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Listen carefully to your body and what to you hear? Is it thirst? Is it exhaustion? Maybe even a bit of everything. An elegant woman knows that what her body is saying has more merit than you think. I know people when their body tells them enough is enough, they keep pushing it. What usually happens is a broken body and trying to repair that can be much harder than just easing up a bit. I think it’s the feeling of that we can have it all. We are told that we can do everything and have it all and to be honest I don’t think we can. It’s not possible! This is an emotional problem as it is a physical one. This is time where we need to make better decisions and choices.

Listen carefully to your body and prioritize

  As I am writing this post, it is almost summertime and the weather has been just so beautiful. School is just about getting out or already has for my American friends and we all couldn’t be happier with this! When the warmer weather starts coming we start to make more and more plans. We live with a weekend to weekend mentality which I think is just so wonderful, it actually reminds me of being a child again! It’s fun because every weekend is packed with something fun and exciting and as we work we impatiently wait for the weekend. Ah, to be a child again! It’s a completely different feeling than in the winter. However, as we like to think, with the laying around near the pools and enjoying the sun, we actually start to do more than we plan on. People are inviting you over for a barbecue, then there are drinks with the girls. Next thing you know, it’s a family reunion and you definitely can’t say no to that. What about the beach and you also promised your parents that you would spend a weekend with them at a cabin. You see what easily happens?

We over schedule and overwork ourselves.

With a summer that was originally planned for taking it easy has become a busy season and we are secretly muttering under our breath that we can’t wait for September. This is not a post on saying no, which I think deserves one on it’s own because we have people-pleasers and other elegant woman that just can’t seem to say no without feeling guilty. But this post is listening to your body and recognizing the signs that perhaps, we should pay it some true attention.

It’s a lot smarter than we realize

  How many times have we dismissed ourselves. Let me see all the mammas out there that do this on a regular basis! I know you’re out there! It’s so easy to just stop paying yourself any attention when you have children to worry about. But when our body sends us signals, we need to be listening and also able to understand what it needs. I have compiled a few different and very important sensations and signals that our wonderful bodies are trying to tell us!

Eating too much food

  Ah, gluttony. This is a place where I think so many of us struggle with. It is hard to say no. It is hard to deny ourselves that extra piece of pizza or slice of cake. But in reality, we almost always regret it! I am a terrible night eater, never used to be like this but it just sort of happened. I blame it on popcorn. It’s a gateway food to night eating! If you watch me, I should be a politician at the way I can justify with myself to eat a whole bag of chips at night! To be fair, I have been SO much better in the last year! But if I were to stop and pause before In indulged, I would notice that my body is saying no. I usually am not hungry but feel like I want to munch on something. It’s that terrible boredom creeping in! It’s not a good recipe for an elegant life because this habit will add a few pounds to my frame. Also, it will my night sleep not as comfortable and my skin becomes breakout central. Very attractive! But this isn’t just for eating at night, this is just eating during any meals as well. We seldom really need a second plate of food. We aren’t slaving away on any fields like before. The amount of calories that we are expelling does not even compare the amount that we are inhaling! (Yes, inhaling!) Our brains are telling us, “yum that was good, let’s have some more” but our stomachs (the ones we NEED to be listening to tells us, “I’m satisfied and happy”. The moment we listen to our brain, we feel full, sluggish and lethargic. Our stomachs always know how much we need to eat, not our brain! This is why a very good technique is to eat slowly.  

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Staying up too late

  The bags under eyes and feeling of just exhaustion and it’s only 10 AM! I really hate the feeling of when you wake up still tired and knowing you have many hours until you can rest your head again! Why do we do this? Staying up late usually never has a good reason. Cramming for a test? Should have studied before. Binge watching something on Netflix? I don’t think I need to justify this one. Catching up on Facebook? My point that I am trying to get across is that there really is no point to stay up too late. It always leads to an exhaustive next day and your sleep patterns may be off for a while. Besides the aged and unflattering look you can get from staying up too late, your body is sluggish and will take extra time to start the day. And to make matters worse, we usually double up on the coffee the next day to give us that bounce we so crave. It just is never a good idea to stay up too late for no good reason, and no, watching anything on Netflix is not a good reason!

Eating too many sweets

  I have never been much of a sweets kind-of-girl, for me I could live completely on pasta and bread, which I suppose isn’t too much healthier! However, that does not make me immune to my hot chocolates or other sugary drinks and my occasional (or more 😉 ) summer ice cream. My body truly hates me when I overindulge on sweets and desserts. I do gain a few pounds and although the weight might barely be noticeable, it’s my overall well being that is just terrible! I feel lethargic, exhausted, disgusted, unmotivated, and pretty much anything that means if-I-don’t-have-to-move-then-it’s-good-with-me attitude. Your body has a funny way of telling you that you have had too much sugar! I find that I get so dehydrated that I simply cannot drink enough water, which of course leads to a face that is less than plump. My skin looks dull and older! Not to mention the fine wrinkles I have around my eyes get worse. Although this is temporary for now, it still doesn’t make it any easier when I look like that! And for what? A couple chocolate bars or too much ice cream? Usually, it just isn’t worth it!  

