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Tag: weight

I see you

Yesterday, I had a patient of mine tell me how challenging her life has been the past 6 months. She has been working 6 days a week, 12 hours days and it is now causing her to gain weight, lose sleep and feel pains in her body she hasn’t felt before.

Earlier yesterday, I had another patient who is 4 months pregnant who is taking a sick leave from work because she is so tired and nauseous throughout the day that she can barely function to get out the door to get to work, let alone actually be productive.

I’ve put some thoughts here to speak to you – yes YOU.

To all the women (including my wife :)) out there, we see you.

We see how hard you’re trying. We see how much you’re working. We see you doing everything you can to hold it together.

We see you rallying to create the best lives possible for your kids. Running from one place to the next, somehow trying to be seven different places all at one time. We see how many people need you, rely on you, and count on your love to get them through the day. We see the stress of trying to be all things, for all people.
In case you ever wondered, YOU ARE SEEN. You are appreciated, admired and truly respected.
Between your Costco runs, school drop-offs and pick-ups, hockey, dance recitals, and basketball practice, we can only imagine the energy it feels like it would take to add One. More. Thing. Especially if that one more thing, is solely for you.


We are here to say, that in case you needed permission or extra encouragement; you, your body, and your spirit deserve that One. More. Thing. We promise you it’s easier to give from a full cup. We promise everything important will still get done. We promise that you deserve a spot on that list of important things. In fact, we insist on it.

We don’t want you to give up all the things that you’re doing. You can’t! So let’s play in the possibility that everything else will run more smoothly in your life, if you are operating from a place of less stress. Stress has been a buzz word for the last decade or so and for good reason. Stress in quantities that are too high, stop us from living the life we deserve to live.

Stress comes in many different forms: physical, chemical, emotional, mental, spiritual, etc. The list goes on But, we remind you that stress doesn’t have to dominate your life. Not for long anyways. Too much stress robs us of our ability to maintain a healthy life. When it conquers us we make decision and choices out of fear or anger and that is a terrible position to be in.

We want you to have a healthy, balanced, THRIVING life. We don’t want you to wait for the next ‘crash’. Incessantly putting out fires should be the last thing on your plate.

We specialize in helping women (and all humans for that matter) increase their ability to adapt to the stress in their lives. We totally get that it’s silly to think that the day-to-day stressors can be eliminated. What we do know, is that your body, your brain, YOU, have the ability to change how you adapt and handle it all.
If you’re looking for a support team, here we are.

We believe in you.

We admire you.

And we see you.

Dr. Craig Hazel’s mission is to help families THRIVE. After graduating from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education, he went on to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and a Bachelor of Science in Anatomy from Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas Texas. He is passionate about seeing children and families in his private practice at Synergy Chiropractic in Kanata Ontario. A sought after speaker, he has been featured regularly on TSN Team 1200, CTV and Rogers TV. He is also the Chairman of the Alliance for Chiropractic of Ontario.

“No I am not pregnant”

“Are you pregnant?” No. “Really because at this angle it looks like a bump.” I promise you, I am NOT pregnant, just fat.

I shared the below post on my personal Facebook page yesterday, and what I received back was an outpouring of love, support and encouragement, but also commiseration from women who have been or are there and are struggling. We’ve all been there in one way or another, and we all need to help each other out. Today is a day to reflect on mental health and the grip it can have on so many.


This is going to be a bit long and a lot personal. I feel the need to reiterate a few of the MANY reasons to not EVER ask a woman if she’s pregnant.

  1. She may well be pregnant, but is not ready to tell anyone and now she feels awkward.
  2. She may not be, despite desperately trying to no avail for who knows how long, and now she wants to go cry in a corner.
  3. She may have recently suffered a miscarriage, is still trying to process it, and now she wants to go cry in a corner.
  4. She may not want kids at all but faces the constant pressure of everyone asking WHEN she’s going to have them instead of IF, and now she feels self-conscious about her choice.
  5. She may not be able to have kids, and now she wants to go cry in a corner.
  6. And last but certainly not least, she’s just overweight and now she feels awkward, self-conscious and wants to go cry in a corner.

