Friday, December 04, 2009
What a wild year this has been. My weight plateaued in February, and although my lifestyle of healthy diet and exercise has been in place most of the time, my motivation has varied as life has thrown me curves. Nonetheless, I held on to my losses until this last month. In November I basically gave up, and promptly gained weight so that I'm back up over 170 again. That's somewhere between 5 and 8 pounds up from where I've been balancing all year.
Earlier this week, I went to a new doctor who asked me, "Do you fall often?" Those of you have have been with me on this journey for the last couple of years know that I've taken a few major tumbles in the last two years: first, I face planted off my balance ball for a lovely black eye and then I fell all the way down the flight of stairs at my house and broke my foot (luckily nothing else!). Just this last Tuesday I slipped on the ice and landed on my tush. I have a lovely smiley-face bruise as a result of this last, relatively minor, fall. Unlike other doctors who have wondered about my relationship with my spouse (no, all my wounds are accidental and relatively self-inflicted, thanks), she wanted to get to the root of why I fall.
The answer, of course, is balance. Balance. Scoliosis has been a major issue in my life, from the back brace I wore in middle school, to surgery in high school, to ongoing pain issues as a result of that surgery. What I didn't remember, although I had read about it years ago, was that someone who has had surgery like mine tends to sort of corkscrew around the axis of the rods in the spine. I had noticed that my clothes were sliding strangely in recent years, but I blamed it on weight gain. Really, one shoulder is moving forward and the other back, with similar twisting elsewhere in my body. It appears that has contributed to the problems I've had with my shoulders, too. Now, I need to do exercises to increase my balance and she will help with physical manipulations to work on the corkscrewed body.
Is it just serendipity that the physical mimics our mental and emotional states? We gain weight for a variety of reasons. For a lot of people, gaining weight is like hiding themselves behind protective layers of fat. For me, it was more about disengaging myself from my physical self. I was in physical pain and I was working on my doctorate. I simply ignored my physical being as much as possible while I was going all out to feed my mind.
When I first started to pay attention to my body again, I threw myself into it wholeheartedly. Exercise and diet became my new hobby. It replaced my dissertation as my obsession. I was going to knock this one down just the way I got those grades, with perseverance and hard work. It worked for the first year. 30 pounds down. Then I stagnated.
Stagnation. Have you seen water sitting in a farm pond get all green and slimy? There's a lack of balance in the pond, and ultimately the oxygen in the water is gone and everything dies. Too much of one thing, too little of another.
And it all comes back to balance. How do I balance my life so that my brain, my spirit, and my body are all getting the attention and stimulation they need and deserve?
No answers here. Further meditations to follow.