Why Listening to your Body is Important?
I have been wanting to talk more about 'healthy living' related things along with regular recipes here...but I don't know how much is too much to share? My blog has been primarily focused on food and very little about my personal life, daily eats + workouts. I do get asked by others on how I balance things? what I eat on a daily basis? what workout is best for weight loss? etc..Being a dietitian and a food blogger, people just assume that I have it all figured out, I ONLY eat 'healthy' things, and never miss a workout. Only if those things were always true but time to time, I do find myself putting pressure or feeling bad if I don't get those things accomplished. I can't tell if it's ingrained in my head that I need to...or I am worried about the expectations of others.
In spite of all these hanging questions, let me tell you "Why Listening to your Body is Important" and it is totally okay to eat out more than you'd like, miss your workout, and take a breather. Most of us are always on the go so I hope you all can relate to the fact that our to-do list keeps expanding and sometimes 24 hours is not enough to meet the deadlines. This is when everything feels frenzy and no amount of coffee can alleviate that overwhelming feeling. You have two choices - either remain in that frenzy, caffeinated stage of mind and not get anything done OR, prioritize what is important at that moment, focuson a particular task, and take a step back and look at the bigger picture. This may sound so preachy and obvious but it is the truth! So going back to the topic of "Why Listening to Your Body is Important", no matter whatever projects/life events/problems etc you are dealing with right now - listen to your body because it is resilient, self-healing, and knows what's best for you.
Lately, I myself have been in a frenzy, caffeinated state of mind because of work-related deadlines, end of semester, travels, and other personal things because for someone who lives a pretty routined life, it is stressful to deal with all at once. I was trying to "do it all" - give 100% at work, workout 3-4 times a week, eat home-cooked meals 5 days a week, stay on top of my assignments, blog 3 times a week and be present on social media, and keep the house clean/laundry folded but I lost it you guys. I feel drained, anxious, and just not right. I have yet to figure out how to deal with this feeling completely but I have been listening to my body more and I already feel 1000% better about the whole situation. Here are few instances on how I have been making that mental shift and I hope you will find it helpful to fight these icky feelings.
- Sleep: As much as I would like to blog 3 times a week and be present on social media but when I struggled to keep my eyes open, I had to tell myself that 'blog' is my passion project and not a job that pays my bills. Sleep, on the other hand is good for me because I stare at the screen all day at work and my eyes could use some break right now. I am not a big fan of writing a post just for the sake of posting. Quality > Quantity!! Also, I find that when I am well-rested, I am lot more energetic, productive, and happier in all aspects of my life.
- Workout: I am not discouraging you to workout (it's a great stress reliever) but if you only have so many hours left in a day - pick the one that needs immediate attention. Is missing a body pump class more important than finishing references on your paper that due soon, like tomorrow? If you feel anxious about missing a workout (and imagine yourself gaining weight or losing your strength) - fret not...our body doesn't go through changes that quickly. So ditch your workout session, focus on your deadline (or whatever you need to do) instead of worrying about the damn deadline while getting your zen on.
- Eats: Thank god for meal planning!! I don't like to spend too much time in the kitchen on weeknights - so I depend on chipotle turkey and sweet potato chili (on repeat), cauliflower rice, and salad with grilled chicken topped with salsa + avocado dressing. I also surround myself with nutritious snacks - roasted almond with cocoa, roasted chickpeas, and fruits. Since I know I won't able to workout as much, I have been pretty intentional about eating nutritious, wholesome meals, and staying hydrated because of all the coffee + chai tea latte happening these days. If you can't squeeze meal planning or have time to cook - I'd say either stock up on Simply Fit Meals,Snap Kitchen or similar meal programs (not sponsored but I have tried them and it's pretty decent if you can afford it) or, be smart when dining out. It is easy to eat our emotions and crave for salty, sweet, fatty foods because it gives us quick burst of pleasure and energy. All this can be avoided to a certain extent by not skipping meals and eating wholesome, nutrient-rich foods so our body is not deficient in any nutrient. Just like with workout, if you want a slice of cake/fries/chips etc - go for it. A slice won't kill you - it is better to honor those cravings rather than constantly thinking about it and finding other ways to compensate those feelings.
So what changed? In spite of not working out for several days, letting the blog do it's thing, and sleeping 8+ hours a day - I feel less stressed, more on top of my deadlines, and fit perfectly into my clothes just as well.
So no matter what you are dealing with right now, listen to your body - get adequate sleep, nourish your body, and focus on what needs to be done right now. I have accepted the fact that to-do list will continue to grow taller, world doesn't fall apart if you miss a workout, don't eat your veggies everyday or be quiet in the blogosphere. Just focus on what's important, let go of things that are less important, and everything will naturally fall into place.
End of rant.