How many of us have experienced this?
We push our bodies to their limits. We think we are indestructible. We think we are eternal.
The reality is that our bodies can only take so much. Drinking, smoking, poor food choices, stress, exposure to toxins, strenuous physical activity, lack of sleep…these all contribute to our bodies eventually screaming out. “STOP”
Much like Federico Fellini, my relationship with my body has changed. I have absolutely pushed my body beyond it’s limits, and have suffered the consequences.
I remember I once organised and single-handedly ran a huge work conference over the period of a few months. Once the event was over, I arrived home and as soon as I entered the door, I collapsed to the ground at home due to the stress of it all. I was beyond exhausted. I was fatigued like nothing I’d ever experienced. I don’t even think I ate properly for the whole week of the event, so I was likely undernourished too. Now that I think back, I cannot believe I allowed that to happen. But I did. 🙁
Another time, I was drinking most nights whilst travelling for work and then doing the same going out at weekends. My sinuses were completely stuffed due to being extremely intolerant to sulphites (which was unknown to me at the time) and I couldn’t breathe or speak properly without a high pitch for nearly 2 years. But I kept doing it. Week in, week out. What the?
Many of us push our bodies to the extreme, until something – an event, an illness, a critical point makes you stop and take notice. Oprah Winfrey, in her December 2015 Melbourne visit referenced it as a truck coming at you head on. It will either hit, or just before it does, you will choose to detour.
For me deciding to have a baby, and then struggling to conceive was my critical point. It was a sad, low point. It was a point where I didn’t have any answers, and deep down I knew I wasn’t living my best life and I had no idea how to fix it. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I hardly ever said no to anything or anyone. I had no boundaries. I worked ridiculous hours. I never exercised. I put my body last. Yet I wanted it to create a miracle.
Through lots of self-care, personal development, reading, meditation, self-acceptance, morning routines, learning from experts such as my naturopath, acupuncturist, GP and inspirational online leaders with positive messages as well as support from those closest to me, I came out the other side with a different way of looking at my body and my life.
I’m not perfect. I still enjoy a wine or champagne. I still work a lot which I love. I still stay up late more often than I should. But I live by the 80/20 rule.
Most of the time, I set boundaries. Most of the time, I choose my food well. Most of the time, I speak up when something or someone doesn’t serve me. Most of the time, I don’t drink. Most of the time, I put my body, my life and my mental wellbeing first.
Please don’t wait until your body says no more. Please take care of it, nurture it, honour it.
It’s the only one we have.
Photo by Shifaaz Shamoon