Can you think of a time you had a gut feeling about something and didn’t listen to it? What happened? Usually when we follow our intuition, our sixth sense or gut feeling, things work out, and when we don’t, they don’t work out so well. You can use this same inner GPS to make good choices for your individual health and wellbeing.
For years I followed strict nutritional plans, cutting out all sorts of food types, I even did a 7 day juice fast once! I felt awful at the end of it! I am all for cleanses and eating healthful food, however I was enforcing rigid, external structures onto my body and the results were not great. I was constantly having to monitor myself and felt like I was just a little bit heavier than I would like to be. I had to use lots of will power NOT to eat the dessert or the burger, so I often felt like I had piously made the ‘right’ choice, but also like I was denying myself.
Same goes for exercise, I would crowbar myself into exercise programs, force myself to do high intensity classes and move my body in a way I didn’t really enjoy. Now there is of course a time & place for discipline and commitment, I am a big fan. However there is another way to approach diet and exercise…
When I actively did the work to connect more deeply with my intuition, and chose to make my intuitive guidance a priority in my decision making, I discovered a sense of ease and enjoyment around staying healthy that I had never experienced before. For the last few years I have eaten, for the most part, exactly what I want, when I want. Same goes for exercise, I do the type of exercise that my body is asking for, not what the latest fad is. The result is I don’t even think about my weight, I am definitely slimmer than I used to be and I love wearing clothes to show off my figure.
By tuning into the wisdom and messages from my body I make choices that make me feel good and are good for me. Sometimes I really want the burger and the dessert, so that’s what I have, and I love it! But mostly my body wants clean foods, lots of vegetables and lean protein, because that’s what makes it feel good.
How can you use your intuition to benefit your health?
When I make choices about what to eat I think about the food, or look at it, and tune into my body, especially my stomach, silently asking it how eating/drinking this would feel to me. Would it feel light or heavy? Would it feel energising or draining? Would it make me feel nourished and satisfied, or not?
For example when socialising I used to drink wine, because that what girls do, girls drink wine and boys drink beer – right?! When I started listening to my body I realised my body likes beer, and not wine. Wine gives me a headache and makes me feel heavy in my body, whereas beer suits me much better. So now I don’t drink wine and I do drink beer. Same goes for drinking tea, I used to drink tea everyday because that’s just what you do, right? When I started listening I found my body very rarely wants tea, and when it occasionally does I have a cup and love it.
The voice in my head usually speaks first e.g. oh those brownies look yummy and sweet and I want one! So I give myself just a moment to tune in, how would I feel if I ate one now? (Not would I feel guilty, but how would I feel in my body.) Sometimes the answer is ‘I’d feel great’ so I have one and enjoy it, and sometimes the answer is ‘I’d feel high and then low and tired’, so I leave it.
The same goes for exercise, I very rarely do high intensity training anymore because it doesn’t feel good in the moment for my body, I love dance classes, yoga, walking, sometimes running, swimming, barre classes etc. I also know my body likes to move in lots of different ways, it gets bored and stiff if I do the same type of exercise over and over again. I prioritise listening to my body during my cycle, there are some days in the month when my body wants to rest and be gentle, and other when I’m raring to go and love a spin class.
As I said, this doesn’t mean I have thrown all discipline out of the window, it means I allow my intuition to be my guide within the structure of the health commitments I have chosen. I still set my alarm to exercise and would sometimes rather snooze it than get up and go to the gym. I still do cleanses for my digestive system, but I do them when I feel it’s right.
Not only does my body look and feel better than ever, I feel good about my health. I am not constantly second guessing and counting up all the things have consumed that day in order to work out how guilty I should feel, and therefore how long I need to train for the next day to balance the calorie intake. In fact I rarely think about it, it frees up space and time in my head and in my day to enjoy and relax and appreciate.
What I am not suggesting…
Doing research and being well informed about food choices, exercise and general health is wonderful – I am not suggesting you throw all scientific research and expert recommendations out the window. I am inviting you to create a moment of space to tune into your body, tuning into your intuition, to confirm what feels right to you in this moment.
Give it a try, start small and let me know how you get on.
Sending love xx