Tag Archive for Joyce Meyers

Part 2 of Summer Shape Up: Stressing About Our Body Fat Just Makes Us Fatter – Really.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALet me say that again:  Stressing about our body fat just makes us fatter. It’s true; and as woo-woo as that may sound, it’s very grounded in science.

Remember in my last Post  I said that when it comes to weight and our health, our thoughts are more important than a food plan?  If a good food plan was all it took, no one would be fat and sick.

One of my favorite quotes is:  “Our body isn’t a math equation, it’s a chemistry set.”  This is why low calorie, low fat diets don’t work in the long run.  We upset our chemistry when we eat that way.

I’m continuing my series on taking control of our thoughts to get control of our body.  Many of us constantly bemoan our butts, our stomach’s, our thighs, and our batwings. Constantly.

How’s that negative thinking working?

A favorite quote, “What we think about, we bring about.”   More science, more chemistry; our brain LISTENS to our words and creates chemicals and structures in response to those words.  Seriously.

Constantly bemoaning our weight and our shape and our health is called STRESS.  “Stress” is a chemical state in our body that’s really only good if we need to run away from a bad guy or perform a heroic feat.  Other than that, it works against us. (Actually, there’s more to the stress story.  “Temporary” stress can help us solve problems and get out of jams. It’s “Chronic” stress that hurts us – and makes us fat.)

A stressed-out state, for ANY reason (mental, physical, emotional, REAL OR FAKE), causes the same chemical response: an increase in hormones that dump lots of SUGAR into the blood stream.  Nothing is easier and faster for our cells to use in an emergency than sugar.  Not fat, not protein, but SUGAR.

When we feel stressed from a kid or a spouse or a co-worker or traffic or from agonizing over our weight or stressing about food or exercise, our glands squirt FIGHT AND FLIGHT HORMONES (chemicals) into our blood stream.

These hormones do a number on us:

– they inhibit fat burning in cells (never good for healthy body weight!)

– they dump loads of sugar/glucose from the liver into the blood

– they break down muscle tissue to convert to glucose (fitness friends, take note – we want that muscle!)

– they make us hungry and crave more sugar – just in case the stress is chronic (“stress eating”)

– they slow down the thyroid (not a priority), slow down digestion (not a priority), slow down sex hormone production (not a priority)

– they suppress the immune system (not a priority, and this is why stress is associated with being sick more often)

And that’s just the starter list!  The gist:  Stress Makes Us Fat and Sick, not lean and healthy.

I know I already said this, but I’m saying it again:  stressing over our weight or our food or our workouts is EXACTLY the same as stressing over a bad guy or money or a fight.  Stress is stress is stress is stress.  The same chemicals are released into the body.

Action Plan to Combat Stressing About Our Fat:

1) Quit comparing ourselves to any woman on a magazine cover.  I quit buying women’s magazines 15 years ago.  I didn’t want my 4 daughters influenced by those faked and unrealistic images. Woo-hoo! FREEDOM.  Seriously, have you ever googled what they do to those cover images to make them look so perfect?

Having those images around is like having our favorite trigger food in the pantry.  Bad stuff happens.  Set yourself up for success and control your surroundings as much as possible.

Temptations CAUSE stress.  Get rid of them.

2) Quit comparing ourselves to anyone at the gym, or in our circles, who has a better body than us.  STOP IT.  What a waste of a brain space!  And it’s stressful!  We have friends and family who need our help and our prayers.  We have a home and jobs and people who need our attention. There’s turmoil and starvation and war going on, and we’re stressing about our butt and our weight?  Let’s focus on important issues.

The Bible says to focus on Love, Joy, Appreciation, and Gratitude.  Meditation books say the same thing.  What we focus on has a CHEMICAL CONSEQUENCE.  (Hey!  Food also has chemical consequences!)

3) DEEP BREATHING.  Humming.  Singing. Breath Patterns.  Yep, really. For weight loss!  These actions stimulate our Vagus Nerve, the nerve that runs from the brain stem to every organ in our body.  When we stimulate it with deep breath, humming, and singing, it releases Happy Chemicals.

