Pertinent to those trying to lose weight/inches and tone up, slowing or stalling inch loss may be a sign of an impending adrenal fatigue “fog” rolling in. That was a big sign I ignored. What do we usually do when the inch loss slows? Step it up! MORE cardio! LESS eating! MORE movement! Shake it up!
Now, there may be a time to change to a different workout or check form or even bump things up a notch, as well as take stock of our way of eating–but–that should not be the first thing we do. Perhaps we need to ask these questions first:
- Have there been any additional stresses hit me or my family?
- Have I been under a constant stress, even though minimal, for a long period of time? (health issues in children or ailing parents, for example)
- Have I been staying up too late?
- Has my eating schedule been crazy lately?
- Have I added anything extra to my already busy plate of activities?
- Have I added more workouts in? (This would include running, power-walking, aerobic types of dancing, etc.)
- Have I added too many target moves to my workout schedule?
- Have I started a diet of some sort that has cut out a major portion of calories or severely limited a food group?
Sometimes we do need to change our way of eating for health reasons, but even making major changes to improve your eating in a good way can be a stress on the body. And that is why you need to consider what else is going on in your life. Right before your extended family is coming to stay for 2 weeks over the holidays is not the time to bump up your workouts and make major changes to your eating, especially if some of those relatives tend to stress you out!
We can help ourselves drive out of the brain fog by evaluating whether some of the stressors are just short-term or ongoing, whether we need to lighten the schedule a bit during certain times, and whether we need to maybe say….the “N” word. No!
When we continue to take more on without evaluating what else is going on in our lives, we are a prime target for adrenal burnout. It’s like adding more and more good food at a potluck to an already full plate–then the plate bows, cracks, breaks—and all that good food spills and the plate is no longer useful!
Thankfully our bodies are more resilient than a plate! But it takes time–if that plate was a precious china dish, you might decide to salvage it. You would painstakingly glue piece by piece together, like an intricate jigsaw puzzle. My daughter did that a few years ago when a favorite eagle figurine I had given my husband fell off the mantel and crashed. He threw it away, but she took it the pieces and hid it in her room. Every time she went to her room, she glued another piece on. She gave it back to him as a surprise for his birthday–and you have to look pretty carefully to see that it was ever broken!
In the same way, you need to give yourself time and let yourself heal when you fill your plate too full and start to crash. That means taking some things OFF the plate so it doesn’t fully break. Better yet–start taking some things off at the first signs of the plate stressing and you will head off a disaster!
Ultimately YOU are the one in control of your life–no one forces you to eat a certain way, exercise too much or too little, allow past hurts to continue to hurt you, mull over negative thoughts. When you are in an adrenal fog, it can seem everything needs fixed at once! And, true to the nature of AF, you can be overwhelmed and do…..nothing. That is where baby steps come in. That is why I have a level in Foundations for Fitness that has just 3 moves per day on it. One of my clients does just 1-2 moves per day. No, she is not losing 2 sizes in 4 weeks! But she is starting to see some improvements in her health. Focusing on healing now will lay a good foundation for inch loss later!
I have had people say to me that they don’t want to gain inches or lose momentum, they want to lose more and get to a certain goal, adding in power-walking, full T-Tapp workouts plus 2-3 target moves. I tell them, and I’ll tell you–you will not lose any inches if you crash and need 3 naps a day just for you to function. And by function, I don’t mean be productive. I mean take care of basic necessities, with a nap between each event! :p
Please learn to listen to your body, and honestly evaluate all you have taken on. If you realize it’s too much, be realistic and do what you can to reduce the things that don’t matter as much. Often the tyranny of the urgent keeps us running ragged. Which is why we need a time to pull back and refresh and regroup. More about that next time!
Photo credit: Alan Cleaver