With the change in season, the motivation and drive to get in better shape reappear for many of us. And like most of us, you probably have experience with countless diets and exercise programs too. Meaning, you have a ton of tools in your toolbox. That sounds like a good thing, right? Then what’s up with that skeptical voice in the back of your head? Despite all of the knowledge, experience, and tools, you’re feeling a little jaded. And you haven’t even started yet.
You can get results, but those results never seem to last. Generally, the first week is full of excitement as part of “shiny object syndrome” and the second week brings about a sense of accomplishment as your hard work pays off. As you enter the following weeks, something shifts internally as you continue to follow your plan.
Continuing to follow your program of choice without listening to your body brings about ups and downs with both progress and results. If you are regularly checking in with your body, you might notice dramatic shifts in hunger, energy, cravings, and sometimes mood and sleep. In fact, many of us think that suffering through a program or feeling off is just part of the process. Assuming this is all normal and to be expected, we tend to just stick it out and then give up versus adjust, move on, and feel better.
Ready To Start Being Your Own Guru?
The truth is if you are looking to lose weight or build muscle, you can find countless tips through books, websites, and gurus for how to achieve your shape change goals, but these programs have no way of factoring in your unique metabolism. Funny how each of these books, gurus, websites, and programs each claim to be “the one” that will magically change your life and get you the results you are seeking.
However, if you think about it, if any single program worked for everyone, we probably wouldn’t have the rates of obesity or disease that we have in our world today. If you want to get off the hamster wheel of weight loss and shape change, we are here to help! YOU already have a guru within you!
As coaches, we can help you to listen to your body’s biofeedback and adjust your plan accordingly, but we always need your help throughout the detective process. If you haven’t been following our blog series on SHMEC up until this point, you should go back and read our other blogs posted thus far.
No worries if you want a quick overview, however! Just think of SHMEC as a window into your metabolism and as a way to assess your hormonal balance. Without diving too deep into the science of hormones, just know there are tons of “chemical messengers” working within your body daily to help regulate things like hunger, appetite, energy, libido, and sleep.
I’m a firm believer in a yearly set of labs to help provide a window into your current health status and hormonal balance, but Dr. Jade, our Chief Metabolic Officer, feels you may not need regular labs to understand how your hormones are working.
“The vast amount of hormonal tests are a snapshot in time in a system that is ever-changing. That is not a very useful or accurate way to determine hormones. It would be like assessing traffic flow through Los Angeles at 3am & making future infrastructure plans from that. It’s obviously not in any way reflective of LA traffic. That’s how it currently is with most hormone testing.
What we do have is constant biofeedback sensations. The body is always speaking to us and these signals are directly and indirectly impacted by hormones. SHMEC can tell us a lot. It also changes based on the lifestyle inputs we choose. This gives us the means to assess & influence our hormonal system in meaningful & impactful ways.”
So how can you do this? Use a daily or weekly SHMEC test to determine the appropriateness and sustainability of your current wellness plan as you monitor your body composition or progress, and make changes based upon what is or isn’t working for you.
A SHMEC in check would look something like this:
- Sleep: You fall asleep easily and have good quality sleep. If you wake up for any reason, you fall right back to sleep. You wake up feeling energized and ready for a new day.
- Hunger: Hunger is stable and predictable. A growling stomach appears at regular intervals. From time to time, you may forget to have your meal or snack, and after missing your meal or snack, you don’t find any negative impacts (such as overeating later).
- Mood: You spend most of your day in a good mood, feeling energized and generally loving life. Your default state is no longer anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed.
- Energy: You almost always have the energy to do what you want to do, and when you do get exhausted, you quickly bounce back. You don’t find yourself on an energy roller coaster most days of the week, and if you do, you know why (such as a poor night of sleep).
- Cravings: Cravings are entirely manageable or absent. When cravings appear, you know how to take them away through adding a buffer food or surfing the urge. You can take or leave the cheesecake, the glass of wine, or the salty snacks most of the time.
If any one of these 5 areas is out of check, use our 5 stop process week by week to understand how to systematically tweak any plan you are following and hopefully get all areas in check.
“No one will know, or could ever know, your body better than you. So my advice is to stop listening to all the noise out there and start paying attention to your own body’s signals. Start paying attention to your own body’s needs.” ~ Dr. Jade Teta
As we wrap up our September blog post series on SHMEC next week, look for more on the benefits of coaching and how we walk clients through the process of getting SHMEC in check if they feel they need accountability and support along the way.
As a coach who has recently just hired yet another coach (yes, I’ve had a handful in my many years of working in the field), even I understand that sometimes I need a little help remembering to use my tools and listen to my body, too!