Thursday, July 06, 2006

no scale, no cry

now before you go all reading this post and everything, you may want to notice that it's labeled thursday. and that there are at least two new posts underneath it, labeled monday and wednesday. and that i won't be back until at least friday... just a friendly heads up! also, sorry i haven't been responding to comments. but i'm reading them all (and loving them all!). thanks for reading, despite all the changes i'm putting this blog through. you guys inspire me.

i've gone through the change. not the change. no, there's another change. i don't know if they have a name for it, or anything, but i know that the body i'm living in now is not the same as the body i was living in last year. now maybe the fact that i've been mostly sedentary for most of the past two years has contributed to it. maybe it's because i'm celebrating anniversaries of a certain birthday as i approach thirty instead of letting my numbers climb gracefully. maybe my DNA has a time released ATCGCTGATGTAGCT. (unlike these non-time released posts). who knows why?

all i know is that i've been filling out, folks. according to the doctor and the scale at my mamanem's, i've gained about six pounds in the past six months. people who haven't seen me in a while can see the change in my face, and the clothes i've had for some time are fitting differently. pants that didn't used to cling are clinging. zippers that used to fly (pun intended) seem more content now to creep instead... with a little prodding. now luckily for me, i haven't had to buy new clothes, 'cause the ones i had before left room for growth in the places where my new weight has settled. but i have noticed that changes, and so have others. another thing i've noticed is that i can't eat like i used to. once upon a time, i could house half a large pizza with toppings by myself in one sitting. i could eat a holiday plate, full of rich rich soul food, take a breather, and dive back in for seconds before dessert (which would sometimes get seconded, too). now, i eat slower, and my eyes are bigger than my capacity to put stuff away. it's frustrating. i've been getting full quicker. and my body now punishes me if i don't listen when it tells me not to eat anymore, now matter how good dessert was. and the 'itis comes now with a stealth swiftness and strength like never before.

i must face the facts.

i am not a child.

i am a grown woman.

i now have the slower metabolism of a grown woman.

i now have the lifestyle and health responsibilities of a grown woman.

i’m not worried, though. my parents have given me good genes, and i’ll probably never gain an unhealthy amount of weight, it’s just that i like the body I have and there’s no need to change it. not to mention that like most other blacks, i’m at higher genetic risk of heart disease, diabetes, and the like, if i don’t take care of myself. this change has already happened to just about all my girlfriends, and i always suspected that my change would come. in fact, in anticipation of it, i started to pay more attention to what i eat before this moment came. i started frying less and baking or sauteeing without grease. i switched my milk and my butter and my corn oil for 2%, then lactaid, then vanilla soymilk and canola spread and canola oil. i started making my cuts of meat leaner and having occasional meals with no meat at all. brown, not white. fresh, not processed. potato, not fries. fruit juice, not soda. steamed, not boiled. homecooked, not drive-thru. no meals right before bed. but i exercise all of these rules in a loose moderation. 'cause i got southern roots after all, and i'm a woman-on-the-go after all. and shoot, sometimes you just want what you want. i refuse to diet, 'cause the idea of a temporary fix over a lifestyle practice will fail every time. you know what my diet is? my diet is: eat what i want, in moderation, and learn to want and cook good things. and so far, i'm doing... aight. i could do better. i'll continue to plug away at it. but people always like to leave the other part out...

exercise. guess what? i am not joining a gym to pay money sweat in front of a bunch of crazed strangers. besides, repetitive physical activity for its own sake bores me to tears. i don't like gyms or their machines. i don't like jogging. i don't like power walking. i find routine hard to keep (which is why that old pilates dvd i have is collecting dust on top of my television as i write this). so this is what i'm gonna do. i am moving into the city. part of that is because my entire social life is there and i work there, now. another part is 'cause i love urban life. but do you know that one of the reasons i love urban life is 'cause you can walk to places, walk to catch the train or bus, walk to shop, walk to run errands... plus, you know what else? bikes make sense in the city - way more than they do in the stupid 'burbs. so guess who is buying a bike (and a helmet, and bike locks, and this is getting expensive already - shoot, the bike might take a minute to come by but let me end this sentence now)? oh yeah, and since i was interested in doing it anyway, i’ll probably be joining a dance class in the foreseeable future. so anyway, here is my little manifesto:

here's to good eating.

may it never be a drag or a chore. may it never become a hindrance to my health. may my appetite never control me.

here's to good moving.

may physical activity be a part of my life - never a drag, never a chore, ever present, ever satisfying.

here's to a good body.

may it not be plagued by bad living. may it keep its feminine shape and healthiness inside and out. may i love it, for bigger or for smaller, for single digits or for double digits, for as long as i'm trying my best to be good to it, for as long as i shall live.

here's to a good mind.

may it never get obsessed with weight.

and here's the most important of all: may i never buy a bathroom scale. here's to not having one.