‘Your body is not broken.’
I received this message from someone who reads my blog. They were not being aggressive or rude, but there was an element of frustration in their words to me. The messenger was trying to get me to focus on the things that do work, rather than the things that don’t and she reminded me that the odds are strongly in favour of things that function as they were intended!
I am so tied up with how my body behaves and what it doesn’t do that sometimes I do forget what it can do. And I am (to a lesser degree, but still too much) concerned with how my body looks, and attribute the things I don’t like to the ‘broken-ness’ of it. I spend too much time seeing what I don’t like, leaving me unhappy and miserable with not only the malfunctioning inner parts, but also the outer shell.
I thought about this as I was eating dinner the other night – home cooked chicken noodle soup with heaps of veggies. But then I remembered I’d eaten a doughnut and a coffee and not much else for the rest of the day.
I thought of this as I climbed into my car this morning, but made sure I parked a distance from work so I could walk a little bit further than I if I had driven pretty much to the front door and found a space there.
I thought about this as I sat curled up in front of the television, mindlessly watching a movie, but remembered that I had been on my feet all day, rushing around, racing through the airport and on my feet for all but the hour I was strapped into a seat on my flight back home.
I thought about this as I lay awake at 2.30am, working on my iPad, knowing I should be asleep. But I remembered that I’d managed a nap that afternoon so my sleep debt wouldn’t be too horrendous.
I thought about this as I rushed around this morning getting ready for work, late as usual, and pulled on a pair of new and very high boots. There will be a time I’ll need to start wearing sensible shoes. ‘That day is not today,’ I said to myself as I stood up tall in front of the mirror, admiring the heels and buckles and leather.
I thought about this as I had a glass of champagne and then a second to celebrate a night out, reminding myself it was the first drink I’d had all week.
I don’t treat my body as a temple. I don’t do what’s needed to keep it ticking along as best it can. I don’t worry about things such as the number of serves of vegetables I eat each day; the fact that I don’t eat breakfast most days; that I eat bacon on Saturday and Sunday most weeks or how on the rare occasions I eat bread, I slather it an inch thick with real, salted butter.
I know my BG pretty much every minute of the day, but other numbers that contribute to the measure of health – weight, BP, cholesterol – I have no idea about, unless they’re fresh in my mind from a recent blood check.
I wonder if I should feel bad about how I treat my body. But I don’t and I don’t really think that if I did more, the things I consider ‘broken’ would be fixed. I know that if I were to look at the balance sheet, I would certainly be engaging in more healthy than unhealthy behaviours.
I also know that the things that may not necessarily be best for my body (high heeled boots, doughnuts and coffee for breakfast etc.) give me pleasure. My broken body allows for that. In fact, it makes me realise that perhaps it is not so broken after all. And that has to count for something.