So I have had no problem shedding the extra Christmas pounds. My secret: An unplanned diet, which I do not recommend! It’s called: ‘Get flu for two weeks and lose your appetite, then get braces and lose the will (and ability) to eat’.
Yes, braces. I am going backwards. Having had neither spots nor braces as a teenager, I now have both. People think I have braces for aesthetic reasons but honestly, there is no way I would put up with this for aesthetic reasons only. I am a comfort-seeker and while I can put up with a bit of discomfort (grudgingly), the complete loss of pleasure in eating is most upsetting. So if this was for aesthetics, I would have been back at the orthodontist on day two to get them off again.
The reason for these braces is what they call ‘Mesial Drift’. Another joy of hormonal shifts for women in their 40’s. My teeth all moved so much that I was damaging both them and my jaw. I knew for a long time about the connection between hips and jaw from Anatomy / Physiology studies and from hearing many Yoga and dance teachers say “Open your jaw to open your hips”, but I didn’t realise that jaw-joint replacements are as common as hip joint replacements. Mad Ted.
And that’s what I was heading for potentially. The dentist told me years ago that I needed braces to protect my teeth and jaw but I didn’t want them. Eventually, the pain in my jaw got the better of me. So here I am with braces in my 40’s.
Anyone who knows me well, knows how much I love my food but now, a significant proportion of what I manage to eat gets stuck in these metal shredders and has to be cleaned off diligently. I wouldn’t dare go to a restaurant unless I learn how to eat a bit more gracefully with these contraptions and less like a horse. I couldn’t subject other restaurant-goers to my open-mouthed, slack-jawed attempts at mastication. Not only do I have upper and lower braces but also a cap of sorts on my molars to stop the braces banging off one another. So there’s way too much going on in there even without food.
I tell myself that it will be worth it in the end to save my teeth and ultimately to have a pain-free jaw. But right now, at the start of this two-year journey, I’m not sure that’s enough to make me smile. Oh no, wait, no smiling for two years either. Well at least that might keep some wrinkles at bay….