What sensation is strongest in your body right now?
What sensation is the most subtle?
What’s happening in your toes your now?
When was the last time you thought about your toes?
These are some of the questions I ask myself throughout the day in order to strengthen my awareness of my physical body. Why? Because the sensations in my body often lead me to insights about the thoughts in my head. When I’m feeling a familiar swirling, almost hurricane-like feeling in my chest, I know that I’m anxious about something. I check in to see what may be causing my anxiety. Is it the environment I’m in? Was it something I ate? Am I thirsty?
Developing a sense of body-awareness has allowed me to be able to connect various sensations with emotional or physical needs and to be more proactive about meeting my individual needs on each of the physical, mental, emotional and energetic levels that come with being a human body and human being!
Another important element for me has been shifting away from the idea of “right” vs. “wrong” ways of treating my physical body. Today, I instead use the word “parameters” because it removes the feeling of shame associated with correct or incorrect choices- the types of foods I eat, how much time I spend with others vs. myself, how much sleep I need, and on and on. Each of the parameters I set are connected to the information I have received from working as an energy and bodywork therapist, my Master’s education studying the brain, thoughts, and coaching, and the information I continue to receive from my own body, mind and heart.
Back in 2012, I completed the Whole30. A friend of mine was doing it and maintained a blog. She was reporting all the ways I wanted to be feeling, such as less and/or no more headaches, improved digestion, improved mood, and more energy, AND without having to obsess over the scale. It was my first introduction to the notion that I could change my eating habits without it being attached to my weight, read: worth. My first Whole30 ended and I went right back to how I was eating prior to the program. My headaches came back. My moods boarded that same roller coaster they were used to riding. My digestion, well, it wasn’t good. The restrictive nature did me no favors because I rebelled hard against it on day 31.
I resented and rebelled against the idea that there were foods that would contribute to a version of myself that felt better despite the evidence I collected during the Whole30 where I learned through direct experience how food was impacting my physical, mental, emotional and energetic health. I especially resented this idea that my body was, as I labeled it at the time, “too sensitive” to be able to eat the foods my friends were eating and drink the drinks my peers were drinking.
Now I’m grateful for that sensitivity and view it as one of my strengths because I know what those signals are telling me. I can eat whatever I want and choose to eat the foods and drink the drinks that will allow me to feel how I want to feel. Sometimes I choose a hangover or a bloated gut because…
In the Essential You program, we talk about how blood sugar, digestion, hydration and other food-based topics play a role in how we feel and function day-to-day. It isn’t about what is “right” or “wrong”, “good” or “bad” about your choices around food. This is about how your body works, how your specific body feels, how you can begin to pay attention and tune in to your physical sensations, and what you can do to support it, take care of it, nourish it, and fuel it. This is about getting the information you need in order to make conscious choices about how you want to support your body, mind and heart. All while being a part of a group that will hold you accountable and support you in taking the action(s) you choose to take.
The next round of Essential You begins on Sunday, April 15 at 4:30pm. More specific information can be found here: Essential You Program Info
Email me at emma [@] solcanafitness [dot] com to register! Feel free to ask me any questions. There are only a couple spots remaining!