We all want to look and feel our best, but knowing what “our best” is, can be distorted or complacently accepted because we are a living within ourselves minute to minute, day to day. Any cell or hormonal change within us cannot be felt in a short timeframe of hours or days therefore, it cannot be acknowledged. It’s only after a stretch of time that we are able to see change to our body shape, our fat distribution, feel possible inflammation with our joints, soreness in our muscles, or we acknowledge that moving elevates our heart rate faster than we remember.
So when we do realise we don’t look or feel the way we want to, we then chant the sentence…. I need to lose weight!
But successfully losing weight can be easy to say, but difficult to do.
The first thing we need to do is assess our food and fitness habits.
How many times a day are we putting something into our mouths?
What fluids and how much fluids are we drinking that’s not water?
How many glasses of water do we drink each day?
How many man-made processed foods are we eating each day?
How many times a week do we elevate our heart rate for purposeful cardiovascular exercise?
How much strength and stretching exercise do we do each week?
How many days a week do we sleep between 7 and 9 hours?
Are we visiting the bathroom for No.2’s at least once a day?
Not answering the above questions favourably may in time result in an accumulation of excess body fat - along with lethargy, mood swings and body aches and pains.
Understanding how body fat is created within us and the different types of body fat, gives us greater control of the lifestyle choices we make so we have a slender, strong body, loads of energy, we live pain free and embrace each day with a happy heart but, only we ourselves can decide and commit to the goals and desires we set for ourselves. If we say we “can’t be bothered”, then our brain and motivation “can’t be bothered”.
I’m working with a client at the moment who is 40 years of age, engaged to be married next year, who eats very well and exercises with cardio and strength work no less than three times a week. She has excellent cardio fitness but has got re-occurring back pain which leaves her “guarded” and a little restricted with her exercise regime. She has a lovely gonadal hourglass body with a sensational toned lean upper body but because of her body type, her body fat accumulates on the lower part of her torso, her legs, thighs, bottom and hips, making her feel out of proportion and self-conscious.
There are five different types of fat storage cells within us. White, brown beige, subcutaneous and visceral fat. Studies show that darker fats are the “good fats” because our body burn these fats, while light fats are stubborn and accumulate in your body when your diet and lifestyle are not suited to you. Subcutaneous fat sits under the top layer of your skin (the dermis and epidermis) and is greatly connected by adipose tissue and these surface fats store on the belly, thighs, hips and bottom and it may have the dimpled effect known as cellulite. Visceral fat is to be acknowledged as the dangerous fat. It accumulates around our inner organs, causes inflammation, hormonal imbalances and can lead to body disease.
We have many more light fats in our body than brown fats and with these fats all sitting within us - in fact all mammals, we need to know about the connective tissue that provides structural and metabolic support - adipose tissue. Adipose tissue holds all our fats together within us. It’s key role is to store energy in the form of fat and to keep us insulated and cushioned for safety. Adipose fat marries well with subcutaneous fat cells.
So in my clients’ case of having a gonadal body where fat accumulates in the lower torso and limbs, she needs to be more in tune with calling on her adipose/subcutaneous fat for fat burning and to do this, she must still remain following her healthy lifestyle regime however, she needs to increase her fat burning through fitness.
An increase in cardiovascular and strength training will release her fatty molecules into her bloodstream where they will be broken apart and used to provide her the energy she needs to perform the activity. What isn’t used by her muscles heart and lungs at the time of activity, will be burned off through her respiratory system (breathing), or in her urine. What is exciting, is that once the fat cell are burned off, they are not replaced meaning she will be left more slender and healthier, so long as she doesn’t start sabotaging her efforts with a poor food and beverage diet among other poor lifestyle choices.
No matter what glands/hormones determine your body type/shape – gonadal, adrenal, thyroid or pituitary, after the age of 40, moving the body needs to be stepped up. It’s often the age where people become more sedentary when, with hormonal change and hormonal depletion, more activity is required to stay in shape and to live healthy.
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