How Stress Affects Skinny-fat People

Hey, readers!

I’d vowed to post on how stress correlates to skinny-fat and here’s a product of my promise to you.I’m going to go real slow and attempt to explain things without much scientific jargon here.

Most people are unaware of the fact that the way they feel and/or think DOES and WILL affect their bodies. Therefore, the more you tell yourself you can’t do something, the more you believe that sentiment and thought. This thought is then translated in the inability to do a certain act. Likewise, the more you tell yourself you can do something, your mind will internalize the belief till there comes a point when you can actually do that certain act. Thus the thought is executed and then, *boom* becomes an act or action.

Now, this is a simpler analogy of what thoughts and therefore, the mind CAN do to your body. Let’s get into the details to explain why skinny-fats are or stay skinny-fat, where stress is concerned.

What is stress?

Stress is a natural reaction to danger that can come in any form. Maybe you’re going through a divorce or you were thinking about the awful day you had at work. Or perhaps, you like somebody that doesn’t like you back or you might have been reliving your past.

Alternatively you might experience stress because of a quarrel or someone might be headed your way with a bat or you might have crashed your vehicle in a tree or into another car.

All of these are examples of ‘dangers’ and incidences that act as stimuli for the brain. The brain signals your nervous system to prepare you by producing the stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline and you experience a fight or flight moment.

This is not a bad thing. It’s just the way your body is made to function.

Why is it bad for skinny-fat people?

When your body produces cortisol, the stress hormone does the following:

  • Breaks down fat stored in your body, for energy. If this is NOT used, the body fat will be relocated to the midsection thus causing you to gain fat specially around that area.
  • Breaks down muscle (or amino acids in your muscles), again, for energy and the byproduct of the process is glucose aka sugar, which is again stored as fat AROUND YOUR MIDSECTION (it’s like your midsection just can’t catch a break!)
  • Enables your body to reduce testosterone levels. This causes you to gain weight…..guess where? AROUND YOUR MIDSECTION, chest and legs! Additionally, you cannot ‘gain size’ either.

Consequentially, you cannot ‘gain mass’ because….you know….cortisol. AND though you CAN and DO lose weight……but that’s because your body is attacking it’s muscles! Imagine the process repeating itself on a daily basis- you end up becoming flabby, fat and voila, skinny-fat. This is also why a skinny-fat person cannot LOSE fat nor GAIN muscle mass.

A skinny-fat person is almost ALWAYS under some form of stress- everybody is. But the skinny-fat person deals with stress in a negative and more harmful way. I remember, when I was skinny-fat I was always under emotional and psychological stress. I’d find issues where they didn’t exist and I wouldn’t allow my body to get with Elsa and JUST LET THINGS GO.

This is not applicable only to skinny-fat people. What I’ve explained above is experienced by everyone but they are better at handling stress than a skinny-fat person. I, for instance, would stress out more easily over, say, poor grades and test scores than my fitter counterparts who would just let things slide and work towards improving their grades. I couldn’t let my past failures go and would dwell on them and lo and behold, the past would  repeat itself!

So you see, a skinny-fat person is not BORN skinny-fat and a fit person is not just born with a six-pack. What gets you to where your body is the way you live your life, your perceptions and how you deal with life in general. I know numerous people who were fitter as they were younger but became skinny-fat or just fat due to their circumstances.

How does one undo this?

What I do or tell my clients to do is to

  • Accept things as they are and find a way to deal with them in a constructive manner
  • Live in the now rather than thinking about the past or the future
  • Hit the gym, pump some iron and focus on a healthy, constructive workout routine and diet plan
  • Channel that energy and stress by lifting weights
  • Talk to their trainers, coaches (or me) to help them deal with stress factors and

The minute I learned to just let things go and deal with life as it came, my metabolism changed and I was able to ‘fix’ my body.

At the end of the day, your body and life is a product of the way you think and perceive things. This is WHY fitness is referred to as a ‘lifestyle’. The minute you get off the bandwagon, you are at risk of repeating your past mistakes and getting back into that pit that made you fat or skinny-fat in the first place.

I hope this article helps you!

Feel free to post questions and comment in the section below 🙂


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