UPDATE: (in explanation of *, **, and ***)
* You’re welcome.
** So immensely that it belongs in caps lock.
*** After year after year after year after year after year . . .
PART FOUR: After long contemplation, I decided not to write this part of the exercise post because it was too personal. This might seem laughable, considering the level of emotional bareness about my weight and my OCD issues that have gone on in the past 400 pages, but yes, I do restrain some areas of my life for various reasons. You will never click on FABULOUS and find 50 Shades of Gay Panda’s Bedroom Adventures*, or very much about my political views.
Having an online journal is an odd experience for me. I am far more versatile and voluble in print than I am face-to-face, which means people I’ve never met but read FABULOUS in some ways know me better than people I’ve known in person for twenty-five years. If we were all gathered at a primal convention, I’d be easy to identify because I’m the one not saying a word from start to finish, and also the one who refused to wear a nametag. I hate nametags. If I wanted people to know my name, I’d put out a paw and introduce myself. So I only wear them under duress, and remove them expediently at the first opportunity. Now you know something else about me that pretty much no one in the real world does: my vendetta against nametags.
And so, because this particular issue felt too personal to bare online, I just avoided finishing Part Four. I wasn’t sure how to explain to my satisfaction anyway, and posts that don’t satisfy me are not put on FABULOUS. I have a Graveyard File for them. I had a few paragraphs written and then let it slide, but Lady Friend’s comment brings me back to this part I never concluded.
Divorcing exercise from weight loss has been tremendously hard for me, because that has always been the carrot leading me on in activities I don’t really want to engage in. I’ve tried to think of post-exercise rewards other than weight loss as motivation, but that hasn’t helped. I’ve tried to think of fun activities I could earn by exercising, but that hasn’t worked either. I’ve tried to think of punishments I might suffer by not exercising, and have met the same brick wall. I don’t want to approach exercise by my past means of fear and insults, schedules and lures and rewards and losses and guilt and anger and futility, and for months I’ve floundered for what spirit to bring to exercise. My extremely motivating internal Coach Shriek has been rendered low when weight loss is not the goal to movement.
In the past month, I finally discovered a spirit that could get me on the treadmill: gratitude. These are not great bouts of exercise like 5Ks, just half hour walks with my iPod pounding the soundtrack to Mortal Kombat and me tapping on the window and yelling epithets to scare the chickens away from the lava rock they kick everywhere. It occurred to me that without primal, all of my writing would still be sitting in my computer, as it has been for years. It is a thrill when every few days a reader picks up a book or short story to try out, and I take that thrill to the treadmill. Without primal, that would not have happened. I am grateful for the small ways in which my life has changed.
One of the hardest things for me to deal with is inertia. Not physical inertia, which pleases me IMMENSELY**, but emotional inertia, and the pain of a career that isn’t going anywhere year after year after year***. I could not let go of it before primal, worrying at it obsessively and letting it ruin things. There was exactly one way to do things in my very rigid mind and deviating from the course was not even an option on the table or ten miles from it. Eating better has given the barest breath of fluidity to a mind hard-pressed to bend for alternatives, and that is a relief. And so, I exercise out of gratitude when I see that some piece of writing escaped the lockdown of my mind and my life and has gone scampering into the wild.
What about this was so personal that I wasn't going to post it at all? I’m not sure. Perhaps losing the raft of Coach Shriek places me in strange waters, and I’m still flailing for something to hold onto here. I'm struggling to find the language to express it still. Gratitude seems like a silly motivator to me after decades of flagellation. Getting on a treadmill in a spirit of castigation is how I’ve always done it, the soundtrack playing the familiar lyrics of do you always want to be fat? How did you get this way? How can you stand it? You look sloppy. SO GO FASTER AND BURN YOURSELF TO ASH. I’m comfortable with flagellation, and lest you think there is a hidden 50 Shades confessional there, I am sorry to disappoint.
You will never know, and it will keep you up at night, and for that I apologize.
My kids watch King Fu Panda a little too frequently but I like it (as compared to other movies). What strikes me is a scene where the stronger character belittles Po and says "but you're just a big, fat Panda." Po responds,"yeah, but I'm THEE big, fat panda."
My oldest loves that scene because he's small for his age and was dismissed by his soccer coach. He then ended up scoring the most goals. He says "I'm THEE littlest kid on the team."
Hey, that's all to say that I'm new around here but already enjoy your awesome journal.
And I'm always keen on reading new sci-fi! Very cool.
I think your flailing has hit on something with exercising out of gratitude. After all, the healthier you get, the more Panda will get out in the world due to your work, and the healthier you will get
I feel some clicks coming on...
“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.
a friend's facebook status:
"He guided my soft hands towards his massive panhandle. I had never done this sort of thing before. I closed my eyes and slowly reached. He jerked my arm back a bit and leaned toward my ear. 'We need to take this slow. Turn the burner down from 7 to 3. Once the gravy starts to simmer, drain off the excess fat.' " - An excerpt from my up