Trust Your Gut

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on February 21, 2010

Last night I laid out my running gear…

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for the 8km Re-Frigee-Eighter race!

My directions were printed…

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I had my customary Japanese Sencha green tea:

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Full with new tunes!

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Despite all of my delicious eats in Toronto yesterday, I woke up with quite an appetite!

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Pre-Race Oatmeal

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 t vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt

Toppings:

  • Sucanat
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • Cashew Butter

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The Sucanat melts when it is warm and it acts like maple syrup!

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Pure heaven!

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Game Time Decision

Despite what my BRAIN was telling me to do (run that race!!!!!), the little voice inside of me (aka the gut instinct) told me NOT to run the race.

Here is what my brain was rationalizing to me:

  • You need to run your first race of the year!
  • The weather is beautiful
  • You’ll feel great once you are running
  • You will have something fun to blog about
  • You need to prove to yourself that you can still race (??? lol…isn’t it weird what we tell ourselves sometimes?!)

And here is what my GUT INSTINCT was saying:

  • Your body feels off today and it might not be a good idea to race
  • Your hamstrings are still a bit sore from your strength workout on Thursday
  • You don’t have that URGE to race today
  • Don’t do it…there are plenty more races to run

At first, I tried to ignore my instinct. I thought I would be fine and there was no reason to doubt that I could race today. I packed up my stuff and prepared to leave.

But then I really started to think about it:

  • My stomach felt nauseous (this is actually very atypical of me before a race)
  • I was dreading the 1 hour drive to the race, sign up, drive home, etc.
  • My legs felt weak

When I think back about all of the poor situations I have gotten myself into over the years, it happened usually because I IGNORED my gut instinct. When I listen to the instinct it never fails me- ever.

Today I decided to listen to that instinct and not run the race, despite really wanting to.

I actually caught myself thinking about what others might think if I skipped the race (maybe they won’t think I am dedicated or that I am lazy?). Then it hit me how crazy these thoughts were! I shouldn’t do things because I compare myself to what others are doing, I should do them for ME and my current situation.

I went in to tell the Sleeping Beauties (Eric and Sketchie) and Eric mumbled half asleep, ‘I’m so happy you are going to be home with me.’ and proceeded to pass out. It was so cute. :mrgreen: I love my boys.

As I grow and learn more about myself, I realize how crucial it is to listen to my instinct. I also refuse to let myself feel badly for doing what is right for my body. I don’t think it is a coincidence that I felt this way yesterday and I felt this way today. I think my body just wanted a complete break from everything this weekend.

Do you try to be in tune with that little voice inside your head? Are there any times when you listened to it and you think it saved you from a poor situation- or when you didn’t listen to it and you got yourself into some trouble?

The example that stands out the most for me is my pelvic injury last January 2009. I got up before work and had a 3 mile planned run. I started to run despite feeling an odd pain in my groin area. The little voice said to me, ‘This is not cool, you need to get off the treadmill.’ but I ignored it, stubbornly, and ran those 3 miles. When I got off the treadmill, I could barely walk and was consequently out of exercise entirely for a full 2 months.

I also listened to my gut when I left my job and started up Glo bakery.

Moral of the story– use your gut instinct to your advantage, it is there for a reason. I think society sort of ‘trains’ women to ignore it- do this, do that, not this, not that– but I am certainly my happiest when I listen to my instinct.

~~~

USA Vs. Canada Hockey Game tonight- you are watching RIGHT?!? :mrgreen:

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

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Jen Redford February 21, 2010 at 11:44 pm

I’m so happy to come across your blog & to find your healthy living-to-the-fullest philosophy!

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SP February 21, 2010 at 11:46 pm

I agree with the gut instinct. It just FEELS right to do something or not to do something, while making a choice , may it be picking a color for the bedroom or a life partner.

On another note, Angela, I want to add that through your blog, what you are inspired us all to do is to “treat ourselves and our body nicely”. I apply the principle to everything now, not only in food choices (“feeding the body” is a great way of thinking of eating the right foods) but also in other areas of my life. You’ve talked about various issues from body image to peer pressure to conforming to a particular idea of being someone to career changes.

Thank you.

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sara February 21, 2010 at 11:46 pm

Are you crying over the game? I am!!! :'(

Good on ya for taking it easy today … You’ve got LOTS of time for more races :)

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Amanda February 22, 2010 at 12:21 am

THAT WAS AN AWESOME HOCKEY GAME!!! *obviously I’m a yank…

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michelle February 22, 2010 at 12:47 am

Ever since my back injury I have started to listen to my body more. For example, I was supposed to go for my weekly swim this morning. I did not go. Yesterday I over did it because I was out all day and over worked my spine. That night I wad sore, stiff, exhausted and had no energy. The last time I did that and went, I could swim at all. I nearly drown. So this morning I slept in and was able to re-energize and I felt great for the rest of the day!

If we don’t listen to our bodies/gut instinct, something horrible could happen and then we won’t be able to do nothing at all.

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Marika February 22, 2010 at 2:09 am

I didn’t get to watch the game (since it was on in the middle of the night here), but GO USA! :-) Actually I’m more concerned to see how the Finland-Sweden game ends…

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Lightfoot February 22, 2010 at 5:32 am

This is an exceptional post!
I think that this is one of the hardest things to do in life – to prioritize your gut instinct and do what you want and need to do, and set aside the expectations of others.

Otherwise it becomes so easy to fall into a pattern of modifying your own behaviour to suit what you perceive to be the wishes of others. Real freedom, in the truest sense of the word, is the opposite of this. Living without fear and trusting yourself.

The route to real happiness lies here.
x

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Jenn @ Livewellfit February 22, 2010 at 8:44 am

I love balance! I love being able to finally listen to my body as well as my mind. Isn’t it just amazing when you do that?

I could not be more thrilled to read this post. After years and years of turning exercise into a MUST and I HAVE TO. Finally, I see how important it is to listen to your body. There are cues all day long about various things and when we ignore them, any of them…that’s where we can struggle more!

Bravo my dear!

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Laurilee February 22, 2010 at 8:48 am

O you ran the Refridge-eighter! I was about to sign up but backed out last minute to go snowboarding!

I read your blog all the time but have yet to post a comment but seeing that you’re from Canada (and there are so few food blogs I read who are in Canada) I thought I would say hi!

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Katy ( The Balanced Foodie ) February 22, 2010 at 9:08 am

You’re NOT lazy! I struggle so much with this as well, like right now!! I had to move my long run to yesterday and ended up setting a PDR on a trail run! Today I have 3 miles on the schedule but my body is super sore from a great workout Saturday as well. I was planning on doing 2 instead of 3 today for recovery but my knees are a little sore and my whole body is screaming for a day off! I feel like I could do two miles, but I did 8.6 yesterday. I think I could use a day off, but it makes me feel super lazy which it shouldn’t AT ALL! Thanks for writing this now because I do need rest today. I pushed my body harder then I ever have and to push it more today would not be smart! Thanks Angela. :)

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Bethany February 22, 2010 at 12:35 pm

This is such a timely post — my mother-in-law was just telling me she heard our guts actually have more nerve receptors than our brains (I can’t medically back this up, though) so the idea that you have a gut instinct really is true — your gut is reacting to something more than your brain.
Besides, you can talk yourself into almost anything — when was the last time you could coerce your gut instinct to sway one way or another?
Exactly. ;)
P.S. I have oatmeal envy.

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Ellie February 22, 2010 at 1:43 pm

I totally hear you Angela( may I call you Angie?). I usually check in with my “body” voice as I call it before making a decision based on my “head” voice. My head voice is directly linked to my obligations, my “to do list”, my expectations of myself and the expectations I think others have of me (note the words I think others have…) and sense of duty and accomplishment. My “body” voice is linked, well, simply to me body and my feelings. My body voice is usually the one telling me to let go of things, to let the Flow of things fall into place instead of trying to force them all the time. This “wise” voice has made me take better decisions on a number of issues. I still struggle some times with actually listening to it, even though I know it’s the thing to do, but I does, always work out better in the end when I do!

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[email protected] February 23, 2010 at 1:46 pm

I so agree with you Angela! I doubt myself alot but EVERY time I listen to my gut, things work out for the best. A great example of this in action was when I started my bakery after being laid off from my long-term job. I will always trust my gut…..I have finally learned to do that :)

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Kelsey February 25, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Your tennis shoes look adorlable! I must know what they are. Brookstone?

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