Within the wellness community, “Listen to your body”, is a phrase we hear floating around a lot. It’s a simple thing to put into practice, right? Just listen and then follow through with whatever your body is telling you. Easy peasy…
For me, hearing people tell me to “listen to my body” only made me feel discouraged for not knowing how to listen or what that really even meant to begin with. When I would try to “tune in”, hundreds of thoughts would flood into my mind, and I couldn’t make out which ones were my body, or just jumble. I didn’t feel like I could trust myself to really know how to act on all/if any of the signals that my body was sending me. I was so jealous of all of the glowing “listen to your body” people on social media, and I gave up on intuitive eating, convinced that my body’s messages were just too complicated and messy to ever be able to trust.
My breakthrough in this area came when I started to really consider starting a blog and start pressing into my passion for health and wellness. While reflecting on my journey with my health one day, trying to get all my thoughts onto paper, I thought about how much I have learned since unintentionally starting that journey years ago.
Learning always follows anything you do, right? Whether or not you are aware of it, when things happen, big or small, positive or negative, we learn from them. Then, it hit me. We don’t just listen to our bodies out of the blue, but we LEARN to listen to our bodies. We begin to deconstruct cravings, understand our impulses, and get to know what our body, mind, and soul need to thrive. This process is full of hills and valleys, confusion and inspiration…It’s not easy interpreting our bodies’ needs. First, it’s hard to get past our own thoughts and tune in. Second, it’s just hard to trust our intuition because, let’s face it, it’s not like we can actually hear our body speaking out loud! Regardless, don’t let yourself get discouraged in this process, girly! Put on the mind-set that you are one step closer to becoming that glowing gal who can listen to, and act upon what her body is telling her.
But the point of this post is to acknowledge that we must learn to listen to our bodies and know that we can’t force ourselves to just be able to do it. It’s just like learning any new skill, except this is possible one of the most rewarding challenges to take on. Once we start, it’s a really amazing thing to be able to know what your body needs, and how to interpret different cravings and signals. It will never be a perfect science, and we will need to adapt with our body as she grows up and faces new parts of life, but it will feel so right. It’s more than worth the challenge as our intuition with our health begins to click into place…it’s like finishing the border of a thousand piece puzzle!
After we begin to learn to listen, we follow through by making healthy choices. Sometimes, (this is an obvious one) the healthy choice will be to cook dinner at home instead of getting take out, or eating a handful of nuts instead of crackers. But other times, the healthy choice will be to go out with your friends to that hole-in-the-wall kitchen 2 blocks away that has the BEST burritos. Or, to eat dessert with your family, have a piece of birthday cake, and enjoy the time spent together. When it comes to fitness, maybe it’s taking a walk or stretching versus hitting the gym. The most important thing to put into practice, the healthiest choice you can make in every situation, is to not stress. Stress is the absolute worst thing, not only for your mental health, but for your digestion and your hormones. I will go more into stress and anxiety in another chat, but sissys, know that you are doing everything right simply by being aware and choosing to take care of your health. Health care is the best form of self-care. So, in conclusion:
Learn to listen to your body
Follow through by making healthy choices
The healthiest choice is always the one that leads you in the opposite direction of stress.
Be proud of where you are. Even if you’re not where you dream of being yet, you are IN IT babe. This is what your health is all about. Go girl!!!