I work with lots of professional and business women. They come to me for all sorts of issues including inability to lose weight, gut issues, menstrual cycle issues, tiredness, low mood, disillusionment, wanting to get their 'mojo back, feeling stuck in some aspect of their life ... the list goes on.
And what I have noticed with working women is, there's usually a common underlying theme. It’s something that I’m all too familiar with, having been very much the same in the past. They are simply doing too much!
Too much what? Too much everything!
Take my client today. She is a professional in the finance industry. She has two children and a husband. Her parents have been unwell. As well as having a full-time job, she has been studying for her exams. And on top of that, this lady wants to be healthy, slim and in good shape. My client is mid-forties, eats probably more healthily than I do, but she's struggling to lose weight. She's at a loss as to what to do, so she has come to me for help.
The first thing I discovered was that she wasn't eating enough total food, and I see this time and again. Her diet was great in terms of what she was eating, there wasn’t much room for improvement on that score, but just not enough! Her body was likely in starvation mode. We corrected that, she's eating a lot more, and she's not gained an ounce. She’s eating more than she has done in years and no weight gain.
But... she's still not losing body fat either.
Now I could keep trying to tweak her diet, what she’s eating, look at intermittent overnight, play with macro and micro nutrient ratios and so on. But I don’t think that’s the problem.
So where do we go from here? Well, by going through her full health history and current status, I also know that she has a big imbalance in her reproductive hormones (without going into too much detail), and I know that this will not be helping her weight loss efforts. Getting those hormones into balance is a must, which we are now working through, with the use of selective supplements, removing as many xenoestrogens from her environment as we can (these are hormone disruptors found in everything from sun cream and body lotions to plastic food containers), and with the use of a selection of essential oils which are known to help balance hormones.
It won’t happen overnight (it has taken years to get to this point, we can’t expect to heal and balance in a few weeks) but I know that this is going to be helpful in the long term. But, as I explained to her today, all of this is futile if she continues doing so much!
Why is ‘doing too much’ such a problem? It is a problem I see time and again with women just like my client today. She is operating under a constant threshold of stress. I.e. she is constantly and chronically stressed, without realising it, because it is her norm.
Her norm is to zoom around at 100 miles an hour. Her norm is to juggle everything and everyone in the family. Her norm is to get up early so she can get herself ready and then the kids. Her norm is to rush to work, dash to college or to the gym after work, and then sort all the household chores out in the evenings when she gets home. Her norm is to be a taxi service at the weekends whilst fulfilling family engagements, and seeing friends when she can fit them in.
I asked her today how she feels when she slows down or stops. Her answer? “I don’t do it because I get twitchy if I do.”
You might be wondering what the problem is with this. You might be reading this thinking it sounds quite like your life. You might be wondering what else she or you could do, with so many things to do!
And that’s where coaching starts to make a difference, as I point people in a new direction and show them that this constant ‘doing’ is a huge factor in the way they look and feel. That dashing around like a road-runner, 7 days a week, is hindering chances of getting the health improvements that they really want. That trying to please everyone is stopping them from achieving the energy they want, the physique they want and the peace that they seek.
There is another way, even if it’s hard to see.
So, my question to you is… are YOU doing too much?
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