So if you hadn’t already caught on, October is Stress Management Month so all my posts will be working around this theme.
If you didn’t catch the previous 2 posts, you’ll find them on the blog. I’d suggest you read all of them to build up the context.
I’ve literally thrown you in the deep end a bit.
And I’m afraid, I cannot apologise for that.
One of the things I stand for in my business is to empower women.
Women often feel a victim of their circumstance, their lives, their bodies and their relationship with food.
I like to think of my Weight Loss Coaching Program as more of a female empowerment program.
And we all know, knowledge is power.
So the past 2 emails have been a little “information heavy”. Embrace it.
I really feel in this day and age where most doctors appointments last 7 minutes and no one has the time to fully take everything into consideration, that you have to take responsibility for your own health.
Take the time to learn about the body, how it works and invest in your health now to create a healthy future.
Not ride it out until something goes really wrong – because I can guarantee that by the time this happens, it’s been going wrong for years, decades even, you just didn’t notice until now.
So I digress.
Get your thinking caps on and your reading glasses out.
A notebook if you will and a decent pen 😉
I think you will find this one REALLY interesting!
Let’s talk about winding up!
In the previous two posts you would have learned that…
1) modern lifestyles create a continuous activation of the brain to adrenal gland connection causing an elevated and continuous output of stress hormones
2) Modern stressors contrast to “evolutionary stressors” because they are unresolved. They are always there. They never stop.
Evolutionary stressors would include; hunger, thirst, danger, infection, heat or cold.
You resolve the stress or you die. For example…
If you are hungry, you find food, you eat, stress resolved.
If you have to flee a wild beast, you flee or fight, the stress is resolved.
If you get an infection, you immune system kicks in, you resolve the infection or you die of it.
If you are cold, you find materials to build a fire or you die of hypothermia.
Because this is all coming back to weight loss, let’s look at food.
You feel hungry because there is lack of energy to the brain.
The change is brain energy causes the hypothalamus (area in the brain), to stimulate hormones which ask the adrenal glands to produce stress hormones.
Stress hormones mobilise energy and create alertness so that we are energised and mentally aware to find food. This would have been essential to survival.
Have you ever noticed that when you feel really hungry you can hear someone opening a chocolate wrapper across the room?
You can walk past a bakery and the bread smells 10 times as good?
You probably also notice that you start to fidget and you wouldn’t be able to just sit still and relax.
All these heightened senses are normal behaviours created by a substance called glutamate, which when elevated in small amounts, creates alertness, to help respond to the stress of starvation.
Once we find food and eat it, we get a serotonin and dopamine response.
Glutamate is converted to neurtransmitter known as GABA.
GABA is a calming neurotransmitter which tells the brain “we’re all good now, you can switch those stress hormones off”
It is serotonin, dopamine and GABA which create resolution.
Lack of energy in the brain switches the stress system on.
Neurotransmitters switch the stress system off.
Problem = hunger
Solution = food
Neurotransmitters signal the resolution.
Except not anymore.
Today when we eat something, we are still worrying about our boss at work, the children fighting, what so and so said to so and so and whether or not we’ll make our mortgage payments.
Which means we don’t get that nice serotonin, dopamine, GABA switch off.
So you can imagine if this system is going on and on… and on and on… and on and on… day after day, month after month, year after year…
Somethings got to give!
We exist in a constant state of “searching”.
Except we aren’t searching for food…
Yet sometimes, we think we are.
As demonstrated by binge and disordered eating or “food addictions”.
This is all about searching for large amounts of sugar and processed food to create that dopamine, GABA and serotonin hit.
Others may turn to addictions, drugs, alcohol, pornography, sex, shopping, become workaholics or suffer social media addiction.
Even one you wouldn’t think of immediately – exercise addiction.
When I meet someone who tell me they exercise every day for 2 hours, or enter multiple ultra-distance events per year (like iron man or ultra-marathons).
The first thing that I ask myself is;
“I wonder what are you really searching for?”
The final piece of this puzzle comes back to the other two neurotransmitters, serotonin and GABA.
Most people, especially those on SSRI’s are familiar with serotonin. It’s the happy hormone.
Low levels of GABA is associated with anxiety.
The viscous cycle of unresolved stress
If you are running your stress pathways with a flat foot all day long, these guys are going to burn out!
So can you see the link now between stress, anxiety, depression and addictive and destructive behaviours.
I hope you can.
Now, I don’t want to make this all doom and gloom but I am conscious of throwing too much at you at once.
In the next post I will be looking at solutions and resolutions.
For today, become aware.
If you want to get a handle on your food…
If you want to resolve other behaviours that are negatively impacting your life…
If you want to feel happier and less anxious…
It starts with you and it starts with how you manage your life and your thoughts so it becomes a less stressful place to be.
Thank you for staying tuned.
PS. If you want help losing weight, but most importantly rebalancing your lifestyle to find results that actually last (like these women did below), then feel free to apply for a Complimentary Breakthrough Call to discover if Weight Loss Mentoring is the right approach for you.