Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Body-Soul Connection

Greetings if you're visiting from Jenna's where I'm guest-posting today!  Congratulations to Jenna on the newest addition to their family!!!

Recently, I wrote about how much my grief has been weighing on my physical frame.  With the beginning of Lent came a renewal to calorie counting, lots of exercise and a focus on whole foods and low/no sugar. 

That's all well and good.  Those are necessary steps to put in the work and get fit(ter). 

But, there's more.  It snowed last night, so I didn't make the trip to the gym I would have in the early hours of the morning.  So, I caught up on some shows on Hulu while I did the treadmill in my basement. 

I was watching a show where a mother looked at baby pictures and reflected back on a growing daughter.  It caught me off guard and I choked up a bit.  My reflex was to cut off the crying.  I'm not good at crying and I try not to do it if at all possible.  So, my instinct is to squelch it back down. 

In that moment though, I felt something click.  Here I was working my grief weight off my body, but I still wasn't letting myself cry.  Some days it feels like I've already cried more tears than I should have needed for a lifetime.  But, I'm still holding on to pain, and with it, weight. 

As I watched some actress well up on the show, the words ran through my head, "I'm going to have to cry a lot more to lose this weight."  More, I'm going to have to allow myself to cry. 

Last Saturday I went to a wonderful retreat (that I hope to find some time to write about later).  As a part of the day, I was able to sneak in a trip to confession between a break and Jennifer Fulwiler's talk.  A topic that came up was the root of anger; how hurt is behind that anger.  That rang pretty true for me. 

All this hurt I'm bottling is manifesting itself on my body in extra pounds and in my soul as anger.  Think about the truth and beauty of the Theology of the Body, how we are taught the inextricable link between body and soul.  I've heard these truths, I've talked about them, but truly, in that moment on the treadmill trying to stop myself from crying it all lined up.

Where my heart is damaged, my soul feels the weight, and my body carries that weight.  It's all connected. 

Maybe that's something you've known all along.  Maybe you're like me and your head knows it's true, but your heart is just getting the message.  We are body and soul.  We cannot harm one without the other; we cannot heal one without the other. 

After today, I think my path back might involve more tears than I'd like.  So, if I start to cry at some weird interval in a conversation with you, please, just go with it.  I'd rather not be crying, but more than that, I want to be whole again.

A nearly head-to-toe shot from yesterday :)
P.S.  If you like this cowl, you can bid on it in an upcoming auction at the Barker Family Adoption Auction.  Click on the link to like their page and see when this and other items will be available for auction.  Read more about their story here. 


  1. Oh my, this is just beautiful. And so true. I tend to squelch my tears too. I gained a lot of weight with my brief pregnancy last summer and just could not get it off. I ended up feeling pretty bitter at times that I had pregnancy weight to try to lose, without a baby to make it worth it. I think my grief was messing up the whole process and causing me to have a hard time getting back in shape, but I didn't really want to let myself grieve. . . This makes so much sense. Thank you for sharing your heart here!

    1. I lost a baby at about 7 weeks in 2010 and it did take me a while to lose even those few pounds again. It's taken me a while to realize how attached to my emotions my weight really is. So glad this helped you!

  2. you deserve to be whole again, body and soul and heart. I cried on Thursday, over a small IF hurt. It felt silly, but I needed to let the tears come.

    1. Thanks so much. Prayers for your journey.

  3. Sweet Annery, I could have written this post, and your post about your grief being on you physical frame. Thank you for sharing your story and for donating to our adoption auction. I had no idea that our stories were so similar. XOXO

    1. Glad to help - prayers on your adoption!


I welcome positive, supportive sharing in this community. God bless!