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 the other night 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, as 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 didn’t even know I was pregnant for five months. Yes, you read that correctly. And no, I’m not a hillbilly, I took Human Growth and Development in school. It’s just that my body didn’t react the way that most bodies do. As in, I didn’t know I was pregnant because I was bleeding every month. TMI? Sorry, but it’s true. By the time I knew I was pregnant at all it was late December, and by the time I found out my real due date (at my first appointment with an actual MD), it was the last day of February! My boy was born, full term, on April 1. Fitting, don’t you think?
So that’s a brief history of the lack of communication between my body and me. Yes, I will try to listen a little bit closer, but jeez, it doesn’t always work!
June 29, 2016 at 10:32 am
Completely amazing story! I can’t imagine have two to three months to prepare for a baby… although, come to think of it, I had about that to prepare for marriage to a widower and his four small children. But that was then. My body mostly speaks to me pretty clearly. But sometimes the messages from outside my body are not so clear. For instance, I’ve heard that by the time you feel thirsty, you’re actually dehydrated. I’ve also heard that the days it feels as if you’re fighting your body to work out are the days exercise has the biggest, positive impact. So maybe just listening to your body isn’t enough — or maybe we should be tuning out everything else. Plus my body can very clearly tell me it wants sugar-laden delights or multiple glasses of wine, which others say is not good for me… so who knows what to think?
June 29, 2016 at 7:20 pm
You bring up some excellent points, thank you for the well thought out feedback.
June 29, 2016 at 6:51 pm
This post made me wonder why we don’t give ourselves more of a “Pass”, you know? We so often take our physical health as a reflection on how well we take care of things. I beg to differ! I think that as long as we do our reasonable best to eat well most of the time and keep moving, we need to realize that there is an awful lot to life that is way beyond our control.
June 29, 2016 at 7:22 pm
You’re right, of course. We forgive in others behavior that we beat ourselves up for. Thank you for the reminder to be kind to myself.