Understanding Your Hormones

Through my journey, I have discovered many things that have aided me in my weight loss.  Through my certifications, I have learned a lot about the human body and anatomy, and through researched studied, come to my conclusions.  I want to begin by saying I am not a doctor.  I cannot diagnose nor treat you, and you shouldn’t either. This post reflects the research that I have done on the Endocrine system, which controls hormones and glands.

Through research, I have realized that many people, women, and men are not considering their hormones when trying to make lifestyle changes.  The human body is fascinating, and its primary purpose for us to survive.  It will adapt and metamorphosis based on the stress and changes that we put on it to serve us at its best when we create a kink in the chain or a disruptor in the system that is where we find disease. 

I feel like understanding your hormones will inform you so that you can go to your doctor with information to advocate for your wellness.   I am just a woman who was doing some research almost two years ago and stumbled upon a book that was like a light bulb for me. Hormones matter!

A basic understanding of the hormones would begin with the endocrine system- which is a series of 

What is the Endocrine system?

Endocrine System The endocrine system is a series of glands that produce and secrete hormones that the body uses for many functions. These control many different bodily functions, including:

  • Respiration
  • Metabolism
  • Reproduction
  • Sensory perception
  • Movement
  • Sexual development
  • Growth

What is the glands’ role in the endocrine system?

According to YourHormones.info, A gland is an organ that produces and releases substances that perform a specific function in the body. 

When talking about glands, there are two types: endocrine glands, which release chemicals that produce hormones into the bloodstream.  They are ductless and internal.  Then there are glands exocrine glands, which are sweat glands and lymph nodes.  They do not produce hormones, and they are released through ducts in our bodies to help regulate. These glands produce sweat, salivary, mammary, ceruminous, lacrimal, sebaceous, prostate, and mucous. For my post, I won’t go into detail, but I recommend researching these glands to see how your body operates effectively. 

Why do glands matter?

There are eight major endocrine glands, but I will focus on five glands in my workshop that play a crucial role in producing and developing your hormones.

  1. Pituitary gland 
  2. Thyroid
  3. Thymus, 
  4. Adrenal glands 
  5. Pancreas 

And the common link of these five glands is they play a crucial role in developing your hormones.

What are hormones?

Hormones are defined by Medlineplus.gov as chemicals that deliver messages throughout your entire body via the bloodstream. 

They send messages to different bodily functions.   These messages are delivered to your tissues and organs. Hormones are specific to the physical process they are responsible for regulating.   Only the cells that correspond with the particular hormone will respond and become activated when receiving your hormones’ signal. They’re like the command center for our body, and each hormone and gland has a specific role they play.

Hormones are very influential and highly reactive to the body. A minimal amount can create a significant response in the body. Hormones cannot be stored in the body and are continually being produced and released at the time of need, maintaining homeostasis or balance in the body. You must continuously maintain your endocrine system.  

Your body is always undergoing hormone regulation.  

For example, if your one hormones increase too much, the body may release hormones that are not needed to balance the increased hormones.  Hormone balancing is reliant on your body’s physical and mental function, so you need to be mindful of both.  Hormones and their responses work together. 

What is a hormone imbalance?

So your hormones are your body’s checks and balance.  Think of a domino effect. If you push on one, they all fall out of order.  When your body fails to keep your hormones at a regulated level or surpasses limits, then your hormones become imbalanced.  

Hormone imbalance can happen, no matter what age. For example, pediatric obesity is causing an increase in imbalanced reproductive hormones in our youth. That’s because disruptions in the endocrine system are causing our children’s hormones to react.

Because there are so many hormones that work together and are dependent on each other, it can cause various symptoms. 

Examples of the effects of hormone imbalances

For example, a woman with an estrogen and progesterone imbalance may experience hot flashes, weight gain, decreased bone density, and unwarranted fatigue.  Or men whose testosterone levels are imbalanced notice a decrease in sex drive or increase infertility.  

A more common imbalance in people is insulin imbalance, which will cause diabetes, frequent urination, unquenchable thirst, and muscle weakness. 

I remember I had a friend who was Type 1 diabetic and very thin. She had a hard time strength training due to muscle weakness when her insulin levels were off.  After my research and discovering the effects of insulin imbalance is muscle weakness, it made sense why my friend felt extreme weakness when her insulin levels were off.  I have to be honest; I thought it was an excuse to get out of strength training, but it was a genuine manifestation of her imbalanced insulin hormones.