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Spending too much time in the sun

  Our body craves the sun. It makes us feel happier. That glow is something we try to obtain to make us look healthy. But in the meantime, if we spend too much time outside and don’t respect how intense the sun is, we end up with burned, red, then scaly (so attractive) skin! Okay, to be fair, this isn’t everyone! My husband has been blessed with olive skin, while I have the skin of an overly sensitive pale girl, I very rarely have a glow! It’s good to get vitamin D but to not understand how powerful the sun is, almost is too reckless because of the skin cancers that can creep up with time. I am not suggesting to slather yourself in chemicals either, but to use common sense. And please, consult your doctor before listening to me! Your body does have ways to tell you enough is enough, but we just tend to ignore them for that all so special glow! You can get very dehydrated because you are out in the sun too much. My skin gets all red and blotchy during the day and I know then that I need to cover up with something or go inside before it gets any worse. Your skin gets tight as well. If you ever got sunburned in the past, you will also know how it feels when the burn is a couple days old and the skin tightening is even more obvious! If you’re not careful, you can even pass out from too much sun! Please respect yourself and respect the sun. It’s so strong and powerful that we don’t stand a chance unless we take special precautions!

Wearing high heels or inappropriate shoes too much

  But they are just too darn beautiful! I know, I know, but I am just going to say one word – bunions. Sometimes wearing proper shoes are ugly and boring, but they don’t have to be. My husband tells me that I am a bit stubborn when it comes to shoes and perhaps I am but I am slowly trying to listen to my body and realize that ballet flats for 12 hours a day at work will most likely have repercussions that I will regret. It’s funny because, if you’re like me, you’re trying to take good care of your body inside and out, but when it comes to shoes, vanity often wins. So if you think about it, the one thing that I should be paying much more attention to because if your feet hurt or ache it affects the way you walk and therefore can hurt your joints, knees, back, spine, it could even cause your neck to have issues! If your body is giving you signs to wear better shoes, it’s probably wise to listen! Even I am starting to listen and I inherited some Keds. Better than flats I suppose! When I was younger I was always told to wear proper shoes, and that I will regret it one day. Well it still hasn’t come but I am starting to wear more sensible shoes more of the time! And I won’t lie, it does feel much better!

Going out for dinner too often

  You’re wallet will also be able to take a breather. Going out to eat too often can affect your waistline and your mood. You can’t even give the excuse that you eat at “healthier” places and opt for the better options. Nope. Not buying it! When you eat at a restaurant, you are giving other people the ability to put whatever they want in your meals. Usually, it’s almost always salt, sugar, and fat. It needs to taste great! You wouldn’t go back to the same place if the food was only okay. But it’s funny because when we go out, which is saved for grand occasions and also when we are on vacation, I can tell because my body gives me subtle signs that I am eating out way too often! My clothes start to feel uncomfortable, even if I haven’t gained any weight. This is all about bloat and it’s not a very good feeling! When you go out, they use so much salt and sugar that it just hurts your body if you do it too often. With too much salt consumption means your face is not at it’s best either because your skin under eyes are baggy and puffy. This also depends on what you eat when you go out as well, but you are more than certain to be ingesting too much salt, sugar and fat! Even with the “healthy” options! You’ve been warned!

Not drinking enough water

  There are times when I know that I don’t drink enough water, but that is mainly because I know that I could have had more. Some physical tips that your body might be trying to tell you that you need more water could be: – dry or chapped lips (I find that this is one of the first ways that my body is hinting at more water) – urine is cloudy, smelly and quite yellow – skin feels drier than normal What is very obvious to me that I have been lacking on the water is my facial skin looks terrible. It’s true and I promise I am not making this up! When I drink my daily amount of water (and then some) my skin glows brighter, the pimples disappear and my bags under my eyes deflate a little bit. You want to know a secret to beautiful skin, let me give you a hint, it is NOT in your expensive creams or potions. It’s just in the plain simple water. Try it out for yourself! Give it a few weeks or a month and  you will truly see the difference in your complexion and also the way your body runs! Plus, if you’re like me and drink enough coffee for two, then add more water!  

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Standing too long

  People wonder why I wear pants and longer skirts. Well, here you go! I have ugly legs. There, it’s out for all you to see! (but not really, because they really are ugly!) If you work standing up or you just find that you are on your legs too much then you will know exactly what I am talking about. For me, I get spider veins (thank you Nana) and thank God they are painless but don’t look the nicest. I have heard of also varicose veins and those are the painful ones that stick out, also not so pretty. It’s not good to stand too long. It’s bad for your back and your legs and I find it amusing that it’s better on your body if you’re moving than if you’re stationary. So keep on moving and never stop! Your body isn’t meant to stand or sit too long at one time. So please listen to it and when your legs are aching, move them around and get the blood flowing better. Usually your body will react with aching feet, calves and thighs. It seems counterproductive but your legs will hurt more if you stand still, and this fear will sometimes prevent you from pushing yourself which is exactly WHAT you have to do! If you feel this way and you can’t move, then if you can try balancing on one foot then the other. When your body is telling you to sit or move, please listen to it because having ugly legs that can be preventable is a tragedy!