This is the polar opposite of our Fight and Flight/Sympathetic nervous system, which is the system that releases cortisol, adrenalin, and more.

The Vagus Nerve releases chemicals that actually benefit our DNA, and make our brain more creative, problem solving, and powerful.   Fight/flight chemicals (chronically produced) damage our DNA and inhibit problem solving and creativeness.

Fight/fight chemicals also deplete our willpower.

The Vagus Nerve meanders all the way into the belly; spreading fibers to the tongue, pharynx, vocal chords, lungs, heart, stomach, intestines and glands that produce the anti-stress enzymes and hormones: Acetylcholine, Prolactin, Vasopressin, and Oxytocin. These chemicals make digestion, metabolism and relaxation BETTER.

They even make us poop better!

4) Gratitude, appreciation, love for your body. Yes, you need these for weight loss.  Honestly, even a year ago, I wouldn’t have written that.  I’ve read this, been taught this, for years, but it never sunk in.  I’m wired pretty happy, so I never thought I needed this advice.  I was wrong.  We all need this advice.

Again, stressing over our body, picking apart it’s “defects”, is just “stress”.  Stress is a chemical state that inhibits fat loss, and encourages fat deposition.

I really believe this explains the strict diet and exercisers, who are just doing it for weight loss – not health, who never seem to lose weight.  

When we eat for health, our thought patterns are something like this:  “I haven’t had any fish in a few days and I really need that Omega 3.”  Or, “My throat hurts, I need some garlic.”  Or, “If I eat that, I’ll have bloat and foggy brain the rest of the day. Better stay away.” Eating for health means looking at food as Medicine, and it’s empowering!

Counting calories, measuring, white-knuckling up some willpower – NOT empowering.  At all.  It’s draining.

Try this: next time negative beliefs about your body consume your thoughts, stop them, and replace them with 5 different gratitudes about your body.

If you have difficulty thinking of 5 gratitudes, you’ve got a bigger problem than your weight!

Resource for improving your mind:  Battlefield of the Mind, by Joyce Meyers.

Learn more about the Vagus Nerve here.

Reinforce Food is Medicine here.

Go think about what you’re thinking about!

Do You Have “Weight Loss Resistance”?

20150322_174519I have really interesting information today that relates to your weight, your energy, and your risk for disease, but first, a little info on where I’ve been the past week.

See my lead picture?  That’s me, with Mark, 2 of my sisters, 1 brother in law, and my parents.  My dad threw a big – super fun – party for my mom down in Florida, where they live half the year.  Pretty weather, fun in the sun, lots of dancing – it just messed up my writing schedule!  It didn’t however, mess up my learning schedule, as I’m obsessed with reading and listening to anything and everything about health.

Then, I spent 2 days in Hampton, Va at a Joyce Meyers convention with Mark.  Wow.  That woman’s amazing and inspiring, check her out.

Weight Loss Resistance:  This past week there’s been a Diabetes Summit on line, and if you haven’t been listening and you have diabetes, high blood sugar or just can’t lose weight, you should buy this summit.  Why?  The docs on this summit have a LOT of new info, holy smoly – tons, seriously it’s the best summit I’ve heard in a while.

In light of how many people actually have diabetes, and how many are predicted to develop diabetes, this is a condition that will literally touch ALL OF US in one way or another.  CDC predicts that by 2020 – 6 years from now – half of all Americans will be either diabetic or pre-diabetic.  MOMS, OUR KIDS ARE AT RISK HERE.  

The good news?  DIABETES TYPE 2 IS BOTH PREVENTABLE AND REVERSIBLE.  You don’t have diabetes because of genetics. Sorry. Diabetes rarely affected our grandparents when they were young, and our great-grand parents (in their younger years) possibly never even heard of it.  Type 2 diabetes is a LIFESTYLE disease of High Blood Sugar, and Insulin Resistance.

It’s fixable; and we want to fix it, because high blood sugar and insulin resistance lead to many many disease states other than diabetes.

