April 12th & 13th 2024

50 Mile | Marathon | TS Half

Blissful Balance

Michele Yates is a mom, pup mom, athlete, business owner, and volunteer youth coach from Conifer, Colorado. She graduated from the University of Nevada Las Vegas with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and concentration in fitness management. She holds numerous certifications such as holistic nutrition, life coaching, cross country, track and field, and soccer. She continues to compete at the masters level in ultra running, track, road running, and mountain biking. Her businesses include Rugged Running (holistic approach to running programming), Shrugged (a faith based fitness program for women), and volunteer youth coach at Mountain Movers kids. Michele has over 2 decades of coaching and competition experience.

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Blissful Balance… sounds nice doesn’t it? But how do we, as moms, sisters, spouses, house cleaners, cooks, workers, taxis, dog poop picker uppers find this so-called balance? 

By understanding our hormones. You know, those things that make you cranky, eat boxes of chocolates, and cause all sorts of weirdness in you?

Hormones are one of those complex things that without balance our bodies physically, mentally, emotionally are chaotic. Let’s cover the basics first although there is nothing basic about hormones!. 

Hormones: chemicals that coordinate different functions in your body by carrying messages through your blood to your organs, skin, muscles and other tissues. 

There are all different types of hormones that are mostly produced by our endocrine glands (thyroid, adrenals etc). 

For example: Oxytocin is sometimes called the “love hormone” because it’s released when people cuddle, and is thought to be involved in mother-child bonding. So get your cuddles in today! 

Some of the top other hormones that are often imbalanced in our fast past world today are: 

  • Estrogen and progesterone – master female hormones
  • Testosterone and Dehydroepiandrosterone (dhea) – build and maintain muscle bone density
  • Adrenal hormones – stress levels 

And the sad thing is, we tend to ignore these issues or don’t even realize them because we were raised to keep pushing! Not always a bad thing but after some pushing should come resting too!

So besides for over training, over doing things and being overly stressed what are other reasons we find ourselves with hormones imbalances that maybe causing a ton of symptoms like: Fatigue, weight gain, low energy, low sex drive, low ambition, low motivation, foggy brain, or even sometimes the opposite of these? 

Products: zeno estrogens – is a chemical in the environment- that once absorbed in the system, it acts like estrogen and blocks real estrogen and causes havoc – these types can be found in makeups, lotions, and detergents.

So what are our lab results telling us with correlations with symptoms? 

  1. If you are on birth control for a long time… All ages can battle an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone. How’s your estrogen and progesterone?
  2. Lack of progesterone = not ovulating -progesterone is a benign balance hormone 
  3. Estrogen has to do with the growth hormone and no it’s not just for growth, it has important physiological duties too!

Don’t think it will catch up with you? Think again! 

Research is proven that most women walk around with too much estrogen nowadays. 

For example: Estrogen deficiency was typically in menopause but most ladies now experiencing menopause are estrogen dominant which causes that wonderful weight gain. 

And the list goes on… 

  • Heavy, painful, crampy- too much estrogen and not enough progesterone
  • PMS- sore breasts, bloating
  • Related issues with thyroid if imbalance 

What other hormones are we not in balance with? 

  1. Testosterone Dhea – low sex drive, ambition, motivation, focal cognition, fatigued, losing lean muscle- gaining fat.. Exercise intolerant 
  2. High levels PCOS – lots of cysts and androgens, infertility, edgy, irritable, facial/body hair in excess, acne 
  3. And how about those adrenals and cortisol levels? 

I find it ironic that our normal/healthy cortisol levels are supposed to mimic a rainbow like curve. Yet we are anything but living the pot of gold life!… Instead we are constantly chasing it.

Cortisols: stress hormones/adrenal function

  • Women find their adrenal levels are actually low, but it tricks you!!!! – They aren’t high (as you all think because you (me too) are all stressed) because you surpassed that point and now your adrenals are completely tapped out and reporting low! 
  • Cortisol is supposed be higher in the morning then gradual at night for sleep (research is now reporting the reverse of that) 
  • This causes imbalance throughout your system- Appetite hormones, immunity, you name it.

