Tuesday, 7 June 2016

To Listen To Your Body (And Actually Listen!)

It's something we all would consider a known phenomenon and yet, it's also something that the majority of us struggle with..

That being listening to our body and doing what it tells us it wants.

To be fair, we have lived in a society that has pretty much single-handedly wrecked our capacity to achieve this desired intention and so it is no wonder that many of us are struggling with body issues, health troubles, fatigue, insomnia, ammenhorea, unwanted weight gain, unwanted weight loss, irritability, confusion... the list goes on and on.

And I am not excluding myself from this group- I am a known offender of pushing my body past it's limits (well past them if you remember back to the time when I would get up at 4am and run 20km every other day... on the weekends and on the weekdays before school) and I've suffered the consequences as a result.

In a society that tells us to eat less, exercise more, be harder on ourselves, treat ourselves with a 'naughty' dessert after a tough workout, to look fit- not necessarily be fit and to simply go above and beyond for praise and recognition... it's no wonder our bodies quiet pleading yelps are shut out by the blaring, blasting noise of day-to-day life.

If you look at a situation in the simplest of terms, for example; Steph is hungry. Than it is all to easy to come up with the perfect solution; Steph should eat something. And it was something our child-like minds were amazing at.

I remember as a child eating a banana and feeling my body glowing with happiness, I then went on to eat 3 more and felt great and looking back I was probably lacking in something only bananas could give me at the time. I also used to walk around the house munching on carrots, eating pancakes when I was low on energy, not having much dinner when I wasn't hungry at all but pouring an extra big bowl of breakfast the next day because I woke up ravenous.
 Post them exam lunch; when you're too lazy to cut your carrot up.. yep that's just a big ol' carrot hanging out next to my steamed greens and tofu and raw capsicum sticks :)

These days? If I ate a banana and wanted more the first thought through my head would be; no Steph, that's enough for today, eat something else. If it wasn't lunch time, my carrot stick would still be sitting in the fridge waiting for the 'correct' time. If I didn't have much energy pancakes may have crossed my mind but would they offer me enough nutrition, would they just be a waste of energy? If it was a rest day and I woke up ravenous I would question whether I needed a big breakfast after all.

And yet, my body was giving me all the obvious signs as to what it wanted! And just like I do every time I sit an exam and get stuck on a tricky multiple choice question, I overcomplicate things through over-thinking and end up choosing the wrong option (always go with your gut in multiple choice!!).

Problem: Hungry
Solution: Eat
Reality: it's not time to eat, you only just ate an hour a go, save it for after you work out, you haven't worked out much this week maybe don't eat, dinner will be in an hour.....

And on and on it goes. Our internal thoughts overanalysing everything and the simple solution sitting plain in front of us.

But it's not that easy. And you and I know it.

Society offers praise and encouragement when dessert is foregone in favour of a workout. Congratulations are given out for rapid weightless. Likes are offered for Instagram snaps of low-cal, veggie-filled meals. Thinner= better, happier, loved. Healthy is eating veggies, working out and looking good. So how does eating a plate of pancakes when your body's deprived of much needed carbs fit into these societal expectations?

It doesn't. So we don't.

Fortunately this unhealthy, mentally-taxing way of living is becoming a lot more prominent in the healthy living realm and more and more people are recognising the greater harm of this way of thinking/ living. More people are in favour of the 'if you need the doughnut, eat the doughnut' which goes hand in hand with; 'If you need the carrot stick, eat the carrot stick!'

I'm not one to preach, but if I had to say one thing it's that our bodies are pretty smart (trust me, I take human bio at school :P). They know what's up. they know what's best and if we can just give them a chance to share their quiet apprehensive voice, soon enough they'll be yelling and screaming to the world how amazingly awesome you are and you will be yelling and screaming to the world how amazingly awesome you feel!

It's time to eat that 3rd banana, grab that carrot stick and sit down with a plate of pancakes instead of going for a 20km run (yes, that was me throwing every anecdotal piece of evidence from this post into one sentence) because that is what our body calls for in that moment, not because that is what @superfitandhealthygirl23857362514 says to do.

I'm ready to honour my body because it sure as heck deserves honouring after some of the torture I've put it through and all of you should do the same!

Your turn:
How have you honoured your body this past week?
Are you/ have you ever been in a rut where you can just feel this is not what your body desires?
Ever over-trained/ over-runned(new word :P)? Nothing compares to that kind of fatigue!!

I hope you enjoyed this post, it's something I feel quite passionately about and could write about for hours and hours on end but alas I do not have that kind of time #studylife and you probably don't have that inclination to read it all!! And I don't blame you! So, instead, have yourself a wonderful day/ night/ morning/ evening/ afternoon and I will see you next time!

Maybe some chic protein granola bowl? Recipe coming soon!! :D

Bye for now friendly friends! :D

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