Chronic Pain and Eating Habits

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

July 5th, 2008 • Mind-Body MedicinePrint Print

A few days ago, I weighed in at 20 pounds over what I was back in January. Twenty pounds! I decided that every time I found myself heading toward the kitchen in-between meals, I would instead sit myself down and meditate about why I was feeling the need to eat at that moment. I wanted to contemplate my relationship to the piece of cheese or scoop of ice cream or handful of chips I was out to get.

Yesterday I meditated several times throughout the day, instead of eating. (Not a bad way to introduce meditation into one’s regimen!) I became clear about one reason I turn to food:

By nature, by spirit, I am exuberant. Prior to all of my chronic pain and limited mobility, I would bounce out of bed each morning, then have a day full of vigorous biking, swimming, and/or jogging, in addition to whatever else I had going on that day. That impetus is still bouncing around inside me but has no sufficient outlet, because my body no longer can manifest what my spirit wants to do.

Or can it?

Today I decided to push myself and see. After waking up with horrible pain in my lower left back and pretty bad pain in my left ankle, I went through my normal morning routine (coffee, scalding hot shower) plus meditation and a phone call. Then I hoisted my ass onto my bike and took off to the trails.

After six miles in one direction, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make it back, were I to continue forging ahead. Would that thigh/groin injury act up on the part of the path that had no car access? Or would my ankle go out in a similarly inconvenient spot? If so, how would I get home? I tossed caution to the wind and went for it.

I biked 20 miles!

I was toast for the rest of the day, but fuck it. I’m on a mission to bring back to life the athlete inside me. I’ll keep you posted on my progress. Meanwhile, if you are so inclined, please send good energy my way, to help fill my sails with wind.

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