Health, Mid-life Crisis, Walking

Keeping At It

Today I went for my annual physical. Please don’t laugh when I say "annual," even though you may have heard me say it’s been considerably more than a year since I had a check-up of a general nature. But as promised in a post not too long ago, I went.

One of the reasons I avoid going to the doctor for this kind of regularly scheduled maintenance is a dread of the scale and any discussions about my weight. It’s been a long time since I undertook any sort of serious efforts in that area, anything that lasted longer than a month or had any formal structure. I knew there would be no avoiding it today.

The doctor is new to me, our new family practice physician, and I liked the way she talked to The Princess at her appointment last month. I told her both how concerned I felt about my overall condition and how anxious I felt about discussing it. She spoke kindly to me and made some suggestions, which I am mulling over this afternoon. 

Meanwhile, I went out walking early this morning with Pure Luck, and I am drinking water.

This post doesn’t seem to reflect the emotional roiling that goes on beneath the surface when it comes to the body. I brought home bagel sandwiches from our favorite local place, in honor of #1 Son’s return home. When Molly ate his (naughty girl!), I insisted he take mine and started to cry. The sense that I am responsible for everyone and no one is responsible for me eats a hole in my gut. The idea that I ought to be punished for being less than perfect while not judging others constricts my voice.  The notion that I am unlovable opens caverns one upon the other, each leading further and further toward an abyss, and the manner in which I have filled those caverns and tried to keep my balance on the edge of destruction only magnifies how deep and difficult to heal a person’s wounds may be.

At 46, locks shorn, I look at a different person in the mirror, a person whose work now seems to be rectifying past behaviors in order to fend off illness and death. It’s funny, just the other day I felt positively youthful. Why is that the perception so easy to change, when the others resist amendment?

33 thoughts on “Keeping At It”

  1. “The sense that I am responsible for everyone and no one is responsible for me eats a hole in my gut. The idea that I ought to be punished for being less than perfect while not judging others constricts my voice. The notion that I am unlovable opens caverns one upon the other,”
    (((Songbird)))
    Do you live inside my head?

  2. Oh Songbird. It’s so weird that our appearance has this much power in our lives, I’m glad to hear this time it’s positive.

  3. Sweetie, I wish I knew…I can only say that my experience matches yours in this as in so much else.
    I’m working on it, all of it…but listening to myself apologise yesterday for something that isn’t even really worthy of an apology, still less actually my fault, i realised yet again how far I have to go. It’s NOT all your fault, any more than it’s all mine…And one day we, and so many others, will learn to believe that.
    Meanwhile, bravo on getting your medical done…and lots of encouraging hugs as you deal with some of the issues raised.
    Love you lots xxxxxxxxxxxx

  4. Oh songbird I just cried and cried when I read this. I so wish that things had been different for you. I just wish with all of my might that you could see you as we see you.

  5. Songbird, you are beautiful. I think I already said that today in another comment, but I’m happy to say it again, cuz it’s true.
    (((songbird)))

  6. Songbird, you are beautiful. I think I already said that today in another comment, but I’m happy to say it again, cuz it’s true.
    (((songbird)))

  7. (((((Songbird)))))!
    I can so relate to your words. i iwsh i had all the right answers for you.
    But, if I knew the answers i might be a rich and famous woman. Well, except I would not sell my answers in a book, but offer them up for free to those that need them.
    Oh, now knowing you face struggles with weight issues too, I feel bad posting the cake recipe that you requested. Take it to a church function and then you will only have a small piece and everyone else will eat it.
    Love the haircut!!!!! You rock!

  8. “The sense that I am responsible for everyone and no one is responsible for me eats a hole in my gut. The idea that I ought to be punished for being less than perfect while not judging others constricts my voice.”
    Oh, SB. I hear ya, I get ya, and I’m with ya. Hard stuff, and sad. *sigh* Hugs to you.

  9. If I’m honest with myself, I’ve been gradually increasing the time between annual physicals too. Because I know what I should be doing to take care of my body, I feel as if I’ve failed because of some personality defect.
    But Songbird, you’re a dear and you’re powerful and you’re pretty … and you’ve been walking a lot lately. I wish I lived just down the street from you. I’d get up off my round backside, walk on over, and give you a hug.

  10. ((songbird)) ditto to cheesehead and More Cow’s sentiments. It happens when I look at pictures of myself. I’m still not thin enough or this enough or that enough…but the truth is, you are courageous and truthful.

  11. Oh, Songbird.
    (o)
    Why, why, do we all (I think we all) keep falling into this pit?
    I pray that the healthy side of you knows how lovable and admirable you are. You’re one of the big kids that I want to be like!

