Body-Mind Quandary – by JCStaff
Prioritize your health.
Sounds simple enough.
But it is not. For some,
physical health and mental health
are diametrically opposed to each other.
I developed anorexia nervosa in my late teens,
Then spent a good number of years starving;
nearly to death, on occasion.
Today, I am healthy, physically.
My weight is in a normal range,
my bone density has regenerated,
my menstrual cycle follows the moon.
Though decades later, the anorexic brain lives on,
long after the calorie counting quietens to a whisper,
and average-sized women’s clothing on racks fits again.
Health is the priority, true: but choosing is a daily battle daily,
for those with disordered relationships to food.
Our mental health or our physical health;
Which of them matters the most?
If we eat normally, we feel guilty;
If we feel guilty, we want to restrict;
If we restrict food, we struggle with exercise;
If we can’t exercise, we feel enormous;
If we feel enormous, we over-exercise;
If we over-exercise, we suffer injuries;
If we are injured, we struggle with exercise;
If we can’t exercise, we don’t want to eat;
If we don’t eat, we cannot think straight.
This is not the end, but it gets tedious, doesn’t it?
All the while, quietly observing this tense game
of moral ping-pong is our tattered metabolism,
forever striving to end play, yet frozen
in a constant state of confusion.