When we are young we are taught the importance of listening; listening to our teachers, to our parents, to rules, to peers and friends. But how often do we listen to ourselves and to our bodies. Our bodies are incredibly complex biological systems that are easily affected by what we do with them and what fuel we put into them, so it is important to learn how to listen to your own body and its needs. There are a million diets out there and ideas that other people swear by, but each person and each body is different, so you must take the time to perfect your own diet that works for you and your body.
I know that I have never been particularly good at listening to my body, eating until satisfied or realising when I am actually hungry. I continue to eat to much food, serve myself too larger portions, snack constantly when bored, stressed, emotional or just because the food is there. I justify this by telling myself it’s okay because I generally eat well, but in the back of my mind my logical self knows this is not true. If you eat to much it is not healthy, simple as that. Even worse, I eat things that I know don’t agree with my body, in particular popcorn and corn chips. I know these are processed, contain vegetable oils (BAD) and even sometimes sugar and sodium, AND they give me a huge stomach ache every time I eat them. But I don’t listen, I am a bad listener to my poor, fed-up body. It is telling me loud and clear what it doesn’t like and I am choosing to ignore this. But not any more.
Most people make New Year’s resolutions, but why wait around for another month and a half when I can make my mid-November’s resolution to start really listening to my body? So here it is, body, I promise to try harder to listen. When you tell me I am full, I will stop eating, when I am hungry I will nourish you, when something doesn’t agree with you, I won’t eat it again, when I need rest I will make time for it. I will listen. And hopefully I can make progress before the festive season where my newfound listening skills will come in handy around the abundance of food. Because I really don’t want to spend another Christmas night laying on the couch with a ‘food baby’ or being conscious of my bloated self all through summer, simply because I ignored my body.
Today is day one, the first step in a continuous journey towards better listening. Because my body knows best and so I should learn to respect that.
Do you listen to your body? Or are you like me (please tell me I am not alone!)?
Keep healthy, Erica xx