May 14, 2014
That’s what we would all like to have. We all know how we would like our body to be in our ideal world. Some of us are born with stick-straight figures and long for curves; some of us wish that perhaps we were a couple of inches taller; or that our curly hair was straight… the list could go on and on. The reason many of us are here on WLR is because we want to shrink or maintain our weight and shape, we want to see ourselves in the mirror and think “brilliant”.
But the fact is, we all already have brilliant bodies. They are amazing machines capable of so many things, most of which go unnoticed and unremarked as our organs and flesh and bones quietly go about their business. We breathe, move, sleep all on a “subconscious” level, it happens and we rarely think about it.
However, every now and then we get a “jolt”. Our bodies need to “tell” us something. We may get a pain or an ache; some indication that something has changed and needs to be addressed.
This can be from aches and pains when we exercise (not the usual “workout” feelings but something different which makes you know that you need to call a halt to your physical activity, at least for the moment) to a sore throat or the sniffles, which your body uses to indicate that it is in “Houston We Have A Problem” mode alerting you to the fact that it is busy dealing with an “unwanted intruder” (and which lets us know that it could use some extra help in the form of medical intervention either from the pharmacy or by a visit to your GP).
My body has recently been telling me that something is not right. It started with some stomach pain…and then ended up with me having to camp in the smallest room and then turned into a sickness bug. It kept me awake and if I did try to eat or drink something my body would very definitely tell me “no”. It is probably a virus I have a raised temperature and generally feel poorly.
My initial reaction was to go to bed on Sunday afternoon to see if that saw off the initial stomach pains. It didn’t. I wondered if it was because I needed to eat something (remembering that I hadn’t eaten very much the day before) and so tried that, but my body quickly decided to expel any food and so I decided to see if sipping apple juice would help. That was equally unsuccessful. What was successful was my body’s attempts to let me know that something wasn’t working properly. It had made that perfectly clear to me. It was telling me what it did and didn’t want.
Our bodies are great for that. It is always amazing when pregnant women get cravings for something they would never dream of eating pre-or-post-pregnancy. Or when you get that feeling that you just “know” that your body is in need of fresh vegetables or a piece of fish or meat.
Sometimes our bodies get it wrong; they “tell us” that they need crisps and cakes and pasties... and so we oblige. In moderation these are fine, but as soon as we start eating too many of them without then burning up the “fuel” they provide, our body lets us know that something is off balance by increasing the “stretch of our skin” so that it still perfectly covers a rather-more-portly frame.
There was an experiment, which is well documented and often referred to, in which a group of children were allowed to eat whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted and as much as they wanted. In the early days the children consumed vast quantities of sweet sugary food, all the “treats” that children love, and which are best served in moderation. The interesting part came when the children then switched from eating the “treats” and actively sought out vegetables and proteins.
Once the evidence was collected and the data analysed, the underlying trend was that the children had actually eaten what would be considered medically and nutritionally as a “balanced diet”. Somehow without the intervention of their parents or other adults, and with complete freedom of choice, the children’s diets had incorporated everything that their bodies needed to “be healthy”. How had this happened? Because the children’s bodies had somehow managed to convey what was needed and had “made itself understood”. That, to me, is brilliant.
We all know when our bodies are telling us something. Whether it’s the “full feeling” when there are still two roast potatoes and some roast beef still on the plate, or when we have eaten half-a-packet of ginger nuts and we know we have “had enough”. And this is where we let our brilliant bodies down.
Squeezing in the last of the roasties (often when we don’t really enjoy eating them) or getting half-way through the biscuits and continuing to eat the rest of the packet. We do this despite “our better judgement”, and it is this “better judgement”, which is our bodies' way of telling us “enough”. That really is incredible. That all the various parts and portions of our bodies can unite to let us know what it wants; what it needs and what it really has had enough of.
I am sure that in a few days time my body will start “behaving normally” again. It will let me know when it is ready to resume normal service. I will get my appetite back; food and fluid will be retained and my sleep will return to its usual routine. But for now my body is making me do what it needs me to do. It has made me refocus on just how brilliant my body is and made me review all those occasions when I “override” it. When I push past something that I really should pay attention to, and my brilliant body does it’s very best to do what I am asking of it, even though it is letting me know that “all is not well”.
When I once again firing on all cylinders I am going to try to remember what the past few days have felt like. I will try to remember that my body has the right to say “no”, and that I should listen to it.
So whatever you are doing… take a little time to really concentrate on what your body is telling you… if you do, it will be even more brilliant.
Have a great WLR Day.
With a Hug
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