A few weeks ago I joined a ladies evening offering style advice for different body shapes. I have to say, Inge, the style consultant, knew what she was talking about. She demonstrated some of her tips with amazing visual results. To me some of them seemed counter intuitive, so great advice to have.
We looked at different body shapes which included apple, pear and hour glass also called O, A and X shapes. Inge knew exactly what to do to highlight the positive aspects of every body shape and what to do to tone down those areas that you’d rather hide. Where Inge also looked at colour, fabric prints, body proportions and face shapes, I asked myself a different question:
Why do we see these differences in body shape, for example and an O versus an A shape, in the first place? This would be putting on weight all over versus putting the weight mainly on the hips and thighs. Have you ever asked yourself why you are holding your weight where you do? The answer to this question is very interesting. It doesn’t only explain why you hold your weight in certain areas of the body, it might also explain why it’s difficult to lose it.
So why don’t we all look like hour glasses? The answer quite often lies with our hormones. Yes, ladies, we all know how powerful our hormones can be. If we don’t get monthly mood swings ourselves, we sure know women who do. So even though we cannot see our hormones, we all know they can have a serious impact on our cravings and our mood. Our hormones also control our appetite, our energy level, our metabolism, our temperature and of course our libido! In addition, they have a strong influence on where we store fat in the body.
The sex hormone estrogen for example, gives us our female curves. So too much estrogen will have any extra weight settle primarily on the hips and thighs. High estrogen can be caused by various factors such as pregnancy, birth control pills, mercury exposure, other toxins or chemicals that can block our hormones from working the way they are meant to work. Slow thyroid function can lead to holding weight all over because all cells are affected by the thyroid hormone. Holding the weight mostly in the belly area (soft, sagging belly) can often be attributed to stress which increases our stress hormone cortisol.
Maybe you are struggling to lose weight despite the fact that you are eating well and exercising regularly. Or you feel like your will power is leaving you far too often and you find yourself eating things you promised yourself not to eat anymore. Or maybe you simply don’t have the energy to even get started with losing the extra weight. In all of these case, hormone imbalances may be at the bottom of it.
Just think about it, if hormones can get us in the mood to “kill” for a piece of chocolate or cry for something completely trivial when that time of the month comes, how much more can they influence while overriding will power or logical reasoning?!
I have lost 10kg and now weigh 6kg less than before I had my children. I have started this journey of creating a healthy body when I was 40 (and I used to think from the age of 40 it’s only downhill :-)). I’ve been trying to drop 5kg since I was in my mid 20s and kind of gave up in my early 30s. Understanding what goes on on the inside and then working on that, has had amazing effects on the outside. As an added bonus I also feel amazing, I have more energy, more patience, am less irritable and have much better memory. It’s a fun journey of discovery.
If you are curious about what your hormones might have in store for you, I’m inviting you to fill in a short questionnaire and I’ll get back with you with interesting insights.
Yes, I’m curious about my hormone-weight connection