Stress and its impact on weight loss

So many of you have asked me to post an article about my favourite hormone, cortisol (that’s the sneaky stress hormone) so I decided to do a video blog for you today to explain the impact of stress on weight loss.  Click on the play button to watch and if you have a question then drop me a line on Facebook – I’m happy to help.

Success Story – Emily Coupar

Emily Before
Emily Before

Emily Before

Over 3 years ago I was reading Oxygen Magazine when I stumbled across an article by a beautiful woman by the name of Penny Lomas.

The article was all about biosignature and how it could benefit those who were at a plateau with their training.  Something in this article really resonated with me and after finding Penny on the internet, I was super excited to learn that I could actually see her personally for both biosignature assessment and personal training.

It was with great trepidation I walked thorough those doors at Fitness First in South Yarra, where Penny works. I learnt more in 60 minutes with Penny than I ever knew possible; she set me on a completely new path in life.

No one else had pointed out the importance of sleep on training, the importance of reducing our exposure to chemicals in our water, our food and our skincare, the damage gluten and some grains can do to our digestion and systemically.

To be honest I was training 7 days a week, sometimes 2 hours a day, and I was eating all the right foods  -( yeah right), no fat yoghurt, salads, low fat cheese and low fat cereals, why was I inflamed, overweight and unhappy?

It was Penny who encouraged me to incorporate rest days, to eat a variety of unprocessed real food! She sent me on the Paleo pathway and down an enormous rabbit warren, one that I am still navigating!

Emily After

Emily After

Penny incorporated her knowledge and The Hormone Connection foundation and I now live by them daily for managed weight loss and a balanced lifestyle.

My hormones and health are the best they’ve ever been!

Penny gives me a new training program every 6 weeks, they are never boring, always challenging but never unachievable, and my strength, flexibly and passion improve every day with Penny’s guidance. Penny is more than a personal trainer; she is a mentor, spiritual guide, friend and confidant.

Penny Lomas you changed my life the day I met you and for that I will always be grateful!!

Breakups are hard, but dieting is even harder

With a whirlwind of life events for me recently I have been reminded of the people closest to me and their positive energy and support. When life throws a curveball at you, or a couple of them, it’s easy for us to lose sight of what’s important, our values and then underestimate the capacity and power of self-care. So today I wanted to talk to you about two major questions that come up a lot and I am asked frequently.

“Why Is The Hormone Connection Different?”

 And

 “How will The Hormone Connection make my life better?”

Now before I go on, I’ll like to share with you a recent life event for me, just because I am an open book and love you guys being in my world. I have recently gone through a break up. (I’m cool, I’m cool, before I get an influx of girl power emails of support, thank you, but I’m doing super awesome! Thanks for caring) Ok, so as painful as breakups are, I am still a huge believer in my “self–first” philosophy.

This may to some seem selfish, but if you are not looking after number 1, how on earth do you expect to look after others? The pain is temporary, but the neglect you are tempted to give your body lasts a lot longer than a loser ex boyf. During this time I have been sure to stay on track, because if my mind and body is healthy, strong and nourished I have a better chance of staying well and moving forward with ease.

Now, where does The Hormone Connection come into this? One of the brick walls I see people face is “Dieting”. Yep, we know that word, and we all hate it. I wish it were replaced with “Nourishing” and then we would all be more compliant. The reason The Hormone Connection works for others and me is because it is not a diet; let me repeat……

THE HORMONE CONNECTION IS NOT A DIET. 

THAT is what makes it different.

How many diets have you followed? Diet books you have bought? Enough! Throw them away!

I do not want you to deprive yourselves. I want you to learn about which foods to have when, and what hormones to support. I often get asked what the calorie range is of The Hormone Connection: nadda, nothing, not one, I have never even counted a calorie for The Hormone Connection. It is not relevant. It is a way of eating and nourishing without thinking about it, well doesn’t that sound nice?

Going through life, its up and downs, breakups and all, I’ve learnt recently the power of knowledge to just be. To not think about food as anything but fuel. I teach in The Hormone Connection an education, so for life you know how to manipulate your hormones, metabolism and maintain health, even when life seems to be trying and testing you mentally and physically.

