The Morality of Feeling Good

Today is the first day since January 28 that I’ve totally taken off of exercise. There have been a couple of days when I didn’t go to the gym, but on those days I did some kind of exercise at home.

I’m learning a lot. One of the biggest things is to take care of myself. I have a cold, I feel a little yucky, and I really needed the day off today.

Another biggie? I really have a difficult time not attaching morality to everything I do that regards my body. Every bite I eat is either ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Every time I exercise, or don’t exercise, I’m either doing something ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ I have a feeling that it’s going to really take me a long time to decouple morality from food and exercise.

Because, guess what. Taking a day off the gym, or even a month off. Or a year. Isn’t bad or good. It just is. Eating pancakes for dinner with butter syrup isn’t right or wrong. It. Just. Is. But, because I’m sick and I really wanted comfort food, they hit the spot and didn’t leave me aching for something else to eat the that eating something lower fat or lower sugar might have.

What’s the hardest, with this morality thing, is giving up on judging myself. My weight doesn’t reflect on me as a person. I can be fat and still kind or helpful or productive. I am so tired of putting everything off until I’m not fat anymore. I want to do all those put off things right now.

The thing is, I already have a pretty good track record of forging on with whatever whacky plan enters my head. For instance, I’ve gone to this huge writer’s conference every year for the past three. I plan to go again in July. In fact, I wouldn’t miss it. It’s in New York, one of my very favorite places on Earth. I’m buying my registration when our tax return comes and I’ve already got a roomie lined up.

The only thing I can’t turn off is this automatic mind calculator that automatically does it’s thing and tells me that July is four-and-a-half months away, and if I put my nose to the grindstone I could weigh 50 pounds less this year than I did last. That’s enough for people to notice, right? Or, hell, if the people on Biggest Loser can lose 100 pounds in three months, I can do it in five right? That would make me superwoman! I could probably even find a killer vintage dress in my size . . .

I don’t do it on purpose. After decades, it just happens. And it sets me up for dumping a big huge load of guilt and shame on myself when my body does exactly what it’s supposed to do–anything it can to maintain my weight. Did you know that’s how we’re wired? I’ve starved myself so many times that my set point is … right where I am, today. And the human body is the miracle machine. Calibrated to the point of being fine tuned. Losing weight doesn’t happen easily because it isn’t supposed to.

So, I gave my inner calculator a shake. And instead of thinking about losing some outrageous amount of weight by July 1, I’m wondering if I can be fit enough to run in Central Park. Now that would be something. Me, running one mile in Central Park in 4 1/2 months.

Considering that in Orlando last July I had a full-body shut-down when I had to walk my suitcase 1/4 mile to a new hotel, it would be something big.

Yep. I’ll be in New York City this summer, having a Diva Karaoke night, eating a meal while Nora Roberts gives a pep talk, and maybe, just maybe, heading to the Harlequin party with my own invite in hand.

And I’ll have my sunshine and silver Asics in my suitcase for that run.

(Full disclosure: I won’t lie. I still care what I weigh. But I’m working on it. Day by day.)

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1 Comment

Filed under body

One response to “The Morality of Feeling Good

  1. blessed

    oh, great truth–i do it too, the whole “when i eat this i am bad” etc. (And from what I eat, it seems I like being baaaaaaad. ; ) so good for me to be thinking about!

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