Did you know that no one fingerprint is alike? This fact still amazes me- that no one in the entire world will ever share my same fingerprint. Our fingerprint is our identification, our unique marking, our signature!
Just as your fingerprint is one of a kind, so is the rest of you. No one thinks exactly like you, no one talks exactly like you, and no one is you! Even if you have an identical twin, you are still an individual with an incomparable mind, body and soul. This one and only you hold the answers to your perfect health. We are constantly reminded that we need to embrace our uniqueness, be yourself because everyone else is taken.
When it comes to your health and eating, it’s easy to forget that you are a unique being. In your quest for the perfect, flawless body, you assume that the latest fad diet advertised on TV, social media must be the way to a better looking you. Twisted notions come to mind, such as, “If it worked for my friend, Mary, then it will work for me!” and “If my coworker Mark can lose 10 Kgs fast by eating nothing but bananas, so can I!” But when the fruit salad and no carbs diet fails, you are left wondering what went wrong. So you jump on the next diet roller coaster that barrels into the public eye, which will only slow down and confuse your metabolism, especially during menopause. Stop! Don’t blame yourself. There is an answer.
The truth is: There is no one right diet that will work for everyone. Despite all of the dietary information available today – Vegan Is Victorious, Macrobiotic Is Marvelous, Low Carb Conquers, and Raw Food Rules – you remain utterly confused. You are left with only one tool. That tool is your body’s own wisdom. Yes, the answer to what and how to eat lies within you, not on the cover of your favorite health magazine. Each body is unique. You need to understand your own body.
It’s fascinating to think of everything you learn in your life. When you are young, you learn to wake up on time and arrive at school before the bell rings. You learn to either get good grades or fail. You learn to operate bikes, computers and more. After you graduate, you already know what career path to take so as to live your dream.
But when it comes to your own health, you may never take the time to learn how to operate your own system. It’s your body’s wisdom that will tell you when you are hungry, what you should eat, how much water to drink and for how long you should sleep. You just need to learn to listen to what your body is saying to you.
You may be wondering, “Why can’t I hear any of this then?” Well, your body speaks to you every day. It whispers to you quietly, though, and if you’re not listening, you may miss it. Somewhere deep inside, as you are craving that chocolate cake, your body is talking to you. Perhaps it’s really saying that you are scared, lonely, tired, depressed, happy, angry or sad, and that what it really needs is some physical touch or a listening ear. But the chocolate cake is easy; it will work to cover up your feelings…until the next craving.
So how can you begin to listen to your body’s inner wisdom in order to achieve your perfect health this New Year? Do you want to reach your ideal weight, feel comfortable in your own skin, balance your hormones or increase your energy? There are four steps to getting in touch with the inner wisdom of your body that will send you on the path to a healthier you.
Steps to Getting In Touch With Your Body
1. Slow down, be still and listen – Consider that the world is not as face-paced as you think it is. By changing your belief about the world, your view of it will change. Begin to picture your world as slower and calmer. When you begin to experience stillness throughout your day, your body will thank you. Take a few moments to “be quiet, alone, reflect” during your daily routine. Most people avoid stopping to reflect because they are fearful of what they might discover within themselves. When you step out of your daily routine and take even just a moment for peace, you quiet the endless rant in your head and allow your body’s wisdom to speak up. Pick two times during the day to stop what you are doing, breathe, reflect, and give thanks for your incredible body that breathes, sleeps, and operates each day.
2. Chew your food – If such a simple step sounds insignificant, think again! If you come to the table in a rush, your body will remain in the stressful state of the fight or flight response. Imagine your body as it tries to digest food, thinking that it is going to fight a war. It’s impossible! Your body will choose to store the food for later. (Huh – so that’s how all of those extra kilos got packed on!) Chewing your food allows your digestive juices to do their job by helping you properly assimilate food and absorb nutrients. And also, chewing your food and experiencing the taste, texture and smell of each bite will lead to a more enjoyable experience. You can be eating the best food money can buy, but if you are disconnected from the process of experiencing your food, you will never be truly satisfied. When you relate with your food in this way, you will be less likely to go looking for something else in the pantry an hour later. At licial wellness, we offer the mindful eating session which helps our clients to become conscious about how, what, when and why you eat. This program aids in weight loss as well.
3. Eat and listen – Now, this is not your everyday food journal. Keep a log of what you eat everyday and how you feel two hours after eating it. Are you still hungry? Are you too full? Are you satisfied? Is your stomach settled? What are you craving? By listing not only what you are eating but also how it makes you feel, you will begin making a connection to what you eat and how it affects your digestion, your energy levels and your mood. You are learning to turn on your inner radar so that you can listen to what your body is telling you. Most importantly, you will create the mind-body connection that is often missing in today’s dining experience. As a nutritionist, this is exactly how we deal with food allergies and food intolerance cases. We encourage the client to record how they feel after eating any food and slowly we start eliminating the “culprit” foods. Eventually we get to know what the client should avoid in order to feel super healthy. Most of the food “culprits” include gluten, wheat, soy, peanut and dairy. Nothing explains our uniqueness better than this point.
4. Honour your body – Start by making your health and your body a priority. Try a new exercise routine, go for a brisk walk, or participate in a pilate class. When you take time for your health and wellbeing, you send positive messages to your body, such as, “I honor you and my health. I am in touch with you, so that you can be in touch with me.” Begin to talk to your body as the home of your soul. Eliminate the negative messages that you subconsciously send to your physical body. Try this exercise: Begin by standing in front of the mirror naked. (Yes, in the buff, that’s right.) Stand there for five minutes and notice what you love about your body now, not what you used to love about it. Then state it out loud. Repeat this several times a week until you feel connected to both your physical and emotional self. Concentrate on your inner beauty and your outer beauty will start to follow suit. I know most of us especially mothers who have gone through a lot of body changes (shape, colour, scars) rarely admire our bodies but we ought to, we have to honour the struggles we have gone through and see the beauty of what has come out of it.
When you slow down, chew your food, eat and listen, and honor your body, you will reconnect with that inner voice that tells you each day all you need to know about what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat. There is no one, single miracle diet that will tell you what your own body needs in order to be happy, fulfilled and healthy. You are your own guide for healthy eating and living. BE YOU, DO YOU…AND YES BE OK WITH IT!