It's now 6 weeks since my major spinal surgery and my recovery is ahead of what would normally be expected, but then I have been listening to my own body! I was horrified when I was discharged from hospital, and the physio announced that I needed to begin some pretty rigorous exercises straight away. I knew my body couldn't do it then. The booklet they gave me explaining what you should be able to do and by when (light housework after 3 days, if you work in an office, return to work after 1 week etc) left me feeling like a complete failure. There was no way on this earth that my body was anywhere near ready to do any of this. So I put the booklet away and chose to listen to my body instead.
My body just wanted and needed to rest, rest, sleep and then rest some more. So I listened to it and followed what it told me. When I felt like getting off the bed and moving around, I did, but did no more than my poor traumatized body could manage; and I ignored the physio instructions.
I also listened (and still am) to my body in terms of what foods it was wanting. Strangely enough, it has been mega amounts of salmon, pilchards and sardines; all wonderful oil fishes rich in Omega 3; AND I've been taking a daily dose of whole fish oils as well! Apart from that, huge amounts of protein, grapes, Marmite and bananas; very little chocolate!
This morning I had pilchards in tomato sauce on toast for breakfast, tonight I have just prepared a delicious dish of Coconut & Lime Baked Sardines; chock full of fish, Pak Choi and cherry tomatoes in a lovely sauce made from lime juice, coconut milk and Thai Red Curry paste. It is a feast for the eyes, body and soul! (See picture below).
Once I'd finished the preparation, I read the blurb at the bottom of the recipe and I quote: "Sardines are an abundant source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, plus protein to help maintain muscle mass and facilitate healing....."
By listening to my body, I have been giving myself the best foods which in turn are acting as medicine for me. My sciatic nerves have been inflamed for years and have played up a bit since the surgery - well they were pulled around a bit. My healing has been far quicker than predicted or expected and I have surprised even the medical staff with how well I can move and how much I can do.
But then I have listened to my body and given it what it needed, whether that was rest, pilchards or gentle exercise.. And in listening to my body and responding to it, I have been loving and nurturing myself. Love is the greatest healer of all.
What is your body telling you? How are you loving yourself?