Listen to your body.
If you know me in person, or if you follow me on social media, I'm sure you've heard me say (more than once), "listen to your body." If I have any advice to give, that's the best. Y'all it's so important. No one knows you the way you do.
It's also common for me to be asked, "how?" "How do I listen to my body?" "What does that mean?" So let me see if I can explain.
It's hard for me. This is something I've been doing since I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia at the age of 19. No one told me how. No one even told me to. I just did it. Naturally. I didn't want to slow down but I quickly learned some things led to more pain than others. Some things would take longer for my body to recover from. So I learned what was what.
I realize though, that this is not the case for everyone. And, honestly, it seems to not at all be the norm. So, I'll do my best to help, because I feel it is so so important to our health.
Our bodies give us so many cues. Muscles tense up. Stomachs churn and cramp. Our bodies want to give out. We get headaches. Our brains become foggy, making it difficult to think or concentrate. I could go on, but I think you're probably getting the picture.
Y, all, these are all signs from ourselves telling us to change something. But what? How do we know?
Invest in a journal. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. It can be something as simple as a spiral notebook or something with more guidance like one of my favorite Dailygreatness journals. (These are fabulous by the way.)
Start making notes of EVERYTHING! Seriously. What did you eat today? How much? How did you feel afterward? The next day? What else went into your body? Think OTC's or prescription meds. Or maybe you use essential oils* or another natural form of pain relief. What did you drink? Write It All Down!
Did you workout today? What did you do? For how long? Notice anything different in your body? Where? How does it feel? Did you feel better or worse afterward?
Where you active or sedentary? What types of things did you tell yourself today? (Y'all, self-talk is sooo important! We'll address this in a future post.) Who did you surround yourself with? How did they affect your overall thinking and feelings about yourself?
I know, in the beginning it can seem like so much. It can feel like too much work. And if you're expecting immediate answers or changes, you're likely to lose hope and give up. Let me first encourage you not to do that! That's the worst thing you can do.
Start off small. Pick one area you want to focus on first. Then add another, and another. Choose a journal (like the Dailygreatness Wellness Journal) that will walk you through with prompts. Eventually you'll find yourself doing it automatically.
Just whatever you do, don't give up! Remember, you're doing this for you. You're working toward health and finding your best self. So, now you choose. Are you worth it or not? If you're asking me, I say you absolutely are!
Earlier this year we decided to go Paleo. Brandon had had great luck in the past with a Keto diet (the two are very similar), so I thought why not? If this helps him, I’m all for it.
We continued with the Paleo way for a couple months. (If you’re not familiar with Paleo, think caveman and you’re on the right track!) Brandon lost 20 lbs. I, however, found 10 of those.
*Let me say here, that I’ve never been one to gain easily or quickly. So this was odd for me.
I started thinking back to what had worked for me in the past. I’ve always leaned heavily toward fish or chicken when it comes to animal protein. I’m happy to eat rice and other grains and even went vegetarian for a while a few years ago (I felt amazing by the way).
I remembered seeing something about the Blood Type diet years ago. So I decided to do a little research. Turns out, it’s super accurate for us. He’s type O and does best on a heavy protein diet with little to no grains and legumes. I am type A and do best on a largely plant based type diet. It's all quite interesting and I'm enjoying experimenting with this theory.
It makes sense, though. We’re all so unique in how our bodies respond to everything. Illness, temperature, different workouts, foods. Y’all, we are not all made the same. So why would one way of eating work for all of us.
So I’m curious. What diets have you tried? What’s worked and what hasn’t?