February 2, 2022
Unfortunately, as a high-performing and energetic woman, I didn’t even realize it at the time. Looking back, however, especially at pictures of myself, I can see the toll grief took on my body.
The year, 2013 … roughly 10 months after my mom died. I’d traveled to Hawaii for a bus-ure (business-pleasure) trip and became immediately captivated by the beauty of Oahu. Each morning of my two-week stay, I enjoyed 5-mile runs along the beach. My appetite suppressed as a result of grief, I didn’t feel the need to fuel up prior to exercising. And afterwards, my endorphins filled me up to the point where eating fell off my radar altogether. Ever been there?
What I’ve learned over the years, as part of my own grief education and processing, is that what I experienced is 100% normal.
In her 2013 Huffington Post article, Dr. Wendie Trubow explains, “When you’re reacting to stress, the last thing you should do is eat because it diverts blood flow toward the stomach and away from the lower half of our body. This is important because we need increased blood flow to those muscles in order to run! And, while modern-day stressors don’t typically involve lions, our bodies are programmed to respond this way whether it’s life or death, or not. Thus, it makes sense that when you encounter an acute stressor, or grief-causing event, that your appetite is suppressed.” You can read Dr. Trubow’s entire article here.
Months after traveling to Hawaii, I began to experience random aches and pains, partly brought on by sheer wear-and-tear on my body. Instinctively, I knew it was time to not only improve my eating habits, but also focus more on physical wellness.
My first recommendation is to be gentle with yourself as you work to re-establish healthy bodily rhythms. Shifts won’t happen overnight, but they will come. Go easy! Next, consider the strategies I’ve shared and explore how you might integrate them into your day-to-day life. As you discover not only how powerful your body is, but also its intricate connection to your emotional and spiritual well-being, you’ll feel more inspired to take small steps to help anchor it.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below.
Learn more about managing your lifestyle, love, leadership, and loyalties to God, self, and others by clicking here: https://mekelharrisphd.com/.