Let’s get into physical

4 07 2010

I thought I’d be more sore.

Yeah, a bit of tightness across the shoulders, down my triceps, and I can now feel muscles just above my ass that I forgot I had, but, overall, I’m unexpectedly able to move.

The first day at the gym was a success.

It’s silly, that I need a gym, but I do. Having Prospect Park a less-than-10-minute run/from my house was not enough. Clear weather, open-enough sidewalks, not enough. Unhappiness with my body, not enough.

Remember when I said that I’d start walking 4 or 5 days a week as a way to ease myself into a running schedule? Yeah, didn’t work.

I do walk a fair amount, but not enough to counteract the tremendous amount of sitting I do. And while my diet is pretty good, I like cheese—I really like cheese—and I’d rather think about what I eat in terms of taste and balance rather than calories—what I want instead of what I avoid.

I’m not fat, probably not, by most accounts, terribly out of shape. We Americans are apparently packin’ on the pounds in record numbers, and all to the detriment of our hearts and knees and insulin levels, so perhaps I should feel comparatively good.

But that’s not how it works. While I do agree that health and fitness matter, I hate the moralizing that accompanies so many conversations on diet and well-being, as if to be fat is to be bad. I think to be fat is to be fat, and that’s all. There are unhappy consequences to carrying around extra weight, but those consequences accrue to the person carrying such weight, not me, so it’s not for me to pile moral pounds on top of the rest.

After all, I have plenty of my own excess baggage to lug around; it’s just not as obvious as fat.

I’m not without judgment, of course, but I have learned to ask what the point of it is before I let my criticisms loose. And there is no point to thinking that body size is in any way related to moral worth.

That’s how I try to view others, at least; for myself, well, I can come up with plenty of reasons for judgment.

I don’t want to be skinny, I don’t want to look like a 14-year-old boy, but I also don’t want to look—or more accurately, to feel—how I do now. I have a sense of myself as someone who is fit and able to take care of herself, and right now, I don’t feel fit and can’t count on my body to do what I want it to do. I like to be active, and to think of myself as active, and since I’m not the former I’m can’t do the latter.

And that makes me unhappy.

Perhaps I should ease up, be more accepting of this fortimpth body and the limits those fortimpth years impose. There is wisdom in the notion of letting things be.

But there is also wisdom in recognizing unconditional self-acceptance is not one of my strong points. I should perhaps be less harsh in how I view my body, and worry less about what others, especially possible intimate-others, might think about my body.

Yet telling myself to ease up on myself rarely works. No, I’m the kind of person who has to do, first, and only then can I say, This is enough.

And so, the gym. I won’t have to haunt the place 7 days a week, or freak out if I miss a day or two; three or 4 days a week should suffice, allow me to get my bod into a shape which makes sense to me, allow me to say, This is enough.