You guys, my body is totally talking to me. And it’s yelling.
The moment I started to feel better and tried to rejoin the real world, my body said, “Whoa whoa whoa, you’re moving too fast and you’re making me nauseous.” All I did was sit on a comfy porch catching up with family, followed by a leisurely dinner out whereupon I consumed vegetables for the first time last week and had less than one beer at dinner. That was enough to send my sensitive bod into a wave of nausea and exhaustion that lasted late into the next morning.
All I did the next day was take the slowest walk of my entire life on the beach which was mostly on wet, firm sand, throw a tennis ball maybe 3 times to swimming superdog Ruby and her slightly more timid but equally as superdoggy brother, Ollie. That was followed by a run to Bev Mo for snacks and a nice bottle of wine for my dad’s 64th birthday, a bath for Ruby and a float in the pool for me. Doesn’t that sound relaxing?
Well my body said, “No. No, that was not relaxing, that was exhausting, I’m so so thirsty, will you please give me water already? Wine? No! Not wine! I don’t care what a nice bottle it is. And you think you’re eating beautiful fresh crab tonight?! Not after all that stuff you did today. No you’ll have a couple of leg sections and then you’ll just sit here at this table and every time you think about taking a nibble of something I’ll make you so nauseous that you’ll have to lean your head in your hands with your elbows on the table just to keep from falling over.”
And the next day, just in case I hadn’t heard it, my body woke me up with new stiffness throughout my legs and a need to hold my sides while I walked at 0.01 mph for 10 min that morning. I thought I was listening after that. I thought I was following my body’s Honey-do list attentively and respectfully.
But I was wrong. Because then I woke up with the crippling hip pain. And my body said, “HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY you stubborn, bullheaded, cocky little brat. I said to stop it. Stop. It. Stop moving, stop lying down, stop breathing, stop trying to get comfortable. Stop everything and listen to ME!” That day all I did was write a blog entry and watch more Oprah.
And when I woke up the next day unable to move my left arm, I finally got it. Don’t do anything or you will feel the pain tomorrow. Anything.
With every shooting pain and every throb of headache, I felt like saying to my body, “Ok, I hear you, what do you want from me? How do you expect me to live like this? Am I just supposed to give up on everything in my life that I love other than Oprah? Should I not be watching Oprah? Would you prefer Bravo? There’s a Pregnant in Heels marathon today?”
But when you start actually talking to your body you might have bigger problems than hip pain and a headache.
Now come on over to the sunny side of the street with me, because here’s the Oprah worthy a-ha moment – I don’t know that I’ve ever been so in touch with what my body wants. All the times I’ve eaten more than I needed was me ignoring what my body wanted. Every time I volunteered to lift a too-heavy piece of furniture because women are just as strong as men I was ignoring my body. Every time I went to yet another party because I didn’t want to miss out of the fun even though I was tired and pj’s sounded appealing, I was ignoring my body.
And I guess my body got tired of being ignored.
For all the work I do to maintain my 80+ lb weight loss and the even harder work I do to lose a few more lbs to make my body a skinnier version of itself, I haven’t been doing a great job of actually listening to my body and giving it what it’s asking for. It’s been more like a negotiation between a teenager and a parent on a Saturday night. “Curfew is at midnight and no later.” “But, Ma-aaaaa! Nobody else has a curfew! Come on! 1am.”
This week I’ve been so worried about gaining weight because of my new lethargic lifestyle. But I’ve been so at the mercy of my body, that when my body is done eating, I put that fill-in-the-blank down like a hot potato. And I’m not exactly cooking these days. Pizza has been ordered complete with leftovers that managed to live in the house for 3 days. Say what?! I’ve even been tracking my points with no issue and no disappointment. Which means no guilt. And I’m pretty sure my body is not into guilt, so I’m going to stay away from that one.
My body has also been telling me that I need to ask for help more often. After a long day of painful walks to the kitchen to get more water or to the bathroom because all I did was drink water, when my husband came home and offered to help me off the couch it was such a relief. Could I get off the couch myself? Yes. But it involved an arduous process of propping myself up or rolling to one side to avoid a more painful hip, it was so nice to have someone offer me a hand and bear the literal weight of that one particular burden for me. I could hear my body say “Ahhh…thank you,” every time.
Yes, these past 2 weeks have sucked super bad. But at least my body and I are in communication now. And most importantly, I know now that the consequences of choosing to ignore my body are something to be taken seriously.
So if you want to veg out, veg out, and if I want to eat cheese, eat cheese…