Stress Fat

how stress hormones increase fat on your torso.

Do you have extra fat building on your torso? Releasing stress hormones continually throughout your day may be the culprit. Triggering the fight-or-flight stress response, even for just the slightest annoyance, causes you to build fat in the middle of your body, compromising your arteries and your heart. Here are the five main reasons:

  1. The first flood of hormones, catecholamines, brings fat and glucose to the center of your body so that you have plenty of energy to fight or run away. But most likely, you aren’t fighting or running, so the fat accumulates. Your body also assumes that you need to store fat to survive.
  2. These catecholamine hormones suppress your saliva ducts and your digestive system so that you don’t metabolize your food very well, causing you to store even more fat. This is because digestion takes a great deal of energy, and we need all this energy for survival.
  3. The second flood of hormones, gluco-corticoids do three things that cause fat to store. First, glucose goes out into your blood stream causing a sugar imbalance.
  4. The gluco-corticoids also suppress the thyroid gland which plays a major role in metabolism.
  5. The corticoid hormones cause the fat cells in your abdominal region to expand.

No matter what workout or diet you try, stress may still build this nasty belly fat. The solution is to stop releasing these hormones so often. I know this first hand. As I look back, I started building stress fat at age 15, when, even as a distance runner, I seemed to not have a defined waist – or at least not as defined as I wanted. I remember asking my mother about it, and I know that she didn’t want me eating any less food than I was, so she just told me that that was the way God had designed me.  Then later, I blamed all this belly fat on having three children. Not my fault, right?!

In 2010, when I created my simple Pressure-Free method, and used it every day, the belly fat just started to diminish. After about 6 weeks, there was a noticeable difference, and for the first time in my adult life, I felt like I had a defined waist! Every morning I walk my dog, and when I turned West in the morning light and could see my shadow, I really noticed a difference in my shape. I also noticed that when I sat down, instead of my fat protruding, my belly started to indent. I don’t really have a full length mirror in my house, so I am not really away of my body’s shape other than how I experience it myself.  All of this change made me wonder how my heart and arteries have changed?!

I really love coaching people and helping them reduce belly fat, plus helping people maximize their body’s ability to digest food properly is truly rewarding. Help me spread the word! Share this post with others, and comment below to inspire others!

Pressure-Free Parenting: Strategies for Better Health and Performance

With stress-based behavior so commonplace in our fast-paced society, it can be difficult to recognize what is healthy, and what is not.

  • Do you feel rushed?
  • Do you feel frustrated or anxious because you can’t get everything done?
  • Can people “push your buttons” and get a rise out of you?
  • Do you feel tense, lose sleep, eat or drink impulsively, get sick?

My eyes were opened four years ago, when I discovered how to stop triggering stress.

I had thought myself a calm person. I was a proud parent and a successful executive and violinist. I was confident and focused 90% of the time. However, I just wasn’t aware of how snippy, defensive, and frantic I would get when I triggered stress. How I would feel lousy for hours. How it was making me sick.

And how it affected my husband and children.

Stress is contagious. It’s natural to mirror or otherwise react to the emotions of those close to you.

For example, one study found that men whose wives regularly came home upset from work were twice as likely to develop heart disease as those whose wives didn’t bring work-related stress home.

Another study found that when parents of infants are under excessive strain, their babies may be more likely to develop asthma and auto-antibodies that put them at risk for diabetes.

I want to show you the simple steps I took to stop triggering stress, show you how changing your own emotional habits can help your whole family thrive.

  • calmer, more patient and attentive
  • more respectful, trusting and helpful
  • no longer arguing, bullying or competing.

Hundreds of people have used my Pressure-Free method to improve their health, relationships and performance.

Kyra Sichinga says she has improved as a parent and as a professional. The tools which are taught in the course are very practical and simple to incorporate in one’s everyday life. I have become a better mother for my daughter, a better boss for my employees and just an overall better person for the world.  Kyra Sichinga, Executive Director, Urban League


AJoe Newcomb, parent of athletefter my son’s first session with Elle, he was much more relaxed and confident. In his next race, he took nearly 40 seconds off of his time. Elle’s coaching is a big reason my son was able to earn a scholarship in cross-country and track. Joe Newcomb, Parent of Elite Athlete


Nancy Krajny improved her business and her relationships. I knew that stress was bad, but I didn’t know what to do about it. Elle gives you the tools.  I have increased my  business because I relate better with my customers, and I have a new positive relationship with my daughter.  Nancy Krajny, Business Owner and Parent


You can explore my personal coaching, group training for workplaces and teams, and my online courses, while getting powerful tips and strategies, absolutely free. Three options:

  • Sign in with your email address for my recorded introductory webinar and for periodic updates.
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  • Reserve a free consultation with me, held online, by phone, or in-person.

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Second-Hand Stress: Three Steps to Staying Free and Clear

Imagine that you are a young person preparing to take a final exam or play in a big game, and your stressed parents start talking about all the things that could go wrong.

Are there people at work or at home who try to draw you into their complaints, blaming, and worries?

It’s natural to mirror or otherwise react to the emotions of those close to you. When you are around stressed people, it’s easy to start feeling anger or anxiety of your own, to get sick, to perform below your potential

Second-hand stress infects families, businesses, teams. It can take the magic out of special moments like weddings, births, and vacations. It can make you hate your job. Sound familiar?

Three steps to stop second-hand stress:

1. First, if possible, put some emotional and physical distance between yourself and stressed people.

2. Learn to recognize the physical and emotional signals that you, yourself, are becoming stressed: tension in your neck, back or stomach, for example.

3. When you first feel the signs:

  • Smile. This releases the feel-good hormone dopamine which allows you to think more clearly.
  • Relax your abs. Even though it may be hard, relaxing these muscles signals to your brain that everything is going to be OK.
  • Enter “Curves of Life” posture. Sit or stand with your head up and shoulders back, so your spine curves at the back of your neck and at your lower back. This posture exudes confidence, allows optimal breathing, and promotes the flow of nerve signals between your brain and your body.
  • Breathe slowly and deeply from your belly (not your chest). It may take practice to train your body to relax your abs.

Preventing second-hand stress is just the beginning of your Pressure-Free transformation. My full course includes more that 40 tools to help you manage stress, manage time, and live each day with passion and a plan.

To explore more, check out my testimonials and sign in for a free video series where I share the secret to Pressure-Free. When you are ready jump in, I offer

  • Individual and group coaching
  • Do It Yourself online courses
  • Speaking to groups of any size.