The Skinny Daily Post™

Short, daily essays on weight loss and fitness
from a really average woman who lost 100 lbs.
and works every day to keep it off.

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Monday, July 28, 2003  

Random Cog

Well, I nearly made my last land grab today. In the form of a small plot suitable for sinking an urn.

Driving to work, a great cog or gear of some kind, about 10 inches across, several inches thick, and quite solid, dropped off of a big tow truck, bounced once off the highway, and headed straight for my windshield.

It just missed my face, which was traveling 70 miles an hour toward it, by 10 inches, bouncing instead off of my car roof, where the drivers’ side door meets the roof frame (that is, making seriously expensive dents in both hunks of metal just above my left ear).

Slo-mo. I can see that Random Cog heading for me. An image so arch, sinister, obvious even Fellini wouldn’t bother with it.

So, that was very nearly that. (If you’re driving a tow truck belonging to Bryan’s Rubbish Removal, uh, you’re a part shy…)

And the day, otherwise, went pretty much as usual. That’s the strange part. It was just a day. There were meetings. Plenty of email. Chores. Dogs and cats to feed. I met up with a lot of old friends today and chatted about nothing in particular.

But if I’d been an itty bitty part of a second slower, it would have been a very different day or no day at all.

So, once again, I feel odd. Like I’m living on grace and chance, somehow more than usual, and I’m not sure whether I want to turn over a new leaf, sell everything and rededicate myself to helping people, gather my loved ones around me, make mad, passionate love to my husband, or just eat everything in sight.

Decisions, decisions.

Odd. Odd feeling.

On the one hand, I think. Well, I’ve been given a reprieve. On the other, I’m reminded that we are easily squashed little bugs. Our time could be up any second for no particularly good reason.

Long-term plans and goals seem just a shade overly optimistic to me. I’m fighting the “eat, drink, and be merry” impulse. Why work so hard when we could croak any minute?

But I’m thinking I could sort of have it both ways. Isn’t it possible to set and work at long-term goals in a way that isn’t altogether unpleasant? So that the reaching toward the goal offers as much to life as the goal itself does?

So often when I’ve worked to lose weight or gain greater fitness, I’ve considered it necessary to “tough it out,” deprive, push, strain, beat my body into submission one way or another. The more harsh the situation, the more effective I thought the result would be. (Some part of me always feels I should be punished for getting so out of shape to begin with.)

That is, I made my daily life unpleasant and uncomfortable, and my company unbearable for people around me, for the sake of losing weight, getting in shape.

You know, getting fit doesn’t have to be like that. It could be fun, interesting, joyful, silly, fascinating. Hard work, sure, but not hard living.

If you decide that your weight loss journey will never take from you, but only give to you and the people you love, you’ll be far ahead in this game. It doesn’t deprive you of food, but gives you the nourishment your body needs. It doesn’t steal time from your family, but gives you time to stretch and strengthen your body. It doesn’t make you hurt all over (for long), but increases your circulation and pumps endorphins through your system to make you warm and relaxed all over. It improves your sleep, your digestion, your memory, your sex life.

Make each goal a gift to yourself.

Would you consider this the next time you write in your journal? What has your effort brought into your life? How does it add to rather than take from the quality of your day?

If you can honestly answer that your weight loss and fitness work adds more than it takes, then you’re far more ready for the possibility of a visit from a Random Cog.

But if your weight loss efforts and goals are taking more than they give, consider either adjusting your program or your attitude. Because life, my friends, is just too short.

You know?


posted by Julie |
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