Libby’s Story: Libby the Guinea Pig

For me, the most meaningful words from the Suppers literature appear in the second boundary for relationships: “We foster a spirit of curiosity and experimentation to assure healing for the greatest number.” How refreshing! How empowering to look to my own body for data. I didn’t know I was a wealth of information. But I am!

It never occurred to me that I could test my blood sugar more than twice a day. The insurance company covered only two strips per day, and that was that. With my new fascination for my body, I bought extra strips and blasted through them for a few weeks to see how my body reacted to specific foods, exercise, and stressors. “Know your numbers” became my new motto. I counted carbs and fiber and wrote down everything I ate and how it made me feel in my journal. I did the breakfast challenge. That was eye opening! The oatmeal and apple that had been recommended didn’t carry me nearly as long as a bowl of lentil soup or an omelet. As I got more sophisticated about my experiments, I branched into other areas of my life. I’ve always refused to take drugs for my insomnia, but I was willing to manipulate my behavior to see what could help me sleep. Eating earlier helped. Making myself stay up doing needlepoint until 11:30 meant I got my sleep in one block, instead of two blocks separated by three fretful hours in the middle of the night. I played with the timing of my supplements and took notes. I took the clock out of my room.

I got curious about relationships too. I wondered what would happen if I did something totally new and out of character. The next time I felt criticized by my office mate, instead of staying in my pattern and getting defensive, I agreed with her. “You might be right,” became my new reply. I got so smooth nobody could lock horns with me any more and I felt clever and happier.

Curiosity can be a gentle way of walking through life. I’m less stressed. I’m more fun. And nobody has to be down for me to be up. I love being a guinea pig, as long as I’m the one designing the experiments.

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