Learning Compassion for My Body

Laurie gasping
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Here’s a tongue in cheek photo of how it felt to accidentally learn my scale number after all of these months. But guess what, it was within one pound of what I’d guessed when I told the ER intake nurse my weight (they don’t weigh you there). So I guess I DO know my body pretty well.

Oh no, The Scale Had a Sneak Attack!

In my last couple of blog posts and statuses I’ve been writing about my digestive problems, but what you don’t know is just how long this has been escalating. It’s been going on for quite a while now sapping my energy and my positive outlook. I’ve felt like crap (sorry for the pun). In fact, it was one reason the show had to go off of my plate. All of the other reasons were true too, I just didn’t want to focus on negative things, or fear, or my dislike of medically being probed and prodded, weighed and ‘sized up’.

One of my biggest fears going through all of these medical consults was that I might discover my actual weight number. Now I laugh to think how silly that was, really, in the big scheme of life, to be scared of a number. Like I wrote in my photo caption above, at the ER I went to they don’t weigh you. They ask you. I felt my heart pumping wildly. I knew they needed to know this info. And I felt idiotic that I couldn’t answer. I felt that fear of a kid in class who’s called on when they are in the dark. But I gave my best estimate.

Onwards to my appointment with my Angel Doc, who I LOVE btw. Such a great doctor. He is thorough, great bedside manner, and he let me know HE WOULD NOT GIVE UP until we discovered what was causing my problems. As part of my medical history, I had to discover the name of the GI doctor who had done my screening colonoscopy 6 years ago. I couldn’t remember, as that test was fine, and I’d only seen that doctor briefly for the test. Calling through to my own doctor’s office, I discovered the need to go through the online portal to see my medical information.

Fair enough. Has to better than being on hold forever, right?

WRONG!

First thing listed in this online portal is your WEIGHT and BMI – I’m not kidding. In big ass letters, right under your name. No avoiding it. Whoops there it was. Now the last thing I wanted to see when I felt like crap was my scale number. And an old one at that, because it would have been my weight last Dec.

Compulsive Mind Hell

Now those of us who are blessed with compulsive mind tendencies can guess what happened next. I ruminated and worried that weight like a dog with a bone. Was my weight WORSE than this today? Can’t be better, right? How much worse? Oh no, did I need to diet? (actually, that idea was tossed in two seconds). How many times might I have to face my current weight in the hospital? In follow ups? I couldn’t stand it! I hauled out my bathroom scale in the garage and stood on the sucker.

Wah Wah Wah….

Batteries were dead.

Oh damn, just when I was ready to face the truth. It was such an adrenaline let down.

Then I remembered Mark has a doctor’s scale with a bunch of blankets thrown over it, also in the garage.

I scavenged this scale out and got it in position. Big breath, shoes on and everything.

Truth

The number was within one pound of Dec’s weight and within one pound of what I’d guessed at the ER. When Mark and I reported during the last episode I’ve been the same weight, I’ve been the same exact damn weight. Now curious, I looked up my last five years of weight at the doctor’s. Every year but one, this was my weight. One year, I was 14 pounds less. I remember that year, I had dieted like a fiend JUST TO GET WEIGHED at the doctor’s that year. This has been my weight for a long time. I have dieted down and eaten over it, but when left alone, this is the weight my body goes to.

Acceptance

I was a bit disappointed too. Because I haven’t been able to eat very much with my troubles, and you’d think I would melt away like a nymph in the rain. But Nooooooo. My body is holding onto whatever nutrition it can. Some days I can eat more, others days not. And body maintains my weight like an anchor. Proves set point theory to me big time. I have not been manipulating my eating for weight AT ALL. Nor my excerise.

My exercise has in fact been consistent, even if the intensity is reduced. Here are some highlights.

Laurie with dragonfly umbrella

On a rainy day last week I broke out the fancy umbrella and walked up the hills around my neighborhood

Laurie's yellow bike jersey and red head scarf

New bright bike jersey. Mark and I rode 10 miles last week in the wee early hours before the heat.

