Weighty Matters

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Body Work

It’s Sunday.  I woke up, ate a healthy, tasty breakfast, and then went to the massage therapist.  I think I’ve mentioned before that she puts the “therapy” in massage therapy.  The woman is gifted and even with years of experience, she continues to learn more about the body and how to work on it for healing.  She worked a lot on my legs to accompany the other things I’ve done to promote healing.  When the session was finished, my entire body and mind felt terrific.

I wrote her a check and had to chuckle.  Most of the checks I’ve written in recent weeks have been to pay for sessions and experiences dedicated to my health and well-being.  A facial, manicures, a pedicure, acupuncture, massage therapy.

Clearly, it’s all about me right now.  I have a hair appointment on Tuesday.  I categorize that as something for my well-being, too.

The point is that I am willing to invest in the things that make me feel good and help to take care of my body.  The facial addresses my skin.  The acupuncture is clearly helping me in a variety of ways from pain reduction to cutting down inflammation to staying on track with my food plan.  The massage therapy doesn’t need any more explanation.

The manicure, pedicure and hair appointment?  Yes, I can make a case for health and well-being in those areas, even if the end results that are obvious to the eye are prettier hands, feet and hair.  The nail treatments condition my hands and feet.  The hair treatment, well, I think it really does help my over all hair condition too.

Body work is good for us.  Treating ourselves well, whether externally, internally or a combination of both, goes deeper than just the physical.  The results are so positive for us emotionally, mentally and, ultimately, spiritually.  With my eating disorder, I damage myself physically and emotionally.  This messes me up in my mental process and dulls my spirit.  I can easily begin to believe the crap that my disease says to me and think badly of myself.  So, taking the time and making the effort to restore myself assists my overall program of recovery.

These sessions don’t come cheap, although at $30 I think the acupuncture is darned near a bargain, but I think they deliver high quality return on my investment.   When I’m healthy and in a good, strong place with managing my disorder, I spend a heck of lot less money on food.  I also waste less food.  So, I think it’s fine for me to take those food dollar savings and put them toward a treatment.

I matter.  My health and well-being are important.  I’m worth these efforts to support myself.

So are you.



Relaxed to the Bones

For the first time in a couple of weeks, I don’t feel any part of my body holding onto stress and tension. Oh, the wonder of a really good, healing massage.

Mary Day has been wonderful so far and there are still a few hours remaining. I slept past 7:30 and then got up and took a 10 mile bike ride. I came home, ate breakfast and cleaned the pool. Then I caught up with a friend whose mother is in the hospital to see how everything is going with them. After that it was time to get ready for my hair appointment — the first self-care activity of the day. I always enjoy going to the salon. My stylist is also a friend so we generally have a good time chatting while she does the color and cut.

I had some free time afterward before my massage appointment and decided to go to that woman’s clothing store in town — the one that I couldn’t shop in until the last six months or so because they didn’t carry sizes big enough. You know what? Having a clothing store with good quality garments in such close proximity could be deadly on my budget. Thankfully, they usually have a great sale going on or, at least, weekly coupons. Such was the case today. I found two great tops and a pair of good navy pants. One of the tops will be absolutely perfect for a trip to New Orleans in a few weeks!

It’s a big deal for me to be able to look in the mirror and honestly, truly, deeply, be happy with how I look. I think I’ve touched on this before, but I’ve gradually stopped regarding myself with “fat eyes”. Instead, I can admire the drape and fall of a garment, the way a neckline flatters me, and just overall be truly pleased with myself as I am today. This is a huge gift and a dream come true, particularly when I can also tell myself that it’s only going to get better.

The aforementioned massage was pure heaven. Knots and tension just relaxed and eased away under D’s experienced, gifted touch. I didn’t exactly fall asleep but I dropped deeper and deeper into relaxation so that maybe only 10% of my mind was aware and semi-alert. My teeth and jaw are so happy to no longer be clenched, too.

I thought about going out to the movies tonight, but it felt like too much effort after my really good day. I am far happier just hanging here at home with the dogs while watching a Phillies game on television.

Oh, I did spend a chunk of time watching a DVD of the MusiCares tribute to Bruce Springsteen as the organization’s 2013 Person of the Year. Several artists performed Bruce songs for the audience, including Bruce, his family, and the band. Then Bruce gave a great acceptance speech and played five songs. This set me up just fine for the Springsteen concert my friend and I are going to soon. Given my almost 40 years as a Springsteen fangirl, it was definitely an appropriate part of my Mary-Me Day!

Hope your Saturday suited you!

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Here’s to Taking Care of Ourselves

Okay, I’m going to wave a banner, lead a cheer and completely urge everybody reading this to find one great thing that you can do for yourself this week. Pick something that you completely enjoy and that falls in the category of Good Self Care. Then go and do it.

I did some of that tonight by going for a massage. The massage therapist I use is A-Ma-Zing! She pays attention to energy in my body, where it’s blocked, what’s tightened, what needs to release, etc. A session with her is so much more than a head-to-toe rub down. She can tell if an issue is rooted in muscle, tendons or nerves.

Thanks to the work she did on me this evening, I have immeasurably better range of motion in my left shoulder than I’ve enjoyed in weeks. I can’t tell you how much time she spent on the nerves and muscles in my right leg but the flexibility is incredible. That’s my weaker, more arthritic knee and it feels ten years younger tonight. I also am not experiencing the phantom ache I’ve felt in that leg every evening for the last week or so.

Yes, caring for self is a wonderful, positive thing.

Now, some might argue that everything I do is caring for myself. Eating healthier, exercising, working on my eating disorder and food issues — the whole kit and caboodle. That’s a valid argument. However, I will argue that it is incredibly important to also add extras. The additional things we do for ourselves might be physically, emotionally or mentally good for us, but they’re also treats which boosts the emotional benefits. These acts of self-care are great positive reinforcement.

Bi-weekly manicures and a monthly pedicure are self-care for me, but I’ve come to think of them as essential and routine. I guess coloring the gray in my hair falls into this category, too. I’ve always considered massages and facials as “extras”. I’m starting to think that I should schedule them more on a regular, routine basis, too. Ooh, now here’s a slightly indulgent dilemma. If the extra self-care treats are turned in regular occurrences, do I then need to find myself new extras with which to treat myself? Hmmm. I’m sure I can figure out a few ways. 😉

What are a few ways that you can practice self-care this week? Take a bath, find some alone time to read, get a massage, a facial, your nails done? What can you do to reward yourself for just being you?