Listening to Your Body but Still Challenging Yourself

Here at Healthy Buzz, we talk a lot about listening to your body. We use the word “intuitive” in regards to both eating and movement because we have seen firsthand how powerful it can be to move from a place of rules and restriction to one of flexibility and self-awareness.

What does it mean to be intuitive?

Intuitive eating is focusing on fresh, nutritious food because it makes you feel and perform your best. It’s also enjoying a late night slice of pizza with your friends because you danced your tail off all night, you’re hungry AF and you’re making life-long memories.

Intuitive movement is exercising consistently because you love your body and want to treat it well. It’s also skipping your workout in favor of happy hour with a friend you haven’t seen in awhile without feeling anxious and guilty.

Is it possible to consistently challenge yourself while still being intuitive and honoring your body?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and I think the answer is YES although there are some important things to consider.

Think of this in terms of scales — you don’t want one side of the scale to be too heavy or you’ll likely swing back hard in the opposite direction with little time to enjoy the “in-between” area. I think we can all agree that a healthy balance is the goal here. The question is: are you dipping too deep into one side or the other? Here are a few questions to help you explore that.

Challenging Yourself While Still Listening to Your Body

On Challenging Yourself

  • When it comes to exercise, do you allow yourself to be uncomfortable at times? If your goal is to get faster, stronger, more flexible, etc… you’ll need to lift heavier, run faster, and stretch longer to get there. These are all hard things and can be uncomfortable for short periods of time, but are also a great way to test your mental stamina and feel a sense of accomplishment.

  • Do you acknowledge and embrace that sometimes it’s important to do hard things? An example: giving a presentation in front of a large group of people. Nerve-wracking, but also rewarding and something that could also propel you forward in your career if you face the challenge head-on.

  • Are you routinely exploring the “why” behind certain behaviors that you engage in? It’s usually easy to be complacent, but challenging yourself to be a better version of YOU reaps big benefits! An example of this might be alcohol intake. Are you overdoing it on too many occasions? If so, take some time to think about where this is coming from.

On Listening to Your Body

  • Are you exercising through pain/injury? Is your progress declining? Are you always tired and moody? These are all signs that you might need to listen to you body more effectively and give yourself more time to recover.

  • Do you draw boundaries at work and have the self-confidence to say “no”? Sometimes it’s totally necessary to turn down an extra task or project that will force you into an unhealthy level of stress. Consider this before saying yes and then resenting yourself and others later.

  • Can you appreciate what you have NOW and all of the reasons you should be proud of yourself? Goal setting is hard, because it can often feel like we haven’t “arrived” until we meet our long-term outcomes. Remember to take time to celebrate the present too because small wins add up to big results.

Leave us a comment! Have you ever struggled with finding the balance between challenging yourself while still listening to your body? Feel free to share with us!