Laurie in the pool in the early morning

I enjoy a peaceful swim and some water aerobics before I go to an all day voice acting class – that included physical improv.

My ‘Bottom Line’

Long story short, some weeks I have exercised a lot. Others, not so much. Some weeks I eat pretty well, some weeks hardly anything. It’s all about what I can do with my digestion. Nothing about flavor. Nothing about emotions. Nothing but thinking,

What can my body do today with food?

What a valuable lesson this has been. And through it all, I’ve done what I could to have my regular life. I take voice acting when I can. I practice when I can. I exercise when I can. I see friends when I can. I go to more appointments.

This week I will go have outpatient tests at the hospital. Today I get to eat, tomorrow I fast. Kind of funny, no? Bingeing and Dieting was my pattern. Now I’m living it again through my guts. Smaller amounts, but similar patterns. And scale number aside, I only want to live my life and have energy. I only want to feel well. I don’t care about fitting in chairs or fashions. I don’t care at all.

Body I forgive you and I love you. Please forgive me for all of the nonsense I’ve put you through over the years. We’ll get through this together. I’m on the same page with you — finally.

Robot Aliens don’t come to visit anymore.

Only angels of encouragement and care.

PS, no need to worry, Angel Doc says I’m in SUCH GREAT HEALTH – surprisingly great health “for my age” – my numbers and heart rate and blood pressure all wonderful. I feel really good, except for this crazy new digestion. It’s hard to not go to scary fears for me, but I’m learning. One day at a time, focus on the good, and I’m grateful for every good thing I experience and for every good lesson I learn. I’ll keep you posted.

xoxoxoxoxoxo

Comments box:

8 thoughts on “Learning Compassion for My Body

  1. Sue

    I do hope that your angel Doc can find the cause and solution. Big hugs. I know what it is like on a much smaller scale at the moment as things have been a bit stressful at work and I am suffering a flair up of IBS (I think). The pain, the bloating, the nausea….. grrr.

    I’m so glad you are pacing yourself and doing only what you can and want to (apart from all those medical tests). This is huge progress. xoxoxox

    Reply
        1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

          Hi Sue, tests are done and no major issues. Waiting for biopsies, but Angel Doc is very positive, so while I’m sore, can’t speak yet above a whisper, I’m happy, relieved and enjoying some bland solid food. Still resting for a day or two. xoxoxoxox

          Reply
  2. Amy from WI

    I’m so sorry to hear that you are continuing to not feel well, Laurie! What a pain, in more ways than one. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers that you may return to good health soon.

    I think it is a step in a positive direction that you were able to face the scale and not freak out, or have a very short freak out. It does seem that your body is happy at the weight it is, and totally not worth your time and effort to fight that. Just confirms what you’ve been doing, but now without the fear of the scale.

    Carry on, my friend!

    Reply
    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Thanks Amy, I’m happy to be making progress on all fronts. Isn’t it weird I didn’t realize before that my weight was the same from year to year? Now I see the pattern. I’d go to the doc, get an OMG moment at the scale, diet like mad for several months, drop 20 or more pounds, then let go and binge, overshoot my number, give up, and drop back to my main weight. Go to doc. Repeat. Honestly, I wish my number was petite and easy, but I’m starting to see it’s as silly for me to resent it as to resent my hazel eyes (I always wanted blue, like my mom’s). I think the really great lesson in my medical challenges of late is REALLY accepting that food really is the building blocks of our body. What we can put in our bodies is reflected in how it operates and how it feels. Emotions aside, this makes me see food with new eyes. My body isn’t bad for asking to be fed. It knows what it needs — if I pay attention. It’s not the best if I force food on my body, nor if I starve it – either by eating too little or by not giving it nutrition it needs. My immediate tests went well, and now it’s waiting on the biopsies. Doc is positive at this point, so I am happy to wait and recover. Thanks for the prayers and thoughts, it really makes a difference. xoxoxoxox

      Reply

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