Your Body the Genius

Listen Up

Your body is smart. Genius in fact. It knows exactly how many calories it needs. Not to mention things like protein, fat and carbohydrates. And let’s not forget vitamins and minerals. On any given day. Which is very clever because your micro and macro nutrient needs can vary drastically from one day to the next, depending on your output. If you’re eating too many or too few calories, your body will let you know. If your stomach is cascading over the top of your pants or skirt (for example), you might consider that a clear message. If your wee resembles coke then maybe your very clever cells are suggesting that you give them some more water. If you haven’t backed one out for a week or so (we’re talking poo), then perhaps your stomach would enjoy a little less processed food and a lot more fibre. If your back and neck ache regularly then maybe the message is… less sitting, more standing. Less hunching more straightening. Less Quasimodo, more professional dancer. Stand-up work station anyone? If you can’t sleep at night then maybe those thirteen coffees are not helping. If walking a flight of stairs means you’re wheezing like a ninety year-old bloke with emphysema, then maybe your cardiovascular system is telling you to move more often. 

Unless, of course, you are a ninety year-old bloke with emphysema. :)

Like it or not, want it or not, your body is in constant conversation with you. It’s an amazing biofeedback machine sending you a never-ending series of physiological messages. It’s always telling you something but the question is; are you listening?

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonyfem January 30, 2013 at 7:15 pm

I love what my body is telling me at the moment! Every muscle is sore from the exercise I have done these past few days.
My body is telling me I’m strong, and that this year I’m going to finish the physical challenge that I started in 2012.
It’s also telling me that I have the mental and spiritual strength to meet some other challenges……..That’s the bit I need to listen to………..

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Anonymous January 30, 2013 at 8:42 pm

So far, I haven’t managed to get my food intake right, it’s always been either too much or too little. I’ve abandoned dieting (I’ve yo-yoed for years, can’t sustain it, and always eventually put the weight on again, plus a bit). Now I’m trying to eat healthily and am maintaining my weight (neither losing nor gaining). But my body is in a state, and changing it seems like an impossible task. It’s not nice knowing you look disgusting, and easy to get into feeling very hostile to yourself, so I’ve been working at trying to accept that this is how I am. Since I’ve given up dieting, I’ve noticed a difference in how I act around food. If I know I can eat absolutely anything I want, I don’t feel so desperate to eat. I can feel satisfied after a few mouthfuls of something (although I still have difficulty with the belief that I need to clear my plate). It’s taken me 20 years to create this wreck of a body, I’m hoping it doesn’t take another 20 years to reverse. Maybe I’ll never reverse the damage I’ve done. But looking at my body and hating it for cascading over the top of my pants doesn’t seem like the way to go. When I feel upset, I’m more likely to eat. When I’m calm, my attention focuses on things other than food.

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Evan January 31, 2013 at 9:15 am

Anonymous, I think this moves the topic on to listening to our thoughts and feelings as well. I’ll be interested to hear what Craig thinks.

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Love in India January 31, 2013 at 2:04 am

I have A question – is the same applicable to our mind or brain as well? In that case what is meant by listening to them?

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Evan January 31, 2013 at 9:19 am

A couple of ideas I have LiI.

With thinking. Note which topics you think about a lot and hardly ever (both can be important). See if you can discern how you think about things (problem solving, with imagination, casting about . . .)

With emotions. Note what things evoke which emotions in you. Note how you would like to express your feelings (and whether you do or don’t).

Hope this gives you some useful ideas. I’ll be interested to see what Craig thinks.

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Sulagna - Love in India January 31, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Evan! You really opened up my eyes… I can connect especially with the “listen to your emotions” bit. I had some issues with managing anger a couple of years back and at the time I was forced to take very careful note of what triggers those reactions in me.
Thanks Evan! :)

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Evan February 1, 2013 at 8:09 am

You are very welcome

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Joyce January 31, 2013 at 7:52 am

I had a light bulb moment, you know the aha! now I know. That was 3 years ago. I started listening to my body instead of fighting with it. I stopped counting points. I stopped putting processed ‘recommended’ bars and meals in my body. I stopped sitting at the computer working out what I was going to eat and how much and then how many points I had left etc etc etc.
Now once a week I work out a meal plan, buy it and prepare everything from scratch. Clean eating…love it. I joined a gym, which was odd for me because my motto used to be…god only gave your heart so many beats for a lifetime, don’t go using them up on exercise. OMG…I can’t believe I was like that. Now I run to and from the gym, do the occasional week of boot camp and feel great. I’m at my goal weight and I’m coming up to the big 5 0 next month…I’ve lost at least 30kg in 3 years. I say at least because I stopped weighing myself when I got to 100kg…
Listen to your body…oh and to Craig!

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Romy January 31, 2013 at 8:43 am

Ah ha ha! :) Back one out.. you crack me up Craig! :)

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Bernie January 31, 2013 at 9:43 am

Craig Harper! I just spat coffee over my keyboard. back one out. too funny

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Ruth January 31, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Hi Craig,
Great article.
Request: Would you write/post something about how the body deals with stress? For example, when I am under extreme stress, my stomach itches unbearably or i wake up screaming “help!” at night. Sometimes i forget things that I would not normally forget.
I am under a great deal of stress from an abusive (emotionally and mentally) husband.
Many thanks,,
Ruth

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Craig February 1, 2013 at 11:05 am

Hi Guys. Sorry, no time to answer questions. I’m away working my butt off. Back on deck tomorrow.

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chebbieanne February 1, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Yours might be a genius but mine is definately a slow learner. When I almost got it looking and behaving the way I wanted it started to fall apart ,literally. Now I have it feeling and working better with extra fat. Go figure. I haven’t told it yet but it is going to work a lot harder in the next few months to regain lost ground.

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Sam Matla (Passive Productive) February 2, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Ahh! You mentioned stand-up work desk. Everywhere I travel on the internet it comes up, maybe it’s my destiny, maybe I supposed to get one!

Great post by the way!

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