oatmeal, low fat plain yogurt, nuts, fresh fruit, hard boiled eggs, dark chocolate, salmon, and healthy dessert substitutes.

Getting the social support and help you need is also a key component to ensuring stress and weight stay down. As a Master Personal Trainer, Fitness Nutrition Specialist and Weight Loss Coach, I have the tools to help you kick stress (and unnecessary weight gain) to the curb. Feel free to contact me if you need a helping hand!

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Sources:

  1. Scott, K. A., Melhorn, S. J., & Sakai, R. R. (2012, March). Retrieved April 06, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3428710/
  2. Harvard Health Publishing. (2012, February). Why stress causes people to overeat. Retrieved April 05, 2018, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/why-stress-causes-people-to-overeat
  3. Family Health Team. (2017, July 11). Can Long-Term Stress Make You Gain Weight? Study Finds a Link. Retrieved April 05, 2018, from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/can-long-term-stress-make-you-gain-weight/
  4. American Psychological Association (2017). Stress in America: The State of Our Nation. Stress in AmericaTM Survey
  1. Huffington Post. (2013, April 24). 5 Ways To De-Stress In Just 5 Minutes. Retrieved April 04, 2018, from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/24/easy-stress-relief-5-ways_n_3017084.html#slide=2300517
  2. Stress and Exercise. (n.d.). Retrieved April 06, 2018, from http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2013/exercise.aspx