Thyroid disease is becoming more prevalent in American culture. Many people are experiencing either underactive thyroid, which can cause hormonal imbalance.  If you have an underactive thyroid, you may gain weight that is hard to lose.  If you have an overactive thyroid, you could result in weight loss and hair loss.  The symptoms can and will vary based on how your thyroid reacts to hormonal imbalances.

What should you do if your hormones are imbalanced?

If you believe you have a hormone imbalance, set up an appointment and speak with your doctor. You can also seek the assistance of a local Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner in your area.  There is a directory at  www.bonesandhormones.com that may help you find one if you are unsure.

Make some changes to help your hormones.

You may need to consider your skincare or your household cleaning products. The food that you eat can all be endocrine disruptors that cause hormonal imbalances in the human body. 

The most natural way to combat imbalance is by eating a healthy diet and moving your body through exercise. Lowering your stress and getting adequate rest can be very useful in regulating and balancing hormones and any recommendations from a doctor.

Changing your diet to regulate your hormones

  • Nourish your body with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and lean proteins. Some people have found help in eating an all plant-based diet.
  • Reduce or eliminate processed foods such as chips, candy, cookies, white flour, and white sugar.  
  • Commit to an exercise program, and find someone to keep you accountable.  
  • Try to remove phthalates and synthetic chemicals from your hygiene and cleaning products.
  • Making lifestyle changes that reduce stress 
  • Getting enough rest and reducing chronic stress 

Honoring your temple and treating your body inside and out can help to alleviate symptoms of hormonal imbalances.

Join me for my Understanding Your Hormones Workshop

On October 17, 2020, at 10a ET, I will be hosting a FREE workshop sharing in more detail the glands and hormones that we should be supporting to help contribute to our overall health.  Would you join me for this event? In this workshop, I will share my research over the years, foods, and herbs that can naturally create a nurturing environment for your hormonal health.

 I am a NASM CPT and FNS, and I am not a doctor.  I cannot diagnose nor treat you, and you shouldn’t either. This workshop will inform you to go to your doctor with information to advocate for your wellness.  I hope that you can join me!

Register in advance for this meeting:

https://bryanuniversity.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUkdu-uqD4sH9KFWalShRUUH3OQAC_TuNDD 

Managing your health will be beneficial toward helping to alleviate the symptoms of hormone imbalance.

Do you have questions about your hormone health?

 

 

 

 

Other Informational Sources I used:

http://www.fibromyalgiafortmyers.com/page171412.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hormone_imbalance

http://www.jovemedical.com/BHRT.html 

http://www.livestrong.com/article/220790-what-are-the-symptoms-of-hormonal-imbalance-in-men/

http://www.patientsmedical.com/healthaz/hormonalimbalance/default.aspx

http://diabetes.about.com/od/symptomsdiagnosis/p/Symptoms.htm

http://www.ehow.com/about_5243539_symptoms-thyroid-imbalance_.html

 

Breaking Up with Busyness

Amongst a pandemic, I never thought that I would be so busy.  I remember the day I left my gym to quarantine for what I thought would be two weeks.  I was a little anxious about all the time that would now be available.

Life is busy! Whether you are in a pandemic or walking daily.  You can let to-do’s and tasks get in the way. That’s why I had to break up with busyness and seek out peace in my life.

 

I received this subscription box for free in exchange for a review as Your Butterfly Box. Front Gate Media Blogger but all of my opinions are my own.  My Full Disclosure Policy 

Breaking up with busyness

Self-care is not about massages and manicures but about doing the things that help you operate at your best self. For me, that means breaking up with busyness.  Before the COVID pandemic, I was busy caring about the wrong things.  Despite my best efforts, my busyness led to no results—just me running around like a nut holding onto Jesus by a thread.

The things that I invest time in did not bring fulfillment, just increasing angst.  My busyness took away from other things that were far more important than worldly gain. Although I don’t like the term “self-care.” Putting care into yourself is often needed.  I have been gifted a Butterfly Box Subscription box at just the right time.

Psalm 62:1 (NIV) Truly, my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.

What I knew

I was taught, “idle hands are the devils’ playground.” It has stuck with me throughout my life. I was still busying myself with a task, some meaningful, and some meaningless.  Then, I became a mother and applied that to my children. I signed them up for classes, keeping their weekly calendar full of outings, play dates, and activities.  Teaching them that they should always have something to do and not allowing them to have the time for rest or leisure. After rereading the story of Mary and Martha, I came to an epiphany- “I need to break up with busyness.”

