Monday, April 06, 2009

a follow-up

I have been knitting. If you must know, it was a beret. I have yet to block it, but so far it falls into the Epic Fail category. Well, okay, maybe not. I mean, it is hat shaped. I will block it, and if it stays looking like it currently does, we shall never speak of it again.

A while ago I referred to the fact that I wasn't jumping on the diet and fitness bandwagon this spring. Nora called herself one of the evil perpetrators, and lots of people said, "Oh, well, I'm only just doing a little" and went on to rationalize their choices. That was entirely NOT my intention. My intention was, and still is, to choose what feels good. If that's a run on a beautiful morning you are clearly out of your mind, great! If it's giving in to a big ol' slice of cheesecake, fantastic! I jokingly called it the Cheesecake Manifesto and framed it in terms of fat acceptance, but really, I am going to teach myself to accept people. I know, I just lost Cookie, (don't worry, Cookie, I'm not accepting STUPID) but think about this. Our lives are full up with responsibilities. There's work, or housework, or volunteer work. There's spouses, friends, parents, kids, neighbors all asking for time. And it seems (even The Harlot posted about this recently) like while we're doing one thing, many of us feel guilt about not doing the others. We're working and we feel bad about leaving the kids. We're playing with the kids and we worry about taking time away from the career. We go out with friends to blow off some steam, and we worry about our parents who've been asking for a visit. Then we add diet and exercise on top of that, and where is the fun? I may enjoy riding my bike, but if it becomes a responsibility, it might lose some of the joy. I may really like eating broccoli, but if I force myself to eat only it and not other things that might not have the same nutritional content, I'm gonna get tired of it right quick. I got In Defense of Food from the library the other day, and this line got me:
The scientist haven't tested the hypothesis yet, but I'm willing to bet that when they do they'll find an inverse correlation between the amount of time people spend worring about nutrition and their overall health and happiness.

He goes on to talk about the French Paradox, about how the French eat butter and cheese and wine and enjoy the hell out of their food, and they're healthier than we are, a nation of guilt-riddled carb-counters.
There's so much I can't control about my life and the world and the economy and all that stuff. Can't I take my enjoyment where I find it? Obviously I will have to pay the piper if my joy comes from eating Twinkies and drinking Pepsi and never moving off the couch, but I'd venture to guess that for most people, *some* activity, coupled with a selection of good food in reasonable quantities, is enjoyable.
So that is my plan. I choose enjoyment. I choose to stop feeling guilty about my choices. I'm going to enjoy bread and chocolate and good meat and cheese and chocolate and walks in the park and running after my kid. I choose to not rationalize my choices to others and to let them know they don't have to rationalize theirs to me. I choose to recognize that my body will never be on the cover of a magazine, and that's okay, and that I don't have to hide away and forgo shorts and swimsuits because of it. Cuz I sure enjoy swimming at the beach.