This last one is my experience and although I am strong enough to resist crying in a corner, I struggle every day to fight with the girl in my head that says I’m too big and I’m not doing enough. 18 months ago I gave birth by emergency C-section, and spent the better part of the next month attempting to navigate this completely uncharted territory of motherhood, all while trying to recover from my body being cut open and put back together, and the debilitating headache caused by CSF escaping the hole in my spine. I struggled from the beginning to produce enough milk and that proved even harder when my 2 month old ended up in hospital for 3 weeks. One of the best things for milk production you ask? Calories in. So I ate because I wanted to provide the best for my baby and I ate because I didn’t truly enjoy the first six months of her life. Around month 6, I started to love being a mother and spent all my time with her, especially the most peaceful time of the day, nap time. This left no time for myself, let alone exercise. This past fall I fell into a slump. A slump I consulted my medical doctor about. When I wasn’t working and had time to myself I spent it sitting, eating and struggling to motivate myself to move. Though I have embraced therapy many times for myself, this time I forced myself to take care of me. For the past 2 months I’ve worked out half an hour every day and I’ve made a conscious choice for the past 3 months to eat better, with occasional slips. But, I am still the heaviest I have ever been. This week I was asked if I was pregnant and when I said no, they persisted by pointing out how the shape of my body would have led them to believe that. No. No baby. Just fat and unused muscle.

Loving One’s Self

I have gotten to a point where I still love myself despite my new size, and I’m ok with doing the best I can. I have the most beautiful little girl who lights up my entire life and I would do it all over again for her. Preparing and trying to conceive, carrying and delivering a baby, raising your first, second or fifth baby, or supporting your partner in any of these ventures, deserves effing SUPER HERO status. This job is THE hardest and what makes it even more difficult is what your mind and body go through as a result. As baby carriers, our bodies change drastically. And sometimes…most times…it is a colossal sized struggle to get back to “the way we were”, and the pressure to do so is undeniable.

A New Vision

I believe we live in a world that is making it increasingly difficult to say with 100% conviction that “I am beautiful”, “I am strong”, “I believe in myself”, and “I am a good person.” I am eternally grateful that I was raised with a basic foundation of self-worth, and I have only built on that over 3 decades to be able to hear words like the above question and know that I am still more than good enough. There are women and men who are not this strong. There are teenagers struggling to get through the throes of high school. There are adults taking it day by day at the workplace or within their families. My daughter may or may not grow up having a certain level of strength to take on what’s out there, but I will fight every day to show her how beautiful she is no matter her size, looks or what anyone else says about her.

I didn’t write any of this to garner sympathy but to remind us all to be CONSCIOUS of our words and our actions. You have NO idea what anyone’s story is, but we all have one. Share your story, it might entice someone to share theirs. And they may need a little of your support to get through the day. But they will be better off for it, as will you.

Chiropractic and a wellness lifestyle changed her life.  She had such an incredible experience and change in her health, that she decided she help change people’s lives.  In addition to being the Director of First Impressions at Synergy, she is also a Certified Holistic Health Coach. When she’s not at the office, you will find her either at the gym kickboxing, or with my husband, Mike, and their 3 dogs.  She is a philanthropist and founded a non-profit charity, Families First Community Cancer Support, which supports and provides financial relief to cancer-burdened families in the community. 

Can Chiropractic Help You Lose Weight?

Losing weight is a focus for many in the spring.  If you’ve put on some extra weight this past winter, you are not alone. Many of our patients are working towards a similar goal.  We are going to help kick start your ‘Spring Cleaning’

How you move, eat, and think every day will determine your success. All three are part of maintaining an active lifestyle. So where does Chiropractic fit in?

