Why cortisol control rather than counting calories to improve your body image:

What is Cortisol?

When a stressful event occurs, or you anticipate one in the future, your body reacts automatically: you freeze, you flee, or you fight. Each reaction begins within your body when the adrenal glands release the hormone, “cortisol”to ensure your survival. According to a recent issue of the Dartmouth University Undergraduate Journal of Science (Spring, 2011), in biological terms “stress refers to what happens when an organism fails to respond appropriately to threats”.

Cortisol initiates your body’s stress response by shutting down unnecessary functions (reproduction, immune system). This reaction forces your body to direct all your energy in response to the threat.This excessive cortisol is present just long enough to deal with the offending stressor. However, our modern lives are anything but stress-free. When stress is chronic so are elevated levels of cortisol slowing your metabolism in order to utilize your caloric intake as efficiently as possible until the stress disappears

Cortisol allows your body to get the most energy from every calorie you consume. The result?FAT! Celery Stalks or Chocolate Éclairs: regardless of what you eat, you will get the most bang possible from every bite when you are stressed…and you are always stressed.

So where does Body Image enter the cycle?

Every time you judge your appearance harshly, you are releasing stress hormones, cortisol, to restore your body’s metabolic balance until the stress disappears. Since your criticism of your body usually relates to her size, shape, or age…and it’s a visual reminder of your dissatisfaction with her/your appearance, then it becomes a visual memory and a continual stress or and the fat accumulates.

What are your choices?

  1. Never look at yourself in a shiny surface again
  2. Buy a funhouse “skinny” mirror
  3. Improve your body image with increased knowledge of your body.

The Body Knowledge System® elevates the body image and increases body confidence in the simplest way possible. When you learn to communicate with your body, that means listening to her wisdom as well as sharing your wants for her appearance, or better said: your appearance.

You can help yourself. You have to move with your body and acknowledge what she/he is feeling. Move your body. In this way the feeling will be less intense, and therefore move out of your body (thereby feeling lighter)…and when you feel lighter you make better choices in all areas of your life.

Cultivating optimum health is a way to support the intelligence of the body. When your body and emotions function optimally, you are better equipped to turn around the body’s stress drug—cortisol—converting it rather than storing it. Maintaining a state of mental and emotional well being boosts your immune system. When your immune system isn’t working properly, your body holds on to cortisol, increasing the tendency to store fat. The body thinks she needs to fill herself up to respond to stress. If you keep developing internal health, other aspects of health are likely to follow.

Contact Your Body Image Expert:
Coach Stephanie Wood, ICF Certified Coach, PCC

For Women and Men who Care about their Wellness &
For Wellness Professionals who Care about their Clients


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Author's Bio: 

As a Dancer, Choreographer, Personal Trainer, Body and Business Coach/Mentor, Stephanie Wood's focus is now with her Body Knowledge System ® Philosophy for Living-Doing it Your Way! (a Pioneer here/her legacy) which is a practical system to have people realize the importance of including their body’s intelligence in every choice they make (including and not limited to food, exercise, health, events, environment, work and relationships). She also enjoys Mentoring Professionals in Wellness in beginning and thriving within their new entrepreneurial business. Certifications are available.