  12. you are courageous and bold and beautiful — all at once.
    there may be no answers for you. but, please do remember that there are so many of us that love you more than you know.

  13. Ditto what Cheese said. We live in a society of cognitive dissonance when it comes to appearance and health. And being nice ladies, we always cast a more loving and forgiving eye to others than we do to ourselves.
    Songbird, you are truly a beauty. No doubt. Facing the precipice of age is daunting when one starts to feel one’s body shedding its youth. But when it comes to getting healthier, you can do it. Just a little little bit a day. I have yoyoed with this battle for years and go awry when worried more about appearance than health. Just start loving up that adorable, spry and feisty little old lady that awaits us all on the other side of the mirror so many years from now.

  14. “The sense that I am responsible for everyone and no one is responsible for me eats a hole in my gut.”
    (((((Songbird))))) …And that hole has to be filled somehow. Food was once my balm and my friend, and my drug of choice. It was the way I regained control that I so voluntarily relinquished to others. I had the Disease to Please and really didn’t know who I was at my core. Food was something I could control and I can still remember how wonderful it felt to take that first bite of a Swiss Cake Roll. It literally was like an alcoholic must feel with that first drink. It was only when I started facing it as the addictive behavior that it was that I started to heal. I weighed 200 pounds at my highest weight and at 5’2″ I don’t have to tell you how much agony I lived in daily. I’ve had the weight off for seven years now and have full control. The food no longer controls me, and I am a changed person. As Geneen Roth says, “It’s not what you are eating, it’s what’s eating you.”
    Much love to you Songbird. I will keep you in my prayers…

  15. I’m weeping. And thanking you for being so honest about the raw places.
    You are a rare and perfect treasure in my life and in so many lives, and in the heart of God. I hope that you will find some time today to rest in that promise, whether you believe it or not. “Fake it til you make it.”

  16. Dearest Songbird, it grieves me to read this post. We all have had times like this. I hope all these supportive comments cheered you up. Ditto everyone. I can’t wait to see you in Atlanta!

  17. I’m not brave enough to discuss these issues head-on as you do here. Most of us relate to the signs of growing older while feeling young inside. We take care of others and wonder who takes care of us. I’m startled when my confidence gets mooshed down and I wonder if I am of real value to anyone—reflecting on aging does this to me.
    The truth about you is in all this. Learning to see ourselves as we are with love takes time and effort. I applaud you for moving toward this. I grieve with you about those things in your past that cause you to feel badly about yourself.
    What I’d like for you to leave behind is the feeling that you are being judged all the time and found wanting. Most people will NEVER be as accomplished in countless areas as you are.
    I know what I’m talking about.
    LY XXXOOO

  18. yeah…ditto the rest, but it’s worth saying for myself that your vulnerability and truth-telling are breathtaking. so brave. thank you.

  19. You are brave and loved. How many of us truly are? Anyone brave enough to write about these issues, which all of us feel, and loved enough to have 26, now 27 comments of support, is a remarkable person.
    Try not to be harder on yourself than you would be on anyone else.
    Here’s my personal saying, which I use to get me through the low times: We all feel like frauds, more or less, and anyone who doesn’t admit is lying.
    (I personally believe that if anyone scratches my surface they will discover it, and probably also discover that the Board of Bar Examiners mistakenly concluded that I actually passed the bar, that I really failed my driver’s test 28 years ago, that I have no taste or judgment, and that I shouldn’t be trusted with any task more important than taking out the trash.)
    I joke, but I really do feel this way. And anyone who doesn’t admit that they do too really IS lying!
    I have never seen a tombstone that said; “Here lies Joe, we would have loved him more if he were taller and weighed less.”
    Don’t let your demons win.

  20. Oh, oh, oh, Songbird. You do need to be fed, you know, and cared for. Like others, I am in awe of your leonine courage and your avian vulnerability.
    Many hugs. ((((o))))

  21. Oh, Songbird. I’m sorry you feel this way. Lately, when I feel as you describe, I blame it on hormones – the rollercoaster of emotions from one day to another. And there is some truth to that, at my age. But, mostly, sometimes we just need someone to give us the bagelsandwich and tell us we are good and loved and beloved, just as we are. (And you are).

  22. (((Songbird))))
    Your post could have been a transcript of my therapy session yesterday. I hear you.
    Much love,
    Sue

  23. I felt OLD these past few days – when sailing. But mostly I’m embracing it … including the grey hairs. Bt like you I need to do something with my weight – and that heaviness inside too.
    Not sure what
    but Songbird I love you for being so open and honest with where you are.

Leave a Reply