Angry at my body

February 16, 2010

Today I met with my therapist. I did not go in with an agenda to talk about this or that; it is amazing what comes up.

After talking a bit, Sally said I was anger at my body for betraying me. She said I need to forgive my body for letting me down or failing me. Here I was an avid and conscientious self-trained nutritionist and I trained to run 1/2 marathons. I was strong in every sense of the word “strong.”

I exhaled a sad chuckle. I loved leading Weight Watchers. More than the material and more than goal setting for members, I wanted them to succeed even in the smallest way. Did I want to win the leader award that helped the most members lose 100 lbs.? No, I just wanted the member to win by losing pounds. I lectured the all-important information in how to lose weight and sometimes I even met with them personally if they were discouraged and felt it wasn’t working for them.

But a greater love developed. After Weight Watchers, I became a self-educated nutritionist and combined with my knowledge from WW, I offered a once a week class to share what I learned in reading various weight loss and nutrition books. Not only was I teaching the material, I was benefiting from the material. At that point, I was healthiest I’d ever been in all my life.

Trinidad Clam Beach Run

Trinidad Clam Beach Run

I have a collage of running photos hanging on my wall. I find myself looking at the pictures of the various races I participated in. I can still “feel” the excitement of pacing myself, the rhythmic breathing and the overall endurance it took to run in all types of conditions and terrain. I would talk myself through the race by setting a goal to run to the next telephone pole or up one more hill or five miles left. And then there is the reward of finishing the race to the best of my ability!  A real accomplishment!

sprinting to the finish line

sprinting to the finish line

There is one picture of me from the Trinidad Clam Beach Run. That was an 8 miler with obstacles. We ran up and down some residential hills and then down to the beach where we had to cross a running creek and the last mile was on sand to the finish. That took determination! But I did it!

So in reflection, I was conscientious, I worked hard, I kept my weight down and – I got cancer and I probably ran with cancer in my body. My body totally and completely betrayed me. Now I live with that betrayal and do not believe in the “good feelings” my body has.

I remind myself of a deer. I am grazing in the green grass but I am on the alert and with every sound I lift my head to the right, to the left, alert to every possible threat.

If you live in deer county you know what I mean by their skittishness and what they look like with their necks long and erect and ears perked listening for danger.

Sally said I need to get in tune with my body and to nurture it. What came to my mind was a fawn nestled down in the tall grass, safe from danger.

I am on alert, tuned to danger and the coyotes are in the shadows ready for the kill. I have mentioned the need to feel safe now more than once; safe and protected.

Ah! How do I rest and begin to nurture myself? I am a very people oriented person, always volunteering my support. Now I must learn to be quiet and listen to me and take care of me. . . . such a foreign concept.

I know how to be in tune with others, I know how to be in tune with myself physically but I do not know how to be in tune with myself, the soul part of me. Sally said I am hypervigilant. (Hypervigilance is an enhanced state of sensory sensitivity accompanied by an exaggerated intensity of behaviors whose purpose is to detect threats.)

I am angry at my body because I took care of it and it betrayed me. I need to forgive my body, things just happen.

I know there are numerous scriptures that refer to the soul and the body. Right now the two that come to mind are:

“Do not be anxious about anything . . . by prayer present (my soul to God). And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard my heart (soul?) and my mind in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4

I sense a stillness and quietness, safety and protection in this verse.

“For you created my inmost being . . . I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Ps. 139

And I’ll finish this entry with:

“All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

My God is sovereign and my Help!

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