….what I’m coining the ‘3Ms’..….
Yesterday’s tantalising glimpse of things to come (we hope!) in the form of a beautiful sunny, spring day got me thinking about the forthcoming change in the seasons and the warmer, lighter months of spring and summer.
I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling like I’m starting to emerge from a kind of semi-hibernation, like a brown bear, after the long, dark, cold winter. Seeing the daffodils and snowdrops emerging from the hard ground like little sunshine-y beacons of hope and optimism, it’s hard not to feel upbeat about life.
Just look at these cuties!!!
Once again however, like the thick woolly jumper layers we’ve all become used to wearing, I seem to be sporting an extra layer of insulation in the form of a few additional pounds of belly-wobbling lard.
This happens every year, despite me swearing blind I’ve not done, or eaten, anything different than usual to bring this situation on (yeah right!). No-one saw me eat that chocolate at my desk just now did they?
Rather than feel fed up about it (I do, but let’s move on), I am gunning with a new arsenal of weaponry this time.
……………introducing….(drum roll please)….the ‘3Ms’!
Hot topic this one. I’ve often thought myself rather too introspective as it is, so didn’t really want to get involved. But then I read somewhere that reducing stress levels (and associated hormones; cortisol and adrenaline) can have a dramatic effect on our weight, so I was intrigued to find out more.
It seems that these stress hormones, originally designed back in the swamp-human times to keep us safe by inducing a ‘fight-or-flight’ response to some immediate danger, are not a lot of good to us in excess these days. We no longer (thankfully) have to fend off a grizzly bear or woolly mammoth attack on a daily basis.
These hormones, which provided much needed extra physical energy and strength from stored carbohydrates and fats in times of extreme physical danger, now just course around our bodies, aimlessly looking for something to do. Meanwhile, we sit on our backsides and eat mountains more than we really need in a bid to quell the subliminal, instinctive feeling that we must replenish our ‘lost’ fat stores used in chasing those imaginary wildebeest away!
Another downside is, with increased levels of cortisol, our body also does not respond as well to leptin, the hormone that makes us feel full, so we eat more than we should.
And there goes my chocolate tiffin…..oops!
Modern-day stress is often more psychological than physiological, but it is also more constant. Many of us live with high levels of chronic stress as a way of life, which means we have consistently raised levels of cortisol. Now my body (and yours unless you’re a zen-master) thinks it continually needs extra fuel, and typically stores the excess not burned off as lard around the belly. GREAT!
We need to reduce our stress hormones, and feel less frazzled. Mindfulness is a great way to do this. It takes a lot of practice but it’s worth it to feel much more at peace with the world.
The lesson here is —- more mindfulness = less stress = less cortisol = less fat storage = less lard = better health and happiness!
It’s a winner, right?
Download the ‘Headspace’ (www.headspace.com) app and consider yourself well on your way to being sorted.
Something I’ve always had but never really appreciated – pretty high level of muscle for the average girl. Always felt like this was a burden, but now (albeit a little late on in life!) with the emerging ‘anti-diet’ philosophy and a trend towards fitness for health rather than a focus purely on body size and weight, I can see it’s actually something to celebrate.
So I’m half way there, right?
The thinking goes like this – very simply, the more lean muscle you have the stronger, healthier, more resilient your body is to everyday life. Not just from a visual appearance / fat vs lean perspective, but also as protection against ageing muscles and joints, and as an aid to flexibility and ease of movement as we inevitably get older.
No-one is saying you have to become a body- builder. Far from it. But we could all do with a bit more of the lean and mean stuff.
The theory goes something like this. The human body naturally burns more calories each day to maintain a pound of muscle than it does to maintain a pound of fat. Therefore, the more muscle you build, the more calories your body will naturally burn each day at rest.
Which means, just by building muscle, you’ll significantly increase your metabolism and turn your body into a calorie burning, fat melting machine… easy peasy!
And there in a nutshell is the 3rd ‘M’
is yours a tortoise or a hare?
Mine has gone missing, AWOL, MIA, tatty-byes, doodle-pip and see-ya, all at the same time unfortunately.
So what do we do to boost it? Here’s some ideas to get started:
1. Time to get busy – grab the husband’s dumb-bells, an old water bottle full of sand, or a couple of cans of baked beans and do a few sets of 10, with a short rest in between. The idea is to carry on till you feel everything wobble. I think.
2. Start swinging from the playground monkey bars and do some pull-ups. I can barely manage one, it takes effort, practice and dedication apparently.
3. Dial up YouTube, and squat like a ninja to Moby’s ‘Flower’ 🙁https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A2V9Bu80J4) – the idea of which goes like this : every time you hear the lyrics ‘green sally up / green sally down’ you perform a squat – trust me, this is a LONG song and your thighs will be burning in lactic-acid hell by the end of it!
Alternatively, you could carry on drinking green tea to boost the ageing, flagging speed of your internal engine if you still believe that works, but I’m over that one before I ever got to thinking it tasted even half way decent. Anyone like to disagree? Happy to be proven wrong.
I’m also over the idea that running for hours on end will crank up my metabolism. All it does is make me so hungry I want to eat everything in sight. I swear I’m the only person to actually put on weight whilst in running training!
So, short reps of muscle-building exercises it is then.
Maybe start with 3 sets of 3 types of exercise, 3 times a week and then consult a proper fitness person / guru for the next step as I really don’t think I’m the next Joe Wicks!
Hope you all find something useful to take away from the above.
If you remember nothing else, just think ‘3Ms’ and then spend the rest of your day wondering what it stands for..
For further enlightenment I really recommend you take a look at the following cool webpages where you’ll find a whole heap of interesting, thought-provoking stuff;
Originally posted 2017-03-10 16:46:25.