So, if you are ever interested, you can see here how I have discussed an ongoing eating issue. I’m not going to go into it here, and I’m not going to post links, because a lot of that history is embarrassing and painful, and I don’t feel like looking at it right now (especially when I have such good news). If you want to know more on the “back story” of this, you can do a search at the bottom of the page for “anorexia,” “dysmorphia,” or “eating disorder.” I don’t want to dwell on that, so you’ll have to go look it up yourself.
Okay, so I had an “AHA!” right in the middle of starting Part 2 of 13 for the Establishing a Career in Adult Entertainment series (I will do that either today or tomorrow). For quite a while I’ve had zero trouble with eating and remembering to eat. I’ve been enjoying food, and everything has been awesome; however, for the past three weeks I have simply dropped off completely from eating regularly, eating only when other people suggest it. And what was particularly scary yesterday is that I felt empowered and beautiful because of it. NOT GOOD. NOT GOOD AT ALL.
Then I made a series of connections that I can’t believe I never understood before…
When I was nine years old I had two falls one after the other. I fell out of a tree, landed on my back across a root, and knocked the wind out of myself. About two days later I was swinging on some scaffolding at a friend’s house. I was trying to show Jamie some new stuff I’d learned for the high bar at gymnastics, my hands slipped, and a fell across a lower beam, striking the exact same spot in my back. Obviously, I was a bouncing baby boy. Ever since then I have had a vertebral subluxation at the level of Thoracic-6 (T6). You can actually see it: My spine disappears there when you look at me from behind.
This misalignment eventually caused me all sorts of problems as a dancer, and I started seeing a chiropractor in college. College, if you’ll remember, is when my weight was at its lowest: I had gotten down to 111 pounds during my sophomore year (I currently weight almost 150 pounds, so imagine me 40 pounds lighter). It was bad. But in retrospect, I remember always being hungry immediately after an adjustment and finding a way to tolerate the horrendous food at the college cafeteria. Years pass and I now go to my massage therapist on a weekly basis. Every time Ron presses on a certain point in my neck, the action releases the tension in my mid-back, and I get ravenously hungry. Okay, here is where the “AHA!” happens.
Three weeks ago I tweaked my neck/back during sleep, but I also had to cancel both my massage and chiropractor appointments for two weeks in a row. The pain went away, and I thought my vertebrae had moved back into alignment on their own. I didn’t realize I’d stopped eating enough over the course of weeks. Yesterday, as I was about to blog for Part 2, my phone’s alarm went off reminding me to eat prior to working out. I realized I’d not eaten at that point for 28 hours, and that although I had a remote notion of needing food, I wasn’t particularly hungry, the thought of food seemed abhorrent, and I felt as if I’d successfully vanquished the personality flaw of hunger. BAD BAD BAD. I made a point of going to the chiropractor yesterday, because I was feeling out of kilter, and I mentioned my suspicion that there was a connection between my spine, massage, and appetite.
Thoracic-6, the location of my subluxation, is the place where the nerve that feeds the stomach branches off from the spinal cord.
In retrospect I realized that maintaining my back was helping to also maintain my appetite. Being a dancer and a model definitely added to the pressures of looking a certain way and maintaining a certain weight; however, I was aided in my self-destructive behavior by those residual injuries from when I was nine years old. Gymnastics, dance, working out, etc… All of that was knocking my T6 out of alignment all these years! This misalignment alone isn’t responsible for everything that was feeding my self-esteem issues; however, I now have a clear picture of one way that I can make a tangible improvement in all of this.
This is extraordinarily liberating. It is also helpful on a practical level. You see, I don’t (anymore) purposefully avoid eating, and I am not afraid (any longer) of food; however, there are times when I simply don’t get the impulse telling me I’m hungry, and when I’m busy (which is always) I simply forget to eat. I don’t realize I’m hungry, and after all those years of starving I know how to ignore the sensation without realizing I’m doing it. But some hints that I can recognize are the symptoms of hunger: I feel frantic, I can’t concentrate, my moods cascade through hundreds of unrelated and bizarre emotions in a matter of minutes, I get ANGRY over NOTHING, and my hands shake. Yesterday all that was happening, but I was actually resisting eating anyway.
My chiropractor put my back in alignment and within moments I was so hungry that I was afraid. The urgent need to eat hit me so fast and so hard that I almost passed out. I’d gone nearly 30 hours without ingesting anything AT ALL. And there it is: I have to maintain the alignment of my spine. It isn’t a fix for any emotional/psychological issues I have concerning appearance and self-esteem, but it is a practical aid that can remove part of the compounding factors that have caused me a great deal of angst.
Okay, I gotta go eat… later.