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Pushing 40 Is Exercise Enough, and other thoughts

Friday, March 01, 2013

I bet you've been wondering where I've been. I didn't drop off the planet, or have a terrible accident or anything.

I actually had a weird epiphany while reading a book that was just supposed to be an "entertainment brain candy" type light read.
It's really annoying when I'm just trying to read to be entertained, and I end up having to do self reflection and self exploration. Damn it. I don't want to be having to grow and deal with stuff!!

Okay, well, maybe I DO want to grow and learn about myself, and be more self-aware, but damn it! I just wanted to read a book for heaven's sake!!

Okay, so here it is. I was reading this book "Mrs. Perfect" which is pretty much what the title implies, the heroine is a very well off, busy house-wife who has 3 kids, a very busy successful husband, a nanny, big house, nice car, boat... all the trappings of money. Of course, it wouldn't be much of a story if she didn't struggle, so a little way into the book you learn that her life isn't as perfect as it looks. She came from a poorer home, she was ashamed of her history and her family, to the point where she changed her name and created a "better" past for herself.

She is also recovering from bulimia. Yep, she has an eating disorder that she has to face head-on, and struggle with as life starts to get tough, and she has to learn new coping mechanisms.
And then BAM-there it is-she's laying in bed, trying to talk herself out of a binge and purge and she reflects on why she's so mean to herself.

And it hit me. I'm really mean to myself. If I don't make good food choices or if I don't go to the gym or for a run, I'm cruel to myself in ways I'd never be to anyone else.

If someone told me "Oh, I didn't go to the gym" I'd never say "you are so lazy" or "you're never going to get fit that way!". If someone decided to have a chocolate brownie for dessert I'd be embarrassed to say "you know you shouldn't be eating that" or "you're just sabatoguing yourself" "you're such a quitter".

When someone is about to get on the scale, would I pop my head into the bathroom and say "you know you're going to see a gain today. You didn't do your planned exercise and you ate poorly on (whatever day/s it was). Now you're going to pay for your slack-assedness. You'll see"? No, I definitely would not.

So why do I say these things to myself? And I do. I say them often. I even look at myself in the mirror, and say them right to my face. How unacceptable is that???
So, I've been spending the last couple of weeks trying to be more positive and kind to myself. Not in a "you do whatever you want, and it'll all work out in the end" kind of way, but just in a respectful "you have a right, and an OBLIGATION to recognize your need for rest. If you don't work out today it's not the end of the world." kind of way.
Part of that was just stepping away from tracking every bite and every bit of exercise. I needed to be away from the pressure I put on myself for a little while.

I'm sorry I wasn't here. I hope you are doing well in your health efforts, I hope you are being kind and respectful to yourself. I'm working on it at my end. :)

Talk soon,
Jen

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