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How your hormones can affect your weightloss and life

How your hormones can affect your weightloss and life

 

Do you ever stop and think about your hormones? How they could really be affecting your life and weight loss?

First off let me say I am NOT an expert on this stuff just kind of obsessed now after reading In the Flo with Alissi Vitti. Mainly because her approach makes so much sense! It dives into #cyclesyncing and how making certain changes in our lifestyle to support our cycle can actually help us lose weight, become more productive, and feel better every day! You can check it out below.

As women, unfortunately it has become more normal to be known as “hormonal” . We have a “cycle” but we have no idea how to make it actually work for us… instead we are out of balance and deal with PMS symptoms among other things week to week. If we can get our hormones to where they are at better levels we will not only feel better but perform better in every area of our lives. Seem too good to be true? Follow me here….

Throughout our 28 days our hormones (we have many more but in regards to this I am referring to estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) go up and down and if you are like me and have taken synthetic birth control for years, or taken different medications, been exposed to hormone disrupting toxins (like plastics and some things in the air for example), you may be all over the place. You may have also been diagnosed with PCOS, irregular periods, or estrogen dominance. Any of those things can potentially also lead to issues with metabolism, thyroid, gut, and other autoimmune conditions.

Here are a few reasons why:

Estrogen dominance: is something that is more apparent for ever in our culture, there are multiple reasons why but one big one is our liver not metabolizing estrogen properly. When we are not eliminating the right amounts of estrogen (the liver metabolizes it in three different ways (one good, and two bad) it can lead to dominance which can turn to insulin resistance, higher inflammation and gut issues among other things. This right there can prove to mess with metabolism. 

We also have a major connection with estrogen and our gut. A major regulator of estrogen is within the gut and by a certain type of bacteria. If we have any sort of dysfunction (like leaky gut) that has developed this can cause that bacteria to not regulate estrogen as it should which in turn can lead to dominance…. Again this  can lead to numerous factors stemming from obesity, infertility, and pcos among other things.

With hormones unbalanced, it just leads us down a bigger spiral of imbalances causing the wrong things to be released or not released at the right times. This means more stress on the body, which we all know leads to more inflammation.

So what am I getting at?

If we can add things to help support our optimal hormone production and treat our bodies in a way at the right times of the month when these hormones should be at certain levels we can feel better, do more and help reduce some symptoms and possible reverse some diseases.

It starts by paying attention to your cycle. If you do not know when or where you are, or if you are on birth control it is a good idea to get a feel for your hormone levels by getting tested. Over the next few weeks I will be diving into how these things can be helped via workout scheduling, foods, supplements and self care. Different parts of the month if you will need different things to help you feel your best and start to regulate hormones to correct metabolism and other imbalances and health issues. 

I am doing this myself as I personally have been affected with irregular cycles for YEARS and want it regulated. So far so good. And have no fear I will do a full recap of all of my success and fails after month 1!

Ready to start your own CYCLE SYNCING journey?? Four weeks of workouts, nutrition help AND self care to help you get moving and feeling better – you can save $10 with code CHANGEUP at check out. Check it out!

Your posture may be to blame

Your posture may be to blame

Your posture issues…. explained- well kinda

Did your mom ever tell you to “stand up straight”? To “stand tall” and be confident, to not slouch?

Posture is something we all possess but over time and with life perfect posture can seem unattainable.

You may notice as you get older you have more aches, pains and issues with getting injured randomly. Would you believe me if I told you part of it may be due to your posture? That maybe your mom was on to something all those years ago…

Why does posture matter?

Because it gives us a strong foundation to move and feel comfortable when muscles are working right.

For starters lets back it up and talk about the kinetic chain. Essentially our body is one giant kinetic chain. The best way to think of this is as   everything working together to handle pressures and imbalances when something is not working properly.

Start with the  spine being  the base of it and then we have things like our joints, bones and muscles attaching to it in different ways to help us move and stay upright.