Weight Loss Resistance is one of them; here’s why it happens.  When we have high blood sugar, insulin is released to the blood stream.  Insulin’s job is to lower blood sugar, because high blood sugar wrecks havoc on our arteries (high blood pressure, ED, etc), our skin (wrinkles, age spots), our nerve endings (hello neuropathy), our brain – Alzheimer’s is being called Diabetes Type 3, and I could go on and on.  The weight connection:  when excess Insulin is in the blood, FAT BURNING AIN’T HAPPENING. PERIOD PERIOD PERIOD.

If you eat a breakfast of “healthy whole grain” oatmeal and a banana and go to the gym to “burn fat”, you won’t; you’ll just burn the sugar/glucose in your blood stream.  It’s science: when insulin’s in the blood stream, our “fuel burners” aka mitochondria, burn glucose, not fat.  It’s a rule, and we can’t change it.

What about Weight Loss Resistance?  I’d never heard that term before I heard one of the summit’s docs coin it, but I sure do know people who have it, including some of my clients who literally do everything right and still can’t lose weight.  This explains it!

First, a review of what “Insulin Resistance” is, and how that leads to “Weight Loss Resistance”.  The hormone Insulin can be Caustic and Irritating.  In NORMAL amounts insulin is wonderful and necessary.  In EXCESSIVE amounts, say, the amounts required to store all the excess blood sugar consumed today, Insulin is DANGEROUS.  Our cells and our body, knows this; so the little doors-receptors on the cells that happily open for NORMAL amounts of insulin, close and say NO WAY to excessive amounts of insulin; they’re self-preservating. When receptor doors close, there’s inflammation, there’s a shut down of cell function, and **** other hormones, like Thyroid, Sex, and Leptin (which tells our brain we’re full) are prevented from entering and delivering their messages.   

A whole bunch of dysfunction is happening, right?

Two more points about Insulin Resistance:  1) if you have this, you’ve become a Fat Making and Storing Machine.  Long chemistry explanation, but true.  2) Insulin Resistance begets MORE insulin resistance; the lack of insulin in the cells sends a signal to the pancreas to spit out more insulin.  It does, but the insulin has no where to go, because the doors are shut.  So the pancreas makes even more, which irritates more doors to shut.  It’s a vicious cycle.

What about Weight Loss Resistance?  What if you just quit eating refined grains and sugars, everything should go back to normal, right?

Sometimes; most of the time. Sometimes not.

Here’s a great point brought to light via the summit’s speakers:  Insulin Resistance isn’t only caused by excess insulin. The cells doors/receptors are bothered and irritated to closing by TOXINS also.  What toxins?  Crap in our water, foods, cigarettes, personal care products, cleaning products, pesticides, herbicides, etc.  We have tens of thousands of irritating chemicals in our life every day, and they’re so completely hidden from view that they’re mostly invisible.

Removal of toxins and refined sugar and grains are the first step to healing Insulin Resistance.  Healing the cell so that the doors/receptors open normally to insulin and all our other hormones, is the next step.

This is trickier, and it involves both correct nutrients, and great digestion.

The exterior of our cells is made from Fats and Cholesterol, and believe it or not, SATURATED FAT, is WAY preferred over POLY-UNSATURATED fats, or even mono-unsaturated fats, for building the cell wall. ( Hmmmm. NOT THE MESSAGE WE HEAR FROM OUR DOCS OR THE GOVERNMENT.)  Why?  Sat fats are structurally neat and tidy, like a brick wall.  Nutrients get in easily, and trash gets out easily, like it’s supposed to.  Saturated fats are the most stable and durable in the face of Free Radicals, Heat, and Oxygen of all the fats.

Remember I said that we burn sugar instead of fat if Insulin’s in the blood stream, it’s a rule?  Well, the fact that saturated fats and cholesterol make the best cell walls is another Rule like that one.  It’s just science.  What happens if you don’t eat saturated fat or cholesterol, but like me, you went years eating vegetable oils and hydrogenated oils, like margarine or Crisco?