How Chiropractic Helps

Unfortunately, no Chiropractic technique takes off 10 pounds with each adjustment; but people just like you have been able to maintain a healthy weight by adding Chiropractic care into their active lifestyle.

Research has suggested that periodic Chiropractic care can help evaluate, detect and treat emerging problems that may limit your mobility. So, by reducing injuries, you will be able to stay active and keep your exercise routine on track.  Movement is a key step in shedding weight.

Also, many people report reduced stress after getting adjusted. This makes senses because research studies have shown reduced muscle tension in the shoulders after an adjustment.

And finally, we firmly believe that healthy food choices make a significant impact on your body’s ability to be well and stay well. Eating healthy whole foods and sometimes even using select supplements can give your body the fuel it needs to get through the day.

  • Chiropractic has been shown to reduce the stress and tension in the muscles that support your head and neck.
  • Staying active with daily exercise will help keep your muscles toned and reduce your risk of injury.
  • Lower your sugar intake to avoid those devastating blood sugar crashes in the afternoon.

Next Steps:

Thank you for making our office a part of your healthy lifestyle. Our team is here to support your ability to move, think, and eat in a way that results in achieving your healthcare goals.

We know that by moving your body, making smart dietary choices, and managing your stress, you will put yourself in the best place possible to live your best life. We are proud to be your partner in health.

On May 15th, we are hosting our “Weight Loss Workshop” at 6:15pm.

Sign up here!

Science Source:

  • The Role of Exercise and Physical Activity in Weight Loss and Maintenance. Prog Cardiovasc Dis 2015
  • Hair Cortisol and Adiposity in a Population‐Based Sample of 2,527 Men and Women Aged 54 to 87 years. Obesity 2017
  • Sugar Consumption, Metabolic Disease and Obesity: The State of the Controversy. Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci. 2016
  • Glucose Metabolic Changes in the Brain and Muscles of Patients with Nonspecific Neck Pain Treated by Spinal Manipulation Therapy.Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2017

Weight-Loss: Stop the Yo-Yo!

Weight-loss is the number one ‘resolution’ every new year.  If you are like most people in January, you maybe decided not to set any resolutions, but perhaps this is your year to:

“Lose some weight.”

“Shed some pounds.”

“Get ripped!”

I know that in my practice, I’ve had numerous patients tell me that their goal is weight-loss this year.  I then ask them “what’s your plan to make that happen?”.  Invariably their responses are “eat better and exercise”.

Aside – I was a highly respected and sought after personal trainer before I went to Chiropractic college.  In January, our membership sales would skyrocket.  As cliche as it is, within 3 weeks most people quit coming to the gym.  All of them had the same goals – “weight-loss by eating better and exercise’

Let’s take a hard look at why people fail and how YOU can succeed!


The Weight-loss Epidemic – A look at the facts:

Weight gain after eating

It is well know that 95% of all dieters who lose weight will gain it back within 5 years.   Of those that diet, 40% of people will gain even more weight than they lost.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, over 1/3 of adults are obese.  When it comes to weight-loss, we often think of adults.  But it is a hot topic amongst today’s youth and has lasting negative effects.  Girls who diet in their early teenage years are three times more likely to become overweight within five years, even if they started at a normal weight.

Poor self-image

For most people who struggle with their weight, there is a strong association of poor self-image.  According to data from the Keep it Real Campaign, 78% of 17-year-old girls are unhappy with their bodies.  As any one knows, this age group is highly influenced by their peers and weight is often a target to bullying.

It seems that body image challenges are starting at an even younger age.  Staggeringly, 80% of all 10 year-old-girls have already been on a diet.  As the parent of a 10 year old daughter, I can see challenges in discerning the difference between ‘healthy’ and ‘skinny’.  As parents, it is important to keep lines of communication open and be sure to properly define terms with your kids.

Finally, in a survey of female college students, 44% who dieted were of normal weight!  As university and college student struggle to move into adulthood, it seems that a large number of them are concerned with their weight.

