FLUID OR FAT… AND WHAT IT DOES TO YOUR MOOD
I am convinced that many women “feel” fat when really they are either bloated or retaining fluid. I have never once weighed a client and I don’t encourage my clients to weigh themselves either. I do this for many reasons, one of which is that there are far better indicators for your health such as your energy, vitality, and the ease of your periods, but another is certainly because as hormone levels fluctuate over the month, so can the amount of fluid being retained. Besides, when you weigh yourself, remember that all you are really doing is weighing your self-esteem. I have met thousands of women who can gain three kilos (six pounds) in a day, and to say that this messes with their mind is an understatement. If you get on the scales in the morning and weigh 70 kilograms (155 pounds), and, by the evening, you weigh 73 kilos (161 pounds), especially if you have eaten well and done some exercise that day, and even if you haven’t eaten too nutritiously or exercised that day, it’s easy to feel incredibly disheartened and wonder how on earth this could possibly happen. It can add an additional layer of stress to an already overloaded female mind… something else to worry and panic about.
Remember this: it is not physically possible to gain three kilos (six pounds) of body fat in a single day. The only possible cause is fluid retention. Yet even though the logical part of the female mind knows this, seeing three extra kilos on the scales over the course of just a day, or even a week, will make most women, no matter how reasonable they are, feel fat, anxious, impatient, frustrated, and generally lousy. As an aside, are you more likely to make good food choices when you feel this way? Are you likely to want to be in a positive and optimistic frame of mind when you feel fleshy and puffy and like there is not enough time in your day because if you are eating well and exercising and still gaining weight… and well that must mean you have to find the time to do even more exercise and you don’t know where on earth that time is going to come from because you already can’t keep up… and that was all thought in such a hurry that now you are gulping for air!
There can be numerous factors behind fluid retention. These include poor lymphatic flow, a congested liver from too many liver loaders, mineral deficiencies and imbalances, and poor progesterone production. From an energetic medicine perspective, I encourage you to think about who or what you may be holding on to that no longer benefits you. Perhaps it is a belief that no longer serves you, and your body is simply trying to wake you up to this and get you to change. So many of us fear change whether we realise it or not.
Estrogen can be another likely culprit when it comes to fluid in excess. It can also drive headaches, including migraines, increase blood clotting, cause PMS, and interfere with thyroid hormone production and, due to its relationship to progesterone, lead us to feel like we have to do everything in a rush… big health consequences all because there might be too much of one little hormone.
To begin to bring your hormones back into balance, start with your breath. Diaphragmatic breathing, where your tummy (not your chest) expands when you inhale and your tummy shrinks back when you exhale, is key as it reduces the production of stress hormones, allowing your body to make the right amount of progesterone for you. Consuming more “real food” and less processed food, less refined sugar, caffeine and alcohol also aids in this process.
And remember to be so kind to yourself.
Dr Libby xx