Friday, September 25, 2009

self-imposed famine

I am recalling, as I contemplate the reading on my scale this morning, a comment Kim made fairly recently to a post on this blog. A fellow writer, and a darn good one, Kim has a way of being direct while at the same time saying something in a way you've never heard it said before. Normally, I find this very enjoyable. This time, it caught me off guard.

Bad news, she writes, none of the experts have come up with a better way to lose weight than a self-imposed famine. I chuckled as I read it, but deep inside, there was something about it that was decidedly not funny. Not Kim, mind you, but the deeper implications of this particular comment. I stored it away, along with some notes I scribbled as I processed my emotional response.

The thoughts have returned this morning, ready for me to explore them further. Despite two weeks of working out hard and reigning myself in, I have not only not lost weight, I have gained two pounds. While I am confounded, I am not surprised. I could feel it. I knew it in my body. But knowing it and understanding why it's happening are two entirely different things.

I know enough to know that I obviously am eating more calories than I am burning, so I need to re-evaluate my intake. But I also know enough to know that I was NOT eating so much that I should have gained weight. Maintained, perhaps. But not gained. This is what drives me to despair. I am trying not to go there, today. But the urge is strong.

I return to my notes from Kim's comment. I already deprive myself. I already say no to ice cream with the kids, to a third or fouth peice of pizza, to cookies in the break room, to french fries or garlic bread or pastries at Panera. I already reign myself in. Why must I do it more?

I already work hard. I already do some form of exercise, which I still, for the record, don't LOVE, four to six days a week. I walk, I cross-train, I strength-train, I interval-train. I already push myself beyond what is comfortable. Why must I do it more?

This is the struggle. I get that I have to watch what I eat and work out, and will need to do that forever. What I don't get is why I work out harder than my husband and don't eat half the stuff he does yet weigh 30 lbs more. What I don't get is why we can eat the same foods in the same portions and I gain weight and he does not. And what I don't get is why on earth God thinks this is a good idea.

Self-imposed famine. How much? How long? And to what end? Can I do it, knowing my body may or may not respond? Do I want to? (No.) But do I want my clothes to fit again? (YES.) So, what choice do I have? (None.)

Self-imposed famine. Restrict. Deny. Reign in. Work out. Burn.

And pray that the God of body fat has mercy on my soul.

So today looks like boycotting the gym (though I have a sinus infection on which I can lay blame), and eating whatever the heck I want, because I'm done. Tomorrow looks like paying better attention to my caloric intake and getting serious about getting this weight off. Because I'm done.

And so, at least for a season, self-imposed famine it is. Not to an extreme, mind you, but to a greater degree than what has obviously not been working. We'll see if my body plays by the rules this time...

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