Although keeping up with the latest fitness fads and trends can be intriguing, we sometimes forget to take a step back and put our body first instead of our mind. The fitness industry is constantly bombarding us with advertisements for products that will magically solve all of our insecurities. With the help of one pill, or a three week crash diet, all of our inner demons will be silenced. Fact tends to be intertwined with fiction because of the overflow of information and we forget the most important reason as to why we want to make a change in the first place. For everyone that reason is different. It could be, you want to feel more confident, you want to gain muscle, or to become educated about fitness and wellness.

Self awareness is the forgotten part of fitness and nutrition

sydney kushel

Our body is designed to do amazing things and can achieve these tasks when we fuel and train it properly. We all know that we should eat right and exercise regularly. But, what does “right” mean for you? To unlock this mystery, you need to take a step back, listen to your body, realize it’s signals, and then understand what those signals mean.

Fuel your body

tea, green tea, coffee, herb, black tea, herbal tea
Meredith Simmons

A popular signal that often gets confused with boredom or stress is hunger. Now, this is an important area because hunger can lead one to overeat, or not eat enough. To gain a better understanding of when your body is actually hungry, try drinking a cup of water, waiting 15-30 minutes and check if you are still feeling hungry after. A lot of the time, our body is dehydrated and is craving water which can get confused with hunger. The other tricky part about hunger is determining when you are full. When deciding what food to eat, try to always include a nutrient-dense dish to your meal so your body is getting the proper vitamins and nutrients it needs throughout the day. After you have finished your plate, sit for 5-10 minutes and allow yourself to digest. Try drinking a warm cup of green tea, which contains beneficial antioxidants and helps with digestion.

Become self aware with food   

Trial and error is key. It's important to have a moment of reflection at the end of your day. Think about the foods you ate, how you felt, and decide what your body is telling you. Personally, I always try to live by the 80/20 rule. So, 80% of the time I eat nutrient dense food and 20% of the time I do not restrict myself. When I stick with this method, by the end of the week I I find myself realizing that I was productive, felt more relaxed, and did not need to take a lot of naps. When I do not follow the 80/20 rule I realize my body feels sluggish and tired.  

Mind, body and soul

water, beer
Jocelyn Gordon

Another way to become aware of your body is by starting yoga. Yoga is not only great for you physically, but mentally as well. It truly does connect the mind, body, and soul. This does not happen overnight, though. Yoga is a lifelong practice where there is always room for improvement. By learning new poses you will begin to become aware of your body’s strengths, weaknesses, and areas of improvement. When stretching, you will feel new muscles opening up, letting your body move in ways you'd never expect. Go ahead, start your yogi journey today.  

Becoming more self aware in all aspects will lead you to a path of a happy and healthy life.