Your spine is also broken down into 3 sections – Your lumbar (lower from the pelvis to right below ribs) – your thoracic (from mid back/bottom or ribs to the neck) – and your cervical spine (your neck inserting into the skull).

Lets break it down from  the bottom up:

Our feet may be our most important indicator to postural issues. Yes you read the right, your feet.

Image result for collapsed arches

I want you to stand as you normally do and look at your feet, do they turn in? Do you stand on the outside of them? Or do you have collapsed arches? Can you spread your toes?

Lets say you tend to stand on the inside of your feet, or they slightly turn in. I bet if you look at your knees they slightly turn in too. When your knees slightly turn in that tends to cause your femur (the big bone in the top of your leg) to be rotated inward slightly. When that is turned in then it can cause your hips to have pressure on them and overly tight and weak muscles in the hip itself which also affects the glutes as they work to move our leg from this joint. When this happens it can lead to anterior tilt of the pelvis which can lead to back pain. Having an anterior tilted pelvis can also potentially cause muscle weakness and tightness in your mid and upper back, your ribs to be shifted and your shoulders to be rounded forward causing weakness in the back and tightness in the chest. Add sitting all day to that or looking down at your phone and you can have an arch in your cervical spine which can cause tightness in your cervical flexors and extensors which can lead to headaches and tension in the jaw, etc.

So there you have it, an example of how aches and pains in your head/skull could potentially stem from your feet. Of course that is not always the case you can have other imbalances in other areas but it goes to show that something in the lower body or right side of the body can make aches and pains in the upper or left side.

How do you correct these things or prevent them from happening?

The best way to identify these imbalances is by simply looking at yourself in the mirror or having someone point out to you when you do things. Body awareness is major just like in workouts. Slowing down to think about how you carry your purse and if it can cause you to lean a certain way, if you tend to sleep on one side and cramped up how it could cause tightness on one side and then in turn making the other side weaker or the wrong muscles work to do every day movements.

After identifying these things it is time to work on correcting them, and the best way to start is with the FOUNDATION.

Check out my blog on this for more in detail but basically the approach should go like this.

  • Learn to breathe 360 style
    • this helps you really connect with your body and relax upper body tightness and get the diaphragm, core and pelvis in line and working together to get stronger support for your body and cardiovascular system.
  • Think of standing as if someone is pulling you from the crown of your head and do not allow your pelvis or back to bear down in any way on the lower body. Try to feel as light as you can which should help you not over arch or round any parts of your spine.
  • Foam roll and massage out any really tight spots you notice
    • If you tend to have neck pain, then chances are you have some knots in your upper back and shoulders. Use a lacrosse ball or foam roller (these are my favorites) and allow your body weight to sink into them to release.
    • Get a deep tissue massage or buy a tool like a hypervolt or pso-rite  to help you relax the really tight hard to reach areas.
  • Activate the right muscles
    • Take a step back from really intense workouts for a short time and instead focus on activation of the right muscles to help strengthen the weak areas causing or stemming from imbalances.
      • I like to start in one area and focus on it for a week or so, like hips and glutes – stretch the hips, roll the glutes and then activate them all around (max, medius and minimus along with releasing the piriformis).
      • Perform more slow thought out mind muscle connection type movements.

 

The biggest takeaway from this is for you to understand that imbalances are ALWAYS common within us, BUT the more aware we are of our body and how it is functioning during every day activities the more conscious we can be in attempting to correct how you go about things. That you can focus on standing taller and lighter and attacking the tightness and working on not stressing and holding it all in your upper body.

Seek out someone to help you, especially if you are someone who is active and has never thought to look at this stuff before. It can help prevent injury and really get you moving in the right direction so to speak. It may mean slowing down the workouts for a very short period but it will definitely pay off in the long run.

I am currently taking on a few new virtual clients if you need that help! Save 20% now with code changeup!

Find out more

 

Get your free exercise guide to gain better mobility —

 

C

Your First Step in Feeling Better, Moving Better and Getting Stronger

Your First Step in Feeling Better, Moving Better and Getting Stronger

What do you think of when asked about foundation?