Dieting can be dangerous

When it comes to dieting methods, many elect for the ‘starvation’ mode.  In one particular study it was determined that 50% of teenage girls and one third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control methods.  This may include but not limited to vomiting, taking laxatives, fat-burning pills and improper fasting.

Eating disorders

It is estimated that up to three million people have an eating disorder in Canada alone.  This statistic is regardless of age or gender.  Men who have eating disorders are less likely to get help because of the connotation that it’s a “women’s problem.”  Eating disorders come in different forms.  Anorexia refers to when an irrational fear and the individual avoids food intake and psychologically sees themselves as being overweight or ‘fat’ when they are actually underweight or quite lean.  Bulimia consists of high levels of guilt after binge eating or even consuming a proper amount of food and then purged usually through vomiting


This is by far the largest reason why most people fail at weight-loss.  Many people choose diets that are not sustainable lifestyle choices.  They attempt to deprive themselves all at once.  They force themselves to eat in a way that is radical for them.  The results is usually a temporary improvement in their dietary habits only to succumb to the challenge of the ‘all or nothing’ principle.

The biggest problem with an unsustainable weight-loss regime is that is doesn’t treat the underlying cause.  Overeating and unhealthy choices are often not about the food – but are triggered by emotional or mental causes, including trauma.  It is our psychological understanding and philosophical premise of what food is and what health is that determines one’s success or failure at weight-loss.

The metabolism

By reducing caloric intake, we cause the body to decrease body temperature and reduce activity levels – thus decreasing energy burned and metabolic rate.  This is the anti-thesis of what we want!  Interestingly, someone who lost weight quickly will generally have a slower metabolism than someone who was at the same weight without diet.  It is well documented that hormonal changes occur in dieters.  Hormones that tell the brain when you’re full are decreased with weight loss.  The hormone that stimulates hunger, ghrelin, is increased with weight loss.  So we need ways to keep our metabolisms high, stay satiated and get all of our nutritional requirements.

The brain tells your body what it “should” weigh, within a 10 or 15 pound range.  In the brain, the hypothalamus pushes the body back to “normal,” even if that normal weight is overweight, even seven years after original weight-loss.

“Diet” foods

Most marketed “diet” foods are made out of artificial ingredients.  The truth about “Fat Free” products is that they are especially unhealthy.  Mayonnaise, for example, is made out of a cup of oil, an egg yolk, vinegar, and mustard and is 98% fat – so “fat-free mayonnaise” is as fake as you can get!   Manufactturers will often use sugar or starch fillers to thicken their ‘fat-free’ products.  This in turn drives your insulin up, and increases your insulin resistance.  Your body stops responding to insulin and you convert and store more fat!

But…but…but it’s fat-free!!


Eat the full fat product. Butter, bacon, avocados.  Eat it all.

Artificial sweeteners

Diet soda contains artificial sweeteners, which can confuse the body.  The body is tasting sweetness, but not getting the expected energy from it, so it may promote overeating.  Artificial sweeteners interfere with hormones in the body that regulates blood sugar and satiety.  This causes you constantly disrupts your blood sugar levels making you always feel hungry.

So let’s dive into how we reframe our minds, change our habits and ultimately make sustainable changes that will help you stop the YO-YO!

The Anti-Diet Diet

First, let’s look for things in your body to be appreciative about! It can be anything…

Confidence is the best outfit. Rock it and own it.

  • Your beautiful hair.
  • Your strong legs.
  • Your nice hands.
  • Your ability to see.
  • That you have skin.
  • Your cheekbones.
  • Get focused.

The more you focus on the things you like about yourself, the more things you will find to like about yourself.  By showing your body love (no matter what it looks like now), you’re programming your subconscious to create more opportunity for you to love yourself (which may result in it decreasing your appetite and losing weight).   You MUST change how you view yourself and your health.

Ask yourself:

Who do you want to be? Not what the magazines, your mother, your friends, your favorite instagram celebrity etc wants you to be.  Think of yourself as how you want to be.  I highly recommend writing out “What do I want?”.  List ALL of the things YOU want.

