Loving through listening
Thursday, February 13, 2014
My fitness focus for 2014 is learning to love my body. My first goal to help me toward this is to visit the chiropractor and the massage therapist monthly. In the past, I have waited to go until I was in pain. As I reviewed my 2013 bills, I noticed I still made as many trips, but they were clustered at times of pain. This year, I am planning to go monthly to avoid the pain and optimize my strengths.
The second thing I have done to help me learn to love my body is to let go of "should" and "should not." I stopped telling myself I should not have sugar or I should exercise because I am too fat, I am a sugar addict, my pants do not fit, I would feel better, or I would have more energy. I stopped (well, I have not really stopped, but I am working toward stopping my habit of) telling myself all the things wrong with my body and all the ways I need to fix it. Occasionally, I even remember to focus on things I like about my body.
But my clothes do not fit, I do get winded, I am disappointed I cannot come close to doing the things I did just a year or two ago, and I know I would feel better if I took better care of my body. So I wondered what step I can take next to create more health in my body without damaging the emotional health I am working to build in regards to my body.
I believe my next step will be listening to what my body tells me about the food I eat. I tend to overeat frequently. There are several reasons for this. One, I enjoy what I am eating. It tastes good, so I keep eating after I am no longer hungry. Two, I fear hunger. If I stop eating now, I might be hungry again in two hours, so I keep eating after I am no longer hungry. This is especially true if I eat at a buffet. Three, it was expensive. If something cost a lot, I surely do not want to waste it. I sometimes realize it is worse than a waste to eat things that my body does not need and that will make me feel worse than if I did not eat them. Too much of a good thing is no longer good, but I forget this, so I keep eating after I am no longer hungry. Four, I am nervous, bored, or stressed. Somehow, I think crunching and chewing will make me feel better, so I keep eating even though I am not hungry. I never feel better because of it. Five, because I am not eating enough foods that are meeting certain needs. For example, if I do not eat enough fruits or vegetables, I find that I am hungrier and that no matter how much I eat, I am not satisfied. Six, because it is there. Seven, because someone else is eating it. Eight, habit.
I am sure there are others, but clearly, I do not always eat simply because I am hungry. I often regret when I eat too much. It may be because I feel the discomfort of my pants that are too tight or because I know there is no "undo" button for the mistake I just made. It may be because I feel bloated or tired. It is love to listen to what the one we care about is saying, especially when what they are saying is telling us what they need. Therefore, it is love for me to listen to my body when it tells me what I need: stop eating too much, start eating more fruits and vegetables. It may even tell me to go to bed a little earlier now and then. My job is to listen.