Science Behind Exercising the ‘Muffin Top’ Away

I will get right to it because if you are like me I would want the answer right IN MY FACE then having to read all the facts.

Many women experiencing perimenopausal weight gain increase their frequency and duration of exercise in an attempt to ‘out run’ middle-age spread, The Muffin Top. However in increasing exercise it becomes counter affective due to what is going on with our hormones. Cortisol is increased and the body cannot use it so it is best to lose the ‘more is better’ mindset. Less is more in reversing the muffin top.

Want to know why and how? Continue to read below. If not just change up your routine by practicing efficiency in exercise. Choose compound, whole body movements rather than isolation exercises. Involving more muscles in your workout not only burns more calories both during the workout and later.

Now for the nitty gritty:

We all know that exercise is good for us. However did you know that it is good for hormonal balance?

It strengthens our heart, our lungs and our muscles. It helps to regulate blood sugars and fat storage. It improves bone density and stimulates the production of ‘feel good’ hormones. It’s essential for weight loss and weight maintenance.

The thing is, exercise also creates stress on the body. Not just mechanical (wear and tear on the joints) and muscular stress (aches and pains as muscles repair the micro tears created by exercise), but hormonal stress as the adrenals increase their production of cortisol to keep energy levels high and the body’s various systems running effectively.

While chronically high cortisol levels are never desirable (resulting in extreme fatigue, reduced immune response and low blood pressure, among others), they’re even less welcome in a perimenopausal body whose production of progesterone is at an all-time low.

Why? The adrenals cannot make cortisol without progesterone. The more cortisol they’re required to make to offset stress, the less progesterone will be available to balance estrogen and testosterone. Without the balancing effects of progesterone, excess estrogen often leads to weight gain, in particular, an increase in the body’s central fat stores. Hello muffin-top.

Clearly we need to balance the benefits of exercise with the potential costs of elevated stress. I call this ‘exercise for hormonal balance’ and suggest the following:

Again. Lose the ‘more is better’ mindset. Shorter, more intense workouts will stimulate cortisol production less than longer, less intense workouts. Think cardio intervals rather than long, slow runs. If you’re having a hard time letting go of this mindset, think of how many over-40 women you know who’ve trained for a half- or full-marathon and failed to lose or maintain weight despite the volume of their training.

Let me reiterate – Practice efficiency in exercise. Choose compound, whole body movements rather than isolation exercises. Involving more muscles in your workout not only burns more calories (both during the workout and later), it also reduces the length of your training session. I prefer metabolic circuits over body-part splits for myself and my 40+ female clients.

Add more non-exercise movement to your day. As cliche as it sounds, taking the stairs, parking farther from the mall, carrying your groceries rather than pushing a cart, hanging the laundry to dry and washing floors all help to increase your metabolism without causing hormonal stress on your body.

Engage in formal exercise 4 or 5 days per week. For best results, alternate strength and cardiovascular training days, keeping each workout between 30 and 45 minutes in length.


What I believe running can do for you …..

…as it has done for me. There is a sense of therapy when I run.

Running can do the same for you:

  • Brought me some peace of mind. I am able to calm my self talk to where it’s no longer just white noise.
  • It improves my self confidence. I mean if I just ran then what else can I do?
  • It has brought a community of people into my life that share this desire to run. I have found some great friends that support me as I support them.

I go more into depth in this video. (Trying something new. Yikes. Scary)

There I posted a video. Not fond of the angle or how I slouched but you know what I’m getting away from being “perfect”. 

Comment below what running has done for you or share what you would want from running.

Health and Healing


This morning while taking kids to school we were praying for our day. I heard myself thanking God that we can walk in His health and healing. 

Fitness and being healthy have a stigma of vanity. However it is so much more then that. The enemy has allowed the focus of being fit to be all about oneself and how do I look. How I look will make who I am in front of people. In reality though being fit is necessary for what God has called us to do.   
When we are strong and healthy we can have the energy to pursue daily our purpose. We can have the strength to give of ourselves to others. God died for us to be healthy and whole. We must take care of the gift of our bodies for that reason. 

Do not get me wrong. When I train with weights I am wanting some muscle definition because I like to be toned. But my end goal is to be strong so I can live a long life for my husband, kids, family, friends and people that I may be fortunate to encourage. 

So today pray with me that we will walk in God’s healing and health! 

May we be strong mind, body and soul to do what God created us to do. 

MY emotional eating 

So to not be misleading, this post is not about 5 steps in how to stop eating emotionally. *sigh* It is about my emotional eating. Maybe however it will help….

