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Sustained Change can be Hard

street-sign-keep-goingSustained change can be hard.

It’s doubly hard if you have made a break from the life you were living and have been successfully living something new.  Like weight loss. Like Paleo.  You may well find that your success meets with resistance.

“Most of us have two lives.  The life we live and the unlived life within us.  Between the two stands resistance.” Steven Pressfield

When you succeed, your success can become an uncomfortable reminder of that “unlived life” to others.

What a powerful gift you offer!  However, don’t dwell on this, don’t try to own it or prove it, it’s simpler than that.  Let go and simply remember to keep walking one foot in front of the other.  As we wrote yesterday, this is a process of continual renewal.

“Often couples or close friends, even entire families will enter into tacit compacts whereby each individual pledges (unconsciously) to remain mired in the same slough in which she and all her cronies have become so comfortable.  The highest treason a crab can commit is to make a leap for the rim of the bucket…..be ruthless, not only with yourself but with others.  Once you make your break you can’t turn round for your buddy who catches his trouser leg on the barbed wire.  The best thing you can do for that friend (and he’d tell you this himself, if he really is your friend) is to get over the wall and keep motating.”

Steven Pressfield: The War of Art.

And why is this relevant to this paleo life?  Sometimes we meet resistance in the most unexpected places.  Sometimes we go into battle with resistance on our own sometimes we battle powerful allies: friends, partners, mothers, lovers and the closer these allies are the more powerful the emotion at play.  In the end however, there is only one answer and it falls to you to decide: do it or don’t.

Good luck and go on…give it your best shot!

Weight Loss and Sleep

weight-loss-and-sleep

Weight loss: are you getting enough sleep?   It’s a serious question..Take a look at this:

It’s 2004 (6 December 2004) and the headline reads:

“Sleep loss, appetite and weight gain”

Did you see it?  The article goes on to confirm  that researchers at the University of Chicago  have found that partial sleep deprivation alters the circulating levels of the hormones that regulate hunger, causing an increase in appetite and a preference for calorie-dense, high-carbohydrate foods.

So this study (published in the 7 Dec. 2004 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine), gives us a mechanism linking sleep loss to the current epidemic of obesity.

In the experiment, research subjects (who slept only four hours a night for two nights) had an 18 percent decrease in leptin, the hormone that tells the brain there is no need for more food, and a 28 percent increase in ghrelin, the hormone that triggers hunger.

The study volunteers, all healthy young men, reported a 24 percent increase in appetite, with a surge in desire for sweets, such as candy and cookies, salty foods such as chips and nuts, and starchy foods such as bread and pasta.  Aha!

“This is the first study to show that sleep is a major regulator of these two hormones and to correlate the extent of the hormonal changes with the magnitude of the hunger change,” said Professor-Eve-Van-CauterEve Van Cauter, PhD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago. “It provides biochemical evidence connecting the trend toward chronic sleep curtailment to obesity and its consequences, including metabolic syndrome and diabetes.”

Need more convincing?  Take a look at this study on 5 and 6 year old children that concluded the prevalence of obesity was increased as sleep amount decreased, independently of other factors..Or this study of sleep deprived animals that showed a strong preference for a high- carbohydrate diet.  Scientists have known for years that lack of sleep can lead to weight gain and obesity: are you getting enough?

“Our modern industrial society seems to have forgotten the importance of sleep,” Van Cauter said. “We are all under pressure to perform, in school, at work, in social and professional settings, and tempted by multiple diversions. There is a sense that you can pack in more of life by skimping on sleep. But we are finding that people tend to replace reduced sleep with added calories, and that’s not a healthy trade.”

It could explain why so many of us who are chronically sleep-deprived also are overweight. And it could be part of the reason sleepy new parents, stay-up-late college students and shift workers pile on the pounds.

Sound familiar?  Does pressure of work and limited “down time” make you want to trade in your sleep time for more TV?  It’s a small change to your routine but the pay-off can be spectacular in terms of cravings and hunger..try it and see!

Weight loss and sleep, tell us how it’s working for you?  Sharing is fun!

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