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Welcome to 2022! I am so excited to be running the 5 pound weight loss challenge again starting Monday, January 17th. It is free to join us, just click the link in the description and get started right away.

The 5 pound challenge is a free challenge that I run in January to help you focus on your whole health, inspire you to look at weight loss from a different view point, and help you feel confident moving forward.

The people who have joined me in the past have told me:

– They learned so much about how their body responds to their every day lifestyle and how that affects their mood, hunger, energy, sleep, and weight.

– They are learning to stop following what everyone else is doing and really tune into what they need

And I love this so much!

The truth is, I hate talking about weight loss as something that you need to come see me for. I would prefer that you see weight gain or difficulty losing weight as a symptom of something else going on in your body, because that is exactly what it is.

Weight loss alone will not make you healthy because health does not equal a number on the scale. But, the majority of my patients do come to me for weight loss, fatigue, hair loss, and our goal is to find out why their body is holding on to weight. And this is what the challenge is all about. Helping you look at different areas of your health and how to support your whole body, every system, and allow your body to heal. Then the weight will release.

Today I am going to give you a quick overview of a few of the topics in the challenge so you can start thinking about how these topics affect you.

We start with autonomic pairing. This is how your nervous system interacts with your body and how your brain perceives what is happening as well. You may know the fight or flight system versus the rest and digest, or the sympathetics vs parasympathetics. These two systems are in a constant balance with each other but stress, trauma, fear, pain, illness will drive our system to stay in constant fight or flight mode.

Shifting into a parasympathetic state is important to help bring calm to our body and stop the cycle where our body is always feeling under attack. In the challenge we will talk a lot about how to do this, so for today my favorite way is to do Vagus Nerve exercises like gargling and neck stretching. I actually have almost all of my patients do these these exercises because we improve digestion, reduce pain and inflammation, improve sleep, and reduce tension. And when your body and nervous system feel better and are more relaxed and responsive, then you feel better too. Your energy goes up, you feel more positive and optimistic. And when you feel better you take better care of yourself!

The next topic is when and what should you eat. This is major because food is the most important part of weight loss and body balance, but the real underlying issue is blood sugar balance throughout the day. In the description I have links to my podcasts on why I hate intermittent fasting. And if you are waking up at 3 in the morning every day and struggling with sleep, blood sugar is probably at the root of your issues. I get the most upset about this right now because everyone I know is talking about intermittent fasting as the best thing ever and how everyone needs to stop eating. This is so dangerous for so many reasons:

– Most women are undereating and telling them to eat less is damaging to their health.

– Most women are skipping meals but drinking coffee with sugar or creamer, which is putting their blood sugar on a rollercoaster ride, this keeps the weight and inflammation on, and wrecks sleep and hormones.

– This is also disordered eating and can trigger someone into a negative relationship with food

– There is a lie about ‘just staying within your macros’ – people will eat so much junk but because it is a calorie deficit and fits in the macro numbers their trainer gave them, they think they are healthy. Yes, I have had people tell me that their pizza and fruit snacks are just fine because it’s in the numbers.

Moral of this story: you need food, you need to eat consistently throughout the day, and you should track your food to see where you are now, and as you change your eating style and habits. Watch your calories, carbs, fat, and protein intake.

One thing that I like to point out with food, is that it is the most important part of your health plan. Your food plan, choices, and daily habits will make or break you no matter your goal. I got so many messages when I posted my reel about how coffee creamer can and will harm your health if you are struggling with hormones, weight loss, or gut health issues. No one wants to hear that the fun stuff can make you sick right? And the reality is that coffee creamer won’t automatically make you sick but it’s the part where you drink it every single day, and sometimes multiple times a day. The same goes for soda, especially diet soda. One diet coke won’t kill you or make you gain weight, but drinking one every single day absolutely will. Drinking 6 a day will make you sick. So look at those negative health harming habits that you do every day and think about what you want to eliminate to support your long term health.

Another topic is rest and recovery and this goes hand in hand with our food conversation because there are programs out there telling you to work out twice a day, skip rest days. Women are literally killing themselves trying to work out faster, harder, longer, and with more weight or intensity. But looking around wondering why they are gaining weight, their fatigue is horrible, and they aren’t seeing any changes. Then the Tik Tok trainers are telling them to eat less and workout more because it’s all about calories.

Rest is so important for your body, muscles, and hormones. And if you struggle with hormone issues, PCOS, autoimmune disease, sleep issues, oh my goodness just stop pushing so hard right now. Intense workouts will increase cortisol, which normally would be great and supportive for the body. But when you struggle with health issues, that increase in cortisol will trigger a flare, will increase your weight, and wreck your blood sugar. So again, stop comparing yourself to others and trying to do what they want to do.

What I want to remind you of is that weight loss and achieving your goals is actually slow progress. And that is normal and nothing to worry about. Consistency, support, and caring for your body just as you are now is the most important part of any weight loss program or health and wellness plan. You didn’t gain the extra 20 or 50 pounds overnight, and you won’t lose it that quickly either.