Listening to our bodies...


As someone who NEVER listened to her body, I am here to share that it is possible to turn things around and become friendly with your body.


First let's discuss why the fuck it's so hard to hear what your body is saying.


Answer: you've been conditioned to ignore it and instead listen to unrealistic expectations that swirl around you and are inescapable. Such unrealistic expectations include:

-if it doesn't hurt it's not doing anything

-it only counts if you're sweating

-no pain no gain

-sufferfest is the only way

-heavier weights are always better so ignore your form and just grab the heaviest thing you can

-you need to burn off what you ate

-that knee/neck/elbow pain can be ignored cause there's no way you can rest


(I think you get the idea but would also love to hear any statements that you're familiar with and would like to add)


Next, let's discuss why separating yourself from these unrealistic expectations can be so scary.


Answer: these unrealistic expectations are what you have come to know as the norm and stepping away from what we know into the unknown is ALWAYS GOING TO BE SCARY AS FUCK. So scary that often times we choose to stay in our comfort, even if that comfort keeps us small and doesn't fully serve us. I did this for 30 years. How long has it been for you?


So if this is the case, what does it take to step into the unknown?


Answer: COURAGE. If you want to read up on all things courage go check out basically any Brené Brown book. A favorite of mine is The Gifts of Imperfection along with I Thought It Was just Me (but it isn't), but let's be real, I love all of her books. So very helpful, especially if you are at a point in your journey where you are getting really curious about your growth and how you show up in the world...

I digress...back to courage.


It takes courage to step into the unknown. It's going to take courage for you to try a different approach. I realize not everyone is like me. Maybe instead of having to slow things down or pull of the gas, maybe you have sat comfortably for too long in a softer approach, afraid to know what it feels like to 'let go', 'go hard', make noise, etc. We are each our own unique selves, so please take all of this and translate it into a useable form for yourself. Before I delve into a brief story time about my journey to listening to my body, I'd like to leave you with some journal prompts. These can be used however you see fit but will guide you in the direction that you currently need. Allow yourself to answer authentically.


Jouranl Prompts

  • Are you currently able to listen to your body? If so, what does your body tell you? Do you feel there is still some room to grow here, perhaps some things are being left unheard?

  • If you are not able to hear your body, what are some possible reasons why?

  • What benefits will you be able to encounter if you listen to your body?

  • What fears do you have about trying a different approach, if that's what necessary for you?

  • What if that approach is slowing down so you have time to hear your body? How will you handle this?

  • What fears come up for you while exploring these ideas?


Story Time: My Own Personal Journey to Listening to My Body

This will be brief. Maybe one day I'll write a book about it all cause it's for sure been a wild ride, but for now...

For me, I had to hit a rock bottom. My own personal little black hole was pretty damn dark. I was as far from self love as humanly possible. It wasn't really even on my radar cause I was so stuck in this belief that I simply was not enough and I had to try harder, do more, work harder, be more, etc in order to earn love, to earn my worth, to prove myself. Any moment I felt a glimpse of it {love, self worth] I'd be so uncomfortable and in disbelief that before I knew it I was back in pattern. I wasn't trusting in and of myself, which is a topic for another time. My body cried out for less and I just pushed more and more until that day where I hit my rock bottom and asked myself:


"What's the worst that can happen if you try a different approach? You've tried this really hard, aggressive, down right nasty approach for 30 years and yes, there have been fleeting moments of success and happiness but nothing sustainable. There must be a different way to live your life...one where you are actually happy with yourself, where your body feels better, where your energy is pure, where you are at peace, where you are present and not preoccupied with your body..."


And so I slowly began to try things differently.


I started to slow down. For a while I took out HIIT in order to fully slow down and really listen in to my body. I temporarily took out HIIT because it sparked the 'all or nothing' mentality within me like none other and until I was more in tune with my body's signals I stepped away from it.


As I took out HIIT, I brought in Mindful Movement. This is how I currently train 5 or so days a week. If you take class with me, our strength days are mindful movement. It's a beautiful pairing of breath with movement, moving at a pace that grants you space to really feel into what muscles are being worked all the while bringing your headspace into a calm, meditative state. It's like a drug...but it isn't.


I incorporated more rest days. These sometimes look like mellow hikes or walks around town with Pen. Some day's it is yoga. Other days it's full on rest for my body and I sit with a book. This was one of the harder elements to bring on board. Why? Well, a story for me was "more is more!" along with fears of getting soft/fat/losing it. Looking back on these thoughts has me laughing at the absurdity of it all but I also realize you may be reading this and feeling like "oh shit, that's me", and if this is you, reminder to be kind and gentle to yourself as you step onto this courageous path of trying things differently.


Fact is, if you listen to your body, it will tell you exactly what it needs to operate and feel it's best. This applies to intesnity, frequency, nutrients, sleep, rest, etc. Rest days do not make us soft, fat, nor ignite the softening of anything, except maybe our hard ass attitude. Rest days are vital for proper maintenance and growth of muscle tissue. Without rest days, the body can not adequately repair itself, and if you are training with me, whether online or in person, you are being worked aka your tearing your muscles and they need down time to repair. This is why we do not focus on the same part of the body on back to back days, allowing a specific area to get some rest while still working a new area.


Eating a bunch of carbs does not make us soft, fat, or any less than. I admittedly tend to eat more vegetables, animal protein, and fats on a day to day basis and then suddenly my body is like "yo, girl, we need some fuel to replenish your glycogen stores, keeping that ATP up to speed for ya...let's go get you some carbohydrates". If you don't currently have dialogue like this with your body, don't you worry, it'll come. Also, let's please keep in mind, that just because I told you how I tend to eat does not mean that's how you should eat, nor does it mean I will eat this way for the rest of my life. We each must have the courage to explore what feels best for our bodies in any given moment or extended period of life.


Intensity and frequency are two important factors to discuss as I think many individuals subscribe to the idea of more is always better. Fact: when I pulled back on a variant of intensity my body rejoiced. This is my own experience but I am fairly certain it's safe to say, more is not always better. I do believe that we can experience whopping mental benefits from pushing ourself through difficult physical challenges. Doing so builds a type of resiliency and inner strength unmatched by other modalities. That being said, it's all about listening in and see where your body wants to go on each specific day. Taking into consideration your stress load at that given time is also important.


I hope that some elements of this post resonate with you. If so, please feel free to share. Until next week!


xo-K





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