I’ve had a couple of new clients in recently who are pretty much in the same boat, so to speak;
Long term chronic stress, caring & worrying for others but disregarding themselves in the process, avoiding eating in the day & then making up for it at night + alcohol.
Tried all the ‘diets’ going, high body fat around middle & increasing body weight, with reduced muscle tone all round. Chronic sleeping issues & IBS & menopausal. Oh, and they both have complex injuries & weakness in various parts of their bodies! Both want results (lower body fat & toned) like – yesterday!
I would be doing these clients a disservice by doing what they’ve asked – which is to hammer the body with high intensity exercise & then restrict eating to try and Induce an ‘effect’.
This is an all too common reality in this current working climate. Partly individual make up (internal stressors) but also a reaction to external stressors (the environment).
So where am I going with this?
That the body has reacted to lack of movement by; reducing muscle mass, diminished cardiovascular function, brought about joint stiffness & limiting both mobility & flexibility.
The chronic stress has affected both ladies physically & mentally by affecting sleep patterns, mental health, hormonal balance, and brought gut & intestinal issues.
These issues have brought about a change in eating habits that have reduced their nutrition to the body & in typical stress response encouraged clients (when they do eat) to fall for high fat/high sugar & alcohol as a crutch.
This is a vicious circle.
So they reach a point where enough is enough & they decide to get a trainer to change this downward spiral.
This situation is complex and each of the issues needs to be addressed individually. Yes it’s true that one improvement can knock on,in a positive way, another issue. In my opinion you can see why that hammering the body further is not the answer.
So as a game plan; stress needs to be reduced & some R&R planned, lifestyle & work changed in a sustainable way, time planned for downtime, activity, stress reduction, & real food preparation.
Walking to destress & lower stress hormones, planned ‘down’ time to actively reduce stress, practicing mindfulness & maybe meditation & getting back in tune with the body.
Gently increasing activity & developing strength & cardiovascular fitness. Mobility of joints & some stretching of key areas to alleviate tension. Possible massage to decrease tension.
Rehabilitation to address muscle imbalance & weakness.
Actively working on improving sleep & winding down to allow the body to disengage & switch off.
Monitoring with an initial lifestyle log to look at eating, drinking, timing, stress, sleep, feelings & thoughts.
So this is why it’s important to look at the bigger picture & look holistically at the inter relation of all the aforementioned factors.
When you look at some of your own goals be aware of how all these other factors have a huge impact on your overall wellbeing & the success of your chosen goals.