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Tuesday, 14 August 2007

When do you trust your body?

I have been physically struggling lately. I think I have hormonal problems because I keep waking up in a pool of sweat in the middle of the night. I sometimes have to change what I'm wearing 3 times because it's drenched (if anyone knows why this is happening please advise!)

What with that, and a cold, and TTOM I feel drained. Yesterday I came home from work early and took an eating holiday.

I had hot chips for tea and apple/berry Sara Lee crumble for dessert. Not the healthiest whole food choices I admit, but cunningly disguising what I really wanted - potatoes and fruit.

Today, a miracle happened. Although I had little sleep with the aforementioned night sweats and it was day 2 of TTOM, today was a great day. I got up and ran on the treadmill, I felt alive and full of energy and I haven't craved carbs at all today.

It started me thinking about trusting your body. When you have cravings when you are pregnant it is because your body needs the nutrients from that food. When un-pregnant people who generally eat well crave a particular food, is it because we need it? Am I trying to run on too little calories/carbs?

When we are children we need our parents to tell us what we can and can't do. As we get older they start to trust us to know right from wrong, and with that trust comes an obligation to do the right thing. Do we get to a point where we should listen to what our body is telling us instead of treating it like a spoilt child? Does using our mind or our will power to override our cravings actually serve us?

I guess this is the point of intuitive eating. I don't think I am convinced that this is the right course of action for me, but I do suspect that I should listen to my body more. I am convinced that "conscious" eating is the key. If I am aware of why I need to eat (hunger vs boredom), how I feel eating it, directly afterwards, and the next day, then I can monitor if it was what my body actually needed. I need to trust myself that I will not eat Krispy Kreme donuts every day for a week. If I am tuned in to how they (KK donuts) make me feel physically, I suspect that I wouldn't eat them everyday after all.

Maybe after years of eating well, it is time to trust that my body will let me know what I need. When I ate low fat, all I wanted to eat was fatty things because I wasn't getting ENOUGH fat. Now I eat high protein, high fat, all I crave is carbohydrates. I do not feel full of energy and alive on low carb - I feel drained. When I eat some carbs (not the all out carb fest of a refeed) I feel better almost instantly.

So instead of eating to a prescription of macro nutrients or calories, I am going to eat according to how it makes me feel - before, during and after. I want enough energy to look forward to working out, and enough energy to bound through my day. Then maybe my poor old body will have enough energy to burn up some of those last kilos of podge.

After all, there is no sense in looking great and feeling like shit all the time. I am going to concentrate on feeling great first and see how I end up looking (which is I hope is not a huge fat piggy!!).

And the first thing on my list to add back in is FRUIT!! In fact, I am thinking of a whole day of just fruit (plain and exotic) on Saturday and nothing else - now to me, that sounds like glorious indulgence!
Just as you work in a yoga posture to align and realign with your inner core, so you can learn to recognize what foods your body needs. By bringing attention to your internal sense of what is appealing and what effects different foods have on you throughout the eating and digestion process, you will gradually learn to recognize exactly what your body needs and when you need it.


  1. Anonymous11:16 am

    YAY!! Now THAT sounds like a good plan babes.... and thanks for your lovely words on my blog!!
    I will be thinking of you on saturday, diva like and surrounded by exotic fruits and hopefully being fanned by some gorgeous buff sexy man!!
    S x

  2. Good luck Katie and PLEASE go get your bloods done!!!!