Learn To Listen

*The title of this post was taken from the Ramones song of the same name*

When Donna started working with me, we had a conversation about her weight loss goals. It was roughly the same amount of weight that kept coming off and on for years.

Donna isn’t new to fitness either. She loves spinning and being active and she even spent some time doing CrossFit before she came to us.

Like many of my clients, the conversation comes back to: What can you do long term?

Can you crash diet indefinitely? No.

Can you always rely on high intensity training? No.

So, what’s a realistic approach?

It was questions like that which allowed Donna to look at her lifestyle currently and her past and ask herself: Why do I keep repeating the patterns that weren’t working (or weren’t sustainable?)

And Donna remains one of my many clients who I find the continuing dialogue very fascinating to hear.

She has managed to slow down her expectations of what weight loss should be and instead is paying closer attention to how food and drink affect her body.

A couple of weeks ago, she said: “I realize that when I eat an apple it doesn’t satisfy me and I end up hungrier than I would normally be.”

And where one might be inclined to associate an apple as a healthy snack, Donna determined it could screw up the intake of her next meal if she ate it.

It’s this type of self-exploration that many people don’t take the time to do.

More recently, Donna has been experimenting with how her body reacts to different types of alcohol. What she has found is that certain drinks drive her hunger up (white wine) and some don’t (gin and tonic.)

Sometimes, it’s important to step outside of the weight loss conversation and forget about calories in/calories out for a moment.

When you take Donna’s approach, there’s a lot to be said about listening to your body and trying to isolate certain food/drinks to get a better understanding of how your body reacts.

It’s also important to note that rather than throw the baby out with the bath water and give up drinking altogether, Donna is trying to pay close attention to how her former favorite drinks would lead to overeating in some cases.

Recently, I was telling our client Mary about an experience I once had with bread.

I had purchased a fairly popular line of whole wheat bread and found that every time I consumed it, within an hour I would be ready for a nap.

Not being one who would assume gluten intolerance having never suffered from this issue before, I switched to a sprouted grain option and never had a problem again.

Donna is exploring these possibilities for herself as well.

In effect, rather than chasing weight loss furiously only to be discouraged by the rebound, Donna is taking time to learn more about herself, her body, her results and ultimately, her plan of attack.

How will you learn to listen to yourself like Donna?