Happy weekend! How was your week? Mine was so crazy! If you’ve been following me on Snapchat, you probably saw that I’ve been to the doctor for checkups and blood tests. No nothing is really “wrong” with me, I just began to get really curious about my health and just see if I am taking of myself correctly. I saw a Western medicine doctor last week and an Eastern medicine doctor this week.
Western medicine tends to target a problem and find a way to fix that specific problem, whereas, in Eastern, it’s more about holistic healing and regaining overall balance. I’m getting tests done (blood tests, hormone tests) to see if my diet and exercises are working for my body in the most optimal way.
Why? Well to tell you the truth, I’ve been really hitting the gym extra hard and eating super well for video shoots and photo shoots but I’ve noticed that my progress is slower compared to before. I know, scary!! So I was getting a tad concerned.
The one thing that kept coming up with both doctors was my sleep! This, I know. But I don’t apply it. Guilty as charged!! I go to sleep everyday around 2 or 3 am. Of course I know that a clean diet, being active, and sleeping adequately (to give your muscles time to recover) are all VERY IMPORTANT components of living a healthy lifestyle. If you’re looking to transform your physique effectively as well, all three must be on point or you may not see the changes you want to see.
Because I am usually super happy and energetic (I also do not drink any coffee either) I didn’t really think about how all the late nights working may be affecting me. I tried to put up a little argument with the doc saying “but I love what I do!” and she said that it doesn’t matter, stress is still stress even if you think you’re emotionally fine. So that’s why I am getting my adrenal glands tested to see if my hormones are all in check.
One thing I learned yesterday at Dr. Sandy Lee’s office that I want to share with you is the link between cortisol (the steroid hormone produced by your adrenal glands) and belly fat. Cortisol is your “fight or flight” response that can get you ready to fight against danger or run for your life! We’re not living in caveman times anymore where we would have to run away from saber-toothed tigers and fight other hunters, but our cortisol levels can still increase in response to chronic, everyday stress. When cortisol levels stay really high for really long, it actually can increase your belly fat too a.k.a. visceral fat.
So is that why my arms are looking good and my lower belly is being very stubborn?
This info kind of shocked me. Wow, so I could be killing it in the gym, eating on point, and working really hard in life but not seeing results I want? To me, I don’t want it to make sense. I’m like, the more work you put in, the more results you’re going to see. For most of my life, this has rung true. But it seems that my body is rebelling. It wants it’s rest. It needs balance.
So my doctor prescribed me this: SLEEP. Go to bed preferably at 10 pm and wake up early if you need to get work done.
As silly as this sounds…I am terrified of going to sleep early. I always feel like…ugh…but I could be getting so much more done! No please, please, not behind the bars of bed!
She could sense the terror in my eyes and said, ok…just 30 min earlier each day. Just TRY before 12am for starters.
For me, I think not getting enough sleep is the biggest perpetrator of my lower belly fat. But if you’re also observing something similar and it’s not your sleep, try this:
– Don’t stretch yourself too thin
– Avoid people that stress you out or ask for too much
– Make time for fun things you enjoy doing
– Spend time with people that make you happy
One thing that always calms me down when I am stressed is cooking! It is super relaxing for me. So if you’re looking for a way to chill out, you should try out my new Fruit Leathers recipe on Cheap Clean Eats!
HOMEMADE FRUIT LEATHERS
– 2 cups frozen cherries, thawed
– 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
– 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
– 2 tablespoons Truvia
– Parchment paper
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
2. Blend everything until smooth.
3. Pour onto a parchment lined jelly roll pan and spread out very thinly and evenly. Use two pans, if needed, to make extra.
4. Bake for 2 ½ – 3 hours or until completely cooked and no longer soft.
5. Remove to cool. Use scissors to cut long strips and roll, or use a pizza cutter and slice long strips and roll up.
Based on 6 roll-ups
MACROS per each:
44 cals | 1g protein | 8g net carbs | 0g fat | 2.6g fiber
Ok guys. As a part of your training routine, I encourage you to make time for sleep just like how you make time for the gym! Are any of you experiencing the lack of sleep –> whole stress –> lower belly fat phenomenon?