Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Regular exercise

I made it to seven fitness classes last week—including two a day on Monday and Tuesday, plus a Saturday morning class. And I went for hour-long walks on four out of five days—on the fifth day, it rained.

I also ate a lot of cheese, a flotilla of pickles, and fair amount of chocolate (what, I wonder, would be an unfair amount?).

It all balanced out…I’m down another pound this week. Despite the pre-time of the month snacking and subsequent possible water retension.

I’m still not crazy about the sight of myself in the mirrors at the gym, but as I walk today, I can feel my ab muscles moving my legs, and that always gets me high. I don’t feel as doughy as I felt two weeks ago, and I’m definitely crazy about that.

I want to write about the beyond-morbidly-obese woman I saw at the drugstore today, and also about the clearly anorexic woman who works out at my gym, but I haven’t quite figured out what it is I want to say about them, and about myself as I relate to them. I find myself taking what could be a clinical view of bodies these days…I see such extremes as exactly that—extremes on the spectrum, and as extremes, evidence that something has gone terribly wrong. On the other hand, I may just be really judgemental. Because I stare furtively at the super-skinny woman in the change room, and I look away quickly from the morbidly obese one at the drug store.

The struggle, as always, is to fit myself in on this spectrum and not get too hung up on it all. They’re just bodies, after all, but being as I am such a fervent believer in the mind-body connection, I can’t just see them as bodies, or better yet, not see them at all. For me, those bodies, and mine as well, are manifestations of what goes on inside.

I do wonder, though, at the strange calculus of bodies, the way that I (we as a culture, or am I the only morbidly curious one?) am compelled to stare at a body the smaller it gets, and look away from one so large. The smaller the amount of space a body takes up, the more it disappears into thin (heh) air, the harder I want to look at it. The more space it takes up, the more visual landscape it chews (someone stop me), the harder I will pretend it doesn’t exist. Perhaps it’s different for people who aren’t newly obsessed with bodies and body image. Perhaps my slender friends don’t notice and don’t care. I don’t know, I’ve never asked them.

As for me, I think I always notice what size people are. It’s part of how I experience the world. I evaluate them—and myself compared to them. I would like to think I don’t make value judgements about their human worth. But when it comes right down to it, I’m probably fairly shallow.

The body part of this weightloss thing is relatively easy. Eat healthy food and go to the gym every day. It’s the mind part that’s freaking me out. Who knew I'd have to work my mind at least as hard as my body?


Anonymous Ann-Charlotte said...

SEVEN classes? My goodness, you're on fire! :D I'm happy when I can make it to four! But I'm having my eye on squeezing in a fifth.. Gosh, great job! :)

5:40 AM  

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