Luke 10:41-42 (NIV) “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” 

For the first time in my adult life, I wanted to be a “Mary.” Previously, I took pride in the fact that I was an exceptional multitasker and exemplary at time management.  I realized slowing down and taking time to “be still” was an admirable trait.

Why is Busyness Applauded?

Many people are always on the go until they reach exhaustion.  Busyness is considered tremendous, and stillness is deemed to be lazy.  When we are still, we can hear God, be closer to Him, and use His guidance.

Mark 6:31-32 (NIV)
31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.

Are we valuing our relationships?

Being busy also keeps us from having meaningful relationships with others.  We are so wrapped up in the go-go; we aren’t fostering our communities and fellowship, which is very important.

Hebrews 10:24–25

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and ball the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Are we meaningful and present in our significant relationships, like our spouse or children? Are we filling our time and presence with stuff and activities? Is it worth the stress and isolation to be task-oriented?

Three Ways I plan to break up with Busyness.

  1. Say “No” more. I often say “yes” before even thinking of how it will add or take away value from my life.  I plan on saying, “Not Yet” and “No” more and see if the situation or task will take away from my life.
  2. Get over FOMO. I often say, “Yes” because I don’t want to miss out on anything. I have always been like that, but I am starting to realize that I don’t have to be part of everything, and that is okay. Age brings you the wisdom, I guess.
  3. I know my Why.  If I stayed focused on the “why” I am doing something, then “what” I am doing will either have more or less meaning—being rooted in my “why” will help me discern the things that are meant for me.
  4. Setting Up Boundaries, one thing that I need to do is to make time for devotion.  Five minutes a day is not going to cut it. Recently, I have let that be a mindset, but I need more time with God.

My “Aha” Moment

The story of Mary and Martha was an epiphany for me. I discovered I wanted to fellowship, devote more time to God and my family and friends.  Have a more meaningful and present relationship with the people in my life.

It gave me permission that I needed to slow down and reduce to be more like Mary. When I am planning for my children now, it’s memorable experiences versus expertise in activities. I spend quality time in the Word with my husband daily, my family, my dog, and my stress level are low.

I am living the “Mary” lifestyle and enjoying the moments instead of calculating my time. So, in the last part of the year, I will be doing less and wanting more. This life was not meant to cram as much as we can into every hour but to enjoy every hour that we have. That’s the plan let’s see if I stick with it.

More Confirmation on leaving busyness behind

Another Aha- Moment I had in Sunday service during the message. The pastor said something pivotal—those who wonder why their world is crumbling never had it on a strong foundation, to begin.

It was like a light bulb.

If 2020, it would have happened to me years before, my world would not look as hopeful as today.

You aren’t exempt from life as a Christian. It’s just how you choose to live it and whom. The Word, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus can bring clarity and peace.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Butterfly Box Subscription

I am grateful for my Butterfly box subscription. It has given me prayer prompts and devotions to engage my daily devotional time.  In this monthly subscription box has been an extra special blessing that came on my doorstep.

This Butterfly Box subscription box is thoughtfully curated with a theme each month.  Its meant to help reclaim those peaceful moments with Jesus and create a greater understanding and intimacy in His Word and with Christ.

Without His guidance and Words as the foundation of my Spirit. There is no way I could be a Light for Him.

I want to share this Subscription box so that it may bless you as it has blessed me.

  • Each month’s box is designed to illustrate a biblical theme and encourage spiritual growth.
  • 5 to 6 items such as jewelry, artwork, books, decor, personal pampering items, faith sharing cards, and other specialty items
  • All items are carefully chosen and undergo a rigorous selection process.
  • Products are faith-based or support small Christian businesses.

I even have a discount for first-timers use code WELCOME10

Enter to win one Butterfly Box giveaway. The Butterfly Box Giveaway is Open to US Residents 18 years or older.  The prize has no cash value.  1 Winner will be selected on 10/30/2020 and notified by email, at which time we will ask for your address.  The winner will have two weeks to respond.

What gives you peace during these busy times in life? 

 

Food & Mood: Healing the Whole Person- Mind, Body, & Spirit

Recently, on Social Media, I have been open with my battle of anxiety and depression and how living a healthier lifestyle has helped me.  I reached out to a long-time friend Dr.Angela Clack to get her expert opinion on the effects of food and nutrition on mental health. I am honored that Dr. Clack would share it with my readers and me.  Some great info here so take notes: 

It all starts with your mindset

Years ago, I lost 50lbs with fitness, nutrition, and accountability (a great nutritionist, professional accountability to hold my feet to the fire if I messed up), and I loved the results. However, because I made my goal a number on the scale and a clothing size instead of a commitment to a lifestyle change- the weight slowly crept back.

