The past couple of days have had my mind leaping around like a monkey. Lots to do, new things on the horizon, changes, body shifts, where to start?
Body shifts? Whoa. Did I get your attention?
A heavy post for the Saturday of a holiday weekend!
Yes, I’ve seen a slight change in my body as of late and an upward one. Of course my mind wants to analyze it and while I don’t necessary know why it is happening or where it is coming from I have some ideas. Let’s discuss:
Idea 1: Exercise.
I’m not over-exercising. Since stopping Crossfit I’ve become more mindful about my activity. While I’m not throwing the weights around like I was (leading to dislocated ribs and mild concussions), I am still working out 4-5 times a week with weights and kettlebells. Some weeks I may run a little, some I may go for walks with friends or my dogs (when it isn’t 100 degrees out!). I’m trying to listen to what my body wants and it is talking!
Idea 2: Diet.
I’m starting to eat fish again and my body is HAPPY. After first playing around with veganism and vegetarianism, I have decided to go back to eating some animal protein. I wasn’t being mindful enough about getting in vegetarian sources of protein, especially after the fear instilled in my by cooking lentils and setting off my smoke detectors! I am still limited in avoiding gluten and soy and this has made it very hard to eat out or be flexible and still get in all the nutrients I need. I was finding myself eating copious amount of trail mix and the like and this is most definitely not enough variety.
In the same vein I may be absorbing more calories and nutrients than I used to since I previously was eating so many foods that my body couldn’t handle and would essentially “shuttle” them through. It has been thought that those who are truly intolerant/sensitive/allergic to gluten may eventually shift towards a bit of a higher weight after the food has been eliminated for a period of time since the body can now use what it is being given.
Idea 3: Hormones.
Yes, lets discuss this very publicly. Perhaps after 14 years my hormones are finally happy and kicking in resulting in some physical shifts and allowing for either more muscle/fat/water/fluid to be gained/developed/retained etc. Whenever I’ve approached a healthy weight in the past I’ve been on birth control, something that my doctor put my on at age 14 to deal with the amenorrea. It used to be thought that being on birth control was a suitable replacement for your own hormones and it would help to stave off osteoporosis and other conditions associated with not having hormones. However this isn’t true and while being on BCP will cycle you through a period it is absolutely not a replacement for having your own hormones. The body won’t recognize synthetic anything as its own and I’m proof that BCP doesn’t keep you safe from osteopenia or osteoporosis.
Age 29 with the bones of an 80-year old. Time to never be at a low weight again! I’ve been told there is still time to rebuild and each day that needs to be a motivation to be to stay healthy.
Idea 4: Medicine.
Several months ago I decided to try to work my way off of Effexor XR, a class of drug similar to the SSRI’s that I’ve taken for over 10 years. I wanted the chance to see what life was like on the other side of the cloud of drug induced numbness that has become so normal in my life. This drug is very mentally and physically addictive, not in the same way as drugs that are abused such as Oxycodone or Adderall, but it does make getting off the medication very difficult. It is a long tapering process and depending on the dosage drop and the timing I have been dealing with several of the side effects from time to time. In addition to this I was inadvertently switched to the generic form in the process and the generic form is most definitely NOT the same as the name brand. I’m not totally off the medication yet, but I suspect that going off of it may have a metabolic effect too.
Four ideas, which is it? I may never know, but this is a good thing. My desire to know is rooted in my urge to control and part of recovery is letting go of that control. Control is just an illusion. After entering the beginnings of puberty at a young age (12ish) and subsequently developing my eating disorder I’ve been trying to control my entire life, skipping over much off my physical development, falling into unhealthy relationships, and working in jobs that had nothing to do with my interests, only ending up there because of the should in my mind. I can’t run from the Grim Reaper of life forever and with my fantastic therapist and yoga practice I’m at last settling into a place where I can begin to accept myself as a human being, letting go of the need to stand out where it really doesn’t matter. This isn’t always easy and there are many hiccups along the way, but the positive developments far outweigh the negative: life is becoming full again with work, friends, travels, and the manifestations of ideas I always though would just live in my head.
Each day when I step onto my mat I ground myself in the discovery that on this journey as I grow into a person my yoga grows with me. I let go of fear and find myself in postures I never before imagined. The girl who was afraid to fall and fail, standing on my hand or perhaps kicking up into a handstand or forearm balance (still on the wall) but nevertheless a huge progress. I still fall and fail, as that is a part of living, but it is through grace that I learn to fly.
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Photo credits: Money: Hannah Siegle; Fish: photoshoppix.com; Bird: zazzle.com