- Are you a Mom?
- Do you have a child or children that are grappling with learning or behavior problems?
- Do you worry about your child’s challenges a great deal of the time?
- Do you have belly fat (much more than you like)?
- Do you it find it difficult to lose weight?
- Are you sometimes moody?
- Do you wish you had more energy?
If you answered ‘yes’ to four or more of the questions above, then here is some vitally important information for you.
You are probably wondering: what is the connection between my child’s learning problems and my belly fat? Or, what has the fact that I worry about my child have to do with not being able to lose weight? Or, what is the connection between the five questions above? The answer? One word: Stress.
When you are stressed actual physiological changes happen in your body that cause you to put on more weight than when you aren’t stressed. Here’s how this happens. We usually think that “being stressed-out” is an emotional state, but we tend to forget that the body reacts to stress in a physical way. If you are stressed the body is on alert because it thinks there is a ‘possible disaster’ about to happen. So one of the ways your body physically handles stress is by being stingy about how it uses calories, storing them to be used for this ‘possible disaster’. And where does it store these calories? Yikes! It stores it as fat around your belly! The trouble is that this happens not because there is a real disaster about to happen, but mostly because of the stressful thoughts in your head. So if you are carrying belly fact, look down at this now and say to it: “You are there because I am stressed. I want you gone so I am going to stress less.”
In addition when you are stressed your adrenals shift into fight-or-flight mode, releasing adrenaline and cortisol into your blood. Under the influence of cortisol, you are less sensitive to leptin, the hormone that makes you feel full so you eat more than you normally might. Many Moms are in a state of constant stress, functioning with elevated cortisol levels over long periods and unable to lose unwanted weight.
Stressed parents create stressed kids.
Your stress level will be mirrored by your kids becoming their stress level. There may be a good chance that you are caught in the following trap – your body language, behavior, tone of voice, words you use, all broadcast to your kids that you are stressed. They then pick up on your stress. Now their stress levels rise too. Like you, they also go into fight and flight mode. They react. Your patience is low and you react. Now the best parenting responses go out of the window and stress is causing an unhealthy, parent-child relationship.
The good news is that if you restore your adrenals to their normal, healthy function, your cravings will disappear, you will be full of energy, you will lose weight and most important of all, your parenting style will vastly improve.
How do you do this?
By becoming committed to learning how to live a stress-less life, starting with these eight tips:
- Learn how to be kind to yourself. Treat yourself like someone you really love!
- Read labels and be sure to buy non-inflammatory foods. (Read about the 10 most inflammatory foods in my eBook on the home page). Also have three balanced meals and two balanced snacks a day.
- Use high quality stress-reducing supplements to support your body in becoming less stressed. Do your own research about these supplements or ask your healthcare practitioner for recommendations.
- Don’t go to bed wound up. Let your body and mind wind down before going to bed. Strive for at least 8 hours sleep.
- Build movement into your day. This releases stress-relieving hormones. Exercise or walk but be sure to enjoy whatever you are doing to keep your body moving. If exercise increases your stress, don’t do it. Choose a form of movement that you enjoy.
- Hug as many people as possible, as many times as appropriate, every day. This releases powerful stress-reducing hormones.
- Make a conscious effort to find something to have a good, hearty laugh about at least three times a day. We often forget how relaxing a good laugh and some fun can be.
- Establish a habit of practicing deep breathing several times a day. Three to four deep breaths through your nose can slow your heart rate and calm the whole body down.
Moms, the stress in your lives is directly connected to your weight, your mood, your energy and the way you parent your kids. When you are in “crisis mode” much of the time, it is difficult to be a calm, serene and centered parent which is really what your kids need. Too many of us are addicted to our stress but when this affects our kids, we need to learn how to stop stressing and start connecting in a healthy way with ourselves, our lives and our kids.