My Spectacular Body
Spectacular, really? Yes! My body is spectacular, wonderful, remarkable, magnificent, amazing, incredible and phenomenal! My body has carried itself through my whole life and done nothing but try to protect itself – from me.
My wonderful body was born weighing just about 5lbs, crying and screaming to get itself what it needed – food, diaper changes, temperature adjustments and comfort. As this body grew it learned how to smile, grasp objects, speak, crawl, walk, sing, jump and dance. I was an incredibly lucky child and I did not have any physical or developmental problems; my body grew and performed exactly as it was expected to.
When I was 13 I started a war on my poor misunderstood body, I started blaming it for the troubles in my life and punishing it for my own shortcomings and the actions of others. My life wasn’t my body’s fault, in fact all it did was exactly what it was supposed to do – keep me alive. My body didn’t ask for the pain I inflicted upon it; it didn’t ask for the cuts, burns, starvation, purging, exhaustion and torture I subjected it to – and yet it healed through everything. The cuts and burns turned to scars, my bloodwork was good even at the height of malnutrition, my electrolytes and other digestive enzymes returned to normal after I stopped purging; even my blood pressure, pulse and cardiac function returned to normal with weight restoration and the cessation of purging. So many people with eating disorders walk away with lasting complications, it is a miracle that all I have left is a little bit of osteopenia (which is getting better) and osteoarthritis which flares up occasionally.
Last year I was in a car accident, I was rear ended in stop-and-go traffic on the highway and had a major concussion and intensive whiplash. In a matter of seconds my life was changed drastically. The first thing I realized was that I needed to start to eat better and stop purging in order for my brain and body to have a chance to heal. I had already been weight restoring for about 5 months but I was still purging once every couple of weeks. My yoga practice was going along beautifully, I was working on some advanced poses and was getting much stronger – after the accident I was unable to attend a class for a few months which left me devastated. I found myself unable to do even the simple poses and am only now starting to regain that strength.
I have been very hard on my body lately. I cannot lift my arms above my head for any length of time, my muscles seize up and feel incredibly weak sometimes, and throwing out my back a few months ago limited my movement even further. I cannot do the simplest of poses without modifying them, forget the handstand, mermaid, tripod and side crows I was working on.
I was in a yoga class this week and thinking about my body as it moved through the different poses, I am SO much stronger than I was even a few months ago. I can do a few chaturungas fairly well, wheel is coming back, I may not be able to get locust properly or clasp my hands behind my back but that is NO reason to think that my body is weak, pathetic or “less than”. My body is AMAZING! The fact that I can do a chaturunga AT ALL right now after almost a year of not being able to after my accident is incredible. It is a major sign of healing and progress which on it’s own is an incredible feat. Then I think about all the other changes that have happened to my body in the last year and a half; if you had plunked a 75lb weight on my back in chaturunga I would have collapsed instantly but here I am, not only in chuturunga but lifting 75lbs more than I was the last time I did it. WOAH!!!
I was floored when I thought about this. I am in awe of the strength of my body and it’s ability to rise to any challenge I set before it. I really need to stop and appreciate my body for the amazing entity that it is, and really take into context all the amazing things it can do.