How Odd Is My Bod: Time for Gratitude

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This might be a weird way to start a post about gratitude. However, be it from laziness, social expectations, post-exertional malaise, or all of those and then some, I’ve repeatedly made it clear that I’m not a fan of exercise. To put it bluntly, body movement is hard.

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Personally, I reject the idea that laziness exists (though I still need to read that book). We merely prioritize other things, at which the loudest parts of society might balk. Why their rules about prioritizing what’s best for me became a thing is beyond me.

I also know American society puts good looks before damn near everything except money, and supposedly, exercise makes you thin, which is apparently more beautiful than anything. These are bullshit social rules, and I’m over them, especially considering it’s all built on the house of cards of applying health rules to all bodies.

And my acupuncturist introduced me to post-exertional malaise, and I do love it when there’s a term for my odd bod.

Moving my body continues to be the biggest challenge of my life; grad school’s got nothing on this. Improving my brain hit a wall too. If you remember, that’s part of why my accountability plan was born.

So, that leads me to this post. I have a lot of people to thank. Plus, it’s the end of the year, and who doesn’t love reflecting with gratitude, right?

I’m gonna start by thanking myself for making time for this and so many other things. I’m gonna keep practicing these Towards Moves throughout 2024 and, hopefully, the rest of my life.

Thank you to my physical therapist. I’ve never had a PT this helpful, and if I can get away with seeing you for as long as my insurance company will let me, I intend to do so. Thank you for helping me understand that my body doesn’t hate moving; it just hates mavity gravity. Thank you also for talking me down from my fear-filled excuses. I’ll finally admit that, yes, I do enjoy moving, thanks to the water.

I also want to thank my acupuncturist, fellow chai devotee, and ADHD buddy for giving me so many things to consider when it comes to giving myself and my body grace. Plus, the Ologies podcast episodes have been incredible, and for two people who don’t do well listening to podcasts, we’re doing damn well on these ones. I needed your perspective more than I realized. The word “biopsychosocial” is my new jam.

Thanks to my friend, chiropractor, and not-an-actual-sibling twin for holding me accountable on movement. While I’m still training my brain not to focus on weeks I missed (there were two), I am proud of myself for completing at least one workout a week for ten of the last twelve weeks. That feels insane to say. It astonishes me that I’ve been even a little bit active for three months. (Twinsie, I’m about to text you because this week is threatening to be a fail.)

Weirdly, I want to thank my family for making me realize it’s not just my bod that’s odd, but all of us. As in everyone I’m related to. But more than that, I’m glad our shared trauma has usefulness. Seeing how our stories reflect what I learned in The Body Keeps the Score helps me see the consequences of our childhoods as well as the harmful social consequences of gender-based pressures.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank those who helped my brain and soul.

Thank you to my fellow Cubs fan for making sure I get my writing out there. Seriously. I’d not have published at all this year if not for you. Confession: I’ve not read most of your postcards because I’m saving them up for a cozy day. Do you know how excited I am to have those waiting for me?!

Thank you to my fellow writer and food lover for the weekly check-ins on the developmental edits on my book. I can’t wait for you to read the entire thing! I miss your restaurant and your face, and we really need to reschedule dinner.

Thank you to one of my closest friends for our weekly body doubling sessions. I’m loving how we’re leaning into that accountability part. But yes, it’ll be more fun when you’re done with your dissertation. You’re gonna finish it in January. You are. And we’re gonna celebrate for a week.

Thank you to my therapist for almost six years of book recommendations and for popping into my head at random times. Sometimes, I think the only reason I’m still seeing you is because I’d miss your company.

Thank you to everyone reading this. That this blog has actually seen some growth gives me hope.

I have one more person to thank: Hubster. It’s hard to express how much gratitude I have for him. Without him, we’d have never gone to the U.K. I wouldn’t have felt the need to get a walking aid, which saved my attitude on our big trip and forced me to confront a lot of things I needed to confront.

I wouldn’t be able to prioritize my writing career or my health without his multilayered support. He gives me the space to rest when I need and to move when I’m ready. He let me convince him that we needed a housecleaner, and holy shit, has that helped.

His love fuels my tank when it’s running low, which is fucking often.

His patience amazes me.

His struggles make me want to be a better spouse.

I’m starting to appreciate him on different levels than I knew existed, and I’m not sure I’ll do it justice here, but it’s such a peaceful feeling knowing that my anxieties and insecurities have been wrong this whole time. I finally feel like I’m able to put down my defenses. It only took twenty years.

Of course, I’m going to fail to mention some folks. It’s inevitable. But it’s also such a boon to have so many supportive people in my life that it would make for far too long a post.

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