Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Not pining - progressing!

I went to a doctor's appointment recently. They always ask you all those questions about your habits so that they can either congratulate you on doing what you should to live as well and long as possible or slap you on the wrists and give you a lecture about diet, exercise, and purple people eaters or something. Anyway, it dawned on me that I've really made some strides in my habits when I, E.A.P, got the congratulatory speech. I used to pine for the day when I could say, "Why yes, sir, I exercise 3-4 times per weak with cardio and stretches and some yoga." I've even been doing this for probably close to 3 months! I know it has to be an ongoing thing for the rest of my life, but at least today I can say that I'm doing it instead of making the goal for tomorrow and curling up in bed the next night without a toe having touched the fitness room.

It's odd because it's become a habit to think of what I'm not doing right, so the overall progress sort of eluded me until that moment. Sure, I was happy I was exercising more, but I hadn't thought about it in terms of big life goals. I'm glad I achieved some success this way rather than the New Year's resolution route for a couple of reasons. First, I tend to get things done by making goals with everyone else and competing to hold out as long as possible, but it's not much fun. I've done that before, and I'm always thisclose to going back on it. It can also be WAY TOO MUCH about what other people think and that's just not going to encourage the right thoughts. Second, I haven't been thinking about how long it's been every single day and how "now it's been 10 days - only 10? AAAA!" I can't pin it down to a specific date. That means I have no guilt associated with breaking a good streak. I just get right back to it the next day.

The same goes for making better choices. I found this eating profile randomly on the internet and it told me that I was "The Unaware Eater." I make choices about food without thinking too much about them until the entire day has passed and I've eaten a lot of food I didn't need or sometimes even want! Unfortunately after that I started thinking about ALL the food I ate in terms of nutritional value, attempting to make my tastebuds martyrs to the cause of Thinness and Health. HA! That doesn't work with a confirmed gastronome. Good grief, right now I'm reading some Joanne Harris books (she wrote Chocolat the book on which the movie was based) simply because she has all these great descriptions of food and I love reading them! I have been trained to savor my sustenance since I was a child, and my personality naturally lends itself to that since it's just an extension of my visual aesthetic sense anyhow. Thus my diet (as in, system of food I eat, not weight-loss diet) must have good flavors or I won't stick to it, just like I wouldn't paper my home with images I hated to look at it. Yet despite that caveat, I've been learning to eat better. I eat healthy cereals frequently. WILLINGLY even! I chose to drink water at meals instead of carbonated beverages all the time. I don't snack merely to nosh; I wait till I am actually hungry. WHO AM I AND WHAT HAVE I DONE WITH MY COLLEGE DIET?

So that makes me happy, and as I attempt to keep up the momentum I've gained from working through my mental issues, I need to see progress in my life. My counselor told me to write down what I've done to work through things so that when I struggle again, I have a reference for how I got through it. This makes sense to me since it's easy to dismiss someone else's ideas as "not for me" but my ideas, well, they're incriminating. I'll actually have to DO something because I KNOW they work. So there it is, I stopped being afraid of failing at exercise and diet goals and I just started, that very day. I didn't even worry about whether I could keep it up or "oh man, what happens when I get sick or go on vacation, or I get in a car accident and lose the use of my legs or what if purple people eaters I've steadfastly avoided for my health's sake actually catch up with me and then (gulp) . . . "

Speaking of my counselor, I had a really good session yesterday (wow, I feel all grown up having had a "session"). I think I nearly killed him with the shock of actually having done my homework. Yes, we over-achieving Grovers can even pull through psychological problems through sheer force of NOT LETTING PEOPLE DOWN. heh. No, in all honesty I think it just took having someone to talk to and some advice that sounded reasonable. I was ready to hear it and it finally clicked. But self-congratulatory speeches aside, I need to keep it up. That's what he kept saying to me, and I have to keep combatting the self-conciousness and fear of failure that could prevent me from doing it, and KEEP MOVING, DUMB KOPF. Amazingly, I think I can do that. Now THAT'S progress.


Mair said...

Good post. I'm glad that you are able to see all the areas you can be satisfied and proud of yourself in. About the eating thing, when we were roomies, I am certian that I ate WAY more than you in the arena of snacking...mostly because I, too, share your love of things that pleasure my palate. I snack because I like the way things taste, not usually because I'm hungry. One thing Josh and I do to keep this habit under control is simply not buy snacks! Amazing how much you don't eat when there is nothing to eat that doesn't require cooking.

I was on a really good exercise kick for awhile, then I learned that unless I'm enrolled in summer classes, I have to PAY to use the gym facilities!!!! I still haven't gotten over the injustice of it enough to fork out the cash.

Anyway, I'm happy that you are happy, healthy, and beautiful. (at least according to this post, which is a good sign!)

lvs said...

You sound lovely. Although there's one thing you could be pining for, and that's the fjords.

E.A.P said...

Thanks, girls!

And lvs: where did that phrase even come from? I think Pinky once said it on Pinky and the Brain years ago, and I have never been able to hear it ain anything other than that scratchy falsetto of his ever since. Ah, youth . . .

Anonymous said...

For the benefit of the bored, who will read this post even though it is far from recent:

Origin of the phrase in question