Why it’s important to listen to your body.

Today a new chapter began because yesterday I passed my final Personal Training qualification!! 🙂

Now this may not completely mean anything to you unless we train together but for me it’s a HUGE step in the direction to becoming self employed, a journey orchestrated for nearly two years…

Sounds a bit dramatic I know, but it’s been two years of ups and downs of strategizing and implementing ideas before finally realising that, actually, what I was trying to sell initially wasn’t the BEST idea that people necessarily wanted – nutrition coaching.

I think that was a turning point for me in this journey as I was pushing Nutrition Coaching on a market that didn’t want it, or that didn’t really understand the benefits it gives.

Personal Training however was something I didn’t think of until everyone I spoke to pretty much said that they know personal training is something that gives results but they didn’t find nutrition coaching tangible unless they were doing the right training. These were statements from potential clients in nutrition but people seeking personal training help before I even thought of it.

What’s mad is that the minute I’m listening to what the market (the consumers such as yourself or potential clients) wants and building a product to fit that desire, success will follow!

I also did work experience in a gym where already, before I was even qualified, people were approaching me asking for help in PT’ing. So much so that the day I passed yesterday I already have 2 potential clients lined up to do significant business!

So what are the points we can take away from this? I promise I’m not just babbling on about myself.

Well, there’s a close similarity between listening to a customer’s desires and also listening to what your body wants. Whereas listening to a potential client about their wants and needs is important to identify what they want and so keep or gain a client, listening to your body is even more important as it could significantly impact your health if ignoring things your body is trying to tell you. Especially so if you value health and fitness!

The point? Changing my approach has put me in a better position to become self employed and stay so, but there were also a couple of changes I made in my lifestyle and training that made my body perform better when I finally listened to it!

 

All of a sudden, everything seems… more simple!

 

Your body’s messages.

Your body is smart AF. It really is. It adapts to prolonged caloric restriction with a decrease in resting metabolic rate by slowing down bodily processes to preserve energy and attempt to lengthen, well, your lifespan. It does the opposite, somewhat, when also in a caloric surplus.

There’s a whole host of obvious signals that your body uses to signify necessary changes and hunger and fullness are some simple signs that explain what’s going on!

Other signals that circulate your body utilises involve:

  • Hunger/Fullness
  • Fatigue/lethargy
  • Stress
  • Injury
  • Prolonged soreness
  • Decreased sport or gym performance

There’s symptoms everywhere if you just listen to them.

Sadly, when we’re hungry, we often just think, “Damn, I’m so greedy, but F*** it.”. Somewhat worse is when we’re stressed we tend to neglect our source of this and continue our journey to stressville by ignoring the source. A bad day-job for instance could be the source of your acute stress, causing a cascade of effects that affect gym performance, health or even relationships with loved ones or families.

If only we knew what was causing the stress then we could change it! Well you can, you just need to get our your head and into your body. When you recognise an emotion identify why that’s happening! Recognise it’s your crappy job causing you to have issues. Recognise that you’re stupidly hungry ALL THE TIME because you’re restricting your calories way too much.

Our body is smart, but we don’t listen to it as much as we should, including myself.!

 

My head ^^ most of the time, full of clutter not smarts! 😉

 

My breaking points.

There have been two times the last two years I’ve experienced a significant level of crap emotion, and both ultimately resulted in me just going into my own cave and slowly getting out of it. The first was when I was desperately trying to build a ‘business’, little to my knowledge that just because you’re putting effort in somewhere or into a business idea that it doesn’t actually mean it results in any financial gain. And I’m being truthful.

I wrote blogs and social media content pretty much every night till 11pm after working 7-5, training 6-7 and having less than an hour downtime. In fact, all I was doing was slowly and surely building up stress until it bubbles up in bad ways such as an abrupt mental snap. I thought it was my training 5 days a week that did this but when I dropped this down to 2/3 times a week fast forward 9 months and I ignored the signs I had in the first place.

I was still hammering social media thinking that my actions will translate into success but little did I know the product (nutrition coaching), and probably my message too, was crap! I wouldn’t say crap, but something as intense as nutrition coaching should probably have taken much longer to implement and get right.

Either way, I waged forward thinking what I was doing was right but the less my actions didn’t translate into results I started to push it even more. It came to a point where social media and writing blogs as hard as I was trying wasn’t going to cut it so I took some time off August 2017 to really figure out my direction.

What happened was amazing. I stopped training so hard and without direction. I stopped hammering social media and ‘business ideas’. I gave myself more down time and time to reflect and it all slowly came to me. Now I haven’t blogged pretty much for 9 months and trained 5 days since last August and my head, and stress levels, are in a much better place.

I removed the stressors from my life which weren’t helping and identified the only one left I could control, my day job.

The only thing I needed to do was find a way to get out my day job properly and sustainably! It was great that one day I finally entertained the idea of being a personal trainer after so many people were saying that that was the only tangible thing customers recognised as a product in health and fitness.

In short, I managed to identify what wasn’t helping my efforts and take the time to figure out what I needed to do to get to a better place.

In no way am I a genius, but it’s a skill that is definitely hard to learn in a hectic lifestyle.

What’s more is I’m accelerating SO MUCH faster towards self employment after changing my approach and being open minded.

 

 

Some takeaways.

My head is battered. I’ve been studying the past 6 months to be a personal trainer and I’ve done it! But I’d be in this position a lot earlier had I listened to what I needed to do, just with my training!

I was training 5, sometime 6 days a week in CrossFit, honestly thinking it was just my day job causing me so much life stress. I was an accumulation of everything though.

Determination only got me so far through acute stress before certain things started crumbling around me.

I started injuring myself much more frequently and my health markers got worse. I started piling on bodyfat even whilst eating low calories. And looknig back my health markers weren’t great, I slept poorly, was ill regularly at work and was a bit of a social mess with my girlfriend and family.

These are very common symptoms of not just overtraining but also acute stress in other parts of your life.

Other KEY things to listen to in your body:

If you’re hungry, EAT. Especially if you eat a lot of whole food. If you’re full and don’t really need food, identify if you’re bored. If you;re bored you don’t need food.

If you’re tired and sleep less than 7 hours a night, sleep more!

If you’re ill or injured a fair bit and are fairly active, try stepping off the exercise a bit!

There’re so many unique symptoms in your body that it’s impossible to list them off and talk about each one. But i’d really recommend that if there’s a change you want to happen in your life, if there’s a symptom in your body you’re not a fan of such as hunger, weight piling on, common injury or illness, then there’s more likely an underlying reason these are happening.

Probably more appropriate would be to talk to someone more in the know about changes you could make, a second eye is definitely a more objective one most of the times!

At the end of the day most of the stressors in our life could most likely be solved through nutrition, exercise or lifestyle adjustments that are easier to make than we think…

Want some advice? Get in touch and have a chat about what you’d like to change. You deserve to put yourself in a position that you’re happy with.

 

 

Share:

Leave a Reply