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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Body Image: What Energy do you SEE?

“Mirror, mirror on the wall who’s the fairest of them all?” What do you see when you look in the mirror? Did you know that what is reflected back is not always what is truly and uniquely you? How’s your body image these days? Do you love or even like your body?

Everything is energy…

…including your body! When you look into the mirror do you see yourself looking back or are there times when the reflection you see doesn’t quite look like you? Are you always trying to fix or change something? Do you hate your body altogether? Do you think you are unattractive? Do you consider each wrinkle a ‘laugh or wisdom line’ or do you see it as merely getting old?

Enhancing or changing your body is fine but your outer body and the things you dislike many times are a reflection of what’s going on INside and it could very well be that there is a lot of energy you are carrying around which is not yours! It may not be that you hate your body but that you hate the energy you see when you look at yourself. This is an important distinction from wanting to get healthy and lose weight for example. If you don’t like the extra weight, take a few moments to reflect on those things you carry around with you or the pain you are trying to cover up. If you are thin  yet see yourself as heavy reflect on what it is you are still trying to purge from your body.

Change what’s INside first…

There’s nothing wrong with body enhancements but unless you change what’s going on INside nothing you do (whether it be losing or gaining weight, plastic surgery etc) will change how you see and feel about yourself. What is it you don’t want to see? Is it a painful childhood? Are you in pain and/or resisting an illness? Is there energy that stems from constant invalidation? And for the million dollar question….HOW MUCH OF WHAT YOU SEE IS ACTUALLY YOURS? Refelctions of any kind are distorted! Have you ever gone to an amusement park and looked at yourself in one of those funny mirrors? 🙂

There is more to you than meets the eye!

Your spirit is beautiful! No matter what your physical body looks like, finding and bringing more of you INside will indeed be reflected on the outside. Your body is not just made up of molecules and particles. Your spiritual energy animates and breathes passion and purpose into your life. If you are comparing yourself to what is considered ‘beautiful’ by some and you don’t feel like you fit that image, you are actually getting stuck on someone else’s (or society’s) picture of beauty!


How you see yourself from your minds eye is reflected on the outside. Behold the beauty of yourself! The more of YOU and your beautiful spirit you allow yourself to see and bring INside the more you show it to others. When you look in the mirror if the outside doesn’t quite match the inside, go ahead and do what you’d like to change your physical body; But by all means be sure to clear out foreign energies and other people’s pictures or concepts of beauty. See yourself as I see you…a beautiful spirit in a human body!~Shine Your Light Debbie

©Debra Taitel 2011 All rights reserved

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