We are constantly bombarded with information, oftentimes contradictory information, about what we’re supposed to do for our health and well-being. We’re so busy forcing our bodies to do the ever-changing things we hear and read that we forget how to listen to our internal cues. We mean well – trying new diets and exercise regimens to be healthy and look great. But what works for someone else doesn’t necessarily work for you or us.
And when we don’t listen to our bodies, they often shout the problems in the form of symptoms – headaches, fatigue, upset stomach, aches and pains… When we were training for the 25K, we experienced all of the above. We were pushing ourselves too hard and not listening to what our bodies were saying. Only when we stopped doing what the training guides and food pyramids told us to did we start feeling better.
People often tell us that they could never give up meat, even for a day, or that they wouldn’t be able to run a 5K race. That they had tried, gave up all the “bad” foods or exercised every day, but they just couldn’t do it. But our bodies aren’t meant to go all in over night. Giving up all the foods you’re used to will only result in cravings, and exercising too much too quickly will only lead to overexertion. Our bodies need a slower pace, little changes that add up to a healthier lifestyle.
But how can we drown out all the noise and listen to what our bodies are telling us? We need to just take a moment to breathe, put away our phones and tablets, turn off the television, and breathe. Take an inventory of what your body is feeling – how does your back feel, your stomach, your muscles, your energy level. Try to bring your body to balance. If you’re hungry, eat but don’t over eat. If you’re tired, rest. If you’re energetic, go for a bike ride or whatever activity you enjoy.
Being fit is about rest as much as it is about exercise, and as much about allowing yourself a little indulgence as it is about balanced eating. Listen to your body and find your balance.