 

Well, I know where I went wrong, and I’m sharing my story as well as sharing insights from the therapist’s corner to inspire and educate others about the mind-body connection. As well as the impact food has on our mood-both scientifically (through research) and from my experience in working with hundreds of people who have struggled with both emotional health difficulties (depression and anxiety) and weight and body image issues.

Mental Health Disorder defined

To understand the complex nature of mental health disorders, the reader will need a clear definition of what clinical symptoms are typical for someone experiencing mental health/mental illness. The problem is that not all people experience the same symptoms. Men and women often differ in how their mental health problems manifest as well as across cultures. Women are twice as often as men to experience major depression. One fourth to one-sixth of childbearing age women are on an anti-depressant. For consistency and purposes of this article, I will provide a broad definition.

First, my definition of mental health disorder-is a disconnection between your emotional, physical, social, and spiritual self. In other words, you are disconnected from your thoughts, your sense of self and self-care (i.e., physical health), dis-connected from an adequate social support system (or you are connected to toxic one), and you are disconnected from your power source-our faith and belief system in Christ. Wow, that’s a lot of disconnection-no wonders, one would be depressed and anxious.

Clinically, depression is (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think, and how you act. Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. Millions of individuals suffer from both of these disorders annually and throughout their lifetime. Typical treatments for these disorders are medication and psychotherapy (counseling). But as a practicing psychotherapist who has witnessed and observed the benefits of exercise and nutrition in helping to heal mild to moderate forms of mental health disorders, I have changed my philosophy of treatment to a holistic approach: mind, body, and spirit.

mentalhealth

Nutritional Psychiatry

There is a new field in science named nutritional psychiatry. This is the intersection in research between science and cognitive functioning. It examines the relationship between diet, brain function, and the risk of mental disorders. Additionally, it examines the potential socioeconomic and environmental challenges detracting from the traditional dietary patterns that might otherwise support positive mental health.

In March/April, Ed. 2016 of the Scientific American Mind the researchers noted the following scientific outcomes:

  • Research on anxiety,
  • depression,
  • and exercise shows

That the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can also help reduce stress and improve mood (Mayo Clinic). Besides lifting your mood, regular exercise offers other health benefits, such as:

  • lowering blood pressure,
  • protecting against heart disease and cancer,
  • and boosting self-esteem.

Nutritional Imbalances trigger depression

There are several nutritional imbalances that can make one prone to depression:

  • essential fats,
  • blood sugar balance,
  • food intolerances,
  • low-level Vitamin D,
  • high sugar intake,

Health researchers have found a link between inflammation and depression. Inflammation is caused by obesity, high sugar diets, high quantities of trans fats, unhealthy diets in general, and STRESS!!!!
When we are depressed, we are more likely to eat carbs and junk food, which over time, causes weight gain and inflammation.

Honor your body as it deserves

Imagine the following at age 16 years old. You get a new car. You are told that this car must last you your lifetime. Remember, you only get this one car for your lifetime! How would you treat it? Would you schedule maintenance services on-time and consistently? Would you check tires and replace them as needed? Would you put damaged or used parts into a new car? If you have a luxury car (foreign model), would you take it to the local shop on the corner? Or would you run it into the ground, hoping it will hold out? Not likely would we risk any of these scenarios. We would be mindful and careful to take off that car. Think of that car as your body. Because at birth, we only get one, and it’s designed to last a lifetime if we take care of it. What is your relationship with your body? What is your relationship with food?

According to the Dictionary, the definition of food- “is any nourishing substance that is eaten, drunk, or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy, promote growth,” If we savored food like this definition, we would enjoy our food so much more and would make healthier food choices. Unfortunately, we live in a culture that is saturated with the marketing of high-fat foods and high sugar diets. We must be better informed.

Food Effect on our Mind and Bodies

Can I share research about what our foods are doing to our minds and bodies? This may not be favorable to many, but it’s the truth. Check the numbers of obese children and adults in the world. Check the names of individuals living on disability due to emotional and physical health conditions. We also know that about 50% of women who try psychiatric medications never get the benefit, and after a year of being on them, 60% show no improvement in their symptoms one year later.

mindandbody

Processed food linked to depression and anxiety

Here we go. Evidence links stereotypical Western diets, which are heavy in processed and fatty foods, to higher rates of depression and anxiety. Unhealthy diets most likely contribute to a range of neuropsychiatric disorders by increasing inflammation. Research indicates that traditional diets from the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, and Japan help to preserve our psychological and cognitive well-being. Those diets all include fish ( a great source of omega-3 fatty acids). The Mediterranean diet consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, lean meats, and olive oil. The main feature of this diet is that it is low in sugar and processed foods.

