I am distracto-dog this morning. I started this blog and went downstairs to replace candles in their holders. I looked at it again and switched to facebook. I poised my fingers over the keyboard and they drifted to a stack of folders.
Okay, candles replaced. Facebook perused. Folders sorted. Is that what’s significant about this day?
No. I think that what’s significant is knowing what I need to do to fix my insomnia. I need to loose weight and to exercise. I get up 5 times a night to go to the bathroom because of the extra weight on my stomache. I get up because my feet cramp or they’re freezing cold because my circulation is for poop.
What I don’t need to do is go to the Dr. and complain. I don’t have a disease. I don’t need a pill. I need to take better care of my body.
I did ask a Dr. once and he was almost embarrassed when he concurred that diet and exercise would really help a lot. He acted like most men do when a woman brings up the subject of their physical health. He shied away from it as though the topic were hot and he’d been burned too many times.
Another Dr. whacked me back with a sarcastic comment. I said something about having plans to care for myself better and he said, “Yeah, we all have plans.” He almost blushed with how defensive he sounded and quickly changed the subject.
Even more significant than knowing this is being 100% comfortable with it. I don’t feel bad for needing to loose weight and exercise. I packed on about 50 pounds in the couple years it took to get Shakespeare in the Park launched. I became a laptop troll. I ate junk (mmm… bbq potato chips….) and stopped exercising enough to break a sweat. I’m feeling distinctly done with that phase of my life, now.
I don’t believe that sacrificing my health was a necessary part of the whole process. I just didn’t think about it. It happened. C’est la vie.
Of course, once I’m aware of something, guess What’s Next?
If I could wave a magic wand, I wouldn’t drop the 50 lbs and fix my circulation problems. I’d lighten up (puns!) every woman’s body image. The love that she feels for herself would shine through at all times. The words “in spite of” or “regardless of” would disappear. All women would take for granted that their body image is just another wonderful part of themselves and is not conditional.
I haven’t always had this image of myself but I didn’t set out to specifically change it. As I changed how I feel about me, the self-loathing that extended to my looks went away all on it’s own. It’s been years since I’ve felt fat and ugly. I can’t pinpoint when it went away. I can just enjoy the glow of peace as I realize what’s missing.
Susan Scot Fry
Update… It’s so hard for so many women to accept even the concept that improving our physical health may improve our lives. The idea is too tied up with our insecurities and views of our selves as flawed human beings. Women will try desperately to justify or deny and, failing that, to accuse other women of being traitors when they won’t go along with those efforts.
Well, fuck that. I feel a crusade coming on.