it's all just noise... what are you listening to?
Health and wellness are such popular buzzwords that, honestly, lack true meaning if we aren’t thoughtful about their use. What is health? Does anyone know? When some mention health, they’re referencing their fitness, while others mean their diet style. If we don’t have a clear understanding of what “health” means for us on a personal, individual level, then we can’t expect to make the choices that are most supportive for us. There’s an (overwhelming) abundance of information available about people’s personal experiences and ideas about “healthy.” Different restrictive diets, workout regimens, fasting, etc., - how do you begin to filter through? How do you know what will be most supportive for yourself? Is health only what you eat, how you move your body, or is it something greater?
Health extends beyond just one piece. Our bodies are individual, little ecosystems. What is true and needed for one body, is never the same as the other. We all have different DNA, different experiences and perspectives that color our lives, different environments, different bacteria that communicates our bodies with our brains. Our mini-ecosystems thrive when they are nourished in many ways -- only focusing on one tells the others that they aren’t a priority for you. Where your attention is, grows - therefore, if you’re giving attention to only one aspect of your health, you’re missing what may need to develop elsewhere. Our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health are all intertwined, giving messages to different parts of your self.
Health is ALL of it - not only exercise, not a calorie in/out deficit, not just what you eat. Health is how you treat your body. Health is if you are listening and honoring your body’s cues, how you show up for and love the body that wakes you up in the morning and works for you, without needing to be asked or urged, every day. Health is affected through our tight connections, our community. How you show up for your inner peace, your mental, and emotional needs. Health is how you love yourself and your people. Choosing health, choosing to care for yourself and nourish yourself - mind, body, and soul - is a bold act of self love in a culture that thrives on diet culture, comparison, judgement, and binary thinking.
The first piece of this is showing up for yourself. It is making the commitment to honor the work that your body does, all of it’s moving pieces, as you live your life. Listening to your body and honoring it’s cues is the primary way that we begin to re-engage with our bodies, and the first step toward conscious eating. Getting in touch with the signals of your body is different for each person. When we focus on one piece of our health, it creates loudness in that area and forces the others to quiet down. At times, our bodies cues are so apparent that they can’t be ignored, and at times we are so disengaged from our body’s cues that we are operating on autopilot. This often comes out in the way that we eat - we are busy balancing the ways in which our lives are in flux and we fall back on routine and habit in how we show up for our bodies in what we eat.
As you begin to listen to your body, you can start to recognize when it sends little hunger and fullness cues. Recognizing and honoring your biological hunger and fullness, and bringing awareness to how we are feeling around what we are eating is how we begin to make conscious and intuitive eating choices. This level of practicing consciousness allows for us to re-engage with our bodies’ signals, feelings, and needs. Conscious awareness and grounding in our bodies then gives us the ability to begin to make health choices that correlate and support our individuality - each of us have a different perspective, lifestyle, activity level, food tastes. There’s no black-and-white to health, or to what health “should” look like for you. Get in touch with yourself. Tune in, and begin to listen. Allow your body to inform you in what you need.