Sunday, March 18, 2007

Update on Everything, III: Health

3. Running: Running has been going very well. For a couple of weeks I was puzzled by a lack of energy. I just felt heavy and sluggish whenever I tried to run. Then I realized something: in giving up sweets for Lent, I had cut out a huge source of carbohydrates in my diet. (I know, that's really pathetic.) I was eating fruits and veggies by the platefuls, but I wasn't getting many carbs, and thanks to Hubster being gone on business trips, I was reverting to a vegetarian diet and getting very little protein as well.

So I changed my dietary habits and started eating more spaghetti. And Power Bars before runs. It's helped (I think). I walked/ran about 24 miles this week and am running a 10-mile long run tomorrow.

I've had a weird symptom, though. I've begun doing speed intervals called "fartleks" (tee hee), where you run slow, then run in a burst of speed for a short distance, then slow down, then repeat several times. Whenever I finish that burst of speed, I get all giddy and a little dizzy. Not enough to fall down or anything (or else I would stop!), but ... I just get this heady feeling. It lasts about three seconds at most, but it always happens just after I slow down from a speed burst.

6. Going Mental: Brother Nent told me yesterday that I have body-image dysmorphia. I knew that already. I really think it's a hallucination kind of thing. For example, I was in Belk a couple of weeks ago, looking for a dress to wear to Jonathan's wedding. I found several dresses to try on and went to the dressing room. Stripped down to my underwear, looked in the full-length mirror, and saw an obese woman. Really. Saw huge thighs and a sagging stomach and rolls of fat ... well, you get the picture. I felt a little depressed. I do, after all, run miles and miles every week and (mostly) eat right and lift weights regularly.

Then I tried on the size 6 dress and it was too big. So I tried on the Size 4 and it was a little loose, but a 2 would probably have been a little tight. I looked at myself in the dress and thought, "Oh. this doesn't look bad. I almost look skinny." Then when I took the dress off, I saw the wide-as-she-is-tall-woman-with-my-face again. It made no sense whatsoever that I could comfortably fit a Size 4 dress onto what I perceived as a Size 24 body.

That, friends, is body-image dysmorphia. Don't worry--I don't go into an anorexic frenzy of cursing myself for "letting myself go" this way. I just think to myself, "Ah, well. That's my body-image dysmorphia. It's not what I really look like." Kind of like Russell Crowe just had to accept on faith that his hallucinations weren't actual things in "A Beautiful Mind."

But still, it's a little creepy, to think that I can see one thing clear as day and know in my heart of hearts that I'm not seeing what actually is. That's why I wonder if it's a kind of hallucination.

7. Denial of Drug Use: It's true. I am not on drugs of any kind, except for the prescribed ones.

8. Aging: I've begun to sprout silvery white hairs in my temples and from the top of my scalp. They've really proliferated in the last couple of weeks. I am thrilled. I no longer look like I'm twelve years old. I love the idea of having silvery white hair. Bring. It. On.

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