I love that song by Billy Joel. …”In every heart there is a room, a sanctuary safe and strong…” Mine’s a bathroom. It has a scale in it.
Isn’t that weird. The only thing in my life that shows whether I’m progressing (positively or negatively) is an inanimate object that just gives me a number? My trainer asks me how I’m feeling. My physical therapist asks me how I’m moving. The doctors ask me if the pain is better. My friends ask me how I’m holding up. Those are answers I have to provide. I must do a self reflection and review all my physical, mental and spiritual aspects and TELL people how I’m doing. But I step on the scale and it tells me. I look in the mirror and it tells me. I walk up or down the stairs and my body tells me. I wake up in the middle of the night and my mind tells me. Then I reflect on what the scale, the mirror and the stairs tell me and my spirit responds. What exactly do these things tell me?
The scale tells me that I am not eating correctly and getting enough activity in to burn calories. It says, “Your weight is the same.” The mirror tells me that my stance is not balanced and that now my foot rolls out to compensate for walking on the crutch, and that my left leg cannot move backwards as far as my right. So the mirror is saying, “You’re crooked and getting stiffer.” The stairs tell me that every time I put weight on my left leg, my thigh is going to protest and my butt hurts. They tell me, “Your muscles are still doing more than they can handle and will hurt while you keep using them.” My mind then makes the leap that I am not recovering as quickly as I ought. Treacherous mind says, “You will be in pain forever!” My spirit replies that it isn’t a calendar that measures the time it takes to heal. Who cares if it is 2 months or 2 years? The doctor says that the bone is healing well. Then the barometer drops and I feel like I’ve re-broken the bone. And so it goes…and the only one who knows is the scale.
“to heal the wounds of workouts past, until a new one comes along…” I tried an experiment, and lo and behold it didn’t work. It was the crutch work out. It became easier and easier for me to move around on the crutches and so I didn’t get the workout I thought I was getting. Then I moved to 1 crutch and it took even less effort. Then I realized that part of the difference in my weight drop was the amount of water I was drinking. So I increased the water per day and that helped some. But still, it doesn’t matter that I’ve been in constant pain for nearly 4 months. How do I feel? I hurt. I’m stiff, and if I sit or sleep or stand for any length of time, it hurts worse. I cannot walk without support of a crutch or a cane. But I still go to the gym to do my PT exercises. And because I’m mostly inert now, my calorie count has to go down while my water intake has to go up. And so it goes… Stupid scale. The problem I’m facing is that cheating is not an option. 1 cheat on the nutritional plan costs me months to recover. That means only 1 slice of pizza, only 1/2 cup of soda, only a 3 oz burger. No exceptions. No cake…
“I spoke to you in cautious tones…” Don’t you DARE go up you confounded scale. “You answered me with no pretense…” How badly do you want to feel down the road? Put down that 2nd slice of pizza! “And still I feel I said too much, my silence is my best defense.” “But it’s my birthday,” I squeaked, holding back the sobs.
“And every time I’ve held a rose, it seems I only felt the thorns…” Yes, I’m moving around better on my 1 crutch, yes I can take a shower without help into the bathtub, and yes, I can dress myself. But, I don’t think I can put enough weight onto my left leg without collapsing, and I hurt. That’s what I focus on. Not the progress I’ve made, but the progress I haven’t. “And so it goes, and so it goes, but I will suffer I suppose…”
“But if my silence made you leave, then that would be my worst mistake…” So I don’t write on my measurable progress blog because no one reads it or looks at it anyway, but maybe someone needs to see they’re not alone in their troubles and there’s someone out here that is going through the same challenges. What if the person that needs to see this is just getting introduced to this material and I decide not to continue my whining or journaling my progress? That would be my worst mistake. “So I will share this room with you, and you can have this heart to break.” If no one responds, my heart will be hurt, but I must be brave enough to risk it.
“And this is why my eyes are closed, it’s just as well for all I’ve seen.” I’ve been on this path for a long time and have not made measurable progress except now I am bigger. So I don’t want to look in the mirror, look at the scale, traverse the stairs or wake up in the middle of the night. I know I have to go through failure to get to success, but it’s been a much longer road than I anticipated. I am on the road, but I’m not looking at the scenery. “And so it goes, and so it goes, and you’re the only one who knows.” Just my scale and those who accidentally read my blog.
“So I would choose to be with you, that’s if the choice is mine to make. But you can make decisions too, and you can have this heart to break.” So I will continue to blog on this site. You can read it or not, take it to heart or not, respond or not.
“And so it goes, and so it goes…and you’re the only one who knows.”
With apologies to Billy Joel.
And 5 years later: 220 pounds.