In November, I took a weekend job on the sales floor of a “big box store.” I learned on the first day that people who work in BBSes do the equivalent of walking one mile per hour, on concrete, while doing a squat every ten steps. For eight hours. I knew it was going to take some getting used to, but the pain in my quads and hips was very much like Mile 20 of a marathon. This got 2% easier by the end of December.
In January, I rejoined my gym. Bootcamp! Yoga! More bootcamp! Then on the weekends, more BBS!
Last Saturday, I joined Weight Watchers. They ask you to think about (and share if you want) your reason for joining, your “why.” I raised my hand and said, “My seventeen year old son,” I surprised myself by choking up, “has high cholesterol and high blood pressure. He’s working hard to get healthy and I want to join him in that.” Up until that moment, I hadn’t even realized that I felt extremely SAD about his health. I knew that the number on my own scale was disturbing, but for the most part I haven’t even really felt emotions about that.
It is now Monday and I’m eating as much as I want and feeling great, but as I moved from Down Dog to Screaming Hip I felt a familiar tightening and throbbing in my head. Then I realized: I haven’t had refined sugar since Friday. Or alcohol. (I’ve had plenty of caffeine though. I’m no masochist.) I have a freaking sugar headache!
You’d think that adopting a “healthy lifestyle” would be an immediate relief for your whole body. It may be. I believe the headache will go away and my muscles will get stronger and my joints will limber up if I keep at it. They’ll be moving around less weight and that will be a relief too.
But what I imagine happening right now is that on a cellular level, my body is…crying. It’s feeling things it wasn’t allowed to feel before. If you keep very still, your body will be very quiet, but it will suffer too. Move, and it will open up, but what comes out might be unexpected. Same with my brain: it’s used to a steady stream of feel-good sugar that keeps it placated, quiet, and a little sick. Now it’s feeling that sickness.
Thinking about it this way, I hope, will give me patience with my body. It didn’t know it needed to cry, either.
Next week sometime, I will have a day in court that I’ve been waiting for since two Augusts ago. I dealt with the fear, grief, anger and breath-holding that came with this situation the best way I could. People think I’m “so strong” but I’m just as still and quiet as I can make myself inside while doing All The Things outside. But I think once it’s over, I’m going to need to give my soul a place to open up.