But there is hope! Let me offer some food for thought (no pun intended). If you keep the mindset that “knowing that what I eat can affect how I feel” will help you to see food as fuel and not necessarily as a restrictive diet. We are finding that there is compelling evidence that nutrition is as important to psychiatry as it is to cardiology, endocrinology,and gastroenterology. (March/April Ed. 2016 of the Scientific American Mind).

Of course, in addition to food choices, the elimination and reduction of toxic stress in your life, which often leads to emotional eating, needs to be kept in check. That’s where a support group, psychotherapy, or a nutritionist or health coach would be integral to your success in the battle of the mind.
Want to feel better? Want to live longer and with less stress on your mind and body? Want your skin to glow and look refreshed daily? Want to sleep better? Do you want overall better cognitive functioning without depression or anxiety? Think “brain-healthy “foods. Visualize the image at the top of the article when making food choices and see where food will make an impact on your brain and health.

Overall, research continues to support and show that the main ingredients for a healthy brain diet will consist of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, fish, lean meats and healthy fats such as olive oil (March/April Ed. 2016 of the Scientific American Mind).

7-foods-to-help-with-mental-health

Eat well. Live well. Live long. Be mindful; you only have one brain and one body.

Dr.Angela Clack wrote this post:

dr-angela-clackDr. Angela Roman Clack is a psychologist and licensed psychotherapist at Clack Associates, LLC, a private practice outpatient counseling agency in Southern New Jersey. She has been working in the mental health field for more than 25 years. Dr. Clack earned her doctorate in 2002 with a degree in Clinical Psychology from Argosy University, Washington, D.C.

Dr. Clack is known for her ability to teach, supervise, coach, and provide training in various areas about children, youth, and their families. Because of her training and teaching abilities, Dr. Clack has made a massive impact in her community by reducing the stigma of people of color who seek mental health treatment.

Dr. Clack is passionate about discussing mental health and wellness. She has a broad range of public speaking experiences, including community events, radio and internet shows, women’s empowerment groups and panel discussions, church and school settings, and collaborations with mental health advocacy organizations and non-profit community organizations. With her highly diverse clinical experiences and training in adult, child, adolescent, and forensic settings, she can discuss a broad range of topics.

5 Essentials Oils for Virtual Learning

I am a #NOWWellness Influencer. I have included an affiliate link in this post that I receive a commission from purchases, and I am compensated for my post. All my opinions are my own. My full disclosure policy

Back to School looks different this time because our daughters are “remote learning.” Our family chose the remote learning box, and now I am questioning my sanity. I was until I experienced my “never will I ever.”  I am sure many of us have said, “never will I ever homeschool my children.” When we were given the option of sending our girls to school or remote learning despite knowing that we were embarking on a challenge, we decided to educate our eleventh, seventh, and first-grader at home.  

Making the Decision to Remote Learn

It was a decision that we prayed hard.  I was not gifted with patience, but when assessing what was best for our girls. For two out of three, learning for home would be a better environment for them to thrive.  Now I am questioning my survival, and I have some essentials to help with remote learning.

Essential Oils can be used by the family 

Our family uses essential oils daily for purification and mood lifts. I am the “oil” lady without direct sales backing.  I discovered essentials oils through “an education workshop” from a friend. And have been exploring the benefits ever since.

I was raised in a Glade home.  My dad had one in every outlet, sprinkled the carpet refresher every vacuum stroke, and smelled like a different fruit or musky scent from room to room.  When I learned the harmful effects of these deodorizers, I knew I had to find another way.  My exchange essential oils. Not only for the smell but for the benefits from diffusing. Make sure that you get the facts of using essential oils with children before you make the swap. I would check out the adverse effects of deodorizers and air fresheners and try making natural changes.

What are essential oils?

Essential Oils according to dictionary.com any of a class of volatile oils obtained from plants, possessing the odor and other characteristic properties of the plant, used chiefly in the manufacture of perfumes, flavors, and pharmaceuticals. Over the years, the medicinal benefits of these plant extracts have been brought to common knowledge, but some cultures have been working with essentials oils for centuries. 

