Ultimately, most people fail when they do programs and processes to heal fatigue, burnout, and exhaustion because the current model for this problem doesn’t understand the cellular reality.
Let’s explore some common methods:
One of the most popular is fasting. It’s become very popular to cite studies showing that fasting rejuvenates the body. Many will say it recovers cell energy, but here’s the problem with that.
Eliminating or limiting food in an exhausted body will cause your cells to drop into an even lower energy state as they try to survive. Cortisol is the main hormone used to do this, from a cortisol state, our cells become less responsive to insulin, our metabolism of essential nutrients slows down and we begin to age. From this place, your body isn’t dedicating any energy to repair because it lacks the capacity to do so.
Now in some limited cases, fasting can be a beautiful tool and there’s two situations where it works very well.
Number one is you’re actually in a rather good state. You have great cellular energy, you’ve been feeding your cells brilliantly, your liver has plenty of stored glycogen, your body’s really performing well and you don’t have any Thyroid problems or Adrenal problems.
Now, the second state where fasting can be used effectively is if you’re able to do nothing. So in that condition, you adopt a fasting program and your life synchronizes with the low energy usage, meaning you’re able to actually stop, not work, not clean house, not run errands or stress pretty much at all.
But what’s interesting is that there are studies that show that adopting cellular, restorative foods, while limiting toxic things like polyunsaturated fats, has the same effect, if not better than fasting or deep caloric restriction on improving the functional ability of the cells to work without invoking the stress component.
This is something that very few people talk about.
When we fast, our body has to mobilize free fatty acids and proteins from our own tissues in order to regulate blood sugar so that we don’t pass out.
In a healthy body, this can be done without ruining the cellular metabolism, but in an unhealthy body, this creates more stress.
Lacking food, the cells drop into a vastly deeper state of slow energy and slow function because they get the message: There isn’t enough. We aren’t nourished. We don’t have the nutrients, we can’t keep this up.
This is what fasting tells them.
As a result, fasting in this scenario does not produce lasting changes to cell function except for in the negative.
Now, another common behavior in the recovering energy function health world is for people to advocate for small, short burst exercise sessions because they claim that it creates a temporary stress state that then allows the body to do bigger recovery, which is true if you live in a highly functioning body.
But if you’re functioning from a low cellular energy state, then those techniques are going to further tax you and as a result your cells are going to drop again into the stress state, which is also a clampdown state where your body goes into reactionary mode and you can’t move forward.
Now, when we are in our twenties and thirties these methods appear to work at least for a time, but the truth is told in what happens with our health plans as we cross the bridge of 35-50.
When I was in my twenties I thought, this is easy, you just do x, y, and z, and boom, feel better. When I was in my thirties…if I just take just the right blend of herbs, just the right blend of specialty supplements and work out hard enough…. energy.
What I found consistently is that it didn’t last and when I studied it in women over 40 I found that the scenario was different and I kept asking the question, why? Why is it different in women over 40 what’s the difference?
The difference is this: there comes a point where your cell energy metabolism cannot keep up the pace any longer. It cannot do the game of pretend any more. As a result, you start to get the reality of where you’ve actually been living, the place your body had actually been operating from while doing a multitude of metabolic work arounds using stress hormones to make you think it was all okay.
That’s the difference. A lot of practitioners either don’t care, aren’t paying attention, or they haven’t made that connection yet. Many doctors rely solely on the mainstream model and huge pharma sponsored studies, it’s even worse in the health coaching community because most of those practitioners have never worked with clients tangibly one-to-one, and they don’t have a methodology to understand the complex nuances of the body. Our biology is not simple and just because someone has “healed” themselves does not make them an expert in the nuances of other humans, their history, chemistry, biology and how it intersects with our DIVINE template.
My concern is, this paradigm is so popular right now that come five years out, we’re going to have an entire population of women who have fasted and high intensity themselves into a pit that they cannot get out of.
At the heart of it, these methods aren’t just metabolically misjudged, they invoke something much more serious.
We have entered a time where popular thought is…our body is so simple and unsophisticated, a few tweaks and we’re there. But, having studied Chinese Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, Functional Medicine, Biological Medicine and all things in between for over 20 years, what I can say is…our beautiful DIVINE bodies are complex, dynamic, intricate and extremely sophisticated and our healers and our healing needs to respect that or we will barely scratch the surface.