Let's continue our exploration of the "Five Diet Mistakes Even Smart Women Make (And How To Avoid Them!)." First, we spoke about Mistake #1: Being Short Sighted When Goal-Setting. This week's post is all about listening to the expert. And guess what, baby? That expert is YOU!
I can see you shaking your head, doubting your expertise in this area and that is...
Diet Mistake #2: Forgetting That, When it Comes to Your Body, YOU are the Expert
Why are we so quick to turn our health over to others? We've all done it...turned to an "expert," looking for a diet/exercise program or advice. Most of us regard someone (or something) else as being the authority on our health and wellness: the news media, doctors, the "latest and greatest" diet fad, authors of health/diet books, tv advertisements and infomercials, celebrities, talk show hosts, our trainer at the gym, etc. It's easy to do - we assume that, if something worked for someone else, it will work for us to and so we look to those who have been successful to show us the way.
Problem is, what works for others may not be right (or work) for us. They are clearly the expert, when it comes to THEIR bodies, but ours? Not so much. In fact, not at all. YOU are the authority on your body, your health and your wellness.
Now I realize that some of you may resist this idea, thinking "I have no formal training in nutrition, no medical degree and no idea how to address my health concerns." Let me assure you, you don't need any special training and you do, in fact, know exactly what you need. You simply need to recognize your own authority and begin paying attention to your body and its innate wisdom. Chances are, you've been so busy listening to everyone else, that you've forgotten to listen to your body.
As complex as the body may be, it's fairly simple to read. When we eat something, within a relatively short period of time, our body responds to that food and begins sending us signals. Perhaps, we eat a pasta dinner and feel bloated and tired afterwards. Or we eat a breakfast of fresh fruit and we're starving an hour later. Salad on its own might not be enough for lunch, but when we add some protein to the salad, it sustains us longer. These are all clues that our body gives us, as to what it needs and what feels good. Our job is to pay attention and observe.
When we do, we can tailor our diet to respond to our own individual needs. This is much more effective (not to mention, more pleasurable) than shaping our diet and lifestyle habits around someone else's model of health and wellness. Remember, YOU know your body better than anyone else.
Now, I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't consult medical professionals when necessary (and there are certainly times when, as a patient, we should take their advice), but beware of turning over your health (and your power) to others. It's important to assume responsibility for our well-being, educate ourselves, listen to our bodies and, above all, trust in our knowledge and intuition.
This week, observe your body's response to the foods that you eat and read the signals your body is sending you, and please share your insights in the Comments below. What foods sustain you, give you energy and make you feel good? Conversely, which foods drain you of energy, leave you craving more and make you feel uncomfortable? Use that information and learn to eat in a way that suits your body and your lifestyle. You'll be amazed at the results you can achieve when you finally recognize yourself as the expert and trust your own wisdom.
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