Not having proper posture

  (Okay, how many of you right now just fixed your posture?!!) This one has instant ramifications for not trying your hardest to have great posture. I see this everywhere I go! Of all the ones that you read here today, this is the only one that you must take away! Having proper posture will make sure everything else works nicely in your body. It helps with the digestive system, it helps with the circulatory system and also an help you take deep breaths as well! It even makes your clothes look better on you and even instantly lose 5 pounds (well look like it at least!) Proper posture also prevents too much back pain or leg pain simply because everything is aligned perfectly! The way your body tells you that you need to straighten up? Headaches. This is mainly because when you aren’t sitting correctly, the blood isn’t pumping properly into the brain. Sore legs, lower back and neck pain. Not to mention lack of confidence too when you aren’t standing tall! Check yourself in a mirror as often as you can for a reminder to stand tall and proud!  

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Being angry too much

  Give it to God. Don’t be so angry! What is the point? You are only hurting yourself. But you might be yelling at your screens right now that I don’t understand how hard it can be with a husband who doesn’t help around the house and you work your 40 hours only to come home to teenagers who don’t respect or appreciate anything you do. Yes, that would make me angry too, but only you will be feeling the sadness and hurt from it. Not to mention the furrowing wrinkles and the sparkle from your eye gone. This is where the wrinkles set in, especially the not so attractive ones. No one likes a grumpy person. Being angry too much is also not good for your heart or also just your well being in nature. Try your hardest to control it and like I said before, give it to God.

Rushing all the time

  Rushing is just part of the North American lifestyle, no? We rush to work, rush to bring the children to extracurricular activities, rush to make dinner (oh wait, we’re so rushed we don’t have time so let’s get takeout!). We rush to work out and we even rush our sleep (who ACTUALLY needs 8 hours?!) That exhausts me just typing that! Our bodies and our minds are not meant to be rushed all the time. We are to soak up the moment for all its glory. When we rush we miss the small little pleasures that truly bring us happiness. You can’t deny that this world is moving too darn fast and we need to slow it down just a little bit! We always feel overworked because if we only had an extra hour in the day. The guilt factor comes in to play when we wish that we could have more done if we worked faster at something. It’s not good to always be like this and our bodies are taking the consequences. Our bodies are telling us to slow down but we are as always, ignoring the signals. If you rush often, you might notice that your body is more tired to get up in the morning. You might be longing for some quiet time more often than normal. You might be snacking more often because your body is trying to keep up with the demands that you are putting on it. When I find myself overwhelmed emotionally that is when I know I need to take it slower. You might be saying, “Well yes I would love to slow down but my life is too hectic!” I once thought that, but I prayed about it and realized that a lot of things I was doing, was not necessary. Lessen your workload, start saying no to people, slow down and see the little moments for what they are! If you are going too fast, you might miss that child’s smile at you or the moment when everything is good even for that few precious minutes!

Elegance is perfecting the art of moderation.

  Your body is a lot smarter than you might give it credit for. Yet, for some reason we have started to ignore it and think that we know what it needs and wants. This has created problems with our digestive tracts, with our bank books, with our feet and backs, practically with our whole life. It even affects our relationships because our we are angry or upset with our physical selves. I think it’s time to start paying more attention to what our body wants and craves instead of assuming that we know best. We are either gluttonous with material objects or food or overdoing it to the point of exhaustion. It seems that most things are good in moderation because we can stay up late one night but doing it more than once over a period of a week can lead to exhaustion and other problems. Sure we can enjoy a huge meal, but doing it too often will lead to weight gain and feelings of disappointment.

In conclusion

As elegant women, we don’t look to other people to tell us how we should eat or how we should dress. We look to ourselves and especially pay close attention to our own bodies. They will tell you exactly how much food to eat, what height of heels to wear, when possibly it needs more sleep. By listening to our bodies, we build a relationship with it. As it blossoms, the trust level will also increase and you will begin to trust what your body is telling you because you will know the consequences of ignoring it. I find that this takes time and experience. We tend to think that our brains are smarter than our bodies and that isn’t always so. Just like when our parents tell us something as teenagers and we automatically think that we know more than them, it’s the same deal. Essentially, our brains are bratty teenagers! When we stop and think about what we are doing and what might come of it, then we will live in better harmony and peace. Last time I checked, peace is what I am looking for.. To live an elegant lifestyle, we need to be true to ourselves and not listen to a diet guru telling us the latest fad diet. Or that by wearing a certain color will make others fall in love with you. Even if someone tells you that you should wear those 5 inch heels to make yourself look the better, if it creates more problems — then it’s not better!. We know better.