I thought of buying a bathroom scale for this pandemic period, but decided against it. It just didn’t seem like I needed one more thing to check. As it is, I check texts, email, weather, stock market, website traffic, etc. I used to check the sports scores, but I don’t do that anymore because there aren’t any games being played. I work with USA Hockey’s National Team Program and like to see how some of our former players are doing in the NHL. I root for all of my former clients, whether they are poets or professional athletes.
I’ve lost weight in the past year because I stopped eating sugar. I used to think sugar and I were good friends, but I started to realize that sugar didn’t bring out the best in me and so I ended our relationship. There are times I miss sugar—the way one might miss an old lover. Most people only miss a lover when they are on the losing end of a breakup—and that wasn’t the case with sugar. The breakup was totally my idea. Sugar would have been glad to keep things going for as long as I wanted.
My sister struggled with her weight for much of her life until she started taking African dance classes. She found her African dance instructors to be more helpful than any of the therapists she had seen. One reason she found them to be helpful was that they were big women who weren’t ashamed of being big. The few therapists she saw were much smaller. She referred to one of her therapists as “Dr. Stick Lady.”
According to Dr. Stick Lady, the only way my sister would ever lose weight was if to develop a deeper understanding of her own emotional hunger. I’m not so sure if this true. From my experience, a deeper understanding doesn’t automatically lead to behavioral change. Sometimes the only way to change a habit is to gently and gradually start to change it—whether you have a deeper understanding or not.
But now might not be the best time to pressure yourself into making any big habit changes. Now might be a time to just hang in there until the storm passes. The terrible storm that is passing through this world leaves all of us all feeling a bit out of control, but I don’t think the best way to cope with it is to create a shame storm within yourself. My sister’s African dance instructors definitely weren’t into shame storms. They weren’t into scales either. They were into the power of rhythmic movement and the joyous impact it can have on your soul. Do you ever take a moment to think what might bring joy to your soul these days?