Essential Oils History 

Some have been dated back as far as 4500 BC,  essential oils derived from plants.  It has been a practice since before modern medicine and something in the last year I have been using to set the mood and tone in the atmosphere of my home.

Essential Oils and atmosphere 

The point of educating my children through remote learning is to provide an atmosphere where they can thrive. Our space is limited in space in my home, so all three girls are in the same room.  We use essential oils to set the tone and atmosphere while they are learning. Make sure you know how to safely diffuse oils before adding them to your daily routine. 

Five oils that are essential to our remote learning is 

1.Cheer Up Buttercup! I diffuse this in the girls’ room when I get up before they wake up.  I have crabby teens, so I am trying to make the most of all my tools.  Cheer Up Buttercup! is an essential oil blend from NOW® Essential Oils.  I prefer oil blends because they save me on buying several oils, and I trust NOW to combine the blend I need.

Think of it as a high spirited energizing oil that lifts the mood.  It is blended with  Bergamot Oil, Orange Oil, Lime Oil, Grapefruit Oil, Lemon Oil and has a refreshing scent. 

2.Focus Oil Blend- we use around 10a. My youngest daughter loves this responsibility and puts it in the diffuser before she logs into school. My youngest begins school later than the older two, and she adds lots of fidgety energy into the room.

When we need the girls to focus and center the room, I use this blend of Lemon Oil, Peppermint Oil,  Orange Oil,  and Frankincense, Lavender, and a minty citrus scent.

3.Peppermint, Lemon, and Lavender  I blend this around one or 2p after lunch.  For a few reasons, my girls usually go outside for 30 minutes to walk the dog in the afternoon. Get them moving, give the dog a walk, and I am guaranteed about 15-20 minutes of solitude until we have to tackle the remainder of the day. This is Mom’s essential.  Fall, our seasonal allergies are awful, so this helps them breathe easily for the rest of the afternoon.

4.Peace and Harmony or Peaceful sleep is diffused at night. My girls don’t have a hard time falling asleep, but this settles the house down.

Peace and Harmony are blended with  Peppermint Oil, Patchouli Oil, Orange Oil, Lavender Oil, Basil Oil. It’s a unique scent of flowers and mint, but it settles the house and calms the atmosphere.

Peaceful sleep is blended with  Orange Oil, Tangerine Oil, Lavender Oil, Chamomile Oil, Ylang Ylang Oil, Sandalwood Oil.  It smells like a citrus floral smell and works well on me. Within minutes, I’m passed out, but since this is about the kids, it works on them too, but seriously,  if your kids have a hard time falling asleep, this will work like a charm and smells good. 

5. We also use Nature’s Shield daily. It’s a purification oil that we use with our hand sanitizer and pretty much every day since COVID! 

Nature’s Shield is the modern take on a well-known and ancient Thieves Oil Vinegar water commonly known to be a good cleanser.  Nature’s Shield from NOW is blended with Clove Bud, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary oils. I think it smells like a fall with its sweet, nutty invigorating scent. 

I have no expectations for this year. It has been entirely out of control. We are doing the best with what we have and feel remote learning is the right choice for our family. 

We have found a schedule, and a rhythm and essential oils are becoming part of our routine. I believe in the power of plants not only for healing but also for nourishment; disinfectant plants are powerful. 

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:11-12 

Plants are easily renewed and given to us by God. We should tap into their power.

If you want to give NOW Foods, a try take $10 off your $40 order with coupon code “FaithFueledNOW10.”

Do you diffuse essential oils, and do you use them to set the mood in your home?

Stress is stalling your Weight Loss Goals

Your Stress is Stopping you from reaching your goals

There are affiliate links in this post. I am an Organic India Ambassador and in partnership with Organic India USA. I am compensated for my content. My opinions expressed are my own.  My Full Disclosure Policy 

I have to say the number one factor that slows down my clients is stress and rest. I can create a perfect program and healthy eating guidelines, but I can’t make my clients go to bed or chill out. Despite their efforts in the gym or kitchen, the scale can be at a standstill if you’re stressed out. Holding onto weight is the way our body protects itself when it is stressed. 

 

For a woman, life can be stressful with the roles she fulfills, the relationships she maintains, professional responsibilities, and if she is a mother, add caring for other people’s needs to the list. All are equalling a stressed woman who eats well, exercises often, and still can’t lose those last 10 pounds. 

Stress is a part of life, and although we may ignore stressful situations, there is no way to avoid them and their effects on our bodies. Stress is needed for change either for good or bad it all depends on how you approach it and use it to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Let’s talk about the physical influence stress has on your life.  

