The biggest lesson I am learning these days is to listen to my body and not my mind. For the last year I have done everything in my power to not throw up and felt like I had a setback every time it would happen. However now I am getting sick everyday because of morning sickness, and its ok because I am learning to accept that my body has needs that I have to abide by. I can tell when my body doesn’t want to eat vs. when it really does want to. I haven’t been losing weight which is really great. When I am tired I rest, when I am sick, I let myself be sick. It’s all working out so far.
But it goes beyond just pregnancy. Weight loss, weight gain, self esteem, our panic; all happen in result to what we are listening to in our heads, as opposed to listening to our bodies. If we really were in tune with our bodies, we would eat when we were hungry, and stop eating when we got full. There wouldn’t be so many overweight Americans. Sure there are always exceptions, thyroid issues or other medical problems, but I am not referring to the exception. How many times do we eat out of emotional pain? How many times do we not eat because of guilt? How many times do we feel bad about ourselves after eating too much, or too little which then lowers our self esteem? How many times do we panic because we care too much about what others think of us and how we should “be” around them as opposed to doing what feels natural? Instead of thinking “I need to eat this huge plate of food cause that’s what’s expected of me…” you might just decide, “I am not hungry right now. Maybe I will just snack on an appetizer and eat something later when my body needs it.” Your body won’t let you starve yourself.
Granted this line of thinking really is closely associated with anxiety around food. I don’t really see how listening to your body will help you drive on the freeway, or take the elevator, or leave the house. That is all about changing how you think and doesn’t really apply here.
But for those of us struggling to gain weight or lose it, I think if we could all learn to stop listening to our thoughts as much and listen more to our bodies; the anxiety will naturally fade some and our bodies will only take what they need. I know, easier said than done.