Still having birthday thoughts (not thought about my birthday, but thoughts stemming from it being my birthday), and since today is Wellness day, let’s talk about health.
Currently, my back is giving me hell. Let me clarify: My back always gives me hell one way or the other. I store my tension in my back (and my shoulders), and I didn’t feel it for a few decades because I froze out my entire body. My taiji teacher has a saying that she got from her teacher–the first sign of relaxation is when you notice the tension. Most of us are so tense all the time, we don’t realize it any longer. We kinda block it out until something reminds us.
I’ve been working diligently on my back issues, and it’s much better than it used to be. However, I still had a problem in which I have a lower back spasm that came maybe a dozen times a week. It wasn’t too bad–it basically just caused me to clench up for a brief second, then it’d go away. I do a bunch of stretches every morning that are solely to help my back. They’ve kept the pain at bay–mostly.
Then, last night, I got up from the couch (I sit sideways so my legs are out in front of me. Shadow likes to perch on my legs as I type) and my back spasmed so hard, I screamed out loud. Not grunted. Not a ladylike yelp, but a full-body scream. Like I’m a cheerleader in a horror movie scream. I wasn’t *trying* to scream like that–it was ripped from the back of my throat. Every time I shifted, it would happen. I screamed so much, I scared my cat.
I don’t feel regular pain. I trained myself to block it out when I was a child. This pain was unblockable, and it was intense. I did not want to move at all because it hurt so much. When I was changing pants and standing on my right leg, the leg buckled as my back spasmed again. I almost fell to the ground but managed to stop in time. The pain was literally breathtaking, and I found myself moving much more slowly because I didn’t want to feel it again.
It was a warning sign to me that I had to change the way I sit. Right now, I am sitting the proper way on the couch with both my feet on the ground. Shadow is sitting to the right of me, gently thumping his tail. He tried to sit on my chest, but he didn’t have as much purchase as he would if I were lying down. I don’t think he’s mad at me, but I feel guilty, anyway.
This morning, I woke up to the same spasms. They were quite as bad as they were last night, but still caused me to double over. I did the series of back-stretching I do every other day (because I don’t love it), and the pain went away. Not completely, but roughly 80% gone. It truly was a miracle, and now, I’m going to do these exercises every day. I may do them several times a day. It truly feels like a miracle. I was not looking forward to another day of spasming and crabbing my way along, and it feels good. I still have the smaller spasms, but I can deal with that. I’m determined to make changes so I’ll never have to feel that kind of pain again.
Now. Let’s address the elephant in the room. My weight. And, yes, I’m making a joke about elephants being big and being fat.
I’ve written several times about changing my diet and what a journey it’s been. I have to say that I don’t think nuts are the problem with my digestive system–it might be the oil in the products instead. The hardest thing for me to give up by far has been the caffeine. Or rather, not giving it up, but the wild mood swings it produced. I’m a bitch in general, but I was a raging bitch for those few weeks. I drink maybe two cups of caffeinated tea a week, and that’s it. I don’t mind it, but I know if I drink any more, I’ll slowly start creeping back to three or four cans of Diet Coke a day. By the way, I’ve had it since I quit, and it tastes so strange to me now. I have no desire to drink it. Which, by the way, my doctor is very happy about. I like that she isn’t afraid of telling me her opinion, but she doesn’t shame me if I don’t do what she thinks is best. She’s really good at balancing the two.
Anyway. I’m fat. I know I am, and I’m not making a pejorative statement when I say it. It’s a neutral word. However, I don’t feel neutral about it.
<insert long rant about feminism and how society views fat, especially fat women>
I know I’m supposed to be happy in my body. I know I’m supposed to see myself as beautiful no matter what. I just binge-watched the latest season of Queer Eye, and I know that my outside is a reflection of my inside and YAAAASSSSS QUEEEEEEN!
However. I spent the first thirty years of my life hating my body. Absolutely hated it. I believed I was just a brain in a meat bag, and I just wanted to throw my body away. If I could just be a brain floating around, that would have made me so happy. It was one reason I was a klutz–I refused to accept I had a body. I didn’t care if I bruised it or battered it–in fact, I kinda liked it. In part because I could actually feel something for a change. That’s part of why I self-harmed in the past.
I want to lose weight, and it’s solely because of the way I look. Yes, I know there are health benefits, but I don’t care about those. It’s the same with taiji. I know there are plenty of mental health and physical health benefits, but I don’t care. Or rather, they are ancillary and far down the list. I’m all about the martial arts, bay-beeeeee!
I don’t hate the way I look, but I don’t love it, either. I don’t even like it. I just avoid it. I don’t look in the mirror except when I have to, and that’s not even once a day. I also know with my dietary issues, I really should learn to cook. Even as I type that, I can feel everything in me recoiling in horror.
I hate cooking. HATE. I liked to bake back in the day, but cooking just elicits such a negative reaction in me. I want to punch it in the face, and it doesn’t even have a face. I have to learn, though, given that I’m coming up against more and more restrictions. Plus, I just don’t eat healthily. I know I don’t. I do fine when I get food from the co-op, but that’s only for half the week. The other half, it’s Cubs. Not great. I know it’s not great. But I hate cooking. So we are at an impasse. I bought the instapot because I thought it would make cooking easier. It doesn’t. Not beyond cooking meat in a short amount of time, anyway.
I’m about to give up, but I know I have to do better. I just don’t have the will to do it.