Next – spend time everyday and visualize yourself looking how you want to.  Even just a couple of minutes trains your brain to see and feel your body differently.  The important thing is that you feel good during the visualization. Avoid negativity!  Avoid the ‘haters’!   Don’t partake in body bashing talks, and don’t read magazines/look at social media memes or photos that make you feel bad about yourself!  Appreciate qualities in other people without comparison.  Celebrate them for their accomplishments.  By celebrating others you focus on abundance and attract compliments.  If you notice negative qualities in others – realize you’re projecting thoughts about yourself onto them. Choose to think positive thoughts instead.  Write down your thoughts in a journal and focus on what little step you took that day to move forward.

Please please please – Don’t weigh yourself.  It is a terrible indicator of how healthy you are.

Throw away your scale!

Your weight is NOT a reflection of WHO YOU ARE!

Intuitive eating

Eat when you’re hungry!  Don’t “save your hunger” for certain times of the day – you’re more prone to overeating and missing your body’s signals when it’s hungry.  Your body intuitively knows what it needs to be strong and healthy – listen to it.  It might be scary to eat real foods with full fat, or without artificial sweeteners, but trust yourself!  You might end up eating more calories at first, but your body will adjust!

Trust yourself!

Eat what you want, but pay attention to what foods give you energy, and which foods make you feel sick or tired. Focus on the foods that make you feel good!  If you do eat “bad” food, don’t beat yourself up, or you’ll train your subconscious to make more poor choices – love yourself, and focus on eating healthy food again.

Stop eating when you are no longer hungry!  Before starting your meal, think – if I get full before I finish everything on my plate, how can I store the food and eat it later?  You should never feel like you have to clean your plate.

Sorry but your parents were wrong to enforce that habit.

Some people are scared of wasting food because “there are starving children in the world” – but how does your eating food that your body doesn’t need help them?  If portion control is an issue, use smaller plates – you’re more likely to eat less!  You can also drink a full glass of water prior to eating.  The volume of water will fill you up and help you overcome the feelings of fullness.

Another thought on water – If you’re not sure if you’re hungry… Drink water: your body‘s signals for hunger and thirst are sometimes hard to distinguish.

Ask yourself how you’re feeling emotionally, and get to the root of it. If you’ve had a hard day at work or school, ask yourself  “Are you eating because you have an emotional issue that needs to be addressed?”

Make eating enjoyable.  Lots of fresh vegetables with a great lean protein is a energizing meal that feels great for hours.  I always recommend and strive to have at least one fresh vegetable at every meal.  The fibre and nutrients pack a punch.


Find exercise that you enjoy doing – it can be anything.  Don’t force it.  Don’t force yourself to exercise at first. If you make exercise a punishment for your body, you won’t get positive results.  See exercise as a way to love your body and make it feel energized!  Exercise will always improve your mood.  It is consistently the number one way to  improve mood and decrease signs of depression.  If you’re an emotional eater, exercise can help!  Consider going for a walk and de-stressing before dinner.  It will help you burn calories, build muscle and burn fat from your body.

Eat Right. Be Fit. Think Well. Get Adjusted.

Chiropractic Care.

I can’t even count the number of patients in my practice who have told me that they’ve lost weight since starting chiropractic care despite NOT changing any thing else.  Chiropractic helps put the spine into proper alignment, so that the nervous system can function properly.

The nervous system is the master controller of the entire body.  The nervous system sends signals to the brain that tells you when you’re full.   A healthy nervous system can mean a healthy digestive system!

Chiropractic & the metabolic system

Chiropractic can help the metabolism by correcting underlying issues.  Imbalances in the nervous system can affect hormone production such as blood sugar regulation.

The message behind chiropractic is that the body is an amazing, self-healing organism.  At Synergy Chiropractic we’re here to support you – going to receive regular chiropractic care can be your reminder to love your body!