JUST before Easter my three children, husband and I were sitting watching TV when one of the children asked what dress size I was. I replied “size 10”, however, from the sidelines my husband chimed in with "plus two".
Needless to say, he had just ruined his Easter break. Battle lines drawn, the verbal assault grenades were launched at every inopportune moment!
Once my annoyance had subsided, I actually started to think about it rationally. Yes, I have always been slim – however, recently I had put on weight without realising.
So, I started a light fitness routine, cut out the rubbish and now I feel so much better. It pains me to say it, but he was right – and I’m glad it happened as now I feel healthier and am on the road to getting fit.
I was suffering from the opposite of body dysmorphia where I believed things were better than reality – a mild touch of delusion. A few delusional thoughts are probably very normal and help us humans cope with life. However, they can hinder us from making healthy choices.
Many people believe that they only smoke 'a little bit' or don’t eat 'that much' sugar compared with a perceived over-indulger. However, the body doesn’t see things like this and the signs surface in different ways; rotten teeth, bleeding gums, weight issues and many other diseases.
The human spirit doesn't like to believe that our lifestyle habits have damaged our bodies. It’s often easier to blame other factors like "the dentist took loads of my teeth out" rather than examining the cause that led to the breakdown of the teeth or gums.
This would mean not only 'owning' the problem, but also having to do something about it by making the effort to alter our lifestyle and/or eating habits – changes that can be notoriously challenging.
The best changes I see in patients are in those who do look at themselves and who are willing to pinpoint any eating or other habits that are causing their teeth to decay, requiring endless fillings and other dental treatment.
In general, patients want stability and a healthy mouth and this, in many cases, means changes.
Getting a bit sad or annoyed or even weepy can be viewed as advantageous, even necessary, for us to change our ways. Try channelling any negative feelings that you may feel about your body and teeth into really changing your habits and improving not only the stability of your mouth but also your body.
Everyone has the capacity to become healthier – it's never too late.