Are you listening to your body?

July 5, 2013

I can’t say that I’ve always been able to listen to my body.  This is a skill I am only just learning after 31 years on the planet. For a while, I didn’t know if my body was talking to me, so how did I know to listen?  I didn’t!

Last night after a long day of driving, swimming and running around with kids at the family BBQ I decided a half cup of coffee would help me get through the drive home.  A half cup! So I had it, didn’t really love the taste of it (coffee and I have a love-hate relationship), and then we left for our hour long drive home.

I got home, unpacked the bags, put the baby to bed, took a shower, and then I realized, its 12:45 and I’m still wide awake.  Not in a good way though – like in a bad, “I’m gonna have to watch Downton Abbey” to fall asleep kinda way.  Then I realized, “oh, maybe I shouldn’t have had that half of a cup of coffee at 10pm. Oops”.

At that point, I remembered a few days ago when I had trouble falling asleep that I had drank  some iced green tea before bed.  I realized then, I can’t drink iced green tea before bed without suffering from a caffeine high.

My body was telling me then, “Marie, you can’t handle caffeine before bed.”  I took a note about the green tea, but only when I was lying awake last night did I realize my body was talking to me again. “No caffeine before bed!”

I have to say that I fall asleep with no problem regularly, so this was a real eye opener for me.  I also don’t drink caffeinated drinks every day.  I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker, craving more the heat of a hot cup of coffee or the cool of an iced one over the actual taste and caffeine buzz.

Mad Men's Bob Benson with his constant cup of coffee

Mad Men’s Bob Benson with his constant cup of coffee

 

 

Having this quick moment of conversation with my body was so important for me.  I have always struggled to know what was going on with my body, not because my body wasn’t telling me, but simply because I wasn’t listening.

The stomach aches, head aches, bad belly, and skin conditions are all symptoms my body is putting forth so I’ll do something about it.  How many times did I have to eat eggplant and then get a stomach ache to realize that I have to take digestive enzymes with eggplant otherwise I can’t enjoy it? (I’ll get back to you on how many servings of eggplant an Italian girl named Marie could eat in 30 years).  This was my body talking to me, all these years telling me secrets that I never heard.  I just couldn’t read the signals, couldn’t tap into my own body chemistry which is the most powerful thing we possess.

While I’m training to be a health coach, I am making every effort to listen to my body so I can get as healthy as possible.  You know I’ve tried every style of eating known to man to try and find my bliss.  It’s not so easy to listen to your body because we have so many distractions getting in the way on a daily basis.  The laundry that has to get done, dropping off your kid at daycare, work, cooking, walking the dog, listening to a co-worker complain – all of it was distracting me from listening, ear to the ground, to what my amazing body was telling me.

My body has served me very well these 31 years.  It is always there for me when I want to go dancing, run around the playground with Dylan, go to Bikram yoga, and eat too much.  Not to mention that it gave me my greatest gift – my son Dylan almost 2 years ago.  Is it really so hard for me to just LISTEN?

The answer is, yes, sometimes it is hard to listen.  So now I’m gonna clear a little extra space in the corners of my mind to leave room for my body to tell me what the heck is going on in there.  I’m also gonna take extra special care of my body because it always takes extra special care of me.

 

 

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