Adrenals are pretty resilient; they can come back but we need to make changes in life before it’s too late! Do you have the symptoms? Are you taking care? Have you considered testing if you struggle with these things? 

  • Weight gain 
  • Aches 
  • Fatigue 
  • Nausea 
  • Muscle weakness 
  • Anxiety 
  • GI issues 
  • Insomnia 
  • Mood changes 
  • Headaches 

Let’s talk about some healthy habits changing… 

Habits that can be contributing to hormone imbalance:

  1. Nutrition- producing hormones naturally (protein and good fats) are the building blocks of hormones (do you know what your protein amount should be daily? we can help you out with that!) 
  2. Cholesterol is actually the foundation of hormones- plant based eaters aren’t always aware of how to combine- bean with rice- … remember the protein and healthy fats!!!!
  3. Rugged Running stresses the 4 pillars of Nutrition: protein, healthy Fats, carbohydrates and fiber 

All are important for all of them to work together to provide correct absorption. Yes! Including some carbohydrates! 

You see, your metabolism is like a bonfire. If you put too little fuel on it, the fire will go out or burn dim, if you put too much (especially crap) on it, it will also go out, but if you put just the right amount on it, and continue to feed the fire with healthy fuel.. it will blaze! 

Amino Acids: our bodies make 11 amino acids and 9 others we have to get from our food! Amino acids are molecules that combine to form proteins. Amino acids and proteins are the building blocks of life. 

AA examples: Quinoa, eggs, fish, legumes, etc

Could they possibly help that much? YES!
Amino acids help:

  • Break down food
  • Grow and repair body tissue
  • Make hormones and brain chemicals (neurotransmitters)
  • Provide an energy source. 
  • Maintain healthy skin, hair and nails
  • Build muscle
  • Boost your immune system
  • Sustain a normal digestive system 

Ultimately one can always benefit from a Holistic Training approach. One that includes cardio, strength training, mobility, nutrition, recovery and methods = balance! 

So what do we not wrestle with and just do to give the world the best of us and not the rest of us? 

Non-negotiable habits to maintain/health hormones:

  1. Products you use – from body lotion to food – NON HORMONAL- avoid ZENO estrogens
  2. Nutrition – amino acids, not eating enough, fueling your body well enough, keeping your fire burning!

Another final tip is to work with your hormone cycles, not against them! 

Cycle Syncing is adjusting your life around the phases of your menstrual cycle. Yes there are phases ladies! It recognizes the rise and fall of your sex hormones. Hopefully they are working correctly that can leave you feeling happy, sad, energetic, fatigued, and cranky.

Seasons phases 

  1. 1st week and 2nd week: of the month (after your period) most creative, active, higher energy (ease into your training routine but then go ahead…hammer out some intervals and mountain climbing!) 
  2. 3rd week: reduce workload, here comes mother flow! Schedule yourself your time!
  3. 4th week: letting go period, don’t work out like crazy, self care, more mobility, no big family plans. Or prep beforehand. Be sure to have dinners prepped, kid transportation help, and so on. Just in case you feel miserable. 

Blissful Balance will take some effort. Time and energy management are both equally important in devising a plan that works with you not against you when it comes to hormones! As you see above, a holistic approach to exercise/health/wellness on a level is valuable.

About the Author

Michele Yates is a mom, pup mom, athlete, business owner, and volunteer youth coach from Conifer, Colorado. She graduated from the University of Nevada Las Vegas with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and concentration in fitness management. She holds numerous certifications such as holistic nutrition, life coaching, cross country, track and field, and soccer. She continues to compete at the masters level in ultra running, track, road running, and mountain biking. Her businesses include Rugged Running (holistic approach to running programming), Shrugged (a faith based fitness program for women), and volunteer youth coach at Mountain Movers kids. Michele has over 2 decades of coaching and competition experience.

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