You know what pisses me off about the fitness industry?! (uh oh, here she goes)
Imma tell you...sit with me while I preach ✊🏻
There seems to be 2 black and white sides to weight loss. One being a lot of focus on solely body composition; ass selfies, ab selfies, BMI's and a lot of focus on calories, weighing food and intense exercise.
The other being 'love your body no matter what' and all is perfect the way it is (but what if it's not?) and we shouldn't focus on body composition, counting macros or calories and that by putting pressure on yourself to be leaner is a symptom of self-criticism and not accepting oneself.
Maybe. Maybe not. I see there to be potential for a middle ground.
Why can't we want a healthier body comp, have abs, a great booty AND have self-love and self-acceptance?
I think we can.
I think that by addressing the root causes of a body that is chronically inflamed, carrying excess fat and being proactive about the things that are stressing our bodies out (in my opinion a body that is chronically inflamed and holding excess weight needs to be nurtured back to homeostasis) that IS self-love.
We can have self-love and self-acceptance AND heal our bodies to get to a place where we are firing on all cylinders:
1. Gut health is good, lending to better detoxification and a reduction in chronic inflammation/water retention.
2. Liver health is on fleek, lending to a healthier body comp, mood (think hormone regulation) and immune system.
3. Structural health is on point, allowing our internal systems do what they need to do to support healthy metabolism.
As a holistic weight loss coach and nutritionist I always address the root issues of why my female clients are not seeing their bodies let go of stubborn weight retention. And above all, we focus on self-love, self-compassion and self-empathy every step of the way.
We can have it all.
Here are the top reasons I see women not be able to resolve chronic inflammation, weight retention and injuries (they often present all together).
I’ve come a long way with my body and training. There was a time when if I even just picked up a dumbbell to pass to a client, I would get injured. Not kidding.
I’ve learned a TON as to why that was happening and ladies, if you’re dealing with chronic stubborn weight retention and injuries, listen up!
Infections such as candida overgrowth, SIBO and parasites can lead to chronic inflammation because they give off waste products called biotoxins which disrupt our tissue health (think lax, hyper-mobile tissues), and lead to sluggish gut and liver detox and inefficient hormone byproduct elimination/accumulated toxicity.
Without clearing infections you can reduce as many calories as you like and train as often as possible and you’ll most likely still experience undesired chronic symptoms.
I have personally done 4 rounds of a 5R or antimicrobial protocol to help improve my body's ability to detox and stay lean and healthy.
If you've been following my journey and writing you'd know that I have suffered from chronic inflammation, poor detoxification and chronic infections due to years of substance abuse, stress and structural issues like an undiagnosed brain injury and poorly functioning vagus nerve.
Think HPA axis and the gut/brain connection.
Each time I've done a gut healing protocol I've seen improvements in my menstrual cycle, ability to see ab definition and lift without chronic pain.
The liver cleanse I do each spring and fall is what helps to keep me in balance, lean and avoid relapse with gut health issues.
2. Estrogen dominance
Estrogen dominance can happen for many reasons. High exposure to BPA's, xenoestrogens and estrogen mimickers is one aspect. Though also think: overloaded liver.
When we intake too many toxins the liver can’t keep up with clearing hormone byproducts. This often leads to the recirculation and accumulation of hormones: estrogen dominance.
A major issue these days and something that often gets minimal attention is addressing sympathetic overdrive, being chronically stressed, or when there's a structural breakdown (a damaged vagus nerve or unresolved/undiagnosed brain injuries).
This can lead to chronically elevated cortisol levels and cortisol being the more ‘important’ hormone for survival will compete and steal from progesterone.
Ladies, progesterone keeps our estrogen in balance.
We MUST focus on gut/liver detox and stress management when addressing body composition. It’s not just about calories in and calories out.
The last common reason for chronic injuries associated with estrogen dominance is an elevation in the hormone ‘relaxin’. Peri-menstruation can be a difficult time for women with estrogen dominance because lifting, running and even doing yoga can lead to injury due to elevated levels of relaxin, which is used to aid in pregnant women's hips opening, getting ready for an upcoming birth.
This hyper-mobility and susceptibility to injury can last 3-7 days peri-menstruation so I advise to try training unilaterally vs bilaterally and stick to basic body building exercises to avoid injury until you've got your hormones in check.
The road to leaning out, healing our bodies and minds can, and does, take time. And in my opinion, that's ok! If we can side-step self-judgement while we learn, heal and grow then the journey to having it all can be paved with personal development, incredible self-awareness, and above all, self-love.
Be well with Hope,
Cassandra Hope RHN + CPT
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