Why your cluttered life is stopping you losing weight

Life is busy right. It can be tough sometimes to fit everything in. But the majority of people are better at it then they think.

You might even be one of them….

Think back 3-4 years, was your life as busy then as it is now? Chances are it wasn’t, but at the time I bet you thought it was very busy.

Thing is what seems like incredibly busy to us at one point, becomes our normal. We adjust and adapt, and suddenly we don’t feel like we are as busy because it’s normal to us

So without consciously doing it we add a little more to our plate of life. And for a little while we feel incredibly busy again – until this new level of busy becomes our new normal…. and so the cycle of cluttering our life goes

But whilst we are busy cramming every last thing into our lives and adapting to this load of busy, what we generally fail to acknowledge is the stress we are putting on ourselves.

Consistently running from one thing to the next with no time to breathe creates pressure and stress and our bodies response to stress is to elevate Cortisol levels.

Cortisol is an important player in our body. Now I’m not going to get into the science of it right now – a quick google will give you an abundance of information. But what you need to know is if we have consistently elevated levels of Cortisol our bodies respond with inflammation and weight gain. Generally the opposite effect of what we want.

So what do we do about this?

Most people when they want to lose weight tend to focus on exercise and possibly dieting, but if you are overly stressed the effect of these will be minimal.

The first thing I recommend is to take stock of your life. Is everything essential?

Can you share the load a little more?

For example; kids and sports training. Can your partner take them? Can you do carpooling with another parent? Alternate weeks with the other parent. Do you need to be present at the trainings ? If you had this extra 1-2 hours a week would it help you feel a little less pressured?

Do you go overboard creating more work for yourself?

I used to be guilty of this, and I remember clearly another mother who was older and much wiser than me said; “Jamie, no one notices or cares except you if you cleaned the grout with a toothbrush” See I was creating unnecessary and time consuming tasks that really did not need to be done

Are you an organised person? Can you plan your week better?

For example; Tuesday nights are a busy night for us, and I used to run around frantically trying to have something resembling dinner ready for the family between all the other extra curricular stuff we had going on. I hated it and always felt stressed on Tuesday nights. So I created a new normal. Now Monday nights is either a two night meal like Lasagne or good old Spaghetti Bolognaise or Tuesday mornings I pull out my slow cooker. This simple change reduced my stress levels drastically on Tuesday nights.

Can you create more time by joining a few tasks together?

Another example I will pull from my personal life; I recently switched my shopping from weekly to fortnightly. Because I have to travel to another town to shop it would take me at least 3-4 hours to complete my shopping and probably another hour to fully unpack it all. That’s averaging around 4-5 hrs a week spent on grocery shopping! Now I shop fortnightly, I’ve gained back 4-5hrs a week!! I’m actually hoping to turn it into monthly pantry shops now which will give me 12-15hours back every month!

Little changes like this; changes that give you back time will help to reduce your stress levels.

The important thing when you do gain back time, is to be aware of it, be grateful for it and do not fill it up again with “businesses”. Give yourself 20 mins to go for a walk, sit down and read a book for 30mins. Create time for you!

Reducing your stress levels will result in lower Cortisol levels which will mean easier weight loss.

So take a moment and take stock of your life.

Identify areas you can declutter your life.

Reduce the clutter, minimise the stress and watch your body change as a result.

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