Stewardship of the Body

New Year thoughts. Instead of losing weight or becoming this or that or finally being that perfect person, why not take ownership of your body? I am not meaning make it do exactly what you want, but rather taking care of it.

I have been thinking lately about how my body has changed so much in these past few months and have seriously been brainstorming on how to put a stop to the changes. One problem: I can’t. My body is going to do its own thing. Granted there is the whole anorexia thing that tells me calories in versus calories out, but that doesn’t fix my sudden desires for chocolate or eliminate my bingeing on sugar and bread and ice cream and doughnuts… My body is changing and I am trying to learn how to work with it.

Over this holiday, I ended up with a nasty respiratory infection and was on prednisone. I ate everything and more. I have never eaten like that before. My family was alarmed; I was nearly in tears. It was as bad as depakote only my mood wasn’t stabilized. Bright side: no purging. So, I had to deal with hunger cues and I went with them. My body was miserable; I was emotional, but I recovered fairly quickly from the infection. I survived eating all of that food. It surprised me.

So, I have been trying to figure out how to care for my body. I have a tendency of trying to control my body and that is not really what I want. I want to be a caretaker of this vessel of mine. That means feeding it and exercising it and providing it with tenderness and love.

When I am met with the New Year’s resolutions of body management, I say: Self-care. Yesterday, I tried low-carb eating to make up for the excessiveness of the prednisone diet… It didn’t work. By 4 in the afternoon, I was starving for carbs and I ate carbs… more than I probably would have if I had just satisfied my hunger for a little bit of sugar earlier in the day. I learned that I can’t control my body’s needs. However, I can meet them with moderation.

I can also exercise my body in moderation. As one who has exercised obsessively and excessively over my time with anorexia, this will be a challenge, but one that I am ready to face. I have small yoga routines that I intend to do and some walking. Nothing strenuous. All gentle. All things that will be gentle on my body and help me recover.

My main struggle will be food. I am determined that this will be the year that I officially say goodbye anorexia. My therapist explained that it takes about 5 years to really get over it by sticking to a plan and monitoring things, but that it can be done outside of therapy. So, this begins my plan to kick anorexia to the curb.

So, stewardship is caring for the body and all of its needs. Not only food and exercise, but also those things that depression gets in the way of–like showering and getting dressed and getting out of bed…

Happy New Year and Happy Stewardship! How are you going to care for yourself this year?

Author: Darlene Milam

So, a little bit about me. I am a coffee lover, animal lover, and book reader extraordinaire. Not really the extraordinaire part. I want to be the next great American novelist, or memoirist. I am recovering from anorexia and engaging in daily battles with managing mental illness and other physical health problems. I believe in the power of healing through writing and want to share my story so others know they are not alone. Please comment, ask questions, like, and enjoy reading.

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