1. Ignore your body’s signals.
2. Wait until your body is in distress.
3. React unconsciously.
Hungry, thirsty, tired, bloated. You ignore the signals. More intense distress signals such as ravenous, low-blood-sugar hunger or extreme fatigue. You overeat… or lie down.
Or, instead of ignoring the signals, you react every time, putting a band-aid on your body.
Being Unaware costs you. The price? Being overweight, out of shape, tired, bloated, or unhealthy. Or all of these.
Unaware and Suffering
Body awareness didn’t come to me easily. I spent years allowing myself to get too hungry every day. I reacted by jamming anything I could find into my mouth to alleviate the horrible feeling – chips, fast food, candy, you name it. It wasn’t overweight, but I had terrible digestive problems that made me have to lie down after eating. I was also tired all the time.
I took OTC drugs for my stomach pain. I lay down when I was tired and wasn’t productive. The quality of my life was low. These were my band-aids, my reactions.
I decided to try a big change in my diet. Exercise had completely erased my energy problems. Was it possible I could live a life without constant digestive complaints?
I started journaling what I ate and drank and how it made me feel. I was able to pinpoint patterns: fat, sugar, dairy, and high-fiber foods caused my stomach to hurt and blow up. I started to eat clean. I became aware that what I was eating was hurting me. I became aware that I needed to eat more often to avoid going into starvation mode. When I was starving, I ate the wrong things.
I rarely have digestive upset now, and believe me, that is a life-transforming event in my life. If I eat something high in fat or sugar, I’m making a conscious choice and I know the likely consequences.
Unaware and Overweight
Overeating is a similar unconscious reaction to the world. Your body’s signals are emotions, low blood sugar, boredom, and hunger. Are you reacting to these signals by overeating?
When someone tells me they used to be overweight, I always ask them how they lost the weight. They usually say the turning point was simply becoming aware: They ate for the wrong reasons or ate the wrong foods. They didn’t like their bodies. They felt uncomfortable or unhealthy. And aware that there was another way.
Unaware and Sluggish
Food is only one area where we live like zombies. You may not get enough exercise – maybe you don’t get any. You feel sluggish, tired, sapped by mid day. You might think you have some kind of underlying disease because you’re so tired all the time. You don’t like your body. You can’t rely on your body to get your through strenuous activities.
You know, somewhere in your consciousness, that this isn’t how you’d like to be. But it’s just a distant thought you push down whenever it tries to come up.
It’s not really easier to keep going down this path, and you probably already know that it’s time to make a change. You just need to listen to your body. It’s a matter of health; it’s a matter of life.
We let ourselves get so out of touch with our bodies that we become unhealthy, overweight, and uncomfortable. We spend our lives reacting to the outside world instead of looking within ourselves.
Having body awareness means paying attention. Then doing something differently.
Are you conscious of your body? Do you notice how your body feels, or do you dismiss its signals and react unconsciously? You have a body. Start listening. It could change your life.