[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.

One thought on “[personal] Living inside my body

  1. Kai Jones says:

    I applaud your happiness in your own success. Obviously you are not in either of the categories I was addressing; you’re not changing yourself to look better (although I agree it’s a nice bonus), nor are you judging people who don’t make the same choices you do. I have a couple of specific people in mind for that second category, not that they read my blog to recognize themselves.

    I would happily take a pill to be thinner, healthier, and more physically fit. As Steve Perry says, that pill exists and it’s diet and exercise, and yet I’m not willing to do it. I’ve struggled very hard to become a certain kind of person, and I don’t want to let go of that growth while following a new goal that sometimes seems superficial compared to my old goals.

    I don’t subscribe to mind/body dualism, so I don’t live inside my body: I am my body and it is me. How it works and what it looks like is partly a consequence of my choices in life, and I accept that.

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