So I mentioned that I had a less-than-wonderful endocrinologist appointment near the end of January. Basically, my A1C level is elevated after however-long of being stable.
And it could be a post-2020 dumpster fire kind of anomaly. After all, my stress has been through the roof since last fall, what with a very COVID Christmas, the presidential transition (and insurrection) and coming up on the first anniversary of this COVID life.* And to be honest, I paid just about ZERO attention to monitoring my carbs or sugar intake during the latter months of the year. Plus the fact that I’ve been sedentary as fuck since this COVID thing started. Most of my activity in recent years has been of the “functional fitness” variety: walking from the parking garage to the office building, being on my feet at work, airport and city walking during my almost-monthly business trips, plus the recreational activities of play rehearsals and dance choreography. And none of that has been happening for the last 11 months.
So, the spike in my A1C level could be temporary. Or it could be a progression in whatever level of pre-diabetes/insulin resistance/whatever ethical doctors really call it I currently have.
Jury’s still out on that—more observation and follow-up testing over the next few months to see what’s what.
But regardless of what the diagnostic outcome is, feels like a good time to get my butt off the couch.
Which, alas, isn’t anywhere near as easy a task as that sounds.
Because this past week, I’ve come face to face with the depths of how diet culture has completely destroyed my relationship with healthful bodily movement.**
I’m trying to figure out exactly how to articulate what the block is, and how strong it is. When I try to summon the will to do something physically active, it gets so loud inside my head.
I should exercise, but I don’t want to call it exercise because “exercise” is that thing you do when you’re striving for weight loss, and I don’t want to give into that whole mountain of bullshit. Exercise is about moving because I’m supposed to, and it’s something I’ll never be able to do well enough because my body will always be wrong and fat and unsporty and uncoordinated. I hate exercise, I hate the sweat and the physical discomfort but more than that I hate how wrong it makes me feel emotionally and existentially.
So I’ll call it something else, call it “dancing” or “healthful movement” or something, but that’s just bullshit. As soon as I start trying for physical activity, any lie I tell myself about a different name just gets erased away in the helpless feeling of drowning in the importance of EXERCISE and the way I should be trying to make my body something other than it is, and all the ways I will never ever ever measure up to that standard. Both because my body is wrong and won’t change into something more societally acceptable, but because my brain is wrong and I don’t even want to change into that societally acceptable thing.
(Yeah, it gets dark in here sometimes.)
In addition to the self-flagellation piece, there’s also some self-destructive rebellion here.
After all, my endocrinologist has spent almost 2 years pretending that she’s on board with me taking a Health at Every Size approach to managing this “pre-diabetes” thing***. And yet, her first response to the new A1C number was:
Maybe you’ll finally start getting serious about weight loss.
Well, Fuck you too.
And yes, I understand that staying on the couch to spite her is one of those “drinking poison and hoping the other person will die” moments. Because no matter where I land with this specific diagnostic puzzle, my health—in general and in all dimensions—would be aided by doing a little more movement and having a little less sedentary time.
But man, the poison in my head when I try has been powerful, y’all. I’m not exactly sure how to get out from under its grip.
*I believe that we humans are wired to track anniversaries, both consciously and subconsciously. So I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of us are feeling extra-jittery as we go through our January and February. The last time I got on a plane, or went to a bookstore, or hung out in a cafe, or had dinner out with a friend. All those last times’ 1-year anniversary are JUST around the corner for me. Many of them literally over the next 2 weeks.
** Completely. Burned to fucking ash.
- Couch potatoes: Pixabay, open license.
- Maelstrom: Wikimedia Commons, via a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) license.