Wednesday, February 16, 2011
A few days ago I hit a rough patch. Out of nowhere, I woke up one morning and just felt... huge. I stepped on the scale--nope, weight was still about the same. Next day, HUGE. Stepped on the scale--eh, one pound up (salty dinner). The next day, H. U. G. E. Stepped on the scale--another pound up.
Now, thankfully I'm wise enough to know that one does not gain two pounds of fat in two days doing what I've been doing. There was a good combination of things at play--a few high-sodium dinners, hormonal pattern, too little water while doing lots of training, etc. And yet, I am completely amazed by how much I let those few extra pounds AND that feeling of being suddenly "HUGE" mess with my head! Yesterday, I talked about this with a little in a safe place and cried not over how I had been feeling (have I mentioned I felt HUGE?), but over the fact that I DARED to feel that way considering where I am and where I've been. CONFESSION: Some days I feel just as big in my body and unhappy with it as I did 130 pounds ago. I get no say in when these days will crop up, and I get no warning either. What brought on my tears is how unfair it was to the me who was 278 pounds, 245, 195, 172, and any number in between to say that NOW, HERE, THIS PLACE I WORKED HARD TO GET TO, I felt "huge."
I've heard people compare the process of healing from emotional pain to the process of healing from physical pain. These comparisons have generally been superficial for me, but yesterday I made a connection that had a bit more juice behind it. In many ways, healing the part of me that got in such a bad way with her body has been like healing a large gash. There is a time of early, initial healing when the bleeding stops and eventually a gash scabs over (sorry for that description there, but bear with me). Even when it scabs over though, there is a period of time--depending on how deep the gash is and on how well you're treating it and how well your body handles healing--that the wound is still sensitive. It is, perhaps, a raised bump, a tender, sore area, and if you're not careful to take care of it, it could bleed again and set you back to square one. Over time--days, weeks, months even--the wound heals and leaves perhaps little or no trace of its ever having been there; or, perhaps, a scar.
Healing from the wound that left me in such a terrible way with my body is going to be no different. I've been fortunate enough to experience, in just about 18 months, successful closing up of that internal "gash." But there is still a red, sore, tender area I need to be very careful with--and probably WILL need to be careful with for a long time going forward. I need to give that wound the attention and care it needs to keep healing, and I need to be patient with the healing process as it moves forward (at a timeline I have little or no control over). And you know what? I'm really okay with that!
I think it's easy to believe that because you've done some good physical healing--maybe even FINISHED your physical healing--your brain must, naturally, be right on track, be at the same place in its healing process. Without realizing I was doing it, I've put a lot of pressure on myself to be as healed on the inside as my body suggests I am on the outside. My brain really isn't nearly as far along yet. I've still got some work to do to make peace with myself, to accept my body as it is at any given moment, to not fall into the trap of disordered thinking. And again, this is really okay! I just needed to acknowledge, to SEE, and to accept that this part of my healing is a little behind. I may need to be mindful of that tender area quite a bit longer than I'd thought.
Healing is a tricky thing! What looks like healed may still be a work-in-progress. Patience, time, and good self-care. Those are the best things I can give myself.
Hope everyone's having a lovely week,