Is listening to my body good for me?

Last week I talked about how we aren't encouraged to take care of ourselves. We want so badly to be productive, we ignore our physical needs. Even though productivity seems so important, so is taking care of yourself. Listening to our physical bodies can actually make us healthier. 

 It turns out that listening to your body is correlated with lower weight.  

One study found that people who are good at listening to their bodies tend to have lower BMIs (a high BMI is a risk factor for decreased longevity). Hard-working and self-sacrificing dieters love to believe that ignoring hunger is making them skinnier. This research says otherwise.

Physical self-care is a beast of its own. It includes eating, sleeping, exercise and rest. The best way to way to measure if we are getting enough is through listening. 

We are good at listening to our bodies if we consistently respond when we feel a physical need. 

Just like you go to a crying baby, we need to attend to the little cries of our bodies. Do you eat when you're hungry? Do you stop eating when you're full? Do you sleep when you're tired? Do you drink water when you're thirsty? Do you go to the doctor when you're sick? Do you floss when there's something stuck in your teeth? 

Every time we listen when our bodies call out for help, we build trust and intuition. The better we know our bodies, the more likely we can make them healthier. 

Why we're bad at self-care


I hope you had a pleasant Valentine's day and President's day weekend. Self-care is important. Self-care, self-love. Whatever you want to call it. 

A lot of people (like yoga instructors and crystal enthusiasts) talk about self-care. 

It always sounds like meditating in your kimono after a luxurious bubble bath. I should say that I am terrible at self-care. I think most Americans are too. 

That's the reason this post came late. Last week, I hadn't gotten enough sleep. I was hungry and promised to hang out with a few people. Having gotten up at 5 AM, I felt I wasn't honoring the tradition of self-care if I sat down and wrote on a Friday night, even if it was about self-care. How could I write a blog post about it?

Today, I am pushing past the pain to write.

Because that's what we do. The reason that most of us struggle with self-care is that we feel like our bodies are thwarting our productivity. 

This is otherwise known as "protestant work ethic." American culture highly values productivity at all costs. The "protestant" piece of this definition alludes to morality. We work hard because we want the American Dream (which is promised to those of us who are willing). We also work hard because it is MORAL. We feel like we aren't good people if we're not working hard. 

We are always supposed to be working. But, let's just say, for the sake of argument, that you need rest.

For example, we all know, that sleep is necessary. Not getting enough sleep is equivalent to being intoxicated.

How many times do you find yourself giving up sleep in the service of some big pay-off? Whether it was making a diorama in 3rd grade or answering emails at midnight, you've likely given up a lot of sleep for school, your career, or relationships. 

We have been conditioned to DENY our bodies for the greater good. 

Many believe that our bodies are impure. If we left it up to our bodies, we think there'd be nothing but looting, pillaging, and cookie dough binges. 

This belief prevents us from loving our bodies. 

Love is, after all, about trust. This is at the crux of intuitive eating. We need to re-learn trust and respect for our bodies. 

If you want to feel better about your body and food, the first and most important step is LISTENING. 

Next week, I'll talk more about what self-care has to do with intuitive eating. Sign up below to get the post emailed to you directly!

Just because you were a size 2 once doesn't mean you should be there now.

Just because you were a size 2 once doesn't mean you should be there now.

I once was a size 2. Actually, if you go back far enough, I think I used to be a size 0-2 months. 

Ba doom cha! 

Seriously, though. This is the diet trap. 

One time when you were "really really really good," you were able to be this size. This is your ideal size. It seems reasonable to you because you were there once. It's not like you want to look like OG Barbie or even like Taylor Swift, you just want to be this size again. 

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