My Body, My Self.

10 Nov

Generally speaking, I’m a healthy eater. You won’t see any meat or dairy in our apartment (except the pet food!) and we eat mostly fresh fruits and veggies, beans, and whole grains. When we splurge on junk, it’s unprocessed junk, like homemade or local vegan treats or dark chocolate with all natural peanut butter.

But (gasp!) we have our bad days. And this week has been a bad week. We’re both emotional eaters, and that just spirals. Last Tuesday, we found out that a favorite resident (who actually lived in R’s parents’ house for five years) had died suddenly. His funeral was Saturday, and we’re just wrapping up classes and preparing for finals.

Instead of eating healthy and keeping up the yoga like we should have, it nearly stopped. There was a funeral luncheon, busy nights, and some comfort chocolate. I think we’ve all been to that place, and it’s not pretty.

But today I was reading Christopher Hitchens’ column on Vanity Fair, Miss Manners and the Big C. For anyone who doesn’t know, Hitchens has been diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer and is currently undergoing intensive chemotherapy. It’s an eloquent column (per usual) in and of itself, and deserves a read.

But one point really stuck out to me. Hitchens says “I don’t have a body, I am a body.”

I don’t have a body, I am a body. How I treat my body is how I am treating myself. I’m not suggesting no more dark chocolate in the face of a really emotional night. But I know that I really went wrong in not sticking with yoga for the week. Because when I do yoga, I don’t want to put crap into my body. Sure, I might indulge a little, but Im very conscious of what I ask my body to do, and eating junk makes it so much more of a struggle that it’s easy to resist.

Instead, I listened to the part of myself that lives for instant gratification. It’s that little kid inside of all of us: “but I don’t want to stop watching TV” “but it’s cold out and I don’t want to take the dog any farther.”

It’s a cycle – biofeedback. Now my body is telling me that it’s sluggish and tired, and so I sleep or stay inside. I’m not going to snap out of this by thinking, I have to do.

I am my body, I need to do. What is it that your body needs? Do you have a hard time listening to it?

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2 Responses to “My Body, My Self.”

  1. Andnowlights (KMSull) November 10, 2010 at 11:27 am #

    Not going to lie, this post hit me hard, especially that quote about being a body and not having one. My body and I haven’t gotten along lately because I didn’t take care of it during wedding planning and my weight skyrocketed! Trying to be kind to it now, but thank you SO much for this post.

  2. emtheartist November 23, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

    I am getting better about listening to my body and have found that by being and active, everyday listener has been much more beneficial than waiting until it kicks me in the pants. I’d say my body and I have a really awesome relationship these days because of it! Good post!

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