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Why I Love the ‘D’: Reducing Belly Fat

Listen, my body is not bodying the way it used to. I have this one dress that I put on occasionally to test out this hypothesis. And uh…it’s true. There are more bumps and curves than yesteryear and I do not like it. Let’s say ‘no’ to belly fat.

For the past two years, I have been on a journey to find my groove. I have been working to define what works for me as it relates to nutrition, movement, meditation and more. The result has been over ten pounds of extra weight released. While this is great, I have a little more work to do. It seems no matter what I do, this little pooch remains consistent. She has got to go!

Reasons for extra belly fat

I’m blaming everything on perimenopause. Everything is just so different now. I have developed an allergy to stress – it makes my belly swell. My hormones are all over the place. I’m tired, cranky, hot, cold – it’s just so different.

Meno Belly

Hormonal changes, mood swings, sleep challenges and more all play a role in contributing to the pooch. Please be kind to yourself. Throw away the idea that you have all of a sudden started to become lazy, eating all kinds of trash and are ready to flick off because the juice is in the wrong place. You’re not crazy, but your hormones are. To make matters worse, all this activity is happening and stacking in that belly. Ugh!

Cortisol

As it turns out, I was not far off with the belly swelling. Dr. Anna Garrett describes cortisol as the “mean girl” and I couldn’t agree more. With estrogen and progesterone already doing a new dance due to perimenopause, this creates the perfect environment for cortisol to take center stage – with her funky self! 

Cortisol – also known as the stress hormone – really knows how to take over. When stress is present, it thrives, blocks other hormones from doing their jobs and feeds the pooch. The lesson here is to reduce the stress above all else. My new motto is – If it does not align, I must decline. 

Ways to reduce belly fat

Crunches, yoga, cardio, walking – you name it, I’ve tried it. Back in the day, Tae-Bo used to get me right, but now – nope! Juice fasts, intermittent fasting, calorie deficits – yes – I tried all of that too. Did it work – only temporarily. I am now convinced that a lifestyle change is in order.

Stress Management

Remember, if it does not align, I must decline. My “No” game is so very strong these days and I make no apologies for it.

Other ways that I choose to manage my stress are:

Daily routine

My daily routine consists of journaling, meditation/breathwork, prayer and devotion. I prefer to do this first thing in the morning, but am not opposed to engaging at night. This brings me so much peace. I am also forcing myself to commit to thirty minutes of movement. This could be walking, stretching, yoga, cardio – as long as it adds up to a minimum of thirty minutes, I feel accomplished.

Monthly hydrotherapy

Many moons ago, my husband gave me a trip to a local float spa in the area as a gift. I have been hooked since that time. I love floating so much that I have gifted many friends and relatives with the experience. Today, I have a membership and my body knows when I am overdue.

If you are unfamiliar, floating allows you to immerse yourself in a float tank filled with a ridiculous amount of epsom salt. The reaction between the salt and water creates an environment where you will naturally float. I cannot swim and I become so relaxed in the float tank that I often fall asleep. It gives me time to be still, quiet my mind and receive a healthy dose of magnesium.

Supplements

Because I loved my D3 Vitamins so much, I decided to invest in the Energy Bundle from Black Girl Vitamins. The bundle includes a month’s supply of D3, B12 and iron. I am less than halfway through the bottle and am already noticing positive differences.

Sleep

Not only do we need rest, but we deserve it. Our bodies are dancing internally all day, we’re sweating, flicking off – all of that is enough to make anyone tired. Why not rest?

Please stop trying to convince yourself that you only need four to six hours of sleep. It isn’t healthy. Get your rest. Try adopting a wind down routine to help you in the process. It will be worth it.

Peace and Love.

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