Are you Feeling Fat, fatigued and Foggy?
Thinking back about stress hormones and cortisol, I do believe that caused me to not be able to lose any weight for the longest time, and was making me feel tired, fat and foggy thinking.
Of course my declining hormones and excessive exercise were all contributing to that fat, fatigued and foggy feeling.
As women we have too many competing demands on our time, if I was to tell a few friends back then or even myself, you need to take time more time for yourself.
Well, that was not going to work, because we were trying to prepare meals, or get the kids off to school, and then get ourselves to work. Then after work we would have to drive the kids to sporting events, so when were going to find time to take care of ourselves.
I totally get that, because we are very naturing by nature and love our families and want the best for them. But if we do not take care of ourselves we will be not good to our families in the long run.
I had to learn most of this the hard way, and learn to back off. I’am still learning balance.
What Learned is that stress and sugar, can really do a job on us, and is one of the fastest ways to age us. Sugar and no sleep can age our skin and our brains, cause low energy levels, our sleep will also be effected.
When our hormones are out of balance we can have foggy thinking, feel fatigued, fat and bloated.
You can get brain fog from food sensitivities, thyroid problems, lack of sleep, your diet, and chronic stress.
What do you do when your doctor or someone else says you need to lower your stress level?
I used to think just sitting down relaxing going through my email, or going on social media, my computer or device all evening or watching TV was lowering my stress level.
I was wrong that never lowered my stress level
The reason I’m sharing my story and experience’s of what I have been going through lately, is however stressed we are in life, or whatever things we may be going through, no matter how it may feel unsurmountable, is to remember to love ourselves, and take care of ourselves first. So that we can be better equipped to take care of our families. If they see us happy and vibrant then that will rub off onto them, that we are happy, and they will them feel happier too.
Here are 8 strategies I took that I feel were the best thing I did to get myself back on track to feeling good, I hope by me sharing this it may benefit you in some way to
I would have all my hormone levels, your estrogen, progesterone, total and free testosterone, a 24 hour saliva test for your cortisol, a full thyroid panel , TSH, FreeT3, Free T4, reverse T3, thyroid antibodies, (thyroid peroxidase TPO antibodies) and (thyroglobulin Antibody) testing the antibodies can hep to diagnose the cause of any thyroid problems.I have Hashimoto’s and my antibodies were high years back, my doctor knew from that test, my antibodies were high. I’m having mine tested again in September. I want to see if mine are still down as I had brought mine down, but I have eaten gluten which with Hashimoto’s (which is auto immune thyroiditis) they say not to eat gluten, so I’m getting the test again to see for myself.
I say to test your hormones because they can make us feel brain fog, and feel tired and bloated if off.
When the thyroid is off, there is a whole list of symptoms, some overlap with other hormone symptoms. It is always good to get it ruled out as a problem and I always get the test results for myself as doctor’s will say your thyroid is fine and they may be using an outdated reference range for those and you could be at the end range and not in the optimal range. Some will only run a TSH test that does not tell the whole story as Free Ts is your active thyroid hormone, we get our energy from….But it is complicated and I’m not a doctor.
Some symptoms of low thyroid hypothyroidism, fatigue, weight gain, dry hair, forgetfulness, hair loss (I have had ), feeling cold, me cold feet and hands, Irritability, and a few more. I have a ton of thyroid books, as I wanted to learn all I could to help myself.
Estrogen dominance, all my hormones tested low, but in relation to my other hormones my estrogen was higher, higher than progesterone which would mean I had estrogen dominance. Which can also cause fat gain, and belly bloat and water retention. that is one reason I say to get all the hormones tested. Bio-identical hormones or herbs, or progesterone cream, can help with sleep and a better hormone balance. Best to work with a good practitioner always before taking anything, and get the proper tests done first.
I have talked a lot about sleep in blogs, Sleep can be disrupted when estrogen and progesterone start fluctuating in peri-menopause. Progesterone has a calming effect, and it usually falls first in relation to estrogen. when progesterone is low we can get insomnia. When estrogen is low tend to get hot flashes and night sweats. I don’t miss those days of throwing the covers on and off all night long, poor Joe.
