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[personal] Living inside my body

Interrupting Gelastic Jew has an interesting post today on life choices, body image and the whole diet/exercise thing. By curious coincidence, I dropped below 220 pounds this morning for the first time in over 20 years. That’s 65 pounds lost this year, officially, and eight inches dropped from my waistline in that same process.

I’m sympathetic to her comments about obsessiveness and choice. And I don’t think I’m obsessive about this stuff myself. (This from the guy who can take a two and a half hour walk at 3 am…) In my case, I got scared straight about the overall state of my health through my excellent cancer adventures last spring. Then I leveraged some metabolic changes arising from my colorectal surgery — specifically, as I seem to have utterly reset my sleep clock, I took the two hours gained in my life every day and dedicated a significant portion of it to exercise. Likewise I’ve maintained some core dietary changes initially forced on me for medical reasons.

Was that a sort of get-out-of-jail-free card? Yes, if you can bring yourself to think of cancer that way. I didn’t have to break and reform a set of habits. They were broken and reformed for me. Where my discipline has been applied is in not simply resetting to my pre-cancer lifestyle. I haven’t missed a day of exercise since I first crept back to the stationary bike for five minutes one morning last July. (The one exception is travel days, where I figure I take enough steps hiking through airports to make up for it.)

I don’t think I’ve become an evangelist for lifestyle change, except possibly by example. I certainly don’t have a case of the one-true-way-ism to which Interrupting Gelastic Jew refers. In fact, quite the opposite — I wouldn’t recommend my path to anyone. On the other hand, I quite like where it has taken me. Living well may be the best revenge, but it’s also the best argument, at least in this context.

And living inside my body is the only way to live.

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