I may take some heat for this one, but it needs to be said.
Is this you?
Are you a type A personality woman? The “I can do it all perfectly” wife, woman, girlfriend, partner and/or mother?
Here’s our human body reality check though. You want more natural health & fat loss? Then you need to create the space in your energy & life for your body to give it to you.
I think it’s excellent that we were raised in the 70’s with an ideal that women can step into their power & do and become anything, ….I had the underoos too, I thought Lynda Evans was completely kick a*s, and I have pictures of myself to prove it as a small child envisioning myself as her in my costume just like you did.
However, my “Superwoman” perspective shifted significantly after I became very ill trying to repeatedly force my life, health and body into that ideal in my early 30’s, trying to do and be everything to everyone but myself as a newly married.
I would set up the perfect household, I would be an amazing entertainer to friends & family when they’d visit, I would be the perfect wife to my husband, I would have a household that was immaculately clean, I would be a successful marketing agency account manager at a fire drill pace job, I would volunteer and make church and plan fantastic vacations for us and parties, and I’d even be an athlete outside of that somewhere, somehow, and I would never EVER ask for help or hand things off because I could do it all as a woman and I shouldn’t have to ask for help, right, because then I’d be flawed somehow in my mind or not meeting the standards I should be? RIGHT? Stay with me….
I was constantly on the go, constantly trying to be and do, constantly missing the bigger picture and setting up unrealistic expectations for myself that inevitably squeezed me out of the picture.
Partly, I fell prey to a stress-related auto immune & endocrine system illness as a result of those choices, and I see a lot of women around us today on the same path. And a piece of my healing was learning to accept that 1 – those expectations really don’t serve me or those I’m trying to serve & 2 – no one was creating those expectations of me BUT me.
Today, I believe we have set up failed expectations of women in some sense with the “super woman” notion, and 20-30 years later women’s health is taking the fall, as women have raised their expectations so high of themselves, or what we can & should “be” that their self-care has fallen off the list & we no longer “just be” anymore for our health.
I was raised by my parents to have a mindset of anything is possible, for which I’m truly grateful.
But winning my body & life back naturally from Hashimoto’s disease & chronic fatigue syndrome taught me a new body understanding & boundaries that I take seriously today.
That I need to change that instead to… “Anything IS possible, within a reasonable timeline so you can still eat, sleep and practice self-care.”
And also, “I can be anything, however, I can’t be & do everything perfectly at once.” I hope you test out these mindset mantras, because they have truly helped to change how I see and honor my body, and they’ve shifted my natural health and fat loss results for the better.
Today, I’ve learned to try and choose one thing at a time, not everything at once, as a commitment to my health, and I’ll honestly share with you this still takes work and setting my intentions everyday. I don’t think this ever becomes naturally easy to do if you’re a type A person by nature, instead it’s a daily practice we need to choose.
But, that doesn’t make me any less of a women or less valuable to my husband or family or my profession and clients. In fact, it makes me more valuable, because I’m serving myself, others & those I love better.
Get out an awesome journal and fun pen and answer the following questions to yourself truthfully:
- Where are you over-expecting of your mind & body each day?
- Where do you say “yes” in your life where you deep down you need give yourself permission to say “no, thank you” instead?
- Where do you over commit to obligations or people in your weekly schedule?
- Where you permit yourself to fall in the list of all the above, are you last, first, in the middle, or not even on the list?
If you think where you draw the line in the sand to fit you and your daily self-care in or not, or how you overuse your energy for others, isn’t effecting and creating your health right now, then you’re not accepting how our body is built to work including the female endocrine system.
Over use of your adrenals and stress management systems, with no recovery and no self-care, raises cortisol levels and stimulates a stress response that make creating balanced health and staying naturally health and lean, darn near close to impossible. If you choose this path regularly, you will eventually run into fun things like bloating, inflammation, feeling “off”, moody or disconnected, and struggle with digestion, fat metabolism, and other health concerns.
You just can’t push, push, push constantly and over-expect from body, and not give back or invest in it, without creating a counter-reaction for your choices. I could go into all the potential health issues this presents, but I don’t have to – look around you in your life, it’s everywhere today. The sheer increase of thyroid, adrenal and fatigue imbalances in women just in the past ten years is nothing short of shocking.
We have to accept that we all need to make changes not only in our nutrition, but in our lifestyle to take back our health, our bodies, and the health of the next generations that we are responsible for. So next time you have to say no instead of saying yes, instead of choosing to feel guilt, choose to feel empowered that you just took a step to creating better health and fat loss results for you, and others you influence.
Learning to create space in your life to breath, to recover, to rest, to re-invest in you, is one of the most important actions and habits we have to learn to do better as women in order to create healthy, lean body living naturally. Where do you have work to do yet with this habit?
Author: Heather Dubé, HHC, AADP, ACSM CWC, NASM CPT, NC Cand. & BA Psychology, is a Functional Nutrition Practitioner, US National-Level Natural NPC Figure Bodybuilding Competitor & Contributing Expert Magazine Writer with 24 years experience, and Co-Founder of the e3 Energy Evolved™ System.
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