Your core exercises are never going to flatten your belly. If you’ve gained belly fat during peri-menopause and you’ve exhausted all the exercise options (along with exhausting yourself) with no luck, this is for you.
Your exhausted system means no amount of exercise and calorie-slashing dieting is going to reduce belly fat. It isn’t an excess of calories that put it there. It was your hormones.
I’ve watched Ironman athletes who train for hours every day for months carry excess body weight and belly fat across the finish line with them. That’s after months if not a full year of dedicated training and a hyper-conscious diet.
(click to tweet!)
Putting your body through any grueling schedule whether that’s through excessive exercise (I point a finger directly back at myself here, as I too have done Ironman distance triathlons) or by too little sleep and too many chemicals from food or too much stress, can throw your hormones into a spin.
Without a balance of rest & recovery against the daily grind or the excessive training (elite athletes nap in the afternoon, they don’t go to 9-5 or 9-9 jobs), you constantly empty your cup and then try again and again to drink from it.
If you hit midlife and what used to work suddenly does not, it may not in fact have been all that sudden. It could be a cumulative effect. Exposure to a lifetime of things that allowed your body to operate –potentially by depleting your resources and pumping out the wrong hormones for too long – can lead to a crash.
Yet some endurance athletes thrive. They seem to look younger, have fewer wrinkles, and be full of energy. What determines how you’ll react? The answer to that may never be fully understood.
- Is it that they aren’t over thinkers and don’t stress or ruminate as much as others?
- Is it that they ate fewer chemicals and more whole foods all along before we knew that was a secret?
- Is it that they rested more and knew their limits better?
- Is it that they were selfish enough to say no so they could say yes to themselves?
- Is it that they’ve always been long sleepers and knew when to say goodnight to have a good day?
It might be any or all of the above.
If you have dug yourself into a hole and you’re experiencing:
- Morning fatigue that feels like a hangover
- Lack of appetite in the morning
- Upset stomach or nausea
- Desire to do things but no energy to do them
- Evening exhaustion that sends you to bed early
- Exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep
None of these will be fixed with “more exercise” that’s often recommended. People who do feel good and who get more energy from exercise often advise “energy creates energy.” If you’re already exhausted the last thing you need is more exercise. You would, essentially, be writing checks on an account that has nothing in it.
What is the answer?
- Identify your signs and symptoms something isn’t right (including the ones you’ve settle for as “normal”).
- End the stream of conflicting information about exercise and nutrition based on science of 30 years ago for your 30-year old body that will never work again. (Stop asking Dr. Google)
- Get your nutrition sufficient and overcome your micronutrient deficiencies.
- Stop the physical taxation on your body from too little food, too many chemicals in food, and too much of the wrong kind of exercise, and too little sleep.
- Listening to your body so you know how to rest, work, play, and to thrive instead of just surviving.
- Allow your restored body to be at its ideal weight naturally: a healthy body will choose the easiest path so it can operate efficiently. (Psst: it wants to be lighter too!)
No amount of abdominal exercise will correct hormones out of balance. The hormone exercise prescription honors the message your body is sending you.
I’d love to hear from you. Are you finally getting your energy and mojo back by exercising for hormone balance?