As I type this I am suffering from a migraine with a dull sharp pain in my right eye AND a sinus infection. I haven’t slept a full night’s rest in two weeks. Needless to say, I feel it in EVERY way from belly bloat (yup, I went there!) to going off my eating plan because I’m off kilter.
After reading MindBodyGreen’s recent article on why healthy women can’t lose the last five to ten pounds (note: I’m not losing for weight or size but wondering why I am still having issues with my stomach area), I realized I may have an an estrogen to progesterone imbalance or I may have high levels of cortisol. My most recent blood tests show I am anemic and Vitamin D deficient so I will continue taking my multivitamin and taking my Vitamin D supplements. However, a doctor’s appointment is definitely in order…
I was doing SO well last week and then this past week between planning my son’s birthday festivities, work, and yet another home renovation project, I let that darn six letter get the best of me.
Everyone experiences it but part of living balanced is to be LESS stressed. There are some stresses you can’t avoid but those that you can…I want to stay far away from!
I am ready to get back on plan by adopting five healthy habits.
1. Increase my fiber intake – Usually I’m pretty good about this since I eat beans, low carb wraps, etc. I will use MyFitnessPal to track my fiber and aim to get 25 grams of fiber per day. More leafy greens! More water based, cruciferous foods like cabbage, kale, cauliflower…also need to start eating more asparagus, tomatoes, lettuce, fish, nuts, and eggs. I want all of the things.
2. 1 hour of high intensity cardio in the AM and 1 hour power walking at night – I schedule my workouts on Sunday evenings but when work throws a monkey wrench in things, it is little I can do. Mondays are spin, Tuesdays are Zumba toning, Wednesdays are LES Mills classes, Thurs is personal training or Body Pump and then BodyFlow, Friday is spin, Saturday is BodyCombat, and if everything goes to plan Hot Yoga on Sundays. There is no reason I can’t walk the three laps around my neighborhood after dinner (3 miles). I NEED to make time.
3. Drink 100 oz (or more) of water a day – Some days I am great at this especially when I am mindful to have my water bottle with me. Other days, I know I’m dehydrated and guess what? That affects my eating drastiically. I also want to continue to start my day with 16 oz. water with lemon for all of the added health benefits.
4. SLEEP! On Monday night I posted a TIME article on the GET FIT DIVA Facebook page about insomnia. Insomnia comes in waves for me. I can have a few weeks when I am getting at least six hours of sleep but when I am stressed, I cannot sleep. Lack of quality sleep is affecting my health. My hormones, muscles, and my brain needs it!
The two hormones that are key in the relationship between sleep and weight loss are ghrelin and leptin. Put very simply, leptin tells us when to stop eating and when you’re sleep deprived. Ghrelin is the hormone that tells you when to eat, and when you’re sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin. – MindBodyGreen
I plan on trying the 4-7-8 exercise to overcome my sleepless nights.
How to Do The “4-7-8″ Exercise
- Place the tip of your tongue against the tissue ridge right above your upper front teeth. Keep it there for the remainder of the exercise.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making awhoosh sound as you do so.
- Close your mouth and inhale slowly through your nose while mentally counting to four.
- Hold your breath for a mental count of seven.
- Exhale completely through your mouth for a mental count of eight. Make the same whoosh sound from Step Two.
- This concludes the first cycle. Repeat the same process three more times for a total of four renditions.
In a nutshell: breathe in for four, hold for seven, and breathe out for eight. You must inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. The four-count inhale allows chronic under-breathers to take in more oxygen. The seven-count hold gives the oxygen more time to thoroughly permeate the bloodstream, and the eight-count exhale slows the heart rate and releases a greater amount of carbon dioxide from the lungs.
5. To ACV or not to ACV – I have two bottles of Bragg’s organic Apple Cider Vinegar in my pantry. Unopened. Why am I so scared to chug it? Time to try it in the morning and gain all the health benefits.