I have been having the same conversation with a number of clients so I thought it might be helpful to share this with you here.
When I work with an individual we will look at the bigger picture to see what might be contributing to their situation.
Very often someone will be focused on the need for exercise and modifying their eating, but these only form part of their overall health picture.
We also look at their stress, their sleep and immune tolerance; alongside their dietary health, cardiovascular and muscular health.
For many people, our eating and exercise habits are strongly effected by what is going on in our lives and our stresses.
The analogy I often use is that losing weight and getting fit without addressing these other factors is like trying to paint your ceiling while there is a hole in your roof and it is raining.
At the moment, it is likely that our stress is much higher than normal due to the events going on in the world.
When we are stressed, it is easy to feel overwhelmed.
As human beings our physiology is designed to be exposed to high levels of stress on an acute or short term basis, we are not equipped to be exposed to stress on a long term or persistent basis.
To help control this, one of the key tools we use is focusing on what we can control and letting go of what we can’t.
This means looking at our issues and clarifying if it is something we can influence through our own actions. If it is not, we consciously put it aside.
If it is something we CAN influence, we look at how we can do that.
Do we have the resources to do so?
Do we need other help or support?
What is our desired outcome?
Gaining clarity over what we can control and how we can do so is a huge step towards recovering from overwhelm and chronic stress.
This allows us to move forward confidently with our health and fitness goals.