A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Does Your Body Speak To You?

When I left my house this morning it was 10◦F outside. I had on so many layers (five to be exact) that I resembled Randy from A Christmas Story.

I can't put my arms down.
This made reaching the steering wheel somewhat problematic.

Ironically on our actual Christmas Day two weeks ago, I had all the windows of my house open and a t-shirt on as I wrapped gifts. The weather in Pennsylvania has been somewhat bi-polar of late.

This is not the point of today’s entry, however.

Over the years I’ve heard the people around me say things to the effect of, “my body was telling me...” followed by an astute observation about what they were feeling/sensing and what it meant. I always listen to people who say such things with fascinated mystification, as throughout my life I’ve never really been on speaking terms with my own body.

This is probably because what I most often say to it are things like, “you’re not good enough” and, “you look awful.” So honestly, if I were my body I wouldn’t want to speak to me either. I’m kind of a jerk.

The week before Christmas as I was attending my usual Zumba classes, I noticed that getting through the hour of jumping/dancing/shimmying was much harder than it should be. I’ve been doing this since August so my stamina has increased substantially. Then, the Saturday following Christmas, the itching in my throat began that signaled an oncoming cold.

Last night, back in Zumba class and feeling close to my normal level of stamina again, I finally (much belatedly) realized that the unusual exhaustion from the week before Christmas was actually my body telling me, “hey – jerk face – you’re getting a cold soon.”

Not that knowing this could have prevented the cold, medical science still has no recourse against that virus other than to help alleviate the symptoms. The important thing is that I correctly identified something that my body was actually telling me. Granted, I identified it after the fact – but it’s still progress toward being able to listen to the subtle queues that clue me in to what’s going on with me rather than just acting like a floating head with zero connection to the meat-vehicle that carries my brain from place to place.

This is useful because my disconnection from my body is part of what causes poor eating choices for me. Instead of listening to the signal that says, “I’m full” I just keep on eating at times. Instead of being able to figure out what a craving means and how to properly satisfy it I simply default to my go-to addiction tendency toward sugar combined with fat. Sometimes I’ll graze on a variety of different things but find satisfaction in none of them (while consuming far too many calories) because I can’t correctly identify what it is that I really need. Cravings, after all, are often our body’s way of telling us that it needs a nutrient we’re lacking at present.

If I can get in better touch with my body, if we can get on speaking terms, I stand a better chance of avoiding crave-induced binges.

Also, I'm freezing.

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