I like to take some l-theanine, and magnesium at night to help me relax, l- theanine is found in green tea. Also a relaxing bath, and foam roll, and bedtime sleepy tea
I cut back on intense exercise, for me that was important for me to do. I started just doing more movement, just slow leisure walks. I would take a break throughout the day, even if for a few minutes to get out into the sun and move.
I still did strength training to keep my muscle and it does help my bones to and keeps us strong as we age. I have found switching up my exercise works really well. some weeks i will do 3 strength training workouts and one sprint workout. Other weeks I will back down to 2-3 days at most. This way I find I’m not over stressing my body, as that just causes cravings and weight gain. Every year or even every month we should reevaluate and adjust according to how we feel.
This to me is the most important part, I’m not one to do any long meditation routines, I always thought to out there for me, but just taking that time, to sit on the bench for 5 minutes at a time I felt really helped me to feel better and make better choices, in all area’s of my life. With food choices, less drinking, eating even healthier. Everything just seems to flow better, from this one thing.
I like the headspace app too, www.headspace.com or the app store, right before bed I get into the fetal position and do 5 deep breaths in and out very slowly, and also my stretches, and foam rolling.
Also Heart Math Institute is very effective, I have there emWave2 device you can plug into your computer or just do it with the device. It works well I would think I’m relaxed but would fins when using it I was not I would be in either the yellow or red, it is really hard to stay in the green but you get better at the breathing and doing it. Just 5 minutes a day. www.heartmath.com
Meditation helps to turn on the rest and digest, just the simple relaxation of breathing exercises will help turn on the relaxation response. That can start a cascade of physiological chemical reactions and the parasympathetic nervous system which is good for rejuvenate. Most of us spend too much time in the flight or fight sympathetic nervous system.
5. Feed Your Body
Make sure you nourish your body with the food you Love. Don’t over restrict your food choices, that just leads to cravings and binge eating. If you have a food you love and you find you don’t over indulge in it then eat it. It can be a bar, or nuts, or wine or almond butter, or ice-cream. Then it is more of a buffer food for you, and makes your diet sustainable and enjoyable. If you find when you have peanut butter, or almond butter or any of the above and then you want to eat the whole jar or container, then it is a TRIGGER food for you, and as Precision Nutrition says if its in the house you will eventually eat it. I don’t keep peanut butter in the house as it always makes me want to dip my spoon in way more than once. Ice cream I can have in the house, wine I can have in the house. The nut butter’s are a trigger food for me, I can have packets of nuts in the house and or ones you crack open yourself, and I take out a handful to crack and eat, those seem fine for me.
And if you eat something you consider a bad food don’t beat yourself up, there are no bad or good foods, just ones that work for you. You are always on track at your next meal too.
I find that journaling at night before bed can help me sleep, as if I have things to do the next day, a list. I can write them down and get it off my mind.
I write down my mood, how I felt after meals, how long it may have lasted me, so I know if I need to adjust it.
If I have any slight pains I write it down, then I know to foam roll, or stretch or ice. I learned this from being a long distance runner, as the body will give us signals when an injury is brewing.
7. Don’t Hold Things In
Holding our feeling in can cause stress, expressing our feelings can be very powerful. When we hold things in it can just fester and cause us to be resentful and cause the internal stress.
We need to say what we mean, expressing the truth can sometimes hurt, but holding it in can hurt you just as much. If we express the truth from our hearts, in a loving way, then that is good.
I was holding in my true feelings, and it caused me so much stress in the past and sleepless nights always trying to please others
8. Spending Time With, Be Selective
I have dropped certain friends who were always negative and draining my energy, it was hard. This one friend was always trying to knock me down, not sure why.
Spend time with people who support you and give you positive energy, and make you feel more energized and light you up.
Staying away form those certain people for me has made me feel less stressed and happier.
My friend Mary, who is so hurt now and in pain, I have been trying to help her get back to just walking and feeling less pain. Mary has always been so supportive and caring and never complains, a very easy going woman my best friend and so easy to go to running camp with. Two virgo’s very neat…and we both love to walk and run etc..
Pick just one strategy to try, that you feel will most benefit you right now. Really listen to the signals the body is giving you, as our bodies are always striving to be healthy and in balance. You will be amazed, how you may feel. Ask yourself what can I do today to take care of myself so I can feel amazing
Listen to your body, and take an action step. Let me know what action step you took, or if any of this resonated with you.
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