Do you ever feel like your body is failing you?
I think we’ve all been there at one point or another.
Maybe it’s that feeling of inconsolable bloating after eating a seemingly healthy meal. (Leaving you to wonder what else you have to cut out of your diet.)
Or the surprise of getting sick right before vacation. (Great timing, body.)
Or gaining weight (and inches) instead of losing when you finally get consistent with your exercise routine. (Seriously?! Is this a cruel joke?)
If you feel like you’re in a never-ending war with your body and you just can’t win, this post is for you.
In a recent nutrition session, a client of mine revealed that after reintroducing some foods into her diet, some of her symptoms had returned.
She was distraught.
She had spent the past 4 weeks diligently working through a customized elimination diet. And unlike her past attempts on healing her digestion, her symptoms went down a whopping 74%.
In her eyes, this was a miracle.
Finally, she had won the war.
Her digestion was healed.
She could eat like a “normal” person again.
I encouraged her to (carefully) bring back some variety to her diet. And as she did. But some of the foods she added in brought those nagging symptoms with it.
In her eyes, all this effort she had put in went to waste.
Her body was still broken.
There was no point in trying, when it seemed like living with digestive turmoil was inevitable.
And as much as I can relate to those feelings (believe me, I’ve had my own health woes), I was actually celebrating for her.
Let me explain.
Or maybe Lou Holtz can do it for me:
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it.”
That applies to your body as well.
Even when it doesn’t seem this way, your body is always on your side. It always has your best interest at heart. It wants you to feel good. And it most certainly doesn’t like to cause you pain.
So when something’s not right, it’ll tell you.
Send out a little warning signal. But, it doesn’t always know the best way to communicate with you.
It’s like a newborn that doesn’t yet know how to talk. When a newborn cries, it can mean any number of things.
It may be hungry.
Have a dirty diaper.
Want to be held.
Want to sleep.
Want to move.
Want to be still.
(…you get the idea)
But it only knows one way to tell you. So it cries until you can figure it out.
If you happen to get it right, baby stops crying. You feel like a mind-reading genius (and hopefully you can get some sleep).
When it comes to your body, you are the parent (or caretaker). And if you can’t interpret the cues it is sending you, you’re bound to get frustrated.
Just like any caretaker of an inconsolable baby.
You would never assume a crying baby is somehow “broken,” so why are you assuming that about your body?
Luckily, your body is a more adept communicator than a newborn. It might tell you you’ve eaten the wrong thing by giving you a stomach ache, while it might tell you you’re getting sick by making your throat hurt.
And sometimes the signals it sends are a bit more subtle, but you might not have developed the skills to interpret them or the awareness to look for them.
That takes time. And that can be learned.
Let me reassure you. Your body is not broken.
You are not broken.
You simply need to be patient, present, and persistent, just like any good caretaker.
For this client, we were able to figure out which foods triggered the re-occurrence of her symptoms. We also learned that she had a dose-dependent response to certain foods, meaning if she over-consumed some items, it could trigger symptoms.
With that extra information, we were able to even more carefully fine tune which foods she introduced, when, and how much, so she could safely build in more variety (and nutrient-density) into her diet.
In her case, this temporary digestive discomfort was simply her body communicating with her. And because she was listening (and I could help her interpret the signals), she learned something new. And with a few tweaks, she was back on track and those symptoms faded away.
There was most certainly a useful lesson learned from this so-called “negative” experience. (Isn’t that always the case?!)
So my challenge to you today is to prioritize listening to your body.
The next time you feel like your body is failing you, ask yourself:
What symptoms is it sending me? When? What are they like?
What can I learn from them?
And most importantly, how am I responding to my body?
If you’re not giving your body the same love and attention you would give to a newborn, you’re doing it a disservice.
Listen more. Care more. Nurture more.
You’ll be able to speak the same language soon enough.
And if you’re at a loss as to how to do this, especially when you’re battling seemingly endless digestive issues or food-related symptoms, we should talk.
Through a combination of highly accurate food sensitivity testing, a customized elimination diet, and a healthy emphasis on mindful eating (so you can become a master at interpreting these signals yourself), I can help you heal your unhappy tummy with real food.
Go here for more information.
Before you go, I’d like to hear your experience.
Do you ever feel like your body is failing you?
What makes you feel that way?
And how can you use the signals your body sends to respond differently?
Tell me about it in the comments below.
Until next week,
PS – Tummy hurts, but feel confident in figuring it out on your own? Great. I’ve got a helpful freebie for you below to guide you to a happier tummy in just 30 days.