 Does stress cause weight gain?

Stress is not just an uncomfortable feeling. It can cause the production of cortisol, a steroid hormone that regulates your metabolism and immune support. Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone” because it is produced when stressed, helps with protein metabolism, increases your blood sugar, and balances the immune system.

Hormones can wreak havoc on your waistline. Cortisol is a hormone that contributes to your inflammatory response. It’s not the cause of inflammation, but it responds to inflammation—higher levels of inflammation equal more elevated cortisol levels.

Hormones can cause weight gain

Cortisol is good and bad for our waistline. Cortisol is released after intense exercise to assist in muscle repair. Elevated levels of cortisol do cause weight loss difficulties and can also be associated with weight gain. 

BUT- the cortisol hormones helps with the breakdown of fats and other lipids by hydrolysis to release fatty acids known as lipolysis. Cortisol helps increase the rate of stored fatty acids released into the bloodstream into beta-oxidation, also known as fat burn.

If that is the case, then why is cortisol linked to stubborn belly fat and weight plateaus.

Because cortisol is not the sole culprit to your belly fat, it’s part of the problem but can also be the solution. 

Your stress is hindering your weight loss.

Stress in life is unavoidable. Very few people live a stress-free life, yet some are stressed, and those who are stressed and overweight. What’s the difference? Have you factored the type of stress? Some people have acute stress from day today. Others suffer from chronic stress. For example, you are riding a rollercoaster. The adrenaline spike releases cortisol and engages your “fight or flight” response. In this scenario, cortisol increases your blood sugar and gives you the temporary boost to give your muscles the energy needed to react. 

After your body reacts, it will return to its normal state, hormonally, if you didn’t have a heart attack. I was kidding. But think of something that would cause you a sudden panic. That is acute stress. Stress helps our body to defend itself against-stress or attacks, physically or emotionally.

Now the stress that is attacking your waistline is known as chronic stress. Chronic stress is a result of a persistent or on-going attack physically or emotionally to your body. Your body is always defending itself, stressing you out, and showing up in various forms, such as inflammation, emotional unrest, lack of sleep, energy, lack of appetite or insatiable appetite, mental clarity, or memory. All can be the result of chronic physical or emotional stress. This is when your cortisol remains at an increased level throughout most of the day. Never returning to homeostasis or neutral.

Chronic stress effects on the body

The association of cortisol and weight gain is the result of a chronically elevated cortisol level in your body, which can lead to the following side effects

  • Weight Gain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Hormone Imbalances
  • Gastro-Intestinal Issues and Complications
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease

Reasons you need to chill out to improve your waistline and overall health.

Chronic stress is not just from emotional stress, but physical stress can also be why you’re not seeing results.

1.Overtraining can lead to Chronic Stress.

A surefire way you can cause chronic physical stress on your body is through overtraining and undereating. That’s why you feel like you’re doing all the right things, but the scale is not moving. You’re eating anything barely, training several hours every day, always focused on your results, and they’re not showing up on the scale. 

Your body is protecting itself. That’s it’s a job to keep you alive, and if it feels like it’s attacking, it’s going to defend itself how it knows best. Holding onto fat in case you need it in “fight” mode. I often recommend to my clients a treat meal, off day, and goods night sleep. Some have woken up pounds lighter. It’s crazy what happens when you give your body what it needs. It does what you want it to do. 

It’s so much more than a good night’s sleep and a burger and fries to get rid of belly fat. I don’t want to oversimplify the process because it does take hard work to overcome chronic stress. They’re things you can do daily to avoid burnout, stress out, and frustration. 

2. Chronic Stress Leads to Hormone Upset and Weight Loss Plateaus

Our bodies must keep us alive, and there are many functions set in place for us to live to our bodies’ full potential. Cortisol is a hormone that optimizes the breakdown of stored fat, which is a process called lipolysis.  

Cortisol is known to store or breakdown fat in the midsection of the body, which is why it is correlated that chronically stressed people have more abdominal fat.  It could be a hormonal reaction to your lifestyle. 

Suppose your cortisol is left unchecked for too long. In that case, it can lead to diseases like insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia which can make weight loss slower or encourage weight gain or retention.

 4.Chronic stress will increase cortisol.

Suppose you are in constant state stress, which means that your cortisol levels are frequently elevated. Prolonged elevated levels of cortisol can lead to muscle breakdown. This will also affect how your body utilizes protein to gain muscle and muscle producing hormones such as testosterone. It will also slow down your metabolic rate. Cortisol is not directly responsible for your weight gain. It is a catalyst for how other hormones and body functions operate.

