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Gone With the Glands

Gone With the Glands

When I think of gone with glands and the real gland problems, I am reminded of Lizzie Velasquez. (See Ms. Velasquez’s movie: A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story.

I love listening to Lizzie’s speeches and her unwavering motivation against bullying. Anytime I hear someone complain about having excess weight, I roll my eyes and think about Lizzie. See Lizzie has a condition that does not allow her to accumulate body fat. This is a very unhealthy condition and it leaves a person looking very gaunt. So, when someone complains that they have a “gland problem,” I don’t argue it. But, you have to stop and think how those fat glands got there in the first place.

Is it all Gone With the Glands?

Was it the over-active mouth gland? The carbohydrate-craving gland? Maybe the stressomania gland? The stop-sleep gland? The I-hate-sunshine gland? The I-hate-myself gland?

Glands or more accurately, the endocrine glands, regulate your body functions. Their small excretions regulate your body temperature, reproduction, reaction to stress, muscle growth, mood, appetite and metabolism. (There are seven basic endocrine glands, which also respond to the yoga chakras.)

If the endocrine glands are out of whack, then the rest of your body is as well. I know first hand what it is like to have over-worked adrenal glands. It upsets sleep, raises stress, kills appetite and takes away any kind of enthusiasm for reproduction and life in general.

But, this is not a gripe session or PMS (Poor Me Syndrome). It is a quick pep talk to get you back on track.

First, eat some protein at every meal. (I know that many cleansing diets demand abstaining from meat or high protein foods. But, when you are done your cleanse, get back into eating more protein.) This will do a few things. It will SLOW DOWN your metabolism by giving your body a steady level of energy. Protein foods will minimize the insulin highs and lows that you get from consuming sugar. Also, the protein will feed your muscles, brain cells, skin, hair, nails and everything else in your body.

Most of the strong and active men and women whom I have interviewed and known personally, consistently eat protein foods. One skating instructor, turned kick-boxing instructor, Val, ate egg whites and oatmeal almost every morning. And she was fit and solid.

Second on the hormone-balancing plan is to e-x-e-r-c-i-s-e. Even with this current COVID-19, I still take the time to exercise. It takes no equipment or special talent to do squats, push ups and crunches in front of the television set. I knew an Arnis (Filipino stick fighting) instructor and lawyer who would perform leg raises while watching television. One day, he did 1,000. This morning, during our virus emergency lock-down, I was leading friends through a Pilates and stretching routine over the internet. By moving around, you are assisting digestion, improving circulation and mood.

Which brings us to stress management. You need to have a bit of stress in your life to keep you alert. To be honest, I kind of like the rush of certain stress. It gives me a bit more drive. It adds to the excitement of living. But, too much for too long will wear you down. It also produces excess cortisol which causes weight gain. Diet, exercise and a calm disposition can help manage excess stress.

Caffeine. In her book, Caffeine Makes Me Bleed by Susan Lynn describes how after 39 years of consuming coffee, tea, colas and chocolate that she began to bleed internally and lose her health. (If you read her book, you can see the high stress of construction during the 80’s was also destroying her health). I will not deny that many high performers, writers and athletes enjoy their morning coffee. And I refuse to give up on dark chocolate. But, the if you are having hormonal imbalances, it might be time to dial back the coffee habit.

Sugar. Don’t kid yourself on this one. In his book, Sugar Blues, celebrity reporter, William Dufty totally slags sugar. As much as I like the taste, this stuff is in almost every food and wrecks havoc on your health. Cut back on this now. That means less pop, pastries and processed breakfast cereals. Even ketchup. If you have to, eat some protein first, please.

Finally, I will harp on getting good, sound sleep. In the army, I learned to sleep almost anywhere. The rule of survival, was to eat and sleep every chance that you got because you often did not know when the next meal or rest period came sometimes. Lack of sleep can increase insulin resistance and aggravate diabetes. It can also increase the hormones leptin and ghrelin, which increase appetite. Sleep-starved shift workers often crave high carbohydrate foods. (Stick to the high protein foods. Eat the eggs, skip the toast, etc.)

Maybe, by now you might be nodding and admitting that you have some control on your hormonal balancing. Take a good look at your last few months of Gone With the Glands style of eating, working, exercising and sleeping and often the answer to your gland problem could be right there in front of you.

Learn more in the book: Flat Gut After 50

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