Work with me and you’ll hear the same few expressions muttered over and over.

One is “everything is connected,” meaning that if something happens in one area of your life, it will undoubtedly affect the others.

A classic example?

Too much stress affects sleep and cravings, which affects training and food choices, which affects mood and body composition, which leads to… more stress.

Yeah, ugly.

Now the younger folks can get away with extreme compartmentalization, such as the 19-year-old who parties til 3 am and still sets a squat PR the next day.

But this skill declines with age.

Not many 50-year-olds can hang out til closing and the next day make it happen under the bar.

Another favorite mantra of mine is “you can’t keep adding.”

Often it’s in an exercise context (cause more exercise isn’t better), but it applies equally to stress.

Keep adding stressors, both positive (like a new baby) and negative (like a new baby), and you’ll eventually reach a tipping point where you stop handling it well—or at all.

And it’s often subtle.

With prolonged stress, you may not even notice you’re at your tipping point. Or worse, already past it and slowly coming apart at the seams.

So you MUST practice self-awareness—especially if you’re tempted to add a strict diet or demanding training program to the mix.

Is it REALLY a good time?

Is it wise to take this on right now?

Are you really doing “fine” or actually feeling a little frayed?

Do you crave being in better shape, or do you just want something positive in your life that’s entirely within your control?

Because in times of prolonged stress, it can seem like nothing is under your control, and thereby “tempting” to latch onto something that is—like a strict diet.

Except… you only control the PROCESS—not how your body will respond. Which in times of stress is at best a crapshoot.

So your quest for control is really just setting yourself up for even greater disappointment.

It doesn’t have to be this way. You can train and eat well and get through stress without falling for the control trap.

All it takes is self-awareness, and a commitment to treat yourself better.

You deserve it.

– Coach Bryan