To run with your body requires becoming its best friend. Let it speak to you. Physical symptoms carry a message that something is not right. Pay attention and do what it takes to make the correction. The payoff is priceless!
A few days ago my husband and I calmly discussed (as opposed to my nagging him) his resistance to exercise. I said to him: “You’ve not made your body a priority.” And he replied “You’re right. I am just too busy doing other things.” I looked into his eyes and said with compassion and confidence, “If you do not take care of your body, the other things won’t matter.” Like one of Zeus’s thunderbolts, he got it in that moment and said again, “You’re right.” He then told me he admired the commitment I have made to exercising and staying healthy. We are both cancer survivors.
My husband is doing many things right to stay cancer free. He chooses to eat the foods and take the supplements that will boost his immune system and detoxify his body. His lack of exercise on a regular basis, however, puts him at risk of a cancer recurrence. He needs to examine his current priorities.
Are you ignoring something you need to do to protect your body and promote your health? Here are a few tips to encourage you to run with your body, not away from it.
Check in with your body every day: Become a health detective and notice what your body is trying to tell you. Do you have mucous in your lungs; is your energy low; do you have indigestion; and the list goes on? Is there something you did, or did not do, recently that may have contributed to this symptom? After too much semi-sweet chocolate and wine during a holiday feast, I noticed I felt sad and tired the next day, and my arthritic left thumb joint hurt more than usual.
Choose actions that promote health: Create a plan of action that promotes healthy habits related to nutrition, exercise, beliefs, stress reduction, and spiritual practice. What values do these habits serve? When you feel excited and inspired by the rewards for making your body a priority, you will say yes to the things that matter most. I decided to avoid wine and chocolate for at least two weeks after my body spoke to me, and I made the commitment to be more aware of my wine, chocolate and sugar intake.
Challenge distraction: Do your best to stick to your wellness plan. If you stray off course, start over without criticizing yourself. Your body thrives on love and acceptance. If distractions persist, you may need to modify your plan and/or get someone to encourage you to stay focused on the payoff. I picked up my pace walking the day after I had too much chocolate and wine; the activity changed my emotions and energy.
After having faced a potential death sentence through cancer, I understand what a healthy body means in the scheme of life. When people do not honor their body by taking charge of their health, I am always astonished. With attention, commitment and right action, their body will support them as they run or walk the marathon called life.