I hear people talk all the time about listening to their bodies when it comes to working out. If you push too hard one day, listen to your body the next and maybe take it easy. Listen to your body when you’re sick before you decide whether to do your normal workout. Around food, I hear that much less often, though it’s just as important there to listen to your body.
Having been a #ShakleeBlogger for the past four months, we have a fairly “set” program. We have a daily allotment of calories that we should be consuming based on our current weight, how much weight we need to lose, and other factors. Going under that allotment doesn’t help, as your body heads into starvation mode and messes with your metabolism. Go over that range, and you aren’t going to lose weight as quickly – or at all.
That’s for an average person, however. Everyone’s body is different. Amongst the group of us, we’ve found that some of us have had to adjust our general calorie allotments slightly either higher or lower to accommodate our bodies’ needs. We’ve experimented where necessary to figure out what works for us best. For me, I generally need to eat 100-200 calories more than my allotment to lose weight, partly because of my workout schedule and partly because my body panics and wants to hold onto weight if I dip my calories. I’ll actually gain weight if I reduce them.
Even though I’m not following the exact calorie requirement Shaklee recommends for my plan, I listen to my body and have found out what works. And that’s ok. In fact, that’s exactly what we should be doing in general: listening to what our bodies are telling us when it comes to food and more.
I make sure that I’m eating my breakfast when I wake up, I eat lunch, I get in a snack, and I eat a healthy dinner – as outlined by the Shaklee program. I am following what they recommend. But as I’ve continued with Shaklee, I’ve found that – for me – my calorie allotment is truly more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule. There are days when I’m starving whether because of hormones or having worked out a lot or other reasons. Rather than feel a constant gnawing in my stomach and the discomfort of hunger, I’ll have an extra snack. I’ll have an apple with a slice of cheddar. Or I’ll eat an ounce or two of smoked salmon. I’ll cut up a cucumber and eat it with a touch of ranch.
And I don’t feel guilty about it. Why should I? My body is telling me exactly what I need, and I’m listening to it. Getting in tune with your body is a big part of Shaklee. The next day, I’m generally not as hungry, and I’ll eat slightly less than my allotment – and it’s working for me. In fact, I’m within four pounds of my goal weight at the moment.
The reverse holds true, too. When I am feeling miserable – especially when I have a migraine – I get nauseous. Eating is just not going to happen. I’ve tried. I already know that turning the blender on when I have a migraine is beyond painful, so I’ve tried forcing myself to eat a meal bar instead. Generally I can somehow manage one bite, but I don’t even want to swallow a second.
I end up a with a choice – though one I wish I didn’t have to make. Do I subsist on chicken broth? Or do I force myself to follow a meal plan when my body is rebelling?
My body is talking to me. It’s telling me there’s something wrong, and I need to pay attention. Eating is not a priority because my body is busy with other things, and digesting food will only prevent it from healing me. Even once my headache is gone, sometimes it takes me a day or so to be able to eat full meals. I have to respect that. If I’m only eating minimally for a day or so, my metabolism can recover enough because I’m not making it a habit to eat below my calorie allotment.
So yes, there are times when I don’t follow the Shaklee plan exactly. Once I adjusted myself to the Shaklee plan and my body understood what we were doing, it started communicating with me much more clearly. It tells me the days when we’re right on track and humming along the way we should. It tells me when I need a little something extra. And every once in awhile, it tells me to put on the brakes and hold off.
That’s what will bring me – and you – success. When our bodies talk and we listen, that’s living in harmony. That’s what Shaklee is trying to teach me with the Turnaround Kit and shortly the Lean & Healthy Program. So what’s your body telling you?