There’s so much to say since it is a subject with layers. For today though I want share how I let myself be soothed with food when feeling like I’ve made a decision or about to make a decision. What do I mean? You know we have these moments in life where we have to make a “life” decision, like for example: I have determined to push deeper in being a better group leader at church.

To take it one step back I believe in my heart that I can help people through relationship and speaking/teaching. I shy away, get unsure of myself or just become lazy with it. I allow feelings of “I’m not worthy”, “why would anyone learn from me”to become what I believe.  So to take back truth from the hands of lies I find myself emotional. From these emotions I seem to loose control sending me to find control through food.

Another example is my swaying back and forth of do I or do not finish my degree. I think it will help but then you see the many people who have degrees working completely different jobs or people without degrees excelling I don’t know what to do.  Since I don’t have that decision set in stone I seek answers by  controling what goes in my mouth. That’s the problem, no answers are found this way.

Sometimes I feel kinda cheesy but I know it’s how the devil attacks me. The time I have wasted eating for no good reason, the time I spend thinking of food, the time I spend beating myself up over it is wasted time. It’s a clever way to get me where it counts. It hits my self esteem making me feel unworthy. I find myself going to my emotions as a guide who only leads me to the same beaten path.

I’ve come out of it time and time again however I think it’s time to just be bold and say no more. I am looking at what I want to accomplish next and don’t want to waste time. I don’t want to waste the gift within me. I have made some changes in that I’m being still in prayer. Finding patience within this time of prayer is letting go and requires me to not follow emotions. We have to learn to set our emotions aside.  I don’t have the answer to that but I’m working on it. Running this week has really helped to quiet myself down to think without emotions. I love running. In times like these I find balance and hope for what is ahead……

My verse for being still is:

A man’s gift makes room for him And brings him before great men.

Proverbs 18:16 (NASB)

……….to be continued 

Wellness Coaching

  I love health. I love the peace of mind running has brought me. I love helping people. Put it all together and what do you have? 

Me. A wellness coach!! 

….more to come but I needed to put it out there. Face my fear in its eyes. 



In the past months we have been enjoying life and with all it’s twist and turns. I lost track of actually writing even though I mentally blogged everyday. I think wordpress needs to add the option of blogging through telepathy! Hey maybe I should work on that….it could a huge money making business.

….what is Life? Many answers and questions to the simple 4 letter word yet so complicated all at once.  So for the moment I will answer this question with the following:

L – loving those around us. There is not one person who does not want love. Loving life and loving people. God gave us love to give and receive. Yes, as we give we should also open our hearts for others to love us.

I – invest in both oneself and those around us. We can find ourselves in the act of giving. It may take work or a step in faith but the reward of investing and giving to those in your life is well worth it.

F – find the best in those around you. Yes, give people the benefit of doubt. We live such guarded lives that it builds all these walls that hinder us. When we can take ourselves and people for good we will rise to that.

E – Enjoy. Take the time to really take in what you do have and not what you do not. Finding contentment is not settling but bringing in an enjoyment of life.

I realize that I did not say anything new then what we read and hear all the time.  However maybe in some way it serves as reminder and encouragement that we have a life to live so find the joy in all it’s twist and turns.

Easter Morning Run


What better way to reflect on the truth ‘He is Risen’ with a morning run? Huh?! Why? Trust me we saw the families in their cars in their Easter best, dresses, suites and ties (suite and ties JT voice playing here) heading for church making me think we must look weird. However as the drizzle fell on us and we took breaths of fresh air I was reminded that I am alive. 

I am literally alive because He, Jesus is alive. He is alive in me. I have a hope and trust that I’m living my life to the fullest through Him.  I can see His healing and forgiveness in my life as I’ve given way for it.

Because He is alive I can do all things through His strength. Many times while running I have been reminded of how strong I can be.  In the miles I have found encouragement that I can go for the dream in my heart. 

Because He is alive my life is filled with love that conquers all. When we moved into our new house Delisa was having trouble sleeping in her new room saying she was scared. We taught her I John 4:18, where there is love there is no fear.  I have felt that love that conquers fear as I’ve crossed the finish line knowing that His love is alive in me. 

So as I ran this morning I felt an overwhelming gratitude for the One who has given me resurrection life.  He is present with me in quiet moments. He is present with me in the day to day moments. He is present with me as laugh with family and friends. He is present with me as cry with my husband. In Pastor Ross’ words: His resurrection life is present within me, re-orienting our reality and releasing faith for what is possible! 

So with laced up running shoes I run the race before me with confidence that my God is alive in me!