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Your Body is Smarter Than You Are

ho·me·o·sta·sis

ˌhōmēəˈstāsəs/

noun

  1. the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes.

It’s been a challenging couple of weeks, but as usual, reflecting on lessons learned seems to help keep things in perspective while I struggle to maintain positivity. My big lesson this week is not new-but a reaffirmation to honor the body. I am currently reading ROAR by Dr. Stacy Sims , the book focuses on nutrition and fitness for your particular physiology, in particular-women. What I am finding fascinating is that we literally are what we eat. It sounds simple, but in the last week my husband has been dealing with some digestive health issues which may result in surgery, and we are hopeful that the body’s innate ability to heal itself will mean a more natural healing process than what modern medicine seems to think is the cure- to simply cut out the bad part. For now we have decided to follow doctor’s orders to consume a “low residue” (low fiber) diet which will enable the colon to “rest”. But after a couple days of that diet, my body revolted and I am now shopping and cooking for 2 very different meal plans.

With all of this renewed focus on diet and nutrition, along with exercise and recovery, I have been thinking a lot about the body’s need to maintain homeostasis. My husband has been drinking what he considers to be an insane amount of water-mostly without electrolytes, but in reality he is drinking what he should be drinking every day. I have been on a mission to educate him about the importance of trying to consume an adequate amount of nutrients, including sodium, to keep everything in balance. He is a tough sell.

Throughout ROAR, Stacy Sims reinforces the science of nutrition and the effects of the hormonal system and digestive system on fitness and women’s physical performance. This week as I make my way through the book, paying attention to my husband’s diet and my own nutrition, I realized I was falling into a familiar pattern of not fueling properly- not eating enough and not eating the right way. I also realized the importance of recognizing and accepting when performance is affected by things out of our control (and sometimes within our control) and that it is okay to modify a workout that does not go according to plan because of heat, humidity, improper fueling, hydration, inadequate sleep, recovery, or hormonal effects. Trying to grind out a running or lifting plan because it is  on the schedule may actually work against you if your body needs more time to recover, or if you are not fueled properly. Your body functions as a system and everything affects everything else-something my husband and I are realizing is that few doctors we have seen treat the body as a system.

In the same manner, take advantage of the good days. By listening to and honoring the body, you can maximize your workouts, train your body to adapt, and maintain homeostasis.

Sometimes it is smarter to  take thinking out of the equation and simply pay attention to the signals your body is sending. If you are hungry, tired, thirsty, and dragging, your body is trying to tell you something. If you feel energized and positive, keep doing what you’re doing.

balance

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