To all of you who were following my story, thank you for your support, and my apologies for disappearing from cyberspace for the past two months. After the enormous catharsis that my previous 4-5 posts represented, I needed to take some time to let it all assimilate and figure out what the next stage of my journey needs to be. This probably took longer than one might expect because during that entire time, I never spent more than 8 nights in the same bed! But I'm home to stay for a couple of months now, and ready to begin whatever the next work turns out to be.
During those first weeks, I was continually amazed at the near-total absence of impulses to eat emotionally. And when I did find myself having thoughts of food when I was tired or frustrated or anxious, it was very easy to talk myself out of them. Sometimes all I had to do was look at the picture of my mother on my dresser and take a deep breath. This transformation of my inner dialogue has felt almost magical, though in fact it's the result of five years of concentrated work.
Unfortunately, changing the inner dialogue is not the only thing necessary to achieving better health. I still have to deal with making my health a priority in all the ways that require attention, and that continues to be a challenge. On the up side: the thyroid supplements have really improved my energy levels and taken away a low-level depression that I hadn't even been aware of until it stopped, and at my recent physical, all the numbers that had been indicating imminent breakdown of my metabolism have retreated into the safety zone. On the down side: I've embarked on the elimination diet protocol recommended by the functional medical practitioner I saw, which involved stopping all the supplements I had been taking, and my gut is not happy. I'm still trying to figure out what to do about that.
The good news is that even after two weeks of being confined to only a dozen or so foods, I'm still eating mindfully and not feeling particularly deprived. This says a lot, to me, of the power of clearing out the emotional debris and unwanted baggage from the closet of my psyche. I was also very pleased that the physician's assistant who is my primary care provider and has been working with me since before I started this journey, was really pleased that I had done that work and recognized its ultimate value, even if I haven't lost actual weight. She said she sees people who are following various weight management programs, including the one they run at my HMO, cycle and recycle through her office, and through dozens of pounds, because they are losing only weight, and not dealing with the underlying causes. That was incredibly validating, since her attitude is far from common in the medical profession.
So, here I am, waiting to see what this next stage holds. As my 59th birthday approaches, I find myself starting to believe that when I land on the brink of 60 next year, I may be in my best shape ever, in all senses of that word.
A hui hou.