Imagine a world where there wasn’t a struggle for so many to lose weight. Imagine if you found the one key to overcoming your weight loss challenges. How is this possible? Well, I wouldn’t be writing it if I hadn’t experienced clients’ success in this regard as well as me, myself, and I. I am convinced over half of those individuals (over 90 percent of the American population is on a diet right now) would benefit from this one simple strategy.
This one tool would be the difference between fitting in your clothes, feeling comfortable in a social setting, and maybe even trying a new athletic skill. I’ve seen thousands of individuals struggle with weight loss. Most of them were raised with the concept that if you cut calories and increase your cardio, you will lose weight. As we age, we do need fewer calories, and we need more than ever to fill up on nutrient-dense foods. We also need daily movement. All of this is for longevity, health, and wellness.
As my corporate and concierge clients know, our wellness is more complicated than the diet and fitness industry wants you to believe. We at Alexandria Wellness emphasize getting to the root of the health and wellness challenges. Instead of “beating around the bush” and believing all you see and read on social media and the news, we want you to be ultimately your own teacher of wellness.
What one behavior leads most of us to snack, holds us back from exercise and quality sleep, and causes us to fret? Chronic stress.
Not only can stress lead to fatal consequences, but it can also be the culprit for your weight loss challenges. You may be wondering how this is possible. When we experience chronic stress, a chain of “events” happens in our bodies, causing us to lose sleep, crave sugary and nutrient weak foods and drinks, and makes us irritable. Under stress, you breathe faster so your body can quickly distribute oxygen-rich blood to your body. The increase in breathing is coupled with an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. This is only part of the story – many other events occur to protect you – because your body thinks you are in danger.
So, how can we help the 92 percent to figure out this weight loss conundrum… and reduce their stress? Redefine and reframe the stress.
Redefining our stress as a part of life in a busy city where many of us choose professions where we “work” long hours and are continually aiming for that “sweet life” of post-crazy-professional-life euphoria. Yet, instead of working at this pace, perhaps we can redefine what is most important to us? Maybe it is a good time to re-create your core values and see if how we are living is time spent on those values?
We can also reframe. By reframing, we can tell ourselves a different story about our stress.
“How can I ever get a break?” can turn into “I know I’ve chosen this job, and I control how I respond to its demands.”
Another would be “The traffic is crushing me already, and we just went back to the office” can turn to “I better leave the house earlier today since traffic is getting more congested.”
When we redefine and reframe our stress, we are better equipped to “respond,” not “react” to a stressful event. Both skills take time and patience, yet practicing them can lead to greater contentedness and an increased ability to handle challenges in our busy lives.
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