My body has a mind of its own.
For example, when I’m playing singles, I’ll tell myself not to hit a low percentage shot, like an overhead from 3 feet behind the baseline. But then my arm will be like, I can totally hit this shot from back here! It will be ESPN-worthy! And it will defy me and hit an overhead from 3 feet behind the baseline. And then I’ll yell at my arm: Are you trying to lose? Because that’s what’s going to happen if you keep hitting that shot!
This is why I don’t tell people what I’m saying to myself during a match when they ask.
Weight loss is the same way. I can eat healthy and exercise and count calories and nothing happens. Sometimes my body will even defy the laws of nature and I will gain weight. However, if I go through a divorce, I lose weight without even trying. Apparently, my body doesn’t like marriage. Which is fine, I guess, but divorce is a pretty radical weight loss strategy, and you can only get so many of them.
My body also likes the GERD diet, in which I can’t have anything 3 hours before bedtime or before exercise. Which is ironic, because I used to make sure I ate during these times, thinking I was doing my body a favor by preventing hypoglycemia. It’s also unfortunate, because I happen to like food.
I’m trying to get my body and mind to realize that we are all on the same team. Lately when I play tennis, the conversation goes more like this:
Mind: You’re good at defense, right?
Body: Yes! I am awesome at defense!
Mind: Well if you can just get all her shots back in this next game, there’s a good chance we can win it. Don’t try to put it away. Just keep it in play.
Body: I can totally do that!
Mind: Great! I have faith in you!
I know. It’s weird. But I swear, it works.
Since I’m on a relationship hiatus, I’ve been much more emotionally stable, so my body is pretty happy about that. The GERD diet, however, continues to be a struggle. I need food before a match, and sometimes I’m not awake long enough to give myself a 3 hour window before eating. And the matches are usually at night, so I can’t always finish eating 3 hours before bedtime without staying up even later than usual. And I cannot live without coffee and chocolate indefinitely.
So I’m trying a mindfulness approach where I check in with myself and see how my body is responding. I test the limits of what and how much I can eat, how much I can play tennis, and how little sleep I can get away with before my body rebels. But when it says no, I don’t push any more. I back off.
My mind and body are getting along better these days, but it is by no means a perfectly harmonious relationship. I’m committed to making this relationship work, though, because divorce is not an option.