I have a new rallying cry

Call it a rallying cry … or a mantra … or words to live by.

No matter what you call it, Theodora‘s recent post, “On ‘Listening to Your Body'” is pure inspiration.

The words spoke to me from the opening paragraphs:

I try not to use this phrase. Why? If I listened to my body, it would tell me to sit on the couch and order Chinese food and drink a glass (or three) of wine.

Yes, yes … a thousand times yes. That’s exactly how I feel. My natural inclination is toward being a couch potato and eating what I want — and I don’t often want salad. So listening to my body — at least for now, and probably for always, if Theodora is correct — would lead to inevitable weight gain. Not the direction I’m aiming to go.

I’m sure she is right. Weight loss — and weight maintenance — is a constant struggle. I’ve seen it at work in my own yo-yo-ing. Since 2003, when I started Atkins, my weight has been all over the place. It’s gone from 276 pounds to 169, then back to the 240s, down to the 180s, up to the 260s, down to the 210s, back up to nearly 250 pounds and now down to the high 220s again.

Every time I found myself in the high end of that range, it’s because I was honoring my natural inclinations: Eating what I wanted, when I wanted it, and eschewing exercise. And, of course, avoiding the scale. I wouldn’t weigh myself because if I saw that number, I’d have to do something about it … and my body just didn’t wanna give up the carefree eating or wearing a groove in the couch.

Messed up, I know.

Perhaps that’s why Theodora’s last sentence really hit home:


I read the post on Sunday night and was motivated to sign up for Amanda’s Spring Bootie Buster challenge (something I’d been considering) before bed. I woke up with that closing statement on my mind, spurring me to hop on the treadmill for a short walk while my breakfast was in the oven. It stayed with me throughout the day, so much so that I stayed after work to the graphic above. (Even though I can use InDesign at home via an online subscription, I decided it’d be easier to do in Photoshop.)

On Tuesday, I slept through my chance to work out. (Lost that battle, for sure.) But on Wednesday, I was back on the treadmill, ready to fight anew.

I imagine those words will stick with me for a very long time. “Some days I lose the battle, but I won’t lose the war” joins “Consistency is key” in my arsenal of most-motivating mantras. (That graphic was created with PicMonkey. Photoshop is definitely easier.)

Someday, I, too, will be able to proudly say I’m winning the war.


8 thoughts on “I have a new rallying cry”

  1. I loved that post from Theodora too! Now I do find that the more I stick with healthy foods and regular exercise the more my body desires it as well so the listen to your body thing will work for me. But for things like emotional eating? There are plenty of times where listening to my body would NOT be a good thing and its something I have to battle daily too to not let food become an obsession or issue. I thnk a more apt saying should be “honor your body”.

    1. Thanks guys! Honestly — a lot of it lately has been emotional eating. It’s easy for me to eat well and stick to healthy habits when things are going well; it’s a lot less easy when things aren’t going as well.

      1. I know how that goes. I think 99 percent of my not-great food choices stem from emotional reasons. I make them when I’m not even hungry.

    2. “Honor your body” sounds like a better way to look at it. Working out and eating good food sure honors it more than sitting on the couch and eating junk. Thanks, Tina.I’ll keep that in mind.

  2. Really interesting concept, especially for someone (me) who believes in the innate intelligence of our bodies and typically touts the idea of listening to our bodies. Interestingly enough, I actually still view this perspective as “listening to your body.” But, in a way, it’s going deeper and getting to the real issues, which is great.

    As many of you’ve stated, it’s often (uncomfortable) emotions driving the desire to eat uncontrollably or less healthy (aka more comforting) options. That’s one of the ways our bodies’ get our attention and notify us that something’s off – that we’re upset or sad or happy or hurt about something etc. In a sense, our bodies are still providing us that message and it’s good for us to listen to and/or honor our bodies (whichever terminology you prefer) – it’s a matter of actually going deeper to listen to what are bodies are REALLY telling us and then HOW we choose to address that message. Do we choose to address the knee jerk reaction to eat a pint of ice cream or do we choose to address our loneliness (or whatever) by calling up a friend or joining a meetup group etc.?

    It’s moving past the noise and the urge to just eat our worries or sadness or whatever away and taking the time to stop and pause and say, “Okay body, you’re telling me that something isn’t right. What’s going? What do you REALLY need/want?”, and then doing the hard work of giving your body what it’s truly craving (which really has absolutely nothing to do with food). I think what our bodies are really trying to tell us is to address those issues in a deep and meaningful way – not with the food.

    That’s just my two cents. 😉 Really interesting topic! 😀

  3. I agree entirely with the statement that weight loss and weight maintenance is a constant struggle–sometimes you win, sometimes you lose! But this is what life is all about. isn’t it? Whenever you feel like going on an eating binge, go for it. But the next few days should be punctuated with daily workouts and good dieting. Otherwise, obesity will be your constant companion.

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