I know! The title of this post is just blasphemous, right? I mean - we HAVE to go to the gym because we HAVE to lose weight-tone up-bulk up...and if we don't go we have to face the big ol' F word: Failure. Right?
Sometimes, skipping the gym is the best thing you can do for yourself and your waistline!
(insert sigh of relief here)
It all comes down to Cortisol - that pesky stress hormone. If you're skipping sleep to get to the gym, you better bet your butt ain't gettin' any smaller. The truth is, most of us spend at least a portion of the day in fight-or-flight mode - because of just how our daily lives are. We are running from thing to thing, not resting enough, and holding our tummies in to project "thin." That means our Cortisol levels are up already - and Cortisol can get in the way of burning fat.
*Sidenote: did you know that when you hold your abdominal muscles - when you tense them - (yes you're probably doing it right now) you put your system automatically into fight-or-flight? Yep! Crazy right? That's part of the reason why in yoga class, after savasana, they have you roll on your side to sit up rather than sitting straight up.
**Double Sidenote - don't know what savasana is? CLICK HERE.
Anyways.....basically I'm telling you it's okay - even really really really REALLY good - to slow the heck down once and a while. Eventually you could even slow down your whole life and actually enjoy it a bit! I know it's hard. I'm a 4-job-a-day kinda girl myself, but existing in a constant state of stress not only prevents you from burning fat, but can lead to much more serious health concerns...which I'm sure you have heard about already - (cough high blood pressure, blood sugar issues, diabetes, immune suppression, cardiovascular disease, fertility issues, chronic fatigue, cough cough cough). Ahem, excuse me.
Because this is what happens when you're faced with a stressor (i.e. anything from anticipating your mother-in-law calling you, to a saber-toothed tiger chasing you down for lunch).
- A bunch of hormones are dumped unceremoniously into your veins. This includes your adrenals secreting cortisol.
- Glucose is dumped into your veins for a quick energy burst.
- Cortisol says NO! to insulin production so that glucose can be used ASAP.
- Cortisol squeezes the arteries so your heart has to pump harder and faster.
- You face down that phone call-tiger and make lunch plans.
- All that extra stuff in your body starts to dissipate and the residue is left behind.
And what, might you ask, happens to all that residue? Well according to Ayurveda, it builds up over time, piling up like bricks in an invisible backpack. So you need to work through that residue by doing something like...meditation! (Check out my awesome studio HERE)
Now, maybe you're a little averse to meditation, or you feel like "my run is my meditation." Okay great. So what can you do instead? First, cancel something, then turn off your phone/computer/TV and....
- Take a stroll.
- Take a bath (make it fancy with some essential oils and epsom salts).
- Write out your stress and rip up the paper.
- SLEEP. What? Oh. SSLLLEEEEEEEPPPPP!!!!
- Light some candles or incense and listen to music in the dark.
- Or anything else you find lets you to slow down for a minute, relax your belly and take a deep-breath.
If you're stretched too thin, taking some time to recenter yourself is the BEST thing you can do. Laundry can wait, the gym can wait, your friend/mom/boyfriend/sister can wait. And, they'll probably appreciate your presence (because you're not the monster-version of yourself) a lot more.
So....what are you going to do for yourself today? Comment below!
Until next time!