Thursday, January 7, 2010

random thoughts about my body

random thoughts that have come up about my body since our conversation, or that I've had lately but had not previously connected:

-- I'm relatively strong (which is to say, for a woman my age). I can bench-press 60 pounds, and my muscles have definition.

-- my BMI is 19.6 and my body fat is under 18 percent, but I think I'm fat.

-- I have a high tolerance for pain, except for stomach cramps.

-- I need to have my left knee replaced at some point because the joint is fucked as the result of previous surgery, but I'm waiting until the pain is intolerable. the thing is, I don't know what intolerable pain is. it's always swollen, and sometimes it doesn't work right, but that's just what is. basically my approach to physical pain is to ignore it and keep going.

-- the two places where I can't ignore the pain sometimes are my left knee and right hip. my left knee, which is the fucked one, has places with no cartilage. if I make my leg be perfectly straight and engage the muscle on the inside of the front of my thigh, it pulls it over the place where there's no cartilage, which is sufficiently painful to stop me right there. it stops, though, when I relax that muscle. I have chronic tendonitis in my right hip and it affects the tendons that run from the hip/lower back to the knee. I can't sit in a chair for more than an hour without it becoming really painful. at work, I get up a lot and get water, pick up things off the printer, walk to talk to people. it's better if I move. meditation posture is actually more comfortable than sitting in a chair. it's the 90-degree angle that's problematic.

-- I take five prescription drugs a day and have one that I take twice a week and one that's once a week, along with five non-prescription ones. my 80-year-old mother takes two prescriptions.

-- I wore clothes a size too big until I was in my 20s. my mother disapproved of tight clothing or anything even moderately revealing, so she always got my clothes too big. I didn't realize that until my mother-in-law, who was a fashion designer, made me a dress to wear to a family wedding that actually fit. I remember the amazement of looking in the mirror as I tried on the dress and having her explain objectively the good things about my body.

-- I don't like being touched, especially by strangers. therefore, massage is not high on my list of good things. my yoga teacher occasionally makes us do partner things. not so much since I complained and broke down into a shaking sobbing mess.

-- sex, as you might guess, is ... interesting. there's a moment of nonononono, then it's OK, then I'm making grocery lists.

-- I think body issues tie in to the two compulsions that bother me most: cutting myself and buying too many clothes. the connection with cutting is pretty obvious, I suppose -- it's a way of getting back into my body or physically manifesting the emotional pain. The clothes thing is probably pretty obvious too -- they cover up my body.

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