I’ll give you an example: Lets think of cortisol, our stress hormone, try managing cortisol successfully when you are going through a challenging life event and eating poorly. Now think about your cortisol management when Penny has taught you what foods to avoid and what to include to strengthen your adrenals, winning!

So my life is The Hormone Connection way of life, I live and breathe it, so much so that after many years I no longer think about foods, food groups, calories or anything else, I simply eat what I want, when I want it, taking care of number 1, me! So with a strong metabolism and balanced hormones, I have sunk my teeth into life and ate intuitively with The Hormone Connection philosophy and tips and tricks by my side without any crumbling of my social life, health or strength. So when I have life on my mind, I am able to just get on with it and my body is healthy enough to cope.

I believe you shouldn’t start a diet you cannot maintain for life, so why is The Hormone Connection different? Because you can live it for life! And if you can follow a way of nourishing your body for life and benefit from it on every level, wouldn’t that make your life better?

So my challenge this week was to share with you my breakup news AND somehow combine it with The Hormone Connection spin. Mission accomplished.

Love and Gratitude to you my fit-family, I’m here for you, any questions you need answered just hit reply on this email and I’ll get back to you, even if you need some “overcoming a breakup” tips, I’ve got that nailed right now too.

 

Diet Is 90% Of Your Results

If you are like me and in Melbourne, then summer is officially on its way! I have just returned from a holiday in New Zealand and to keep my mind from becoming squishy I eased back into work and started on an article and interview for The Herald Sun Newspaper on “The Top Ten Summer/Spring foods to keep you healthy”. I was asked to discuss the best foods and why they are so beneficial. It got me thinking; yes I do that a lot. Food is medicine. Food is so powerful. It’s not a straight cure people, but it is such a huge contributor to greater health.

You can’t out train a bad diet!”

Today I want to talk to you about why I think diet is 90% of your results. Post book launch, wisdom teeth out and whilst away in New Zealand, I didn’t train, I didn’t even think about training. I took a full rest MONTH. I ate healthy, the Hormone Connection way; I ate what I wanted within reason and ate nutritious, powerful food that helps and heals the body, I didn’t under-eat, no, no, I never ever diet. And guess what? I’m feeling fantastic! I’m still slim and I’ve even leaned down a little in the last month.  How is this possible I hear you say?

Have you ever noticed that girl on the treadmill at the gym? She ain’t getting anywhere, you’ve seen her there for a while, month after month, year after year. She trains hard, but still doesn’t seem to be losing any weight.  Her body shape stays the same. I was sick of seeing these girls, I was compassionate, because that run on the treadmill is only 10% of her results, if she then goes home to eat incorrectly, all is lost. You can’t out train a bad diet.

I’m often asked why I developed The Hormone Connection, and why it is a cookbook AND a health book. Because, to understand your hormones and the way you can manipulate them through food is powerful stuff, so powerful that I believe it can change your life, it did mine. You see, I was annoyed with medicinal food not getting the credit it deserved. I needed to not only tell people eat this way, live this lifestyle and feel amazing, I needed to say “Here is how to do it!”.

Everything you eat has an impact, an immediate impact. I don’t mean that if you eat that juicy burger and fries you immediately see a little extra body fat go to your thighs (and just a heads up, I don’t believe in cutting out burgers and fries from your diet, a girls gotta live!). What I mean is whether food has a negative or positive impact depends highly on whether its consumed by a healthy or unhealthy person. Lets explain more, if you ate that burger and fries and then went immediately to the gym it doesn’t work either. The fact that food is medicine is a given, but learn this, food is your missing link when achieving goals; you can actually change your food and manipulate your results, now that’s pretty cool!

Take away this; one person’s poison can be another’s super food – still confused? Ok, if I ate the way I did for the last month a few years ago, I would be a rather squishy penny today, so why have I maintained my physique?

GREAT INNER HEALTH + BALANCED HORMONES + 90% HEALTHY, WHOLESOME DIET = EASILY MAINTAINED BODY COMPOSITION.

