I'm working on sharing the stories of women, including myself, who have faced extreme exhaustion in some form or another. Sadly, this is an epidemic. 21st Century Stress is a pandemic, a chronic disease we ALL seem to be suffering from. So how do we overcome it? It takes a bit of slowing down and a grand effort to rebalance. Hopefully this story from Tammi Hoerner will help inspire you!
Let's get started by jumping right in. This series is about personal stories of extreme exhaustion, and how they affect us and our lives. Unfortunately people throw around terms like "exhausted" or "burned out" like a badge of honor. When you hit a point where your energy was so low that you really considered it serious, how did you know?
My exhaustion showed up with tears and a realization I’d totally dumped out my bucket. My hair was falling out (this had happened before), I was feeling depressed, I’d lost my inspiration in my work as a coach, I just wanted to sleep - but couldn’t, and I started gaining visible belly weight and couldn’t gather enough energy to seriously develop a workout routine. I toppled when I started getting migraines weekly.
Thank you for sharing. I got inspired to ask others to share their story with exhaustion when I faced my own diagnosis of adrenal fatigue. It's a sad reality that so many people face that or have a lifestyle that is sending them down that path. After you realized you needed things to change how did you go about it?
Because I’ve been an INHC [health coach] for almost a decade, I recognized the symptoms and began first with a commitment from me that my health has to come first, I began to scale back my work. I talked with my husband, set some boundaries with others in my life, and began my journey in extreme self care. This included a visit to the doc to make sure blood work and brain are okay, then I began to hit changes in my food, sleep, boundaries, relationships, and exercise.
Was it a smooth journey?
Ha! Is this a trick question?! It still is not a smooth journey. I currently have migraines still, they are farther between. My hair is not falling out any more and I have most of my energy back. I have days I don’t care about what I eat, and days I don’t want to move, but I am getting better.
You've been through a lot. You've been to what I call "the pit of despair," where everything feels so overwhelming or demanding that you kind of want to throw in the towel. And yet I know for myself that it was not depression. Depression, of course, is its own dark place, but fatigue is different. For me, I still wanted to do the normal things... But felt like it was just too much work. What advice do you have for someone who feels fatigued or even simply worn out on an ongoing basis?
Be kind to yourself. I always felt like I was working in reverse. As I began to set boundaries, I began to keep lists of what I wanted to accomplish. I’d pick a single thing to do a day. Most of these revolved around home care and self care. I’d take one thing on and see how it went. If it went good and I felt good, I’d pick another. I’d celebrate what I did and allow myself to recover/rest afterward.
Was your weight a concern during this time in your life? If so, how did overcoming the fatigue change what was going on with your weight?
As I’ve addressed my adrenal fatigue, I’ve been able to do a lot more for my health and well being. I’ve not lost the weight I gained in numbers, but I’m able to exercise hard a solid 60 minutes and I still have energy to cook all of our meals. Slowly I’m turning all this around.
Is there anything you can say was a silver lining to the experience you had with fatigue/exhaustion?
Sure! This is a real condition, it’s not in your head, - it takes time to heal, but you can heal it. I know that if you rest, eat good food, and take time for other self care, you can get better. The human body is designed to heal itself when given the right tools. You can do it!
OK, now for a few fun questions! Where do you live and what do you do there-for work and for fun?
I am a native Coloradan. I am an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach (In my 9th year!), Herbalist, and Aromatherapist who supports women in moving from undernourished and overwhelmed to living a life fulfilled with Lifestyle and Career Coaching. I homeschool, love paper crafts and fur babies, and am an advocate for green living and the planet.
What is a surprising food you just love to eat?
I love salty crunchy foods - chips and salsa are the key to my heart and the thorn in my paw. Ha!
One thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m multi educated - I have an AAS in Graphic Design, and a Barber Stylist Diploma. (I cut hair for about two years before I gave up my scissors for a different venture).
Thank you, Tammi!
Where can people get in touch with you to learn more about you and your endeavors?
Tammi Hoerner, INHC, Dipl. MH, Aromatherapy Headpositivemom.com
In the health world people like to talk about holiday weight gain. It's a lie.
Happy New Year!!!!
The truth is that holiday weight loss can happen just as easily as holiday weight gain. And even if you do gain weight, it's not the 7 pounds average other so-called gurus are trying to scare you with. Holiday weight gain statistics are not that stark.
But if your new year's resolution weight loss goals feel at odds with the new year's weight loss statistics, then rest easy.
I have a different kind of weight loss plan.
This is not like a weight loss challenge, where you try to starve yourself and obsessively watch the scale. This is not a series of weight loss tips that work for a while, and then someone stop working. This isn't even really a weight loss program, because there are no rules, nothing to give up, nothing to stop eating.
This IS an approach to weight loss that works. It is one of the healthiest, easiest, and fastest ways to lose eight that STAYS off.
This IS a "program" that allows you to eat every single food you love, without restriction or ever feeling hungry.
Don't start at the end
Most health advice is totally backwards. It starts off by telling you what to eat, what not to eat, and counting all kinds of numbers. BORING!
I don't waste your time with any of that nonsense.
Okay okay, it's not total nonsense. There are times when focusing on specific things in your diet and counting specific numbers are really important. But for the VAST MAJORITY of people who simply want to lose weight and look and feel their best... it is not necessary to count anything, and in fact it will backfire, ruin your so called "Diet" and end up making you eat more junk food in the long term.
