Posts Tagged With: health

our bodies ourselves

Saw my therapist Wednesday afternoon.
First we had to oodgey-goodgey over my new elephants, and talk a bit of catch up before we got down to the me part of the conversation.

I shared that I lost eight pounds by cutting coca cola from my diet.
This lead to a conversation about physical health. We talked on this for a while, expressing the joys and concerns of our bodies. We talked of weight and health and strength. We talked of how grateful we are for our bodies.

For me, it’s not what size I am, or the number on the scale, it’s about how my body feels. As healthy as my brain is beginning to feel regularly, I want my body to feel equally healthy.
I have a magic number in my head, my ‘ideal weight’ but it’s so unrealistic. I’d be nothing but nose, shoulders and breasts. That’s why I ignore the scale and the labels in my clothes.
Does it fit comfortably? Do I feel strong? Can my body do everything I want to do?

I don’t hate my body because it’s got more padding than it used to. I don’t hate my body at all! This body has carried me through forty seven years of life, it grew and birthed two of the most amazing humans. It can run and jump and dance. It can sit and lie and be still. It has freckles and scars and bushy red hair.
My body is precious.

I don’t care what size my body is as long as it’s strong and healthy.
Right now it’s not as strong as I’d like it to be, so that’s what I’m doing, making it stronger.

This reminds me of a conversation the girls and I had about body shaming.
They’re both thin, inherited from their dad’s family, I come from folks of a sturdy stock.
Thing 1 has always been ‘underweight’. She’s an eater, but she just doesn’t bulk up. At all. Think Olive Oil, all arms and legs and neck, but with a cuter nose.
Thing 2 has always been small. She didn’t hit five feet or a hundred pounds until she was sixteen. Petite is the word you’re looking for. She’s a little firecracker.

They shared stories of experiencing skinny shaming.

Now I have personally said, “Eat a cheeseburger and put on a jacket.” to Thing 1 when she’s complained about being cold.
Turns out I was body shaming her. (not about the jacket, just the cheeseburger bit)
That’s horrible to consider.
My daughter’s body is perfect and beautiful. I would never purposefully disrespect it.
I only wanted her to be warmer, so I theorized if she ate more and put on a jacket, she would be warmer.
Thing 1 is underweight. She used to eat like a teenage boy, we wondered if she had a hollow leg, etc. but she just doesn’t keep weight. That’s hard for her. She struggles.
Should she be shamed? Should someone purposefully be hurtful about it?
No.

Thing 2 went through a phase in which she purposefully starved her body. She honestly couldn’t have weighed ninety pounds. She was bones and skin and sunken eyes.
That frightened me. In ways I find hard to put into words.
I trod carefully when discussing what she was eating.
She has since returned to normal eating and a healthier weight.
I did suggest she eat a little more and it hurt her feelings.
I was body shaming her.
That was not my intention, I was fearful for her health and didn’t know what to do but offer food.

I look at photos of my girls, even the ones from the tattoo shop on this blog, I see strong healthy bodies. I see young women who use their bodies for work and play. I see the strength and vulnerabilities of their bodies. I see the difference between the little girls they used to be and the women the are. I see the freckles and tan lines. I see the self-inflicted scars and tattoo ink. I see what carries my daughters through this life.
They are healthy and strong. They are perfect exactly the way they are.
I am awed and overflowing with the maddest love for them!

I’ve used the word ‘porky’ when describing myself to them. They don’t like it.
I’ve worked hard to be clear that I want my body to be healthier, not simply more thin. They’re always supportive of me and my body. Like me for them, they want me to be in a strong and healthy body that works the way it’s meant to. They support my paying attention to what I eat, but never support “dieting”.

Bodies are made of bones and blood and muscle. They’re covered in skin and hair. They’re designed to do wonderful and awe-inspiring things. They even create more bodies! How much more awe-inspiring can you get!?!

I love my body.
It carries me through this life.

Stop worrying about shape and size and weight.
Stop comparing your body with the bodies of others.
Stop shaming your body and the bodies of others.

If a body is strong and healthy, what else matters?