See, I haven’t even added exercise into the equation.

Finding Balance Post Comp

So last week I opened up the comp file and let you in on my journey. If you missed last weeks post, here it is just in case you need to catch up.

As promised, this week I’m taking you through my journey post rebound and how I restored health and most importantly that ever elusive “balance” we are all in awe of.

When you compete, some of us believe this is the hardest journey, months and months of preparation, planning and hard work.

After I competed, the real hard work began. I had, in epic proportions, caused extensive damage to my metabolism, hormones, adrenals, gut flora, sleep pattern and overall inner health. I bet you are all wondering how and why? I won’t delve into too much detail, but let’s just say I didn’t have good influences around me back then, it was 7 years ago, I was young, stupid, new to the industry and naively followed the advice of unexperienced coaches.

Ok moving on. You are all eagerly awaiting my secrets to achieving greater health after Yoyo dieting aren’t you? Well, most of these are elaborated in my health, lifestyle and cookbook The Hormone Connection. But today I am going to take you through MY journey.

A Turning Point

When you realise that your body has shut down, it is a low point in your life. You feel hopeless, you feel alone, and you feel like you are back at square one, plus some extra misery for good measure. The first step in this process is acceptance. I had to accept the damage, self inflicted, misguided, whatever and whoever has pushed you to this point, I still had to take full responsibility for me, myself and my health. Once I gained control and accountability, that’s when I could apply the same drive I had for competition to another cause, a greater cause, healing myself.

Let me paint a picture of how unwell I was. My pituitary gland had shut down. It was like “Really? Really Penny? You want me to do what? You think you can just run me into the ground, deprive me of calories, overtrain, sleep less and be an overall mental mess and then you want me to come to the party? Forget it, I checked out a long time ago, you’re on your own!”

I had been told that I needed synthetic prescription hormones to kickstart my own. Baloney! Sure maybe for others, and they definitely have their place. But I didn’t believe it. Ironically enough, in today’s world we have so many practitioners around us, so much information available, yet still we feel lost, uneducated and alone. I receive so many emails and messages from people saying they have been trying to find help for years and haven’t found the information or the person they need. And nowadays I just LOVE being the sole practitioner for my clients, I never want them to feel alone or have unanswered questions.

So I stepped up, I wanted to take full responsibility for my journey. I studied and studied and certified as a Biosignature Modulation Practitioner, I trained with Charles Poliquin and Dr James Lavelle. I did further study and specialised in gut health, liver health and adrenal management, I also delved into exercise prescription for hormone profiles and lifestyle and supplementation. I initially did this purely to fix myself, not knowing then that it would be my ultimate dream job now! I did seminars, lectures, online webinars, I remember setting my alarm for crazy nocturnal hours to attend webinars and online courses overseas.

I used everything I had learnt and applied it to myself. I ran myself through a gut rebuild, a liver cleanse, a estrogen cleanse, a candida cleanse, trained according to my hormone profile and had the treatments I needed, like Osteo, dry needles, kinesiology, massage, lymph drain, and of-course relaxation and rest.

What was the biggest thing I did? The one thing with the most impact? I stopped giving a crap about the way I look. Don’t doubt this, this is powerful stuff. Why did I get myself in that position in the first place? Why did you? Because we were focused on our bodies and we pushed them too far. My body needed time, it needed to just “be”. It needed time for my hormones to rebalance, for all the work I was doing to heal it to actually kick in and be effective.

You cannot restore health and hormonal balance when you are constantly striving to be shredded and function at a high level.

The elusive balance that we are all striving for I believe looks likes this … we are happy, we are healthy, we look and feel amazing, and we are able to contribute to every aspect of our life equally.

When I did all of this, I found it, I eventually saw my body fat float down again, I saw all my bloodwork and hormones return to not normal levels, but excellent levels, my doctor even asked me for my supplement protocol because she had never before seen it been done without the use of pharmaceutical intervention.  I felt and looked the best I had in years, and I’ve maintained it ever since.

Next week I will be going even deeper and chatting to you about how powerful food is as medicine or poison.