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Listen to Your Body

Posted Oct 03 2013 2:00pm

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Last Saturday I went for a long run in Central Park with David. The weather was perfect, the sun was shining and I was properly fueled and hydrated.

It should have felt incredible.

But it didn’t. Afterwards, I turned to David and admitted I was depleted. Because I’m so active, imbalance is always apparent in my fitness first.

September and October have been and will be hectic months. As a health coach, I like to keep my stress levels relatively low so I can support my clients in the best way possible. But if I said I haven’t felt the pressure lately and for weeks on end, that would be a lie.

A big fat lie.

After the Athleta Iron Girl Triathlon , I didn’t have a moment to rest. I continued on with training for the Healdsburg Half Marathon and since then, things have been non-stop with my business, my activities, my traininig and my life. In addition to a few personal concerns weighing heavy, there are more demands on my time than ever, more emails flooding my inbox and appointments to be scheduled without enough hours to schedule them.

My evenings are booked solid for the foreseeable future to the point that finding time to catch up with a good friend has been a challenge.

I’m not saying all this to complain in the “I’m so busy” way. There’s a reason and a learning here. I’m admitting that I’m juggling too many balls. I’m spread too thin.

I feel depleted and run down and this isn’t a problem all my own.

I bet the majority of you reading this right now can relate either in this moment or have felt this way before, probably recently.

I’m a big fan of saying “no” but what happens when you can’t because there are too many reasons not to? Something has to give.

In the moment when I said out loud to David that I was depleted, I knew it in my body.

But my mind didn’t want to admit it.

I considered keeping quiet and pushing on, but I needed – and wanted – the accountability. Later that afternoon, I made the decision to take several days off of exercise and even skip a training run.

Had I not I listened to my body; I would have kept going and ignored all the signs that were telling me to slow down. But to what end?

Everyone has a different threshold for how much they can handle on a physical and emotional level.

It’s up to you to know yours.

I’ve read blog posts and opinions that say listening to your body is bullshit. I admit, it sounds kind of lame but it’s been one of the best ways for me to get real about how I feel and what I need to be at my best.

Listening to my body has helped me discover more than what my mind could ever learn from any book. 

It’s told me which way of eating works best for me. After 20 years on a strictly vegetarian diet, I started eating seafood and eventually took away dairy. My body cued me on that. It’s why I still eat whole grains when the rest of the world is eating Paleo. That’s because my body tells me to, not a diet. And it’s why I took a 4-month running hiatus a few years ago against my own personal will.

It’s not an easy skill to master.

Most of the time, our bodies are used as the vehicle to perform what our mind wants to do.  So tuning in to your body means completely ignoring or drowning out the chatter in your mind and re-programming old habits. If you live in your head like I often do, sometimes you have to slow down and deliberately ask yourself what your body is saying.

Your body is like the quiet talker with the most important thing to say. Give it a turn to speak and listen hard when it does.

Click here to Tweet that, by the way.

What would you do differently if your body took precedence over your mind?

Does this post resonate with you? Think it will with someone else? Please let me know in the comments and share on social media.

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