Aren’t you tired of being tired? Exhausted with wishing for a better body? F it. Time to stop.
As we wave goodbye to 2020 and face the new year, many of us will be reflecting on what we’d like to achieve. We challenge you this year to f the traditional new year resolutions and instead turn your efforts to education – seek professional help to learn what your nutrient needs are, and begin to bounce again! In the very least, if you’re going to make a New Year’s Resolution, I dare you to SHUN trying to achieve a certain weight. Instead, aim for achieving your daily recommended intake of vegetables, or healthy water intake, or take a cooking course and make your own dinners a certain number of times a week! This is why you do not need to lose weight: because you can be healthy, happy, and live a full life at any weight.
Do not get sucked in by the “New Year Shred” or “New Year, New Rear” promotions. They are capitalizing on your insecurities, and re-enforcing the belief that you have to be lighter to be valuable, more loveable, “worth” more…. and we disagree.
Every new year there are hundreds of programs deliberately targeting women, and convincing them of their happiness if only they achieve a certain weight on the scales. Many of these programs are actually endorsed by hundreds of women, who pay testimony to the “truth” of these programs (never mind the millions that fail, and fail again, and again). However there’s no long term follow up, and many who achieve rapid weight loss in these programs, pile it back on plus some. Apart from the obvious lack of accountability from the trainers that design these programs, those that are using science to guide them are using studies primarily performed on MEN. Women respond differently to men, and throwing one-size-fits-all solutions to their weight problems set them up to fail.
For example, did you know that fasting can pump up a woman’s stress hormones and cause them to gain weight? Neither did I, until I started researching specific training plans for women. Many of the experts writing books on this stuff are having to fund and carry out their own research because a woman’s menstrual cycle is so inconvenient to scientists that they just leave us out of the studies all together.
Despite all that, we have to change our belief that we need to lose weight and be skinny to be happy. An 80-year study performed at Harvard University show that weight has nothing to do with happiness, but social connectivity, our genes, and being able to “let go” has a huge impact (although admittedly, this study was also performed exclusively on men…).
Losing weight for health reasons is a great idea, as long as it is done in a healthy manner. What is the point of stressing a body to the brink of starvation to lose weight, when all you’re doing is triggering stress hormones that will, ultimately, reverse the weight loss process as soon as it’s able to? You read right, chronic stress can contribute to weight gain, and not just because of increased eating (although, again in men, this does play a role)! There are two studies there, read them both. Stress is at least equally harmful to your health as obesity, so whilst losing weight is important if you are obese, it is possible to neutralise many of the adverse health affects of obesity by reducing stress, meeting your nutrition needs, and exercising… losing weight on it’s own doesn’t do those things!
Things that will cause an adverse stress reaction in your body:
- High intensity exercise over 20min in duration
- Restricting whole food groups
- Restricting calories
- Your thoughts (as opposed to stress at work, it’s not the work or the people causing your stress, it’s your expectations of them and your thoughts about them).
- Never being touched
- Being isolated
- Malnourishment (as opposed to restricting calories – this means you’re not getting enough of a certain nutrient, you can still be overweight and malnourished).
You can’t do much about the last one, but you can do HEAPS about every other one!
Start with your thoughts, and if you need help with this, book in with Charlie for a Styling and Self Esteem session, to see how quickly she can turn it around for you! A great exercise to this end is the “glass half full” exercise. For example, Christmas was terrible because you couldn’t be with your family (glass half empty), BUT it was also unrushed, peaceful from family politicking, and you didn’t eat or drink yourself in to a stupor (glass half full). Gratitude exercises also work wonders, and Berkeley University has a Greater Good podcast and magazine that has hundreds of activities for boosting happiness by changing your brain for FREE.
Regarding exercise, if you’re going to go more than 30min or so, keep it in the moderate intensity range. If you feel like going hard, then go really hard, but make sure it’s so flipping hard that you can’t do more than 20min or so, then move on to something else.
Regarding food, seek professional advice for eating wholesome, healthy foods. The MORE your body feels nourished, the safer it feels, and you’ll lose weight slower, but for longer, and be more likely to keep it off.
Touch and isolation are also much harder in this environment, so we encourage you to connect with anyone in any manner you can. Instead of walking on your own, tee up a walk with a friend, or join an online community that does an activity live. As soon as possible, book a massage or something that makes you feel indulged, special, and that has an element of touch in it! Until then, hang in there!
So, when you see those ads encouraging you to believe that the only resolution worth having is to lose weight, you can turn your nose up! You are beautiful, amazing, valued, and special just the way you are.
Clare Hozack is an ex-athlete and owner and founder of IntoYou, Life Enhancement Centre. Clare is currently a Strength and Conditioning Coach, using her skills to return women to functionality after having kids, and providing education for personal trainers in how to train women better for Life. You can learn more about Clare and IntoYou on Facebook and Insta @IntoYouLife and book in to try a session at https://intoyou.setmore.com