Your house? Your core? Your upbringing or family and friends?

They all are correct answers, but in regards to our body our core… It would be our inner unit and muscles that help us stand tall and protect our spine and do every day activities … that would be our foundation.

What makes up our body’s foundation?

  • Our diaphragm
  • Our Inner Core Unit 
    • TVA’s/ Internal Obliques/ Multifidi
  • Our pelvic floor
If you are asking yourself what the heck is all of that stuff and how does our pelvic floor relate…..then good I am writing this for you.

Lets start from the beginning :

When we are born our body is relaxed no tension in our shoulders or neck, were not stressed out to the level we are today. All we care about is eating, sleeping and pooping….. Look at any baby and beg to differ. Exactly.

As we get older we start taking on more stress, we carry it in our neck and shoulders, we take on all the things, stress over tests, over work, over home life, finances (isn’t adulting fun?). As this happens we lose our original relaxed breathing patterns and start implementing paradoxical breathing – meaning shallow. When we inhale we raise our chest and shoulders and traps and exhale they all go down. You might think this is ok- but over time it is not.

Those muscles become over active and cause aches and pains and imbalances. In turn our diaphragm (which is our primary breathing muscle with the lungs) becomes underactive and weak. When this happens we stop engaging the correct core muscles to aid with breathing and as a result our muscles can become weak and our outer core muscles become overactive (which = imbalances and pain). Our pelvic floor does the same- the wrong muscles become tight from clenching or being stressed and not being engaged to relax with breathing.

This equals one big mess of imbalances which can stem all throughout the body- not just those muscles I mentioned. Think about it- when those are weak and not doing their job, then other muscles will over compensate and can lead to the wrong muscles doing the wrong job which can lead to injury. Our body is one big kinetic chain yall- it will get done what it needs to using whatever it can…..

So to get fixed – we must relearn how to breathe and in turn build a strong foundation to go off of.
It is easier said than done.

But here is what we gotta do:

1- RELAX 

2- RELEARN TO DEEP 360 BREATHE

3- RELEASE TIGHT MUSCLES AND ACTIVATE WEAK ONES

THEN —— We feel BETTER!

So how do we relax?
  • Try to implement self care time daily (from reading to going for a walk to yoga to meditation to sleep)
Then learn to breathe right…..
  • First you gotta understand how breathing as we are suppose to works.
  • Think of our inner unit as a canister
    • You got the diaphragm and lungs and ribs at the top
      • This bad boy is our breathing muscle and it contracts and flattens to pull air into the lungs when you inhale and expands and pushes air out when you exhale. 
    • The inner core unit in the middle 
      • Transverse abdominals, internal obliques and multi fidi these should have the right amount of pressure applied during inhale and exhale to contract and release to provide support 
    • The pelvic floor at the bottom
      • The PF provides a foundation you could think of us a bottom of a bucket or canister holding it all up
  • When you inhale you should feel your belly and ribs expand as you fill your lungs with air then when you exhale you are pushing air out and contracting within the core as the pelvic floor pushes the air out and up. Think of emptying it out from the bottom up in the exhale.
    • You should not raise your shoulders when you do this at all or feel anything in your neck.
    • You should feel your back expand to help relax tightness that may be within your ribs and spine and it is allowing your lungs to really be filled up 
    • Your inhale should match the exhale
      • Think inhale for 2 or 3 then exhale for 2 or 3
The more you do this the better you will get. Breathing this way not only helps relax your body and overly tight muscles but it also helps strengthen your foundation and inner core which supports the spine. (essentially all of it supports your spine but you get what I mean).
The more relaxed you are the more efficient you will be day to day. The better your body will work, and the more you will feel a difference in your workouts. 

I will be digging more into this in coming weeks but I hope this helped. I challenge you to try to do this for 5 minutes a day for the next 7 days. See if it does not become easier. See if you do not become stronger and feel better for it. I swear it is magic (our bodys know what to do!).

