Our bodies ebb and flow with our lives. They move with us when we are happy. They expand with us when we are sad. They are often a reflection of what is happening, inwardly and outwardly.
My body and mind have been unsettled recently—shaken to the core. My healthy eating has been challenged and my gym routine very scattered. I have experienced intense, deep sadness due to my brother's sudden death just a few weeks ago. My mind and body collapsed the day before I got word from New Zealand that he had died. My intuition told me that he was gone. My body told me he was gone. Even before I knew of his passing, I lay in bed all day with a somber, quiet sadness that left me feeling empty. I didn't want to eat. I wanted to just sleep and be still with quiet concern.
When I heard the official news that Larry died, I didn't know what to do. I was overwhelmed with sadness and anxiety. Do I jump on a plane to New Zealand right then and there? Do I wait a day to gather my thoughts? What food should I take to have safe, low-fat and healthy snacks with me for the trip? How am I going to survive this?
I did hop on a plane. I was flooded with stress, anxiety and just utter shock. All I wanted was to nurture myself and have some sense of relief from the deep pain I was in. I needed to feel a sense of pleasure to mask the pain. I kept saying, “you have to experience pleasure in order to survive this traumatic time.” And so I did. I drank wine, ate chocolate and Madeira cake, a treat that Larry and I had shared a few times when I had visited him before. I found it comforting. I was surrounded by his friends and we enjoyed meals together in his memory. I was filled with love. His friends embraced me like a sister. We helped each other heal.
Back in Baltimore, there it was: my 16 pound grief weight. It had followed me from my 3 weeks out of the gym and out of my normal eating. Just like that it came from stress, eating differently and not maintaining my routine at the gym. How quickly my body got fluffy again.
The good news is that I know how to get the weight off. I've lost over 130 pounds, so 16 pounds is nothing compared to the tragedy I’m suffering. I also know that when I work out, I feel better emotionally and physically. When I eat better, I feel better. My “grief weight” will go away in a month or two. It doesn't really matter. I have my health and that's more important. I have already lost 6 of the 16. The rest will follow soon enough.
Right now, I'm thankful to be alive, healthy and strong enough to know that my heart will heal. I’m sure that in no time, I'll be back to pumping iron and doing my crazy jump roping routine.
I'm strong and will be stronger. My heart will heal. I'll put my music on and work out. I'll think of Larry, and be thankful every single day to cherish the legacy of paintings and music he left behind.