Listen to Your Body it has LOTS to Say!

“The mind’s first step to self-awareness must be through the body.”~George Sheehan

As spiritual beings having a human experience it’s important to take care of your body and listen to it. Your body gives you a lot of feedback and many times that feedback is ignored because of the latest diet or exercise trend or the ego mind gets in the way. When it comes to your body ‘one size fits all’ does not come into play nor does it mean that NOW you can do what you did in the past. Very simply, bodies and needs change over time. If you don’t feel good, by all means try something new but listen and pay attention to what your body is telling you to know if it’s the right thing for you.

I should probably call this post “Reflections of a Carbohydrate Addict” but in the interest of keeping in the spirit of this healing  mind, body, & spirit blog the current title will suffice. I want to also be clear that if you are doing something that works for you and you’re feeling physically good (or better than you did) by eating a certain diet I not only applaud your choices but will support you in any way I can. The story I’m about to share is for you to shift your attention and have you check in with your own body to see what’s working and what’s not. Awareness and listening are powerful tools which help with your ability to create change. In other words; You can’t change what you aren’t aware of.

Every Body Tells a Story

First I’d like to confess that I am a carbohydrate addict! In my freezer there is a ‘bread for all reasons’. I eat a healthy, balanced diet. I’m a lifetime Weight Watcher member (I’m also a WW leader) having lost 86 lbs and still work the program. As I got older my body changed and I started to put on a sneaky little one pound a year. I wasn’t worried because after all it was only one pound and I’ll take it off tomorrow. Sound familiar? One pound added up to two, then to eight, then to 10. RED ALERT! I re-focused my efforts but a funny thing happens after 50. What was once relatively easy to do becomes a  struggle. As your body and hormones change (for both men and women) you not only need to step up the exercise to balance out natural muscle loss but you really have to pay attention to the aging process and how it affects you personally.

After reading several articles and books in addition to hearing the success of several friends and listening to the ‘experts’ I decided to try a totally gluten-free diet. A gluten-free diet is said to reduce inflammation, even out sugar levels, get rid of excess bloat and belly fat among other things. I’m by no means a medical expert so do check with your doctor before making a dietary change for health purposes. Again if you eat a gluten-free diet and it’s working for you I think it’s GREAT! What I experienced was something quite different from what I anticipated based on all that I’ve heard, read or seen.

I cut out ALL the bread (and other items with gluten) and did not replace them with gluten-free foods. I figured that cutting out all processed carbs would be beneficial. I ate more protein as suggested (2-4 oz depending on the meal) in addition to  2-3 fruit servings, 2 tsp of olive oil, lots of veggies (which I already eat) and at least one serving of a gluten-free grain. I stayed within my daily WW Points Plus target and exercised as usual.  After one week there was no noticeable difference in how I felt and much to my surprise I GAINED 4 POUNDS!

Maybe I should have stuck with it another week but 4 pounds sent me reeling! Since the only real difference I noticed was being hungry almost all the time despite all the healthy foods I was eating I realized that although gluten-free is necessary for some people (for health reasons) and great for others (who feel better doing it), it doesn’t work for ME. I’m happy to report that after going back to not worrying about the gluten and limiting carb intake instead of cutting it out completely I’ve taken off 3 of the 4 lbs this week. Oddly I feel better, I’m not hungry all the time and it did make a difference in showing me that one size does not fit all.

What’s Your Body’s Story?

Every BODY is different and what works for one person may not work for another. What is good for one may not be good for another. When you listen to your body for feedback you will know what’s working for you. You’ll know by your moods, your energy, your weight and how you feel over-all. The most important thing to remember is that your body is the only one you have this lifetime. If you are doing something that you can’t stick with for the rest of your life it might be time to consider trying something else.

Listen to your body. What’s it telling you? How’s it feeling these days? How is your energy level? Are you taking the time to love and nurture it? Are there changes your body is screaming at you to make? Do you need more rest and relaxation? Take a moment each day to check in with your body. Your spirit will love you for it!~Shine Your Light Debbie

©Debra Taitel  2012 All rights reserved
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