{mindset} listening to your body

I’m probably one of the last people you should be listening to talk about this subject since I was not good at taking cues from my own body for many years. I’ll confess – I’m still not the very best at it but I’ve got much better at paying attention and I thought I’d share what’s working for me.

  • Do you know what’s happening when you feel tight in your shoulders and neck?
  • Is something other going on than when you just get a headache?
  • When you feel a bit icky and scratchy inside, what’s really going on?

I have a few signals for my own body that I pay attention to.

  1. The tightness in my neck and shoulders is often the first sign of stress for me. A big flashing indicator for me is that I also start dreaming about work. I never dream such that I can remember so it’s a signal that I’m worrying about something or not dealing with things effectively at work.
  2. Yes, I get heat headaches and also some hormonal ones (track your cycles and you’ll soon see if headaches are hormonal), but often when I get random headaches, it’s my body’s “time-out” and that I need to stop doing so much. I’m someone who always has 10 things on my list so my default setting is to go, and when these random headaches happen, it’s a signal for me that I need to slow down and rest more.

Now and again I find myself a bit niggly. When I can’t put my finger on exactly what the issue is, I stop and ask myself this question, “what’s really going on here?” When I get quiet and tune in, the answer is often really obvious – I didn’t speak up for myself, a boundary felt brushed aside, I felt like my feelings weren’t heard, etc. The point is to identify the feeling, and try and do something about it, so I can move on.

Sometimes really obvious things are happening and your body doesn’t function the way it’s supposed to. One of my friends had severe hair loss a few years ago when their family went through a tough in-law situation. That was due to stress. When the situation was resolved, her hair stopped falling out.

Let’s move onto you. What’s going on in your body that is an indication for you to deal with something?

“I say the universe speaks to us, always, first in whispers. And if you don’t pay attention to that – the brick wall falls down” Oprah

On being moderate with fitness

If you have a Fitbit or other such fitness device, you’ll know that the “recommended” number of steps you should walk a day is 10 000.

I’ve never been able to get to the 10 000 steps. I wrote about that here, here and here 🙂

Interestingly, I heard some research from a reputable company that there is no research to support 10 000 as the magic number. There is research (decreased obesity and other related diseases) around the 7 500 steps mark though.

I still maintain that for my kind of job, if I’m walking around too much and racking up steps, I’m not actually working so the two things are diametrically opposed. I can either work or walk around.

In October, I decided to analyse my Fitbit stats. I only racked up 13 days of more than 5000 steps.

So in November, I decided to make my goal 5000 steps and try and get that number to 20 days of 5000 steps or more. I made it – got to 21 days.

I decided to do the same in December and managed to get to 5000 steps for 24 of the 31 days.

In January, since I knew I’d be on holiday for 10 of the days, I upped my goal to 25 days. Managed 28. That is excellent for me!

Now in February, I’m on a 14 of 18-day streak as at the time of writing this post. This has been a “normal” work month for me so plenty of client meetings, and therefore the days when I just cannot are quite usual.

What I have learned about my fitness journey is this:

  • Saturdays and Tuesdays are easy because I have a scheduled dance class already.
  • I’m much more likely to try get to my 5000 steps when I’m within a comfortable distance (if I have 4600 or so at 10 pm, I will walk up and down my kitchen) but not if I feel like it’s unattainable. This is a life lesson for all goals, don’t you think?
  • I’m a moderator with fitness. I’m definitely not an all or nothing type person. I prefer to do a bit on a very consistent basis than rack up 10 000 steps once a week and 3000 on the other days. What about you?
  • Shoes make a big difference. On gym days, when I have on my takkies (exercise shoes), I’m much more likely to run up and down my stairs to fetch things upstairs/ downstairs than I am when I’m wearing work shoes or flip flops.
  • I really need to increase my fitness very slowly to have success.

Do you track the steps you walk?

Do you walk more when you’re tracking?

Do you know what your average number of steps is, and when your highest days are?



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