Because it's more than boring to count all those numbers, it's depressing and it is a distraction from what is actually going on in your body and mind.
I help my clients forget all that BAD advice and create their own personal whole body connection!
Don't Let the Products Guide You
This is actually how we got into such a mess with all the counting in the first place!!!
Food manufacturers have one goal: sell as much as their product as possible, which they do by getting you to eat as much as possible. #sadbuttrue
Just like numbers, reading about the "health claims" on food actually disconnect you from your own desire, and puts some idea about what you "should" be doing into your mind instead.
Looking at the package separates your from your body and your intuition.
And also buy quality foods with the shortest ingredient list possible, and simply "ingredients" whenever you can as well. That makes it WAY easier to the whole trusting your body thing.
Forget ALL The Rules & Restrictions
Yup. I said it.
Forget ALL the rules. Because rules and food just don't go together.*
(*As always, please trust and follow your doctor's medical advice because there are always exceptions to the rules, even the rule that you shouldn't have any rules.)
The truth is that everyone is preaching about what you should or shouldn't eat.
But no berry from the amazon is going to make you live forever, just as one bag of hot cheetos isn't going to kill you.
And, worse yet, all the mixed messages and crazy hype about the good and evil foods of the world actually just cause us to feel stressed and overwhelmed, and end up causing us to make BAD decisions.
Again, all this damn information DISCONNECTS us from our bodies! We just can't tune in when we have to think so freaking much!! And when we are disconnected we grab the cookies or the chocolate or the whatever and eat it... and then we feel SO BAD about it!!!
Allowing yourself to eat freely actually FREES you to eat WELL.
Stop FIghting With Yourself
As soon as you tell yourself,
“You can never eat _____” …
it is guaranteed that another part of you will start demanding ____!
This sets you up to sabotage ALL your efforts!
Any approach to health based on all those rules and restrictions we just talked about? This will always lead you to battle within yourself, and when you battle yourself... YOU always lose.
Oh, also, when you are fighting with yourself? You can't tune in, which we've talked about is really important.
Also, any time you hear yourself saying "Should" means you are fighting with yourself. Should with food is always a judgmental statement.
I should stop eating sugar.
I should choose the low carb/fat/whatever menu item.
I should not eat that delicious thing.
I should eat that thing I don't really want but think will help me lose wight.
Those are all ways of telling yourself that you suck and you don't deserve what you want. I know this because I used be in a world of shoulds. I broke free from that kind of approach, and I want to help every woman do the same thing now. When you connect your food to your desire, there is no more should.
So, tune in to those shoulds. When you hear yourself saying you "should" then what you "should" do is take a pause and check in with yourself.
This is the #1 Most Toxic Thing In Your Diet
This is the ONE thing that actually causes us to gain weight, whether at the holidays or any other time of year.
This one thing causes us to...
•Eat more sugar
•Feel bad about ourselves
It's not sugar, artificial colors, saturated fat, or any other ingredient.
The #1 most toxic thing in your diet is guilt!
Yup, guilt is at the heart of almost all emotional eating. And it also contributes to mindless eating, too (the close cousin on emotional eating).
Restrictive programs should be shunned as a miserable way to achieve health goals.
There is room for every food you love when you focus on the joy and not the calories.
When You Love Every Bite…
You don’t feel guilty when you choose to eat a cupcake or get take out because you know it’s the right thing for you right then.You are empowered to make EXACTLY the right choice for you.
So stop blaming yourself
Its simple and life changing to stop blaming yourself for the emotional eating and binges.
Ready to get started???
With my quiz it's simple and also FUN. Because now that you know it's not your fault, you get to find out whose fault it is!!!
I want to challenge something right now.
It might be uncomfortable. I want to challenge the idea that portion control is a healthy way to eat.
Because I understand, as a total control freak my self, the temptation to try to control what I eat.
(The funny thing is that I used to consider my self "Type B." I actually thought I was super laid back, didn't worry too much about things, could go with the flow.
However, having children made me realize that I'm actually extremely controlling! It's just that before kids I was successfully controlling most of my world... and then I had kids and have been basically white-knuckling the edge of the table since they were born, staring in amazement because my mind is blown that I am so unable to control things now.
Sooooo.... it was more like I could be all relaxed and "Type B" because I was so damn good at being Type A that I didn't even know it!)
Also, I used to try to control what I ate. And, interestingly, for a long time that was also out of my control. And it was a real challenge in my life.
The things in my life that felt shitty (in hindsight, basically all the things I could not control), made me want to eat sugar.
I'd try to NOT eat sugar, fail, and then just eat more sugar.
And in my business now I connect with many women who share that they feel that way about many other types of food as well, sometimes all food.
Sometimes they find that portion control has helped them maintain a healthy weight.
However, there are two ways to go about portion control.
The first way, the more common way, is that some external measurement determines the portion. Whether calories, volume/weight, carbs, points, or whatever, this can backfire. It's useful to learn what an average portion might be. But if you are hungry, you may need more than average, and if you are not hungry, you may need less than average.
The second, more empowering, way is to trust your body as the guide. When your body is telling you what the portion should be, it will be just the right amount. And the beautiful thing is that when your body is able to get exactly what it needs to be satisfied, you are able to ENJOY the portions, not simply control them.
It is my mission to help women create this holistic whole body connection in a playful, non-judgmental, and supportive environment, so they can enjoy all the foods they love.
I help busy, ambitious women connect their food to their desires & overcome emotional eating in a non-judgmental, supportive environment.