The following is my attempt at today’s daily prompt: Today, publish a post based on unused material from a previous piece –a paragraph you nixed, a link you didn’t include, a photo you decided not to use.
Why Can’t I Hear My Body?
This eat the right thing and get enough sleep and make sure to move my body thing just hasn’t been working out recently. I could give you all the reasons, but honestly, it will just sound like a list of excuses, so I’ll spare you the details and just skip it.
This, of course, has been an ongoing battle for me. Sometimes things click and I do well, and other times I slip into my old bad habits and any progress toward improving my health habits quickly disappears. It’s frustrating, especially since it’s purely my choices that derail me.
I had a conversation several months ago with a yoga instructor about some of these struggles (as we were enjoying our cocktails and hors d’oevres). She has worked with all sorts of people over the years, with all sorts of body types and issues. She is also human, and has had her own struggles over the years. She has changed her diet more than once, and her advice to me was, “listen to your body.”
It sounded like good advice. Our bodies, after all, are incredible. They do so much for us, and they constantly make tiny adjustments without us even thinking about it. The whole keeping the heart beating and keeping the lungs breathing routine is awe-inspiring. The body is no dummy, so it makes sense to try to listen to it. I’m okay with this idea. In fact, I kind of like the thought.
The problem, however, is that my body and I don’t seem to speak the same language. I have no idea what it’s saying much of the time. I confuse fatigue with hunger, and I often allow myself to get to the point where I’m completely parched, or the opposite, my bladder feels as though it might explode. How come I don’t take care of these things earlier? I just don’t really seem to notice or understand the signals that my body gives. Either that, or my body gives me the wrong signals.
That was certainly the case during my pregnancy. I had no idea I was pregnant for several months. Why? Because to me it appeared that my cycle was functioning as normal. I saw no change in the monthly rhythm, even though I was pregnant. How am I supposed to listen to a body that doesn’t even give me a clue that it’s pregnant? Oh sure, I began to look a little thicker around the middle, but I’m a big girl, and putting on a few pounds with the arrival of cooler weather didn’t raise an eyebrow. In retrospect I should have noticed some movement, but I had never been pregnant before and put it down to some kind of digestive upset.
I used to mock those people who didn’t know they were pregnant. How could they be so stupid? Well, I’m not stupid, but it wasn’t until late December that I suspected I might be expecting, and got the confirmation. I was given a due date in August, but in a subsequent appointment the doctor shook his head and told me I was much further along than that. An ultrasound was ordered on the spot, and my due date was moved up to April. Junior arrived on April Fool’s Day weighing in at a healthy eight pounds. Perfect timing. I was six months pregnant before I even knew I was having a baby. And this is the body I’m supposed to listen to?
So yes, I try to pay attention, but it’s difficult when we don’t seem to speak the same language. I know there are certain things that will benefit my body regardless of the signs or signals I might miss. Good food and exercise will always be helpful, so I’ll keep on trying, even if I have no idea what my body is actually saying to me.