Jun 302005
 

Last night my legs were so sore from exercising that getting in and out of my chair was difficult. This is being healthy. This is what happens when I miss working out for more than a week. I am, apparently, too old to let myself have time off from an exercise routine without it having a detrimental effect on my progress.

I spend a hell of a lot of time getting up and going to the bathroom. This is being healthy. This is because I drink lots and lots of water during the day like I should. The only other thing I really drink is coffee (which I drink too much of), but that makes me go to the bathroom a lot as well. Sometimes I miss drinking lots of soda. Especially Mountain Dew and Pepsi. Good stuff. Just not good for you.

I love to eat, but I cannot eat the way that I truly want to. This is being healthy. Truth be told, if I had my way I’d eat until I was uncomfortably full every meal. I’d snack on unhealthy foods constantly. I love eating. You can get into the deep psychological reasons for why, but I really don’t care if my love for food comes from the fact that a llama spit on me at the zoo when I was four. It’s fun for me. I love exploring new foods, finding new tastes. Being adventurous. Cooking. The social aspects of eating with friends. I love big family dinners and picnics in the park. I love all of this, but it is not wise for me to do so, for if I do I end up looking like this. I end up having strokes. I end up being winded when I walk more than a block. I end up not being able to bend over to tie my shoes. I end up being treated like some kind of sideshow freak when I go out in public. I end up spending twice as much money on clothes that have half the quality of “regular” clothes. I end up being the butt of all the jokes. I end up being pitied instead of loved. I end up being the guy who women are repulsed at the thought of having on top of them. I end up hating myself.

Tonight I will spend $100 for the privilege of going to Weight Watchers for the next 10 weeks. This is being healthy. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on the program since I first started back in 2001. Unfortunately I have proven to myself again and again that it is a burden I am going to have to live with if I really wish to maintain a healthy weight. I cannot do it alone. Without accountability I am too easily swayed by the “it’s just this one time” argument. Because one time turns into two times. Two times turns into three. The cycle continues, and while I can easily forgive myself for one transgression when they have snowballed into a dozen and I am feeling the effects the damage to my psyche is profound. Going to a meeting once a week prevents that from happening. It helps me to pull myself up short. Perhaps some day when I have hit my goal weight I will be able to go only once a month, but that remains to be seen. I just know that in some capacity I will be going to Weight Watchers for the rest of my life.

I enjoy smoking, but that is something else I cannot afford to do. This is being healthy. We all know how bad smoking is for you, so I really don’t need to elaborate further on that. Cancer has taken several of my direct family members, though. Including my Father. I am prone to the disease, and thus it is imperative to conduct myself in a manner that will reduce the risks of getting it and putting my loved ones through what I went through when those loved ones were taken from me.

I really like the taste of alcohol, but I must drink in moderation. This is being healthy. My Father was an alcoholic, and it was his chronic abuse of alcohol for so many years combined with his acid reflux that caused him to get cancer and die. See the above paragraph about cancer. I also began to recognize the signs of alcoholism in myself and made the decision to cut back and prevent myself from going any further down that road.

This is being healthy.

Being healthy pretty much sucks. It’s so much easier to be unhealthy. To be lazy. To be gluttonous. To eat what I want and drink what I want and smoke what I want and not give a damn about the consequences. To live for the here and now and not worry about tomorrow. To be selfish. To not care if I’m around for another 70 years or if my final years are spent connected to machines and unable to perform even the most rudimentary of tasks. It’s easy.

But it is not rewarding.

I spent almost my entire week in Vegas being unhealthy. Not exercising. Smoking. Eating insane amounts of unhealthy food. Drinking every night. In just six days I was an absolute wreck. I was sick. I didn’t want to look at myself in the mirror. I couldn’t fit into some of the clothes that I brought with me. Despite the fact that I had a great time, I started to feel a bit of that old self loathing come creeping back in.

It will take some time to undo all of that, but I can already feel it starting to happen. I’m moving a little easier today. I’m a bit peppier than I was yesterday. It was easier to get out of bed. I’m sure my mood will be dampened when I go back to Weight Watchers tonight and find out how badly my discretions will be reflected on the scale, but I’m moving in a positive direction. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep it going.

This is being healthy.

It’s worth it.

In the long run, it’s worth it.

I just have to remember that.

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