Today’s topic is something that I have struggled with for as long as I can remember. Not only struggled with but never really understood. I’ve heard it time and time again what does your body want, do what makes you feel good. How do you know what your body wants and what will really make it feel good? Well let me tell you it involves giving yourself and no one your undivided attention for a little while.
If you would have asked me what my body wanted a year ago I would have given you an answer that said something along the lines of more medication, extra vitamins, more sleep, and better diet, etc.. Well out of all of those there were only two of those I really needed: Sleep and Better Diet. On average I slept around 3 hours a night, no human being can operate at a satisfactory flow on that kind of sleep. It causes all kinds of problems, and I was getting the negative effects from it. My diet wasn’t a diet at all, it was I will eat what I want when I want and how much of it I want. So those two things in themselves had my body in a tug of war with itself.
So I did the logical thing, I went to my doctor for help and guidance, good idea….not at that point in my life! My doctor at that time threw a slew of sleeping pills at me for my insomnia, and he solution to diet was calories in calories out, get a gym membership, and limit my food. Simple enough, except most of the sleeping pills had awful side effects and trying to get a sleep deprived, depressed, anxious, obese women to go to the gym is like herding a cat into the bathtub….protective gear required! I really did try what she wanted but I would succeed for a week or two, then fall off the wagon and dive deeper into my troubles….aka a gallon of my favorite ice cream.
What changed this and made me learn to listen to my body? Number 1…I found a new doctor that actually listened to me and cared!!!! I cannot stress this enough, find a doctor who wants to help you not harm you. Even if you have to drive a couple hours its worth it, trust me! Number 2….I had to start taking ten minutes a day (somedays longer) to start to really clear my head and see how I was feeling. What was really hurting, how did I really feel, what did I need? Problem solved right? Wrong! It took me several months to start to be able to realize problems and what they were and signals my body was giving me.
As I dove deeper into my Keto journey I started getting this odd reactions as I was eliminating specific items from my diet. I started to notice when I ate certain foods within an hour my belly didn’t full good, or my energy levels would change. I began to truly understand what feeling full was like for the first time and didn’t have to force food into my already full body.
Knowing when I was truly full has been one of the hardest things. I was raised that you eat what is on your plate, and generally what was on that plate was a protein, a veg, and a starch. That was my entire life growing up and I thought was just the correct way to do it when I was an adult. Guess what? So completely wrong. You can leave food on your plate and save it for later, and you don’t need all that variety on your plate either. If your eating high quality whole foods you learn you are getting exactly what you need, and your body will start giving you signals that enough is enough.
One key thing I learned to do to figure out when I was truly full was listen to my stomach. If my stomach felt full but my mind said keep eating, I would take a ten minute break and just sip some water and talk to the kids. If after that ten minutes I felt like my stomach wasn’t full I would eat a little more. If it felt full I would put it up and eat it at another time. The second thing I noticed is that as you get satiated you can start to notice subtle changes in taste. When your full food doesn’t taste as appealing anymore.
Once my diet started to come more into focus the sleep improvement soon followed. My body was now using fat for fuel and not sugar so my body wanted more sleep to digest and recover itself. Before I would have fought feelings of tiredness or let my mind run wild in thoughts. Now when I start to feel tired I listen to my body and go to bed. I may take a little while to fall asleep but I just try to relax and rest my body. I now sleep an average of 7 hours a night which is a huge improvement!
You really have to start listening to your body and paying attention to what different things in your environment do to it. Eliminate things for at least 21 days if you think they are the cause. See what makes you feel truly amazing and makes your body happy. Your body is super intelligent on it’s own so take the time to learn from it and listen to what its telling you!