Want to get to know your body? Try these 3 steps…

A couple weeks ago I was talking about the importance of knowing your body when it comes to being vibrantly healthy.

I think of vibrant health as looking and feeling amazing - and if you’re like most women I know, you want that for yourself.

But getting to know your body? What does that even mean???

Let’s start by talking about what it’s NOT. 

You’ve probably been so trained and conditioned from a very young age to look to others to tell you what’s going on with your body or how to be healthy. 

You look to your doctor to give you a clean bill of health (or not), you look to the latest health guru to tell you what you should (and shouldn’t) eat, you look to the fitness expert du jour to tell you the fastest way to drop the fat, and you look for answers about your latest health symptom or challenge on google. 

You may find you feel confused, overwhelmed by information, or like a total loser because you can’t seem to figure out what to do, or that when you try to follow “expert” advice, you never seem to be able to get the result you want, if you are even able to stick to it for more than a week. 

What you aren’t told, though, by all the experts running around out there, is that you are missing a vital piece of the equation - YOU!!! 

You have been so focused on outside opinions and advice that you forgot to bring yourself to the party - and to create and experience vibrant health, you definitely need to come to the party. 

So what does that mean - and how do you do it? 

It means you need to learn to know your own body - what she likes and doesn’t like, what makes her feel good, what energizes her, what lights her up, what turns her on, as well as what doesn’t. 

This is key information because there simply is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all anything when it comes to your body and your health. 

You are TOTALLY unique, so what works for your best friend, sister, husband, or colleague may be completely wrong for you. 

This isn’t to say that outside advice can’t be helpful, or inspire you to make some changes that ARE helpful for you - it’s just to say that when you get to know your body, you’ll be able to determine what is a great fit for you, what’s kind of meh, and what is a resounding NO. 

And this information is PRICELESS when it comes to supporting you looking and feeling your best. 

With that in mind, I find that the process of getting to know your body is totally worth it.

So how do you do this? 

Start with these 3 steps: 

  1. Ask
  2. Play
  3. Listen

 The first step is ASK

Start to ask your body questions. 

This may sound a little weird but stick with me here.

Let’s say you feel a little tired - take a moment and silently ask yourself “Body, what do you need right now? What would make you feel better? What can I do to support you?” 

You can close your eyes and take a deep breath. 

And then see what comes. 

You may notice nothing. 

You may notice a thought comes to you, something like “take a break” or “take a nap” or “get some fresh air”. Follow through with whatever comes as best you can. 

You may notice the thought right away, or a few minutes or even a few hours later - that’s fine, just pay attention to what insights or awarenesses come to you after you ask. And do your best to follow through on the insight or awareness you receive. 

The next step is PLAY

Sometimes you may feel like you don’t know where to start with getting to know your body - that’s okay! 

This next step is all about playing with new or different approaches - trying new things - as a way to discover what your body truly loves - or doesn’t. 

It may mean “playing” with adding in more veggies, going to bed 30 minutes earlier, trying that new yoga studio that just opened nearby, or taking an art class that you’ve been curious about - and seeing how your body responds. 

One great way to “play” is by bringing in PLEASURE through one of your 5 senses - enjoying a new scented candle while you work, dancing to music you wouldn’t normally choose, trying a new flavor of herbal tea, or trying a different type of massage or body treatment. 

You can guess all you want about how doing something different will impact you, but to know for sure you have to allow yourself to actually experience it. 

It’s important to know that there is no right or wrong when it comes to what does or doesn’t work for your body, so keep an open mind as you try on new things for size, and don’t judge yourself if something isn’t a good fit, especially if some expert is telling you it’s a must. 

The third step is LISTEN

Listen to the messages and information your body is providing for you. 

Our bodies are absolutely incredible, and they will let us know when something is “off” - not only with our health but in our lives. 

I just read an article about a woman who decided to engage in an open relationship even though she had some initial resistance to it. Her boyfriend at the time suggested it, and she felt she loved him, so she ignored her own discomfort, pushed through, and engaged in something she didn’t really want to do and that didn’t really make her happy. 

She continued on this path not for months, but for years, and throughout her experience, she began to develop more and more physical symptoms, including chest pain and anxiety. 

She finally decided to end the relationship when her chest pain became so severe that she could no longer ignore it. 

Her body lets her know - and your body will do the same. 

Interestingly, her body let her know right away, with her initial feelings of discomfort - she chose not to listen, so the symptoms got “louder” until she had no choice but to listen. 

This is a bit of an extreme example, but I often work with women who haven’t been listening to their body’s messages, and their own symptoms have become louder and louder over time. 

The beauty is your body will let you know - and you don’t have to develop a severe health condition or crisis to begin to listen. 

You can begin to listen right now. 

Choose to look at your symptoms as signals, and ask what your body requires. 

Listening really goes hand-in-hand with asking - it’s all about receiving the deeper messages your body is trying to convey. 

Journaling can be a great way to tune in to what your body is trying to tell you - even just 5 minutes can allow you to process or explore what you may need to change in order to truly thrive. 

And when you’re able to listen to what your body’s telling you and answer the call, it’s incredible to watch as symptoms resolve and you begin to look and feel better and better. 

It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it. 

You’re worth it. 

And if you find you could use some support, reach out - this isn’t a path you are meant to walk alone - I’ve tried, and in my experience, it just doesn’t work. 

Here’s to getting to know your body. Enjoy!

To Your Best Health,
Dr. Kendall Ritz