Peg's comment on my graph post prompted a long conversation today with Erika, complete with defensiveness, tears, and my fair share of introspection.
Peg says " I'll take you as you am" (sic, I love this girl) and she means it. So the question I grappled with is why the hell I'm so obsessed? The obvious answer and the one I fear the most is that society demands us to fit into a Barbie-doll mold and there's something wrong (with us, of course) if we don't. But I've always told myself I don't give a shit about society's opinion of my belly! So today I had to ask myself for real--are you really that shallow that you're watching every little thing you eat and when you eat it and working out ad nauseum to fit some standard of society??
God, I hope not.
As we probed further (hee hee, she said "probe") I defended myself with what I believe are the two reasons I really do care so much:
A. My father died at age 46 of cardiac arrest, exacerbated by high blood pressure. My grandmother, mother and sister have struggled--really really struggled--most of their lives with the same issues. My mom has tried every diet and exercise plan out there just to maintain a weight healthy enough to see her grandchildren, but the fact is we are fighting an uphill battle. We weren't blessed with freight train metabolisms. My point is that I watch very carefully what I eat and I work out because if I don't I will start talking myself out of workouts ("my eyebrows need waxing") and into brownies ("I need to celebrate, I made it to Wednesday!"). And if I stop being diligent, really diligent, I don't have genes on my side and I will slip and I am afraid of that.
2. I have goals. I have goals for myself and for my family, some of which include 4-6 triathlons per summer (including an Ironman before I turn 40), fun runs and bike rides for charity well past retirement, and going rock climbing and hiking and swimming with my kids. I watch what I eat and I work out so I can meet my goals.
Those, I tell myself, are my real reasons. Should this translate into watching every pound and graphing my eating habits? Probably not. So I will change "shallow and obsessed" to "self-aware and diligent", and I will spare blog readers the self-deprecating whining from now on and stick to glorifying myself after killer workouts and awe-inspiring races.