The evil villains! You all know them; they are the characters in a movie or book who plot to destroy the good guys and take over the world. In Star Wars you had Darth Vader who's goal was to eradicate the Jedi Order and crush the Rebel Alliance. In the comic book world you had the infamous Joker who was Batman's first adversary, a remorseless serial killer who killed his victims with "Joker Venom".
From now on, I want you to think about bad stress and poor sleep the same way you think about the super villains in the movies. The super villain "Bad Stress" is always plotting against you trying to change your body chemistry causing you to release more of the "stress hormone" cortisol. Increased levels of cortisol can cause you to eat more and store more body fat around your abdominal region. The villain "Bad Stress" can also trigger an emotional response in you that draws you down the dark path to emotional eating.
The evil villain "Poor Sleep" will slow down your metabolism and drain your body of energy making you more prone to poor food choice while increasing your dependence on caffine for a quick fix of energy. This villain will also attempt to change your body chemistry making it more difficult to stop eating when your are truly full. He will even whisper in your ear "skip that workout today and go home and veg on the coach". The two super villains will even team up together in a plot to prevent you from becoming the best version of yourself!!
These two evil duos will do what they can to prevent you from making progress on your fitness journey, but fear not...the "Wellness Coach" super hero can save the day!! Ok...so maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but finding a good wellness coach, that can help you identify the reason's for your stress and lack of sleep, is a good first step in battling these two evil duos. A good coach will help you come up with a strategy for managing your emotions better and improving the quality of your sleep.
Here are some "red flags" that might indicate that you are struggling with managing your stress and sleep:
1.) Less than 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep nightly
2.) Fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow
3.) Eat or use caffeine to stay awake during the day
4.) Turn to food when you are tired, bored, angry or sad even when you are not truly hungry
5.) Have experienced an increased level of body fat around the abdominal area
6.) Turn to alcohol as a way to relax or reduce the anxiety or stress you are feeling
8.) Sick more often
10.) Body aches
If you are experiencing 1 or more of these "red flags", I recommend that you consult a trained professional. Don't let these two diabolical super villains "Poor Sleep" and "Bad Stress" rob you of your potential!!