Listening to Your Body

Morning! Happy Monday, or something along those lines, I cut my pretty good while trying to open a box, and I am fairly sleepy today. What can you do? I had a great weekend. Got a lot of things done, although not as much as I’d like (it always seems to be the case for me…) and still got to fit in some relaxing.

As you know I’ve been diving a little deeper into this whole “clean eating” business and I’ve been reading quite a few interesting articles and books. But I can’t stop thinking about no matter how many times you call something a “lifestyle” it’s still pretty much a DIET. I’ll get more into my full thoughts later.

Tara Stiles is a yoga instructor, author, and yoga video goddess and I LOVE her books and videos. Especially her little tidbits of wisdom she shares on Facebook and Twitter.

Not too long ago (OK really in February, where is time going?) Tara posted on her Facebook page “It’s easier to go on a diet than pay attention to what your body needs. It’s easier to do what someone says than to decide for yourself. It’s easier to give your power away than to rise and take a stand. Fortunately you have the ability to choose.”

Isn’t she so smart? I think that the first sentence is THE reason why diets fail. You aren’t listening to your body, you’re just doing what someone says is best. Think about that for a little bit. Would you do that with other aspects of your life? Would you just wear whatever someone put out for you that day, no questions asked? Would you just live in a house and work in a job just because you were told to do it? Would you just take medications someone handed you because they said it would be best for you? Where do you live Panem? (hehehe) (And if you’ve done the last one, then there’s a strong chance you’ve done illegal drugs, just sayin…)

So why on earth do we follow diets that tell us when, how, how much and how often to eat? Eating is one thing that you have complete control over. Also if we let them, our bodies are really good about telling us what it wants. We just have to listen! This goes back to Bethenny Frankle’s book where she talks about your food voice vs. food noise. It’s just really hard to figure out which is which!

I do think that some diets can be a good jumping off point, like the 5-Factor Diet, or the Clean Eating Diet, or even the 17 Day diet (I wouldn’t do Phase 1, that’s just me though) to get on track with a healthier lifestyle, but if you let it, these diets will drown out your food voice completely and when you go off-diet, you will go crazy!

It all kind of dawned on me when last week on my way to the dance studio I went to grab an iced coffee and got a brownie. In my mind I was so upset with myself, I had eaten so great all day, why was a ruining it with this? I couldn’t deny that I was indeed hungry and a little tired. So I started drafting a tweet about why do I get so hungry between 2 and 4 p.m. and which always derails my day and ruins everything. Then it dawned on me. Maybe there’s a reason I am hungrier then. Maybe my body just wants a larger meal later in the day. But then I thought, but all the weight loss books say no carbs after lunch if possible and yada yada. Well self, did YOU write this book? Then how does the author know when YOU are most hungry? Say all you want about when science says my metabolism is fastest, if I am consistently hungry at that time, there is a reason.

I feel like I’m rambling, but the bottom line is that whether we are obese and eating McDonald’s 4 times a day or following the strictest of healthy diets, we are ignoring what our bodies suggest, and at the end of the day, they really know what’s best!

My challenge for you this week is to think about when you do or don’t listen to your body, and try to think about why.

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14 thoughts on “Listening to Your Body

    • Good for you! It is SO HARD. For instance, all I could think about was a pancake this morning. NOTHING else. I couldn’t decide if I really needed one or if my hormones were just wanting something sweet and fluffy. Regardless, the pancake won out haha.

  1. I think it’s good to listen to your body and also to know what it means when it speaks to you. For instance, if I’m craving sweets I figure my blood sugar’s low and I eat some good carbs and a bit of protien. If I’m craving steak, I eat greens because my body wants the iron. And so on. Works pretty well for me. =] Nice article! And I totally get what you mean about the brownie thing. I’ve stopped trying to cram my body into everybody’s tight little rules. It does what it wants and knows what I need. Every “expert” pulls you in a different direction anyway so I say toss it out the window and return to simple eating. =]

    Liz

    • Thanks Liz (awesome name BTW 😉 ) I totally understand what you mean by being pulled in all these different directions and feeling lost. I’m starting to understand what you’re talking about how your body craves certain things because it NEEDS something from it. I know when my body needs iron because I want steak too, our bodies are actually pretty smart, we just need to listen 🙂

  2. it’s hard to listen to your body, i definitely struggle with this. i have two nutritionists telling me what and when to eat, so i don’t entirely get to, but i try to focus on how i feel after, my satiety, and what i’m craving within what i’m supposed to be eating. as for the carbs after lunch, i’m all for a nice grain filled snack around 3:30 PM! it’s the only snack of the day i really enjoy having!

  3. Awesome post!! I try to listen to what my body wants. I also listen to my cravings. I have had so many people tell me not to give in to what I am craving because your body really needs something other than junk, but gosh darn if I want a piece of chocolate then I am eating it! It has taken me a really long time to get at the point with eating that I am at now. I always find that if I ignore what I want because some diet tells me to, then I usually binge on other types of foods because I am never satisfied!

  4. I think this is all really great advice and something I’m trying to figure out myself! I wish, though, that you had said “If you are privileged enough, ‘eating is one thing that you have complete control over'” because saying everyone has complete control over the foods they eat is a far cry from the truth. It’s a good thing to remember: not everyone has the access or ability to eat in accordance to what their body tells them.

  5. I LOVE THIS – I always want to eat cleaner but you’re absolutely right, I feel like I’m counting calories, or on a diet. It isn’t a lifestyle at all…..I just ate Mcdonalds though, so what do I know

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