When I was 29, I could not wait to turn 30. I’d been hearing for years that your thirties are the best years of your life and considering how amazing my 20s were, I was pumped for my 30s. Let me tell you this – my 30s have been amazing, and it was hard for me to imagine anything being better than my 20s. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been through dark, difficult, trying times. My husband and I lost two babies before we ever got to meet them, we had our twins early and spent many long nights in the NICU, and we went through a full year of having two 2-year-olds. If that’s not enough to terrify you, well, you’re a better person than I.
I think it helps that my husband and I are pretty laid-back people who just like to enjoy life, and that’s made our 30s even better than our 20s. But what really caught me off-guard when I turned 30 and in the past 3.5 years is how much I’ve matured. I’ve always been a bit of an older soul; a goody-goody if you will. I don’t like to get in trouble, I like to do the right thing, but I didn’t really know what maturity meant until I began to become more self-aware in my 30s. The thing that has been the most shocking is how much I’ve learned to listen to my body in the past three years.
I never knew what listening to my body meant. In my 20s I could get away with very little sleep, long nights, I could drink for days straight from morning until noon on vacation and feel like a champ the following day, overextend my body, and basically do what I wanted and see no ramifications.
Life was good.
In my 30s, that’s changed. Apparently, people, I’m now quite old and my body has changed so much. I like it, though. I’ve never felt more beautiful, more self-aware, or healthier. But man does my body talk to me like never before.
Actually, it talks to me too much. Like – too much. It doesn’t shut up, and I already have four kids who do the mama, mama, mama, mommy, mom, mommy, mama, mama, mama, thing for five minutes BEFORE they launch into a 20-minute story that could have been told in 3 sentences or less. I don’t need anyone else talking to me. But, my body is kind of a bitch like that. She wants to be heard.
That said, I’ve learned to listen to my body. If I don’t, she makes me suffer. If you’re still struggling to listen to yours, I’d love to share with you what mine has taught me since turning 30.
What My Body Says: My Head Hurts, I’m Tired, My Skin Looks Like Hell
What My Body is Telling Me: Drink Some Water, Girlfriend
I love water. In fact, I don’t drink soda, juice, tea or anything else. Wait. That’s a lie. I drink the hell out of coffee and wine. On a hot summer day on the boat or at the beach or by the pool, hand me an ice-cold beer and let’s call it a day. But water is my jam. I need it. I drink it so much I’m not sure how I don’t float away. I love it. But my body has taught me to realize that I need more than I thought.
When I notice these things coming on, I know I haven’t had enough water. It means I’ve been on vacation, and it makes me suffer. When my head hurts, I feel tired, and my skin looks less than vibrant, I need to get my water on.
What My Body Says: I Have No Energy
What My Body is Telling Me: Get to the Gym
Sometimes I have no energy, and that’s probably because I have four kids. But when I feel like I really have no energy, it means I need to get my behind to the gym. I work out every day and if I skip a day while we’re traveling or when schedules get a little hectic, I feel it. I have no energy. I can’t function, I can’t concentrate, and I can’t get through the day. Going to the gym when my body does this changes the course of everything. I feel instantly better.
What My Body Says: I Feel a Cold Coming On
What My Body is Telling Me: Slow Down, Take a Break, and Get Some Damn Rest Already
My body is big on telling me to slow down. I push it hard. I do everything all the time, and I rarely ever slow down. When my body starts to feel as though it’s getting sick, it’s time for me to slow down and rest. I know immediately I need to shut it off, turn it down, and sleep in, stay in bed, and cancel plans.
What My Body Says: I Feel So Gross
What My Body is Telling Me: Eat Some Vegetables
This happens to me anytime I skip eating veggies for a day. I don’t do this often but when I do, my body talks to me about it. It usually happens on cheer competition days for my daughter. We’ll stop at Starbucks on the way to the venue, eat things like pretzels and chips, and fast food while we’re there, and we usually stop quickly at Chick-Fil-A on the way home. We are so tired, so exhausted, and so ready to be home we don’t bother stopping for anything healthy or cooking at home. My body gets mad at me, and it won’t quit until I eat something healthy.
My body says so much to me on a regular basis, and it’s not easy to understand what it’s saying until you begin taking care of it. Your body – and my body – needs rest, exercise, and healthy food to function properly. Without it, we don’t feel well. Understanding what makes us feel well is far better than wondering if there’s something wrong.