Your Body is Talking to You

This blog was provided by Weight Watchers

Are you in tune with your body and what it tells you?

Some factors can contribute to losing touch with your mind’s ability to read and interpret your body’s signals: weight change, eating disorders, chronic fatigue, stress, lack of sleep, and the list goes on. Changes to your lifestyle and, consequentially, your body can take a bit of getting used to. At times, your body might even feel alien—as if it’s not yours at all—as it undergoes a transformation. It feels different, it moves different, it responds to stimuli differently than you were used to.

Some body cues that you will need to pay attention to as you adopt healthier habits are hunger and pain signals. While in flux from weight loss or from discovering new muscles through exercise, you will need to familiarize yourself with how to read your current body’s signal to meet your needs without pushing it too hard or overeating.

Mindfulness experts recommend a technique called “body scanning” to bring your attention to the signals it’s sending. Here’s the key, though: when you use this technique and pick up on a sensation, you observe it non-judgmentally. You are kind to your body. That ache in your calf—it’s just an ache. Not a reason to berate yourself for not exercising more consistently. When you notice the feeling of your stomach expanding when you inhale, that’s your breath. Nothing more.

woman sitting in a chair while looking out the window

Find a place and position to relax in that does not put a strain on your body. Take a few deep breaths—not for any specific amount of time. Don’t hold it purposefully, just breathe deeply, and feel the breath rise and fall in your body. If you find your mind leaving your body to judge it from the outside, notice this thought, and draw your attention back to your breath. Starting with your feet, use your mind to “scan” your body. Focus your attention on each toe one by one. Mentally move up your body, checking in on every part of you. When you come across a part of your body that is sending signals of discomfort, don’t try to fix it or adjust it. Just notice the feeling. Describe the feeling in your head. Sit with that feeling. When you feel in touch with it, gently move along. Pay particularly close attention to any part of your body that you are quick to skip past by default or those that you don’t “feel” immediately. Focus your attention on that part of your body while you regain connection with your whole self. Once you’ve scanned your body, take another deep breath. Notice how you feel when you stand back up. Notice anything different as you begin to walk?

Reconnecting with your body is a journey. You’ll slip up: you’ll ignore fullness cues, you’ll judge your body for not moving faster, and you’ll deny it the proper amount of sleep. But it’s yours, so learn to tune in objectively and give it what it needs. You’re on this journey together.

woman standing on the seashore during golden hour.

Reprinted with permission of The WW Group, Inc. A franchise of WW International, Inc.

Originally published in WW Thinline, Volume 51 Issue 4.

This blog was provided by Weight Watchers