Your body will use those weak, damage prone fats to build your cells.  Nutrients won’t get in well, and trash won’t get out well.  Not only that, but those cells are now prone to inflammation and dysfunction;  think: INSULIN RESISTANCE.

One more fact about saturated fat and cholesterol:  it doesn’t make your blood sugar rise AT ALL.  ZERO insulin is released to take care of it, zero.

Cells need to be healed if Insulin Resistance is going to be reversed. Obviously, we need good fatty acids to do that, and to breakdown and absorb and use those fatty acids, we need good digestion.  If you bloat, belch, fart, have reflux, or GERD, you don’t have good digestion.  That has to be fixed using supps like DGL, aloe vera, digestive enzymes and more.  There’s specific nutrients that target the cell receptors, like Berberine and ALA, and there’s spices and herbs that repair cells and reduce or reverse inflammation, like turmeric and garlic.

Food Is Medicine or Food Is Poison, right?

Exercise helps reduce Insulin Resistance, because it makes muscle cells have more mitochondria, so the cells have the capacity to accept more sugar/glucose.  Burst training/HITT/intervals/plyometrics and weight training have the most positive effects on Insulin Resistance, much more than long cardio, which can actually make things worse. (long explanation)

If the term Weight Loss Resistance caught your eye, because you think that applies to you, get in touch with me.  We can come up with a plan to get you Burning Fat instead of Storing Fat.  Our bodies want to be healthy and normal, we all have the capacity to change and heal and feel great.  Take control of your life today; eat Real Whole Foods, prioritize sleep and stress management, schedule exercise into your week.  This is doable, and you’re fixable.  I promise.

2015-03-29 08.56.13I’m ending with a picture of my mom and dad at the party, you can see where I get my bent for health from!


To check out the Diabetes summit, go here.


What to Eat for Lunch Instead of a Sandwich, and a “Thought Changing” Quote

I get asked all the time, “what do you eat for lunch if you don’t have a sandwich?”  That’s easy:  meats, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, and fats.   There’s nothing magic about a sandwich at lunch time, not even “ease of eating”;  lots of things are fast and easy to make / eat.

Start with dinner leftovers; actually, PLAN for dinner leftovers.  Buy and cook more dinner than you think you’ll need to, and pack the leftovers for lunch.  No leftovers?  Make sure you have nuts, seeds, fruit, veggies, or good lunch meat and cheese on hand to throw together in 5 minutes.  ( Planning is EVERYTHING.)

lunchHere’s a few recent lunches I packed:  that’s leftover sausage with broth, broccoli, cauliflower, and mushrooms, and those two white chunks on the side?  That a couple of chunks of coconut butter I popped out with a knife.

To the right, that’s left over fish with half an avocado, a baggie with a pear, and a lunch 2baggy with pumpkin seeds and brazil nuts.

This is a baggie of brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, dark chocolate, and macadamias, and a Granny Smith apple.   lunch 3 Easy!

What about kids?  Meat and cheese roll ups, bags of nut/chocolate/fruit mixes, fruits with nut butters, gluten free nut bars, carrots and celery sticks, salads,  homemade paleo treats, and occasionally, a sandwich with gluten free bread. (My youngest wears me down – but I do have  standards!).  I’ve got a post on feeding kids in the works, but know this for now:

*****You Are The Example***** Your health, your habits, your issues, you’re teaching them and conveying them to your children EVERY SINGLE DAY.    If your message is that you’re too busy, too tired, too overwhelmed, too sick, too too too too, your kids are sucking that right up.

On a different note, have you been thinking about the Mother Theresa quote, ” Find someone that no one else loves, and love them.”  ??  Remember, you’re taking a couple of months to ACTIVELY work on getting rid of your negative thoughts.  Check out the last several posts to see where that’s going.

Here’s a great quote from Joyce Meyer’s book, Power Thoughts,  “Whatever you hold in your mind will tend to occur in your life.  If you continue to believe as you have always believed, you will continue to act as you have always acted.  If you continue to act as you have always acted, you will continue to get what you have always gotten.  If you want different results in your life or your work, all you have to do is change your mind.”  Anonymous

Love it!