How many of you work really hard to lose weight only to fail continually? Weight loss is something so many are seeking yet aren’t achieving. Part of the reason is that we are not looking at the most efficient solution. Maybe if we changed the focus, we would approach our mission in a different way.
When I was in university taking exercise physiology, I learned that there are only two times in our life when we actually increase the number of fat cells in the body: when we are babies; and when we hit puberty. Otherwise, if our size is increasing, it is because the fat cells are expanding. So what makes them expand?
When we breathe consciously and practice proper posture, we keep the cells in the body intact and in their appropriate positions. When we don’t, the chest literally collapses into the core of the body, taking away our inner space and limiting the diaphragm’s ability to function. The result is a displacement of tissue outward, also known as bulging belly and love handles. This is why it is harder to “lose weight” as we get older. It isn’t the weight we should be trying to lose; it is the internal space we should be focused on gaining.
Before, when I was working so hard to change my shape, I would go for five mile runs, do Tae-Bo and aerobics, and, although dripping with sweat, find many areas on my body ice cold: notably my abdomen. It would drive me crazy because that was the area I most wanted to change. When I dove my hand into it that first night, the night of my anxiety attack, I felt not only pain, but also scar tissue.
Once I caught my breath and got past the initial sensations, I noticed that the area felt marbled. This didn’t make sense. I hadn’t had any injuries or surgeries there, yet it felt the same as the scar tissue I massaged every day in patients.
Then it hit me: why all those years of hard work had accomplished nothing. This compressed, dense tissue was acting as a barrier to blood flow. How could I possibly metabolize fat if the blood couldn’t get to it? It needed to be decompressed, and that is exactly what was happening with this intuitive process.
Somewhere along the way it struck me: rather than hold the stomach in, we need to squeeze the belly small. The idea of making the abdomen large with the inhalation and small with the exhalation brought a whole new understanding to me. At first it felt very wrong, making my belly big on purpose, but I quickly learned that the combined massage and controlled use of the diaphragm muscle was changing the shape of my core.
People started commenting that I was looking better. I started to understand that aligning the tissue properly was more important than literal weight loss. I could feel and see the release of weight and tension, and the quality of my tissue was improving in general. I had a different perspective that made total sense and was actually working.
Check out this great video with one of our fascia masters, Diane Heisner, as she discusses weight loss with Deanna and Quinn.
Next week: My Block Story – Anxiety, Size Loss and Pain Management