Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Importance of Mental Health in Physical Health

The majority of the people I train are people who want to lose weight. The majority of those people are females, and most of them do, indeed, need to lose weight. This said, it becomes a lot easier for me to recognize a female who has body dysmorphic disorder, or a potential underlying eating disorder, if she comes to me, already thin, and is desperate to lose large amounts of weight. It is harder for me to detect those things in someone who really needs help losing weight, but it doesn't mean they don't exist.

So what makes the difference between having an eating disorder (of which I believe are beyond just anorexia and bulimia) and having a healthy desire to be at a healthy weight?

Obsessing over one's weight is a big sign. When a person is so obsessed about what they weigh, that they let it affect their lives 24/7 and their happiness, that's when it becomes a problem. Weighing yourself compulsively, and then "punishing" yourself if you don't have the number you wanted is unhealthy. When counting calories turns obsessive, and you cannot turn your thoughts away from the scale and the food you're ingesting, things aren't looking good for your mental well-being.

Ever notice how some people just lose weight on accident? Usually it's men. Usually it's men who cut out one thing, like cookies, or maybe they got busy and forgot to eat lunch for a week. Whatever it is, they were never stressing over making their 5 lb/week weight goal, they simply cut back on calories.

When we start to obsess, and get stressed out over things we cannot control, the levels of adrenaline and cortisol rise in our body, creating a flight or fight response. That's great if your life is in danger, or you've got a lot of time to use that adrenaline up in an intense fitness routine. However, for most of us, if we are stressed all day, that energy becomes detrimental to weight loss. It causes us to store belly fat, and our body to hold on to all of it's resources for dear life.

The same thing happens when we lower our caloric intake under 1200 calories. That creates a starvation response, and the body, again, hold on to every calorie because it thinks things are gonna be sparse for a while. Our bodies can work against us if we let them, so why not work WITH our bodies?

Ever hear Pregnant women talk about how they tried and tried to get pregnant, and when they finally gave up, they got pregnant? Or how someone finally found their soul mate when they gave up looking for him/her?

It happens all the time! You stress over pregnancy, your body thinks something big is going on around you because you're worried and full of adrenaline ALL DAY. You will never get pregnant because your body doesn't work correctly under stress. The minute you relax, your body sees a calm environment, one that is safer for mom to have a baby in, and boom! You got your wish.

Same thing with weight loss. When you learn to relax, and follow a Personal Trainer's simple guidelines to weight loss, your weight WILL come off. If you learn to meditate, refocus on weight loss as a long journey, not a rat race, I promise results will be yours. The more you stress, the closer you come to creating a MONSTER of problems. Learn to love the journey, love exercise and how good it makes you feel, learn to love healthy foods, take my advice, use my recipes, and you will reach your goals.

If you are at your wits end, let me take your weight loss into my hands, off your shoulders, and help you achieve victory without losing your mind.

Call me or visit my website at
Round Rock Personal Trainer.