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How to Listen to Your Body
How well do you know your body? It is something I think about on the daily. If there is one thing I always say to myself on repeat, it is “listen to your body, Gaby.” I have become more body conscience by paying attention to the signals my body sends out when I go off the rails with my lifestyle. Whether it be making myself workout when my body needs rest or having a drink when I know my body and mind will be out of whack the next day. I have to learn it is important to pay attention the signals. You guys, being a 20-something is difficult. We are constantly on the go, trying new things, sitting at our desk for 70% of our day or dancing at the bar all night. Life becomes so crazy that we sometimes miss the signals our body’s are sending to us when something isn’t right. Maybe too, it is hard to decipher the signals our bodies send us. Maybe you eat a piece of pizza and feel groggy afterwards and you think nothing of it? You may be allergic to cheese or the carbohydrates you just ate spiked your blood sugar levels and now you are coming down from a crash. I like to keep track of how my body reacts by journaling how I feel after each meal or after certain situations. If I keep track of what I was doing or ate prior to feeling off, I can make sure I don’t do it again. It also helps if I write down exactly what I was doing so if I have an outbreak later that week, then I know why. Trust me, journaling helps you learn about what works for your body and what doesn’t. Over the past couple weeks, I have not been perfect on my clean-living lifestyle but this has been a learning experience I am so excited to share with you! I was able to keep track of how I felt and my body’s reactions everyday to every situation. Now, I know every body is different and reacts to things in different ways, but maybe you are like me and share the similar affects. So here are a few situations I have had the past couple weeks, how I felt/my body reacted and what I did to “change” my reaction. EATING THE WRONG THING The Situation: The other weekend, my family came into town to visit for my sister’s birthday. We ate out for every meal. Even though the restaurants were not low quality, there is still a disconnect when it comes to eating out at a restaurant and not cooking your own meal. Basically I went with the whole lobster one night, pasta the next and a burger for lunch! What Happened: I felt completely bloated, had strong bathroom urges (I am just being honest) and even got a zit in between my eye brows and on my cheeks. The Why: I would never on a regular basis (although I wish I could) eat a whole lobster with butter, a plate of penne alla vodka or a greasy burger. My body was thrown out of whack just by de-railing on the weekend. A dairy, gluten-filled diet did not work in my favor. The Cure: I sat myself down and said no more. I made myself a smoothie filled with Tropeka Ultra Cleanse, ate some fruit and vegetables and planned out my meals for the following week. It also helps sweating out the toxins from the heavy meals, so a good workout helped kick my butt back into drive. It’s always smart to remember: A salad is sometimes your best friend when eating out. STRESSED OUT AT WORK The Situation: I work a desk job for an amazing Ad Agency. But there are times when I let my thoughts get the best of me and allow myself to succumb to my anxiety. What Happened: I notice I am overthinking projects at work when my leg starts to shake, I start biting my nails, I become unproductive and zone out. The Why: I let myself get too caught up in the moment and try and accomplish too many things at one time. The Cure: Slowing down, focusing on one project at a time. I get up and stretch, do a quick walk around the office. I even take a minute and journal. Luckily, I work in a great work environment and can talk to my manager or team when I am feeling overwhelmed, so the stress and my anxiety do not get the best of me. DRINKING ALCOHOL The Situation: When I was in high school and basically all through college, drinking was the social thing to do and I thought nothing of it. I didn’t connect my lack of energy, weight gain, anxiousness and acne to drinking too much alcohol. Even now, I can barely have a glass of wine without feeling a little off. When I am out with friends, I want to be social so I will have a drink or two but I don’t want to throw back shots or drink 12 cocktails to only throw them back up. What Happened: When I drink, I don’t feel productive the next day or the rest of the week for that matter. I know it’s a hangover but I would rather feel energized than feel pulled down from a couple of drinks. When I consume alcohol, I notice my hormonal imbalances worsen, I don’t get a good nights sleep and I usually wake up with a new breakout. The Why: I try and treat my body like a fine, oiled machine. When I consume alcohol, my body has a tough time processing the sugars and slows down my body’s natural detoxification process. Basically, when I over indulge, my system just hates me. The Cure: I don’t want to be antisocial, so I will allow myself some wine or a a vodka water. Then I stick to water for the rest of the night. I’ve become okay with saying no to a shot or not having a drink at dinner. I do this because I would rather not suffer from a hangover. NOT GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP The Situation: This past week I was constantly go-go-go. From a 5 am workout class to a late night dinner with my family. I had bags under my eyes and they were not designer. When I am tired, I have trouble falling asleep (WTF), crave sugar, become anxious, feel unmotivated and sometimes even get sick. It is the worst. What Happened: This weekend, my family planned on going to a mid-day comedy show but I was so drained I decided it would be in my best interest to stay home and take a nap instead. My body was sore, my eyes were heavy and I could barely keep a conversation. The Why: The night before, I went to bed at midnight (which is super late in my book) and woke up early the next morning. My body needed more sleep and rest from the 5 am workout I had the morning prior. The Cure: I napped! You guys, napping is amazing. I really don’t know why I resisted it when I was in pre-school. But seriously, if you are feeling drained, tired or sick the best thing to do is sleep. Let your body rest and get back on track! EATING SUGAR The Situation: My office likes to keep a lot of candy and sweets around and for some reason I can’t stay away. I need chocolate. What Happened: When I eat sugar, my body temperature rises, it is hard for me to concentrate and my anxiety kicks in a little easier. Not to mention, when I eat too much sugar I sweat more when I workout and I break out with a new zit. The Cure: Greens, greens, GREENS! I make sure to fill up on broccoli, kale, spinach or cilantro. Basically, anything that helps detox my liver and pushes the sugar out of my system. This includes, working out or sitting in the sauna. A WORKOUT SLUMP The Situation: When I got home from my family vacation, I hit the gym hard. I made sure I went every single day and didn’t allow myself to miss. It felt so good! The next week, I attempted to go the same amount of times. This was a failure. What Happened: I ended up feeling sick and did not go to the gym for 4 days straight the following week. My body was sore and I felt unmotivated. The Why: The week when I got home from vacation, my cycle was still in ovulation phase and the following week ended up being the start of my Luteal phase. I thought that I would be able to push through the high intensity workouts, when in reality I was running my body to the ground. The Cure: REST! Instead of working out every single day in a row, I worked out every other day. It allowed my body to store energy for my upcoming cycle phase and still burn a little extra energy. COFFEE The Situation: I was tired at work and thought a cup of coffee would help perk me up. What Happened: I became hot, my body felt like it was shaking and I crashed. The Why: Because coffee is only a stimulant, I don’t regain energy with caffeine. Instead I feel the “high” for a short amount of time and then feel even more tired. The Cure: I’ll keep this easy, no coffee. I like to stick to water, adaptogens, tea and Kombucha.