Thursday, July 12, 2007

Taking Care

Now that my mental health is back up to par, I’m realizing how badly I’ve neglected my physical health. For the past five months I have shunned exercise and embraced any type of food-stuff that’s fried, cheesy, or chocolate-flavored. If I continue like this I’ll have to start washing myself with a rag on a stick before next summer.

As much as I hate the idea of being fat, I worry more about diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, and stroke. I’m also tired of being tired. I really want to feel stronger and more energetic. So, while it would be awesome if a better focus on fitness and nutrition suddenly qualifies me to be a Victoria’s Secret model, I really just want to be healthy.

I know what works. A few years ago, I made a very reasonable plan for myself - limit sweets, full-fat cheese and dressing, and fried foods and exercise most days of the week for 30 minutes or longer. I definitely felt better, but I put too much emphasis on how much I weighed. Every time I stepped on the scale and didn't see any weight loss, my day was ruined. It actually made me cry.

Over the course of about three months I lost ten pounds. But it wasn't happening fast enough, so I got frustrated and discouraged and quit trying altogether. If I couldn't be skinny right NOW it didn't seem worth the effort. Of course I've gained back those ten pounds and ten more.

It won't do me any good to focus on that, however. I'm making this about taking care of myself. I assume I'll drop a size or two in the process, but if not I promise not to punish myself for it. What I hope to achieve is to enjoy my body. To be able to hike and ride my bike and feel good doing it.

To reward myself for the effort, my plan is to treat myself to a day at a water park next summer. I love swimming and playing in the water, but right now, wearing a bathing suit all day would be too physically and emotionally uncomfortable to bear. However, even if I do have jiggly thighs next summer, which I assume I will, I will be confident that my body is healthy and strong and I deserve to have fun in it.

I'm sure there will be times over the next year when I'll get lazy or stressed out and will put off exercising or eat too much cake, but the point will be to get back on track with the intention of taking good care of myself for a lifetime, not to punish myself with neglect and contempt.


Anonymous said...

I love your goal of "being healthy" and "having more energy". I've felt for a long time that exercise is the key to this. However, being a food and drink lover myself I must recommend this book to you: French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating For Pleasure
by Mireille Guiliano. I started reading this book over Thanksgiving vacation to get my joie de vivre back and found it delightful. She has wonderful things to say about eating, exercise, wine and being a woman. I strongly recommend to you her advise on scales - throw it in the garbage, mon cher :)

Anonymous said...

Advice - sorry I can't spell!