In the meantime – check this out – Deep Breathing Video

 

Stay in the know! Weekly tips, workouts and inflammation fighting tips! AND get a FREE Exercise guide to help you feeling and moving better right now!

 

C 🙂

 

Why You May Have Hit A Plateau From Your Workouts

Why You May Have Hit A Plateau From Your Workouts

Working out should make you feel good. 

abs

(Exhibit A … clearly I was working out here lol) 😂

Working out should help you. 

Have you ever really stopped to think why you are doing a certain workout? Have you really looked at your progress in other areas than aesthetics (losing weight) over the past year or however long you have been working out? 

You should be PROGRESSING!

Our world is stressed. We are stressed. We do all the things and try all the workouts and go hard. We may keep doing the same thing over and over and get frustrated when results stop or plateau or we get injured.

This is where progression can come into play. We progress in life and we should in workouts.

The definition progression states – the process of developing or moving gradually towards a more advanced state.

Do you?

Have you followed a progression with your workouts? Or are you just starting out and not sure where to start? Jumping into a HIIT class or something intense is a sure fire way to start and either not stick with it or get hurt. If you have been working out then I hope you took time to work on imbalances or if you feel them or aches and pains in workouts you stop and try to assess and work on those things before pushing through even more.

Progression is a major factor in building a balanced healthy and fit pain free life.

When we workout so hard we hurt for days after or we are exhausted the rest of the day- your body is speaking to you, you went too hard and it is taking all its energy to repair the damage.

Stop and think about this.. were stressed.

If we go into a workout already in a heightened stress state….. meaning cortisol is high due to no sleep,  mental stress at home or work, or not allowing our body to recover enough from the last workout, OR even certain autoimmune diseases or conditions…. Adding another stressor to our body like an intense workout is only going to increase that stress which in turn can increase inflammation and cause recovery not to happen properly.

This is why understanding progression and recovery is so important.

When we are starting a new workout plan or type of workout, we have to start slow and progress. Meaning if you have never lifted heavy weights you do not start with heavy weights, you start with body weight, get strong there then start adding lighter weights until that gets easy, then progress from there. 

Same with cardio, you build endurance by starting with walking, then when it gets easier go into jogging, add in some intervals, then increase pace more and more as your body and cardiovascular system adapts. 

With every scenario we have to allow recovery, without recovery our muscles cannot break down and rebuild. If we keep breaking them down without allowing them to build back up we will only hurt our progress in the long run. We will hurt too much, they wont grow, and in turn it could mess with your metabolic rate and recovery. 

Have you ever heard the quote that your body is built overnight… well it is. Sleep is also vital in recovery. 

A good rule of thumb to follow is to allow 48 hours between repeating training sessions if not 72. For example if you do a strength workout on Monday focusing on squatting, lunging, and pulling then do not repeat those exercises until atleast Wednesday, Thursday being best. In between that does not mean you cannot workout but it means maybe do cardio on Tuesday or Wednesday. Or do a yoga class or do a workout focusing on Pressing or pushing and rotational movements. Rotating focus of muscle groups and training can allow for recovery and results in toning and weightloss AND strength because you are allowing your body to repair itself.

Some things to consider-

If you are stuck in a workout rut, maybe progression is part of the problem. If you need some help find someone who can. Someone who will take time and figure out your strengths and weaknesses, things that may need to be changed up to help you, and be sure to help you with correcting imbalances. Imbalances WILL lead to pain down the road along with overcompensation patterns which could cause injury. Taking time to work on these WITH your workout program will only help you later on.
If you have pains when working out- find someone to help (reference above)
If you have no idea where to start- then focus on your foundation. Breathing first, mobility, then move into resistance once bodyweight stuff is easy. For cardio start slow and build up as it gets easier! Track this stuff. If you want a FREE workout guide with 5 exercises to help start that mobility focus then check this out – get your FREE guide here!

As always I am here to help! I have numerous ways I can and please do not hesitate to reach out I am taking on 1 on 1 virtual clients right now where we address these things. Let me know!       Contact me!

Next up- focusing on breathing and building that foundation. Stay tuned 😉