Me, circa 1980.

When I was a kid, I LOVED to dance.  I still do!  It’s funny, though, I never thought of it as “exercise.”  My diet back then was close to terrible, typical mid-Western American fare, but I never worried about feeling fat.  Actually, in my 20s, I was about 20 pounds lighter than I am now.  

Why does metabolism slow down as we age? 

A couple of things:  everything slows down with age, to an extent; and we tend to be too serious and too “in our heads” to really enjoy life.  

Metabolism virtually STOPS when we are stressed out. 

This has to do with the stress hormones insulin and cortisol.

You stress about being overweight –> body secretes insulin and cortisol –> those hormones store fat for you to use as “protection.”  After all, you wouldn’t be feeling stress unless you were in grave danger, right? 

One way to reactivate your body’s natural ability to lose weight is to get out of your head and into your body

Children do this naturally.  Adults learn to be more logical, to the detriment of listening to their bodies.  

It’s a very human tendency to try to “figure it out.”  We think we can reason our way to a better metabolism; we can figure out a better exercise schedule; we can plan a healthier menu; we try to figure out why we are stressed.

But really, it never works out that way, does it?  

The only way to really *let it all go* is to be fully present in your body.

1.  Enjoy the movements that your body makes.  Try to make more movements that feel good.  Some people (boring, rigid people) may try to label these movements as “exercise,” but you know better.  You are just playing in your body.

2.  Use stress-relieving bodywork techniques such as acupuncture, massage, or EFT.  

3.  Meditate.  

4.  Listen to and accomodate your body’s needs.  You may have to be gentle but firm with people who seem to try to get in the way of you taking care of your own needs.  

5.  Move your body how she likes.  Dance, make love, paint, read, relax, and walk.  Do what you feel like doing.  Do this often.  

Your challenge, if you should choose to accept it, is to find one new way to bring more presence into your body.  Let me know in the comments below what it is!