 5. Chronic stress Increases appetite and can result in Weight Gain.

Stress can also engage another hormone in your body known as ghrelin, which tells you that you are hungry. And leptin hormones tell you when you are full, which are two hormones that either ignite or suppressed appetite. When we are stress, our brain becomes less sensitive to our leptin hormone. Leptin hormones are the hormones that tell you are full. If your brain is not responding to your leptin hormone, this may cause you to overeat because you are never given the signal that you are full. Meaning you eat more, you don’t get full, and you may begin to consistently overeat unless you are intentional about your portions and food.  

Elevated cortisol can cause your ghrelin to overreact and always tell you you are full. It can also cause you to have no appetite at all, which can send signals to your body to hold on to the fact that it does have to survive. So, when your brain is less sensitive to your leptin hormone, it can cause weight gain and slow weight loss.

Our bodies are so different, even the way we respond to stress. The amount of stress each person can endure is also individualized. Despite our uniqueness, everyone has a threshold of stress that can affect our cortisol, leptin, and ghrelin response.

How to Stress Less to help weigh less

Now that we know the biological cause of weight gain from stress, how can you fix it? There are actions that you can take daily to lower your stress level and increase your body capability of regulating hormones that cause weight gain.

1. Add soothing or calming activities to your schedule.

When the last time you read a book, took a leisurely walk, meditated, or even had a peaceful 10 minutes? Adding these activities can help alleviate chronic stress.

2. Exercise

It doesn’t always have to be high intensity. Moderate-high intensity exercise has been proven to help people mentally destress. The act of focusing on the task and not worrying about everything going on in your life can be a stress reliever. Try adding exercise that lower your cortisol levels.

Such as:

  • Swimming
  • Cardio
  • Rowing
  • TRX
  • Skating
  • Walking
  • Yoga

3. Get more rest

Sleep is probably the most underrated thing you can do to care for your body. There are so many benefits, but allowing your body adequate time to recover, recharge, and grow daily is essential to reducing chronic stressors. Lack of sleep can increase cortisol, so I recommend trying to get your 6-8 hours daily, if possible. 

Setting up bedtime routines can help. I have found that Organic India Tulsi sleep tea is a fantastic addition to my nighttime routine. It sends me off to sleep peacefully without any sedatives, and I feel like I get a restful sleep at night when I have my Organic India Tulsi Sleep tea nightly. 

Organic India also has a peaceful sleep supplement you can take in the evenings. It supported restful sleep and made of Tulsi, Ashwagandha, and Gotu Kolu, Peaceful Ayurvedic herbs traditionally used for sound sleep. The herb mix helps to keep rest without sedation. The Tulsi is an adaptogenic herb that promotes a healthy response to emotional, physical, and environmental stress.

 

Ashwagandha is a balancing ayurvedic herb that supports the relaxation of the body and mind. The Gotu Kola promotes nervous system health, helping ease your body and mind and sleep better. 

4. Add adaptogens to your daily routine.

I discovered adaptogens about a year ago. I didn’t realize some I used regularly, and then I began to research what other adaptogens I could add to my routine to aid my wellness journey. 

Adaptogens are plants and herbs that can help the way your body functions and recover from stress. They have been used for thousands of years and are standard practice in Eastern medicine to ingest adaptogens to aid health. It’s hard to find quality supplements. Organic India has a full line of adaptogenic herbs and accessories to help people with their stress levels and health.  

How can you reduce your stress to lose weight?

First of all, don’t stress yourself out, trying to do all the things to reduce stress. Take one thing at a time. Find the easiest thing to adopt, master it, and then work on the next. You’d be surprised how little switches can reduce your stress levels. Maybe start with a cup of tea at night, a leisure walk, a bedtime routine, or eliminating unnecessary stressors that are weighing you down. You can do it, and you will be surprised by the results. Less stress, reduced belly fat, decrease in weight, increase in mood, and better quality of life. So, tell me, where will you begin to reduce the chronic stress in your life?

 If you need help dealing with stress, I would love to help you. I am creating a Holistic Hormonal Program that will be launching soon. On October 17th, I will be sharing the basics of hormones in my Understanding of your hormones workshop. I hope you can make it. If you want to try some of Organic India’s Ayurvedic herbs use coupon code FAITHFUELED for 15% off your purchase. 

 

 

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