i’ve been throwing this idea around for a while and trying to figure out how to put this all into words, so bear with me as i fumble through the following.
as a dietitian, i’ve had many opportunities to think about my ‘health philosophy’. i’ve always believed that ‘all foods fit’. i’ve always believed that each individual is unique in their food preferences, nutrition needs, and fitness goals. i’ve always believed that we have been given a sacred stewardship over our physical bodies. and i’ve always believed that there is direct connection between our physical bodies and our spirituality.
more recently, my belief in the connection between the physical body and the spirit has evolved. the need for constant physical nourishment is directly related to our need for constant spiritual nourishment. it takes time, effort, and energy to take care of our physical bodies. it takes time, effort, and energy to take care of our spirits. our Heavenly Father could have created our bodies without the need for physical nourishment. He could have made them non-discriminatory to the types of food our bodies require [meaning a cookie will provide equal nourishment as a bowl of blueberries]. but He didn’t. and i believe He did this for a reason. which leads me to believe very strongly that we were given these physical bodies to teach us something more than ‘all foods fit’.
now, don’t get me wrong, i am no where near perfect in my food choices. just like i am no where near perfect in the rest of my choices. but, every day, i make an effort, to make better choices. and isn’t that what it’s all about, being better? doing our best?
so this leads me to my current attempt, my attempt at being intuitive. i’ve actually been working on this for a while. it first started when i gave myself permission to really allow all foods to fit. i stopped restricting those ‘not so good’ foods and started figuring out how they make my body feel. how do i feel after i eat a burger and fries? let me tell you…awful. but i still do it…because i forget how awful i feel afterwards. how do i feel after a chicken fajita full of fabulous toppings like salsa, cilantro, avocado, cheese, sour cream? wonderful. fabulous. so my new attempt it so really pay attention to how my body feels.
but this doesn’t end with food. it spills over into fitness. now, i first will confess. since i started grad school, running, etc, has been hard to fit into a routine. i ran a bit here and there. hubby and i even started training for a relay race. but it just never really fit into my life. thus it never stuck. back to being intuitive. as i started really paying attention to how my body felt. i realized how horrible i felt. my muscles felt tight and weak at the same time. i felt like my entire body was full of toxins and staleness. so, with an early delivery from santa, our bike trainer arrived.
it didn’t get much use in december due to the craziness of grad school. however, since coming back from christmas, it’s been busy. the first week, my body felt good. i could almost feel the nastiness that had been building up in my muscles seeping out. however, the current sinus infection that has invaded my nasal cavity has strongly discouraged the use of the bike trainer or any extra physical effort for that matter. but, that’s part of listening to my body. not pushing when it needs to rest. pushing harder when it feels good. listening. being intuitive.
this philosophy also doesn’t end with fitness. sleep. for the last…well i don’t know how long, i’ve been one to pride myself in how early i could get up in the mornings and still function. while dating hubby, i was averaging 5, maybe 6 hours a night on a regular basis. not good. i don’t know what it is about grad school, but my once 7 hour requirement has spiked to 9 or 10. so, in the spirit of listening to my body, i actually let myself stay in bed after hubby leaves in the morning. i anticipate that as i continue to be more intuitive, this number will probably change. i’ll just have to keep listening.
so, what does this all boil down to? honoring the gift of the body. being positive with my choices. being positive with my thoughts and perceptions of my body. being grateful for a healthy body.