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healthy gut = healthy brain

I read an article recently about how your gut is your “other” brain. Meet Your Second Brain: The Gut
My sister-in-law has been talking about bits and pieces of this concept for a while, but I really didn’t understand the impact until I read all about it.
Here’s the gist that’s directly important to me: If your gut isn’t healthy it can trigger neurological issues.

What if this whole brain swelling situation is simply my wretched digestive system?
(yeah, I’m going to leave that here and walk away for a moment)

I’ve had digestive issues my entire life. Even as a little girl I struggled with the pain of constipation and bloating. I didn’t know it wasn’t normal until I was an adult. That was an interesting learning curve. I was surrounded by people with healthy digestive systems.

My stomach simply doesn’t digest properly. The holistic “doctor obvious” shared that gem. I was a whole lot of ‘well no sh*t, dude’. I haven’t been to him in a while. Honestly he’s so expensive and insurance doesn’t cover it. Also YBW thinks he’s a bit of a quack. Which makes it hard for me, because I really need him on board if I’m going to get treatment for this. Some of his stuff is quack-like. For instance: him preaching ‘don’t immunize your kids’ is one that makes me want to stab. But some of his stuff is totally on point.

Though I may not have to go see him…
I’ve been researching as much as I can the last few days and I’m learning what to do to help restore my “good gut flora”. It doesn’t seem all that difficult apart from one thing. I’m going to have to give up wine. At least for a little while.
In learning what to eat to heal my gut I’m excited to discover fermented foods are a must. That means kimchi. My dad used to have a special refrigerator ONLY for his huge jar of kimchi. I don’t think I’ll get that drastic, but I love it and am excited to know it will help me.
My friend in Arizona went completely gluten free to help with terrible headaches and digestive issues. I’ve been researching that too. I suspect that will help me a great deal.

What this means is an upheaval of our foodstuffs and the way I prepare things. I’m not sure how it will work when the boys are here, but I can simply feed YBW whatever I’m eating when they aren’t here. It’ll be good for him too.

I don’t know if I’m actually on the right track, but I’m willing to try this as apposed to waiting around any longer to see if my brain get’s it’s act together. I’ve struggled with this brain swelling since May. And though I’m not getting any worse, I sure as hell am not getting any better.

I’ll continue to research and begin to make changes and cross my fingers.
I’ll go see the holistic doctor as a touchstone.

It’s time for me to be well.
I’m not getting well the way we’re doing it. I’m ready to try something new.
I’m gonna get healthy if it kills me!

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every moment is a blessing

I spent time with my former co-teacher today. She’s going through a particularly vile divorce. It breaks my heart for her and her little daughter. I can’t really do anything to help, all I can do is love them.
But spending time with her today made me appreciate that I’m me and not anyone else. That may seem like a ridiculous thing to say, but I cannnot mean it any more.

I’ve been through seriously dreadful times in my life. I’ve been through moments of great wonder. Everything I’ve experienced in my life, every single moment, the good, the bad, the indifferent, has shaped me into who I am right now. Honestly I’m grateful I’ve had all this opportunity to throw so much paint at my life’s great big canvas.

I’ve obviously experienced a great deal of joy, especially recently.
Even the undiagnosed brain swelling is teaching me to remain present by listening carefully to what my body is telling me. Something I’ve not really done before. It’s easy to ignore your body when you’re more focused on everyone else.

I don’t know if my feeling hopeful has me feeling so appreciative of being me or if I’m just glad my troubles have been mine and not the troubles of anyone else. I don’t think it really matters.

We all have moments we would like to hand over to another. Any other. But when it comes right down to it there is always something better or worse being experienced by any other person at those very same moments. I remember this with great humility. My worst moments could be another’s best moments or my best moments could be meaningless to another.

I am grateful for every single one of my moments. I could never be the woman I am if I hadn’t experienced the moments of my life. It may have taken forty four years, but I rather like the woman I am!

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way to go, brain

I got good news from the neurologist yesterday. The swelling in my brain is no longer increasing!!
WOO HOO!
My brain is still swollen.
They’re still not quite sure why.
But it seems to be holding steady where it is.
I’m thankful for “just” swelling because it isn’t increased swelling.
Good work getting it together, brain. Keep up the good work.

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