Relax into 2017

Did you start 2017 off with the usual diet resolutions? If so, stop! There’s a better way. Instead of berating yourself into change, try something new. What if you could relax into change? It’s true. Stress chemistry makes it practically impossible to lose weight and keep it off. Stress is not your metabolic friend.

A stressed body has decreased digestion, decreased metabolism, and increased cortisol. Now you have digestive upset, and extra weight you can’t lose even though you’re dieting. The physiologic stress response was designed by nature to save you in case of an attack by a wild animal. You are prepared to fight or flee in order to survive. But in today’s world wild animals don’t often chase us. Now we’re stressed by our jobs, our families, and our own thoughts. Your body doesn’t know if a stressor is a current issue or a past issue. It still starts a chemical cascade that initiates the stress response. So, if you’re ruminating over a past stressor, you’re alerting your body, and it responds by pumping chemicals into your bloodstream.

So what can you do? You can stop fighting your body. You can become a relaxed eater. Watch your thoughts. Are they loving to yourself? Power up your metabolism and digestion by invoking the physiologic relaxation response. When you’re willing to cut yourself some slack instead of beating yourself up, you put yourself into body positive chemistry. So, slow down and love yourself into change.

What might loving yourself look like? It might look like going to bed earlier. It might look like saying no to an event. Maybe it looks like meditation, healthier food, or comfier clothes. Perhaps it looks like you thanking your body for what it does for you.

It’s time you learn about yourself. Learn what works for you. There is no one-size-fits-all diet. Your body and metabolism are unique. Experiment. Find what works for you. Your body has a wisdom that is waiting for you to tap into. You are your own best resource.