Adrenal Fatigue and that 15 Pound Weight Gain Conundrum

You’re feeling those rolls of fat around your stomach in disgust, aren’t you.
You’re beating up on yourself for having let this happen.
You’re feeling devastated by this and hopeless about finding a way back to a normal body weight that feels good for you.

How do I know? Because I was there, sitting uncomfortably in my own body, carrying excess weight that NEVER used to be there.

I was in a fit, healthy body for the majority of my life. I ate healthily and exercise was always important to me. I loved cycling, lifted weights and did hatha yoga classes each week. I was healthy and my body was at a healthy weight.

And then …………… major stress and this adrenal fatigue thing hit.  And hit me hard! Before I knew it, I had gained an extra 15 pounds. I felt like a foreigner in my body, especially since excess weight had NEVER been an issue for me.  I was not used to being in a body that felt like that. I didn’t know what to make of it.

So yes I understand, fully!


I found a different way to deal with this. And I did find a way to get my body weight (AND MY HEALTH) back into balance.

So you’ve had your time with this beating up on yourself approach and now I’m here to say STOP IT.  

Do you want to spend the next 3, 6, 12 months beating yourself up because there’s some extra body fat going on? OMG, don’t do that to yourself.

It’s time to understand WHAT IS GOING ON and what you CAN DO T’O CHANGE THIS and bring your natural body weight back to balance.

Ok. Are you ready for a reframe?

First up – thank your body for doing its job perfectly.

You’ve been dealing with stress, right? chronic stress! And it’s probably being going on for quite some time. So when your body gets stressed, there is all this extra stress hormone release such as cortisol from your adrenal glands.

Cortisol is simply doing its job in response to a body that is in stress mode. It’s protecting you, building up the fat in your body especially around your middle and your thighs (I know just where you want it right 😊 ) to protect you for a possible famine. Halleluia, thank you body for doing your job perfectly.

This is NOT your body doing something TO you, it is your body responding naturally to your state of being in a stress response.

Every time you get yourself into this fight-or-flight (stressed) state, there’s different systems in your body that slow down like your digestive and sexual function.

Basically, processes that are not needed at optimum functioning are set to rest because you’ve got a fight-or-flight situation to deal with and blood needs to move away from your digestive and sexual functions and instead pump into your arms and legs. Your heart rate and blood pressure also need to increase (but note that this is just meant to be for a short time). When the fight-or-flight situation is over and you allow yourself to rest and digest (very important), the systems in your body are then allowed to come back into balance.

The reason this goes pear shaped however is because in our modern-day world our fight-or-flight response is going off far too often. Research suggests that for many people this stress response is going off 50-100 times a day and if you’re extremely stressed, goodness this number can go through the roof.

The fight-or-flight response is supposed to be a short-term thing to get you out of a situation that may be dangerous for you.

I remember a situation in 2015 where I had a fire going on in my unit. Oh my goodness, my fight-or-flight response had to get into action big time, so I could deal with what was happening. I could feel the changes going on in the physiology of my body as I was going through this crisis.

My fight-or-flight response was working exactly as it was meant to for me, and it is in these types of situations when we want it to kick in. It served me well in first trying to put the fire out myself and then very quickly deciding to call the fire brigade. It helped me make some lightning fast decisions and take immediate action; and thankfully this situation did work out ok in the end, with no-one being hurt.

After this fight-or-flight response has been in action your body kicks in with the opposite response, the relaxation response (otherwise known as rest and digest) to help restore your system back to balance and it is important to take the time to settle yourself back down and slow down to help further activate a calming response inside of you. After my fire event, I made a very conscious intention over the following 24-48 hours to purposefully and mindfully settle my system.


One of the next key things is to begin to change the thoughts you are having about your body.

This is where you start your reframe.

Continuing to have these old thoughts of oh my god, I hate this body and all this extra body fat is going to create further stress and perpetuate the cycle of stress in your body and increase your potential to gain more body fat, yikes!!

So creating opposite thoughts now needs to be top of your agenda, where you create a new story and a new feeling. Thoughts like these are going to carry you forward.
Thank you body for doing what you were designed to do.
I respect that you have now given me this profound message that I need to make changes in my life.
I honour all that you do for me and I choose to be gentle with you.
I am creating the relaxation that you need to come back to balance.

Essentially these kinds of thoughts and statements create a relaxation response in your body where you create the opposite effect to the stress response. In this relaxation response you are going to be releasing the more calming hormones into your body and they won’t play the role of wanting to increase body fat around your middle and your thighs or wherever else it wants to go, they will allow your body to return in time to its natural body weight.

So every time you want to go in the direction of
I can’t stand this body fat,
I can’t stand this extra weight and when is it going to go,
I want you to see that as a perfect time to flip the thought. In that moment you’re going to recognise that the old thought is there and say something kinder to yourself like

Thank your body for all that you’re doing for me.
Thank you body for working perfectly for me.
Thank you for the profound messages that you’re waking me up to.

You can also put your hands on the areas that are carrying the extra body fat, whether it’s your stomach, thighs or somewhere else and choose now to send this area love, gentleness and compassion. Tell your body
I love you, I respect you, I honour you.
Everything that you say and every thought and emotion is responded to in the cells of your body.

This is your practise for at least 30 days to really cement the habit. Keep doing it over and over until you retrain a new way of thinking about your body and health. Don’t give up after 2 or 3 days, stay with the process. 

And please let go of how quickly this is supposedly meant to happen.

Your body will come back to balance in the most perfect time. Nobody’s going to love you any less because you are carrying an extra 10 pounds (and if they do I would be bidding them a quick farewell). We are so hard on ourselves and for what? Who does that serve? No-one.

This extra body fat is just a knock-on effect of a previous way of living and a previous thought process about your life that has created stress. What you are doing now is creating a new you who will show up in your future. It will just take a little lag time. Don’t beat yourself up for what’s happened in the past because you are now making changes in the present moment that will bring you this new future (provided you stay with the new thought process). Give yourself time and learn to cultivate a deep patience, gratitude and love for yourself.

Keep engaging in practises that create a relaxation response

As you keep changing your thoughts and letting go of that which has stressed you in the first place, your body will return to balance and it will happen naturally. It’s not going to come from a place of forcing and pushing, remember that’s what got you here and it’s not what’s going to get you out of it.

Release the old mentality that says you’ve got to get on that treadmill for 45 mins and then start pumping those weights. That’s not going to work. This old way will raise your cortisol even more and you’ll get to a point where you’re so exhausted and you’re thinking I’m working so hard and I’m not getting any results. It’s because there’s too much cortisol in your body and your body is just not up for it right now.

Do restorative type activities – restorative yoga, kundalini yoga, specific yogic type breathing patterns that don’t stress you. Go on gentle walks or longer walks but keep them slow and leisurely. These are practises that will help you lose weight.

I know it’s counter intuitive, because we think we need to work so hard to get the weight off, but that’s not how it works. Restorative activities allow you to release the calming hormones and that is the place from which your body can come back to its natural balance.

So yes engage in the longer deeper practises like restorative yoga and meditative practises, but really begin to take advantage of the smaller moments in your life, what I refer to as “catching those 2 minute moments”.  For example, if you are sitting waiting in your car, take a moment just to be, to settle yourself, calm yourself down and that will create a relaxation response in your system.

Allowing your body and health to come back to balance is the most sacred time. It starts with you being kind, gentle and loving with yourself like never before and moving into a whole new level of care and acceptance with yourself. for 1-on-1 help for you.

Much love

Lisa xx

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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