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As a part of the process of adjusting to my antidepressant medication, my doctor asked me to monitor myself for any potential physical or emotional side effects. This really struck me as insightful because for so long I’ve actually sought to block these kinds of sensations.
Years ago in this blog I wrote about the fact that as I lost weight, I slowly began to feel myself for the first time. As the layers of extra body fat came off, I found I was more aware of my physical body, and at the same time, my emotions were laid bare as well. It was as if I had been living in a 50 pound coccoon.
While many of the “successful losers” I know have worked hard to maintain this consciousness of body and mind, I have to admit that I kind of wax and wane. Lately, as you might have guessed, I’ve been more on the waxing side.
An old friend of mine has been posting on Facebook this week about getting into the practice of meditating for just five minutes a day. Each morning I read her post, tell myself “Yeah, I should totally do that,” and then go back to whatever I was doing. Something tells me I’m being a little resistant!
As a runner, I spent a long time this summer plagued by tendonitis in my right foot. I was trying to avoid having to stop running completely, so instead I would do a lot of stretching, take rest days, pop an ibuprofen if necessary, and monitor myself while I ran. Some mornings started out awful, but once the muscles loosened up and stopped pulling on my tendons, I was fine.
The fact is, if I had spent half that much time and energy measuring my hunger and fullness over the summer, I’m sure I would have had better results at the scale. Past experience has told me that if I can take a break and lie down for a moment to check in with myself, I almost always discover that I’m not hungry. Instead I might discover a small ache somewhere in my body, or I might realize that I’m feeling emotional, or simply tired.
So yeah, my challenge for this week is about monitoring myself. It took a doctor to make me do it, but whatever works, works.