When was the last time you listened to your body? I'm not trying to be sarcastic here, but whenever I come across the phrase, "I listened to my body" online, it invariably seems to lead to the author admitting that they're no longer vegan. And it's annoying.
So I began thinking about those five little words a bit more. Because on the surface of it, it makes sense. If your body is telling you that you're tired, you should rest. If your body hurts, the pain is telling you that something is wrong. Just like the emotions of being sad, mad or scared tells you that something is out of whack; either you've suffered a loss, feel an injustice has been done, or are being alerted to danger. In short, your emotions are useful tools worth listening to.
But in general we don't tend to listen to our bodies all that much. Or that well. How many of us get enough sleep? Shut off the TV as soon as we get bored? Or keep on doing what we're doing even though we're sore? Then why do our listening skills fly out the window when our body is telling us to get more exercise? Or to eat more greens? Why don't our bodies tell us more clearly that we shouldn't be pumping it full with excess sugar, fat, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine or other drugs? Or do we just not want to listen?
So why do we then all of a sudden listen very carefully when we think our bodies are telling us to dump our vegan ideals? Why do we pay close attention when we think we hear our body say, "I want meat! I want eggs! I want dairy! And I want them now." Selective hearing? Because how often do we really hear the phrase "listen your body" otherwise? Just saying.
And I would advise those who believe their body is telling them to forget about plants to make sure they're getting enough calories, protein, carbs and healthy fats, because being deficient in those can indeed cause cravings. I would also suggest they contact a trained professional like registered dietitians Ginny Messina or Jack Norris. I, for one, wouldn't hesitate to get their advice if my flesh was telling me to ditch my ideals.
Lastly, but I'd say most importantly, why is "listening to the bodies" of other animals thrown out the window when your own body seems to speak? And unless you always pay attention and follow through when it offers truly helpful advice, why listen now?
p.s. I wasn't going to post today. I had no intention of doing any writing, but something "spoke" to me while I was sitting on my butt, so I decided to listen. ;)