Have you ever asked a question and not liked the answer?
Have you ever tried to get someone to change their answer to something ‘better’?
Or maybe you asked the question again, hoping to get the answer you want to hear?
Some of you think, “Yeah – my kid does that”. My husband may tell you that I did that the other day.
Our bodies will tell us that we do it all the time.
The truth is if you’re not at your natural weight, it’s because you’re arguing with the answers your body gives you.
I often tell my clients to find what they love about their bodies. Even if it starts with loving their hair, eyes or strength.
What I love most about my body is its honesty.
My body is the best communicator I’ve ever met.
It tells me the truth 100% of the time.
It’s in my body’s job description to communicate when I need to stop eating, or to slow down and rest.
I’ve often chosen not to listen to my body. Like most people, I don’t like to hear the word ‘no’. I don’t like to be stopped before I want to stop. Especially if I think I’m enjoying something.
Sometimes I will consult my mind for a “better” answer.
One that sounds like – “go ahead, it won’t hurt” or “you deserve it” or “ what will people think if you don’t do that?”
The result can be ignoring my body’s answer because I don’t like it.
Ignoring it by eating more than my body wants or burning the candle at both ends.
The more I focus and listen to my body, the clearer the message gets.
Which foods feel good in my body, which foods don’t. What my stomach feels like when I’m hungry and what it feels like to be sated.
What keeps me energized and what makes me feel sluggish and crash.
These are all messages that my body communicates to me.
And the stronger the signal, the harder it gets to ignore it.
Getting to know your body is like learning to drive a car.
If you ignore traffic signals and other drivers, you will get into an accident.
If you ignore curves in the road and distract yourself as you speed down the road, you will crash your car.
Every single time.
If we wouldn’t drive a car like that, why do we drive our bodies that way?
Why do we create distractions, and pretend not to hear our body’s signals?
Sometimes the work lies in understanding the signals.
Sometimes the work lies in following them.
Sometimes to work lies in understanding why you don’t follow them.
Most of the time the work is all three.
It’s more than just food.
As I’ve deepened this connection, I realize that it goes much deeper than just food and hunger.
Even through injury, disease, and drugs like steroids that alter emotions and metabolism, I’ve realized that my body never stopped talking to me.
The communication was still there. Injuries, disease and drugs are just ice on the road.
When those conditions are present, we need to drive more carefully.
We need to pay more deliberate attention to the road.
But trust that our bodies are still giving us a message, loud and clear.
I used to think that my body was betraying me and giving me mixed signals.
But I realized that no matter what my body is communicating – fatigue, strong emotional swings, pulled muscles, disease flare ups – it was never a ruse.
It is always tell the genuine truth.
My challenge is to interpret and honor it.
Forgiveness plays a big part in learning to understand the body’s signals.
We can get angry with ourselves for not honoring the signals our bodies send. Especially when we eat too much, or burn ourselves out.
We can think something is wrong with us because we don’t hear them.
We think we sabotage ourselves because we don’t follow what our bodies tell us to do.
But we must forgive ourselves for not listening. For looking the other way and consulting our minds instead of our bodies.
The body’s signals are a new language for many.
And learning is twice as hard when you’re angry with yourself for not understanding.
I forgive myself for not listening.
I forgive myself for running from the hard answers.
I forgive myself for squeezing my eyes shut and covering my ears when my body said ‘no more’ and I wanted more.
I understand that I didn’t want to listen. That my mind played tricks to get what it wanted – to eat more, to ignore emotions, not to slow down and pretend everything was fine.
I thank my body for it’s unwavering communication.
It never became angry when I obviously didn’t listen. It didn’t stop talking to me out of spite.
Consistently honest answers are all I’ve ever received.
The problem was never in knowing what to do to stay healthy.
The problem was that I chose not to listen.
I still sometimes think that my body should be dropping the pounds more quickly.
That it should be responding more diligently to what I’m doing.
But that’s not true.
My body should be doing exactly what it’s doing.
Responding seamlessly to what I do, eat and think.
It’s in perfect communication with me. I’m the one who doesn’t like what it says at times.
So I ignore it, or ask the same question, or a slightly different one, looking for a ‘better’ answer.
But my body won’t give another answer. It doesn’t care about pleasing me or telling me what I want to hear.
It doesn’t care about what I look like if I don’t get everything done, or don’t finish everything on my plate.
My body only cares about being as healthy as it can be.
My body is way more truthful than my mind will ever be. No people pleasing, no tiptoeing around.
Just the hard truth. Always.
And there’s something very respectable about that.
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