Tuesday 2/25 Dear Body
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
I'm sitting here as uncomfortable as I can be--an hour and a half after I took my pain meds and have been thinking about you a lot. I'm not thinking of you very lovingly and I would like to apologize for that. I rarely think of you very lovingly--but I hope that you are aware that everything I do really is out of my love for you.
I have had quite a journey trying to figure you out recently. I think the majority of my issues come back to my father and the severe, early-onset arthritis he shared with me. I have went the route with replacing my knees and my right hip and through a lot of repairs and removal surgeries to handle that arthritis. My back is my big issue and it is part of this story. I remember seeing my dad walking, bent over to his left side when he was in his 30's over back pain. The problems in my back were most likely inheirited and inevitable. The infection in my spine was given to me by a sloppy hospital procedure and neither of us could have seen that coming nor prevented it. That has brought me to this place--where I have had to struggle and search the best medical facilities on this continent to decide what is best for me.
None of these things are the things on my mind. My life is on my mind and the many ways I abused you by horrid eating habits and a lack of activity for so many years. I am trying my best to make up for that and when I started losing weight about ten years ago and when I joined Spark People in May of 2008, I made the commitment to put you first. I have changed the way I eat and there has been no going back. My portion sizes are true portion sizes and I never overeat any more. I am proud of that when I remember myself as a girl clearing the table and eating things that were left because they were there. I eat 5-8 servings of fruits and vegetables every day--without fail. I cannot start my day without fruit and I naturally include produce in everything I eat now. I still have room to improve and am working on the amount of red meats and deli meats that go into me, but it is coming. (I am a work in progress as we speak.)
I am also thinking about activity. I have never been inactive--I have worked multiple jobs the bigger part of my life and I never take the "easy way out" of anything. However, I have learned a few things to add activity to my life. Even though I have constant, nasty pain in my back and I often have to stop and let that pain settle out of me, my pedometer shows that I automatically have over 10,000 steps registered everyday. Who'd have guessed that out of the girl who spent her childhood reading every book in the library and who would go outside purely to read or sew or knit? I also go exercise 6 out of 7 days a week and love the weekends when I can spend unlimited time at the fitness center and do extra "stuff" in the pool. I use carefully selected exercises for you, dear body, and am now back to lap swimming that is easy on you. I joined a water exercise class yesterday that was for YOU--and although there were many things that were hard for me to do, I enjoyed what I was doing.
I don't often think about you in a positive way, body. I know that I say awful things to you and about you when my back is screaming at me. I am sorry for that. I know that my back would be better if I had made the changes I started in 2006 much earlier, but I hope that you give me credit for what I am doing. It is a scary thought to consider what might be going on with you if I hadn't finally figured this out. I know it is easier on you in so many ways having me be 141 pounds lighter--and I am working on this last 25 pounds again. I took time off with the holidays and the issues with my back (shame on me) but I am back in full force with my plan to get them off of you. You deserve that. Also YOU know that my efforts have made an incredible difference. My healthy cholesterol levels go up every time my doctor checks and my bad cholesterol is way in the healthy range. My blood pressure is in a very acceptable range, averaging 116/76 every time it is checked. I do not have high blood sugars any more either. I give you much needed Vitamin D, iron, and calcium daily--and do a great job of getting all of my other nutrients in through my dietary choices.
I want to apologize to you for a lifetime of abuse that it took me until age 51 to straighten it out. However, I know that you know I am doing a great job of caring for you these days. It is possible to change things and make things better, isn't it.
Thank you for all you do and all you have put up with. You gave me an excellent brain that has allowed me to be the teacher I am, helping one child after another gain literacy day after day. I wouldn't be the person I am in heart or mind without your help. I am who I am because of you. Thanks so much--and know that you will be happy with the changes I am working on now (even at my age, lol. 58 doesn't mean that I am unable to learn "new tricks."
PS--I didn't really mean the nasty thing I said when my back was hurting last night--I wanted to sleep. I know you know that sleep is important and I am trying to do better with that too!!