Remember when (cue the wavy flashback music and visuals) you would tell your mom that you were too sick to go to school? Then, she would look at you with that concerned, yet somewhat skeptical mom face. Or, if that didn’t happen with your mom, and I will say that I’m not positive it did with mine, remember when you saw TV moms do that? Uh huh. THAT mom face… the one that says, “I love you, but you might be a liar at this moment.” I think, and I could be wrong here, that this is the face that we need to use when listening to our bodies. Now, don’t misunderstand me. I’ve advocated listening to the body here before, and I think that’s incredibly important. Because, often, we just ignore it completely. But, when we do listen, some degree of skepticism mixed into the love and care may also be required.
Here is the thing. Sometimes, your body might lie. Yes, it’s true. Sometimes your body might say it needs to stay in bed for 2 more hours, when really it’s been in bed quite long enough and if it doesn’t get up soon, it will just feel worse. Sometimes it might tell you that it NEEDS a (just for random example) 3-scoop soy cream sundae with sugared strawberries and chocolate sauce, when really it probably needs an apple. Sometimes, it might say, as mine did today, that it doesn’t feel well enough for a yoga class because it has cramps and a swollen leg and it’s been a long day and it’s tired, when really it’s just being a little bit lazy.
You have to listen. That’s important. But, it doesn’t mean you should take immediately at face value whatever it tells you. Sometimes you have to ask the hard mom questions. “Are you really sick? Is there a test at school today?” At times, you have to dig around a little to find out what your body is really trying to say. And, you may have to convince it otherwise if you really aren’t sure it’s leveling with you. But, like a good mom, you give it an out. Maybe you say that a 1 scoop sundae with fresh strawberries and no chocolate would be fine. Perhaps you bargain it down to another 15 minutes in bed, or agree that there can be a nap after lunch if you are still that tired. And, maybe sometimes you have to insist on that yoga class, with the provision that child’s pose is perfectly good and no one will fuss if you take it a lot.
You may find that your body was being honest all the time. Or, as I did today, you may find that it actually did need that yoga class. In fact, that yoga class was exactly what it needed, even if it really argued that it didn’t.
Listen to your body, but do it with the mom face.