Sunday, May 25, 2008

Making the Right Choices/Body Images

It's been one of those days, for a few days now. Just rough, in various ways. After two days of loving care, Michael's knee pain has gone down to a little more tolerable, which is a really good thing... but it's all been just hard for him, as it is every day. You don't gain a great deal of weight without a certain disconnection from the reality of your body, I think, and for him, the process of undoing that is in part reconnecting with his body... but that's not an easy thing, especially when your body won't do what you want it to, and when you're in pain a great deal of the time.

I don't think that this is like this for everyone (is it?) but for me, there's always been some degree of disconnect, disassociation, between my mind and my body. I think that the best example of this is photographs... ok, I am the least photogenic person in the world (really!), and the camera adds weight, and the flatness of photo images is deceptive... but for most of my life, I've never looked at a photograph of myself and had much sense of recognition. I don't look like I do in my mind... I'm a lot fatter, for one thing, but I also just look... different. And Michael's the extreme example of this, someone who literally gained hundreds of pounds without any true awareness that he was doing it or that it was having any impact on his body... and then, bang, you wake up, and here you are in a world that you can't even figure out how you got to. It's not so simple and clean as that, and there are a lot of other factors... family and stress and depression and so on... but the details are almost unimportant compared to that wake-up reality.

And it's hard to live in your body all the time, to make conscious and mindful choices, to make the best choices 24/7. After a day of eating really well, I just sat down and ate a bunch of pork rinds and sour cream and a sugar-free chocolate... ok, not really the stuff that binges are made of, but the reality of it was that I just had a moment of not caring, of wanting to turn off my head more than I cared about anything else (including the weight low that I hit this morning, and that I've been kind of happy about all day). And now I'm a little annoyed. It is so damn hard to make the right choice all the time, to keep that iron determination not for a day or a week but years on end, and to do it in the face of too many other life problems. I feel like I've been complaining all the time lately, but really... we spend a lot of time affirming the positive, giving support and positive encouragement and so on. And every so often, I think you just need a time out, a reality check, a moment when you get to say, this is just difficult. And I'm tired.

And then, of course, you have to pick up and do the next thing on your list. Back to the regularly scheduled program.

What's for dinner? Chicken and chorizo with vegetable medley.

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