How do you want to feel? “Good”, I hope, “great”, maybe “healthy”. These are typical responses I get when I ask my clients that one little question. But when they are pressed to go deeper, the responses shift to what they need to do, or what they don’t want, and the feeling is often left out. “I want to lose 30lbs”, “I worry about becoming diabetic”, “I just want the pain in my hips to stop.” “I want to try yoga, but I don’t know how to start.”
When we lose track of what we want to feel and experience, we are often left with a list of shoulds. And we start shoulding all over ourselves. I should lose weight, I should exercise, I should start running again, I should meditate, I should eat kale, I should, I should, I should…and then we don’t. Because should rarely comes from a powerful or constructive place in our psyche. Should automatically creates a conflict between what we want and what we perceive is the appropriate course of action. And conflict is exhausting.
This shoulding is supported by the messages in health an fitness magazines and popular media. Do any of these recommendations sound familiar to you:
- Pick a physical activity that you think you should do, start doing it, (Don’t worry if it’s suitable for your current state of health and fitness). “Anyone can start running, all you need is a pair of shoes.”
- Set a goal to do a certain number of minutes, reps or miles per the published schedule. (Don’t deviate or you won’t meet your goal.)
- Push through the pain. Pain is just the body ridding itself of fear…wrap it, tape it, wear a brace, just keep working toward your goal.
- Get up earlier, stay up later…whatever it takes to make this goal.
- Ignore your hunger, eat six small meals a day (everyone?).Don’t let yourself get hungry…
*Become frustrated, or worse yet, injured (because that goal is in no way tied to how you want to feel, in your body or in your life). Give up.
Okay, that last one is my addition, because this is what I see and hear when clients come into my office. Beside the injury that brings them in, they are tired from over exercise or incorrect exercise, hungry from restricting calories and fat and frustrated because they have tried so hard. Often they simply want to give up on trying to get healthy.
So we start with the question: how do you want to feel? Yes, we lead with the heart. Our bodies are amazingly tuned to want to feel good. For example, our bodies want to move and if they are well rested and properly nourished, they will move naturally. And the more we move, the more we seek out ways to enjoy new types of movement, movement that our body will crave and we will actually look forward to doing. What does your body really want to eat? Does your mind want that for your body or are there food addictions causing your mind and body to be misaligned? Food is nourishment, medicine and part of our social structure.How does your food make you feel?
You deserve to feel good. You deserve to have all of the time and effort you expend lead to what you truly want to feel and experience. You don’t have to be injured to make this shift!
In a short call we can determine how you really want to feel and what the first steps are to get you there!
If you recognize this cycle and are ready to choose something different, let’s chat.