Thoughts from the Sukkah 2018 Day 2

These temporary dwellings we live in . . . I’m talking about our bodies.

I’ve had a rough couple of years in mine.  I developed Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and gained 80 pounds in 6 months.  I was sick – could hardly breathe. I wasn’t sure I would live as it felt like I was developing allergies to myself. But the hardest thing to deal with was the weight and living in my body at a much larger size than I started.

Well, truth be told I’ve had a hard time dealing with the size of my body at every size.  I’ve been everything from a size 4 to a 4X and the only time I really felt comfortable in my skin was when size 4 clothes were getting loose on me.  Of course I’m 5’7” and I was aware I was starting to look underweight . . . But I’m also a size 4 at 137 pounds.  Which, if you don’t know anything about weight, is kind of strange.

Needless to say I’ve had a challenging history with my body. And my body image. 

I could detail all of the things that happened over my life to cause this – or make it worse – or make me more aware of it.  That doesn’t really matter though.  It hasn’t always been the same thing but it seems once you struggle with loving yourself it becomes easier to blame your body for other things.  And when it doesn’t respond to things the way it’s “supposed to” it’s really easy to hate it even more.

In the last year I’ve been dealing with the reality of chronic long term inflammation.  It’s played a role in me going from a 4X to an XL while only losing 17 pounds.  Even the doctors are finally admitting they don’t know what to do with that – they are stumped!  I’m stumped.

And I finally had to completely let go of the weight issue and focus on doing everything I can to reduce inflammation and, well, learn to love myself.

Everything I need to do falls under the category of self care. I need to take my supplements – some are to replace things that I’m not getting through digestion because elements of the digestion are messed up. Some are to help the digestion. Some are to prevent histamine being released. Some are to usher the histamine out of my body when it is released.  Some are for this and some are for that but they are all necessary and if I run out of any of them I feel it.

It’s also part of what led me to DoTERRA.  I’m not going to make this about DoTERRA but I found it because I also have a cellular level sensitivity to steroids. Guess what they use to treat Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and severe allergies that cause you to swell up . . . Yep. Steroids.  So I have had to go rogue and find things that will help me with trying to reduce inflammation that my doctors couldn’t tell me about.  Thankfully several of the products I’m using are helping immensely. I credit them with a lot of my “deflation.”

But I find the thing I am most getting from their use is . . . . Self care.  The very act of finding things that will help with my symptoms and the causes of them – the research and trials and energy and resources that I’ve put into finding things that will help me . . . This has spoken love to my body and has forged love for my body.

I learned years ago through research the dangers of starving a body – especially because my digestion challenges mean that even when I’m eating my body is starving for something.  I learned that when I didn’t get enough calories I gained weight so I’ve made sure through all of the last few years I keep eating.

I still have a lot to learn and a lot of answers to find but here’s the thing . . . The more I love my body the more my body loves me back.

The 2nd commandment that is like the 1st is this . . . Love your neighbor as yourself.

If you don’t love yourself you can’t fulfill the command!

Think about that . . . If you don’t love yourself, you can’t love your neighbor as you love yourself.

So here’s the challenge I have – the more I love myself, the more I engage in self care that communicates love to myself, the more energy and resources I have to love others.  If you take care of your sukkah it won’t fall down around your head. This temporary dwelling we live in . . . It needs our attention and care.

This was inspired by an article a friend posted the other day that I want to share and I hope it encourages those of you who are struggling with your weight – whether it’s from a health condition or just from living in a body that doesn’t fit the “societally approved packaging.”  And whatever you look like – I love you!  You don’t have to explain yourself and while I am willing to hear about your struggle with weight and am more than willing to offer validation, encouragement or may also share my experience and what I’ve been through and learned, you do not owe me anything.  You’re awesome just as you are!


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