The thing is, I do eat healthy (mostly). My lunches consist of a salad, my breakfasts are usually cereal or fruit or yogurt or some combination of the three, and when my husband makes high fat dinners (as he often does) I eat small portions because generally I don’t like high fat savory foods.
But (and) I have a sweet tooth, and I don’t get nearly enough exercise. So I snack on chocolates and those Aldi strawberry licorices that are absolutely amazing, and chai tea with plenty of sugar and milk, and other high calorie goodies.
And I’m not giving those up. But moderation? Maybe.
You see, I’m an emotional eater. When I’m stressed, I nibble. And scarf. And gobble. I try to control it by buying small portions or leaving my snack foods at my office, where I’m less likely to binge, but it’s not always successful. That would be the “emotional” part of emotional eating. If I am trying to feed a rage or a fear, to calm either, sometimes it takes a LOT. And yeah, I know it’s not the healthiest response. I’m working on that.
I just bought two new pairs of jeans, one size up, because. Because I have bought four pairs of jeans in two months at my “normal” size and none of them fit. And I can’t bring myself to return them because I’ll lose the weight (or so I tell myself).
I get angry at myself for my obsession about my weight. I’m a feminist, damn it. Feminists should understand, should know, that their worth is not measured by any number on a scale. And still as that scale teeters from one number ending in a zero to the next one in that series, I find a bit of low grade panic going on in the back of my mind, exacerbated by the fact that I am now solidly middle aged and, barring a breakthrough in physics and/or biology that boggles the mind, unlikely to get or appear any younger.
But I like being fit, and I like the way I look and feel when I’m able to exercise regularly, and that’s a truth that is unalloyed and unaffected by my feminism. It is, however, affected by my many, many obligations as a therapist, writer, mother, and wife, and by my chronic pain and chronic fatigue. Too much exercise knocks me out for days, even when I enjoy it at the time, even when it is “moderate”. And I don’t always know what “too much” looks like.
As a therapist, I know I’m in the contemplation to planning stage of my health goal with regard to weight. I know I have a problem (because it bothers me) and I want to do something about it, and I’m scribbling notes about what to do about it. That doesn’t mean I’m going to develop a fitness plan in the next week. I have other things on my plate, and this one is down the list a tick or two.
And into all this comes my deepening resentment toward “inspiration porn”. Too many people who spend a great deal of their time becoming fit and healthy are condescending and judgmental toward people who are not fit, sometimes pretty passively-aggressively so. And that stubborn little rebel inside me that never goes away sets her jaw and refuses to budge because “you can’t make me”. Which isn’t exactly helpful.
Am I making excuses? Perhaps. But long experience has taught me that I have so many interests and passions and obligations, that my life is and always will be a massively complicated juggling game. So I need to find a way to put the flaming stick of “just enough exercise and dietary change to improve my health without triggering my chronic fatigue or taking away my ability to meet my obligations” into my act. Suggestions are welcome.