Your body intelligence is pretty mind-blowing. The human brain has about 100,000,000,000 or 100 billion neurons. And the adult brain weighs about 3 pounds or 1300 to 1400 Grams. This is about 2% of the body weight if you weigh 150 pounds or 70 kgs. Although the brain accounts for only 2 percent of our body weight, it consumes 20% of the oxygen that we breathe and roughly 20 percent of our daily calories. And this is just our brain.
Nerve impulses travel to and from the brain at speeds of up to 250 miles per hour. In split seconds we judge situations based on very little evidence and these release a cocktail of hormones that electro-magnetically impact every cell and affect our health. Body intelligence is something we seldom think about - because everything that is happening works not only automatically, but always working towards our health and it affects the entire body. Body incredible!
When you are body-wise, you tap into your body intelligence and listen to, and respond to your unique body needs. It's an ability that we are all born with, but have lost due to cultural influences that have led us to believe we cannot trust our bodies. But it's interesting, as I research Centenarians, those people who live healthy and long lives, seem to know and understand their body and don't often rely on trackers, or experts to tell them how to live. They know, understand and trust their bodies with a quiet certainty.
How do we learn to mistrust our bodies and to second guess their intelligence? We aren't taught to honor and respect our body wisdom or intelligence. We're taught to listen to the world around us instead of the world within us. Ours is a very exterior-focussed world.
For this reason being body-wise (and even eating intuitively) goes against a cultural tide where we are constantly bombarded with the notion that our bodies can't be trusted, that disease and ill-health are just around the corner. Lurking, just waiting to leap out and grab ahold of us. We are constantly sold this idea, that handing control over to some measurement external to us is the only way we can apparently be responsible and take care of ourselves be that a scale, a blood pressure meter or a glucometer. Food products come with a nutrition label, displaying nutritional data as if our bodies couldn't possibly be relied upon to know what's good or bad for us. Yet I'm constantly struck by how those people who achieve longevity and health, don't hunt down food labels, don't tack their calories or micro-nutrients, or track their number of footsteps, nor do they rely much on scales and meters. They're much more inclined to tune into their bodies and avoid places like hospitals.
We're encouraged to track our calories, and monitor our activity or fitness etc... as if our body intelligence could't possibly tell us what we need. We're taught to trust experts who don't inhabit our bodies, as if our body isn't already the ultimate expert. Newtonian physics has trained us to trust our five senses that look outward at our world, while internally-focussed sixth sense is downplayed as being unreliable.
Our body has biological needs that, when we were born, we automatically responded to. Ask any mother who breastfed her children if she could overfeed them! Sadly much of this body wisdom has been eroded away by cultural 'knowledge.'
When you're bodywise, the choices you make are body- intelligence driven rather than culturally-driven. Let me give you an example. Culturally, plenty of us eat beyond what our body needs because, although our body incredible sends us both hunger (gherkin) and satiety (leptin) hormones, we have been conditioned to eat for plate size rather than tummy size.
When we tune into bodily signals that tell us when we have had enough and then stop eating and leave what our body doesn't need....that's tapping into our body wisdom.
Surface truths are those that are forever changing. One day margarine is better for you than butter - next year it's all changed around. Blah! Blah!
Deep Truths are those that are timeless - never changing. They don't change when you move from one cultural group to another, or if you had to live in different historical times. Being body wise is to be following a Deep Truth. Your culturally-infused mind may tell you one thing that isn't necessarily true, but you can ALWAYS rely on your body to tell you the truth.
For example...a surface truth might be that "Eat breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Queen and Supper like a Pauper". But many cultures around the world (usually the ones that don't have cereal manufacturers spinning their advertising) believe in eating only a very small breakfast.
The Deep Truth is that my body might tell me it needs fuel earlier or later depending on many factors like:
• when I last ate,
• how active I've been,
• what's happening biochemically and so on.
This is true for everyone, across all cultural groups and for all historical periods because body intelligence is a Deep Truth.
When your food and exercise choices are driven by a plan that says you eat x number of calories per day, and you need to exercise for x number of minutes at x intensity per day, that's a cultural dictate not a body intelligence decision.
But when you are body wise, you flow with your body and let it determine your needs. So, one one day, your body may require more food, or more of a particular type of food than on another. On one day your body might want more exercise, or a different kind of exercise than on another day.
There's no rigidity, there's no sense of 'having to'. Instead there's a sense of curiosity - what is my body saying, what is it needing? There's a sense of going with the flow. This is no one plan fits all - the way diets treat our bodies which is why they only work to create eating disorders and food cravings because they upset our body regulation as it was meant to be.
We like different flavors, and different foods. Depending on our activity levels - we'll have different energy requirements. When we're body wise and allowing our body intelligence to work, we can respond to these requirements from the inside out. Of course we all know that men are different to women (especially their body composition) - and many weight loss clubs and schemes do have different plans for the different genders. But they still aren't based on body wisdom - they're just based on one formula for all.
Men can eat more than women - because their body composition is different, their metabolism is too. The genders have different biochemical needs too which is partly why women comfort eat more than men.
We have different beliefs and thoughts which means that what is going on in our bodies at a bio-chemical level is unique. What we are manifesting in our lives is unique, even if you're an identical twin.
We are so much more than just a formula! We are so much more than just a bunch of organs, tissue, bones and skin thrown together!
You can't simply bundle our uniqueness into a diet sheet that dictates you eat x for breakfast and y for lunch. You can't do that if you want to live attuned with your body intelligence.
For more fascinating body facts....