The many faces of stress and…edema.
This past week, if you saw that videos came out late and that blog posts were infrequent it was because my body had little breakdown. After months of working on Remodel Sexy, I suffered from extreme exhaustion and my feet, ankles and calves swelled up. Ironic that this would happen after working on a body image campaign…
Just call me Fred Flinstone even though I’d rather be Wilma…no wait, Betty was way hotter.
So here is a photo of the cankley tree trunk atrocity (please don’t mind the horrid nail polish and ghost like skin).
Yep, it was THAT bad.
Everyone was alarmed, told me to get myself to emerge ASAP, but listen, I know the signs of pulmonary, cardiac and liver failure and I had not a single symptom other than these monster baseball bats. I kept telling everyone, it’s stress, but no one got it. So I’m here to help you understand the many faces of stress and how by God, it affects our body image and every morsel of our beings.
I didn’t particularly feel stressed. In fact, I was in good spirits. I always eat extremely well, however where I fall short is with sleep and in the last couple of months I had very little. In fact, I was getting on average three hours of sleep per night while editing multiple videos and writing. I saw not a single soul for months and in an effort to catch up, I went out three days in a row and had a glass or two of wine on each night while seeing friends. It wasn’t until the last day that I realized that my legs wouldn’t even fit into my Hunters. People, if you don’t know, Hunter boots are GALOSHES. What a kick to my self-esteem…
My body simply caught up to me and when I decided to put even a smidge of wine into an already weak body my body said:
“You know what Melissa?!
You can just crawl into your butt hole, because ma’ lady,
WE. ARE. DONE. Like DONEZO!
And to show you HOW DONE, we’re going to make sure
you don’t see the light of day for…
hmmm, let’s see…A WEEK! Detention FO YOU!”
You see, according to Chinese five element theory, when we don’t go to bed before 11pm, our wood element (which governs the liver and gallbladder) doesn’t have time to rest. They become taxed. From a Western perspective, the liver manufactures the proteins in your blood that creates the osmotic pull of fluids back into the veinous cycle. If proteins aren’t getting made, there’s less fluid re-uptake and you get edema.
Here’s another theory, I’m predisposed to a weak little spleen (which governs digestion) and when it’s conked out because I haven’t given it enough rest to digest, it begins to produce dampness (think of this like a swamp people). This dampness slows the digestive system down (which was happening) and suddenly we begin to get a little swollen…or in my case, a lot.
So yes, stress can be a catalyst for edema. When we think of stress we think of emotional stress like our boss is pissing us off again. We don’t realize that what we eat, feel (that makes up our emotional anatomy), the quality or quantity of our sleep, exercise or lack thereof can be stress too. And stress is the start of a whole doozie of problems.
Alright…lesson learned body, I hear you.
Far too often we take our bodies for granted and abuse the living daylights out of them. When things fail, we get mad at our bodies and complain to others about the poor job it’s doing: Damn it, I can’t believe my body is falling a part. So instead, the next time your body begins to fall a part, don’t pass the buck and blame it. Instead, take accountability and thank it for speaking up and letting you know, “hey, something is wrong, you’re seriously mistreating me and you need to pay attention because I can’t do this without you.”
So here’s what I came out of this with. As I complained about my body image of having trunk-like extremities, I’m grateful that I still have them when there are others out there who lie crippled in a hospital. I’m grateful my body spoke up and happy that I had the sense to actually listen to it and get control back of my life.
I ate Job’s Tears, a gluten-free Chinese grain that expels dampness from the system. I created one kick ass morning porridge that I have to say, I’m totally hooked on, so I decided to sell the damn grain on my site because I love it so much. I also nourished my liver with herbs, drank lots of lemon water and ate a crap load of fibre. I detoxed, disconnected from the world, rested and meditated…a lot.
So with that said, today was the first day in over a week that I went outside. My legs and feet weren’t extremely swollen and bruised and most importantly the pain of walking on them was 90% gone. So today I treated my piggies to a pedicure cus Lord knows that funky green wasn’t doing me justice.
I’ll take this as a sign and maybe even turn to my experts during the Remodel Sexy conference happening on April 16-20 about my own body image issues and see how their wisdom can help. **Remember Jennifer Ettinger will be our expert during today’s tweet chat at noon talking about body types, working out for them and how to love them!!
And hey body, I get it, you screamed loud and I’m proud. Thank you for constantly working to try to keep up with me. I love you and I promise…I’ll get better at this.