Inexplicable Weight Gain
The other day I was out talking to a friend in the neighborhood. She told me she had recently gained a few pounds in her mid-section and doesn’t understand why. She did say she had not been sleeping much and that she is worried about a few things with her husband’s health. When I heard this, I understood immediately why she gained a few pounds.
Experts in the field of weight loss agree there are two main reasons that we may gain weight in the mid-section:
The stress hormones cortisol and adrenalin actually prompt the body to store fat around the middle (even in skinny people). Compounding the effects of cortisol being released in the body due to constant stress, is the fact that cortisol breaks down muscle mass. This explains why we may see people who have a normal weight and in fact may even appear underweight because their arms and legs are thin due to decreased muscle mass, while their abdominal regions can be quite large.
When we are stressed we are often sleep deprived. Stress hormones caused by sleep deprivation can prompt the release of inflammation. Many experts now agree that it is inflammation in our bodies that causes havoc to our systems increasing the possibility of disease. For more information on this take a look at this post on ‘How Stress Wreaks Havoc on Your Gut’
Three Things To Do Today if You Have Gained Weight In the Middle:
- Eat an abundance of vegetables to crowd out your desire for sugar and carbohydrates.
- Take a walk.
Keep It Simple. Be Mindful. Monitor Your Progress.
Mindfulness means being in the present, being aware of what is happening and what you are doing, observing what is going on, participating fully in what is going on around you. By learning to live in the present, you can have a life that is more in tune with your activities and in what you want to accomplish.
So what does this all mean with regards to losing a few pounds?
Everything. If you approach this challenge following the above three suggestions: sleep, eat vegetables, and walk with what is called a reasonable mind then you will tackle the 3 tasks with more of a planning behavior. This means you would approach doing these tasks with an eye towards solving a problem intellectually. The problem is belly fat and how to lose it. The tasks are the method you use to solve the issue.
How to Achieve Long Lasting Success
If you simply follow the plan and monitor the outcome, you probably will have great results – yes. The thing is, most people stop at this point, trying to make weight loss a strictly intellectual rational mind process – you know that kind of thinking that says, “do this, do not do that?” Long term healthy living and weight loss does not work this way.
That’s why so many healthy living diets fail. If you really want to do this simple plan right, then you must give it up emotionally as well. I know none of us want to believe that emotion should be tied into weight loss, but it must. Forget that emotion is for the weak and consider that the most successful people, when it comes to maintaining weight loss, have both the emotional component of weight loss covered ( ‘I messed up-now get back at it’), along with the intellectual ‘do this don’t do that’ component.
The most successful clients I’ve coached have these two aspects in sync: The Reasonable Mind and the Emotional Mind.
In The World of Psychology They Call it Wise Mind
Wise Mind is the coming together, the overlap of Reasonable Mind and Emotion Mind. But when they come together or overlap, they produce something bigger than either of them were separately. What is added is intuition, a feeling of “knowing” what’s right, a felt sense, a sense that some people feel in their body (head, heart, stomach or somewhere else) that something is just right, the right thing to do or the right way for things to be. You can experience intuition about what’s right or appropriate without thinking about it, without knowing it intellectually, just feeling it.
Some of you will experience Wise Mind after a crisis. It is like the calm after the storm.
Sometimes you may “feel” the right choice in some dilemma, when the feeling comes from deep inside you.
Regardless of how you arrive at this wisdom in healthy living it is important that you take steps to help you arrive there.
My Challenge to You
Take the 3 steps mentioned above: sleep, increase vegetables, walk daily, and see if you can integrate your Reasoning Mind with your Emotional Mind arriving at your Wisdom Mind in healthy living. Think of this as practice, getting you one step closer to a healthier lifestyle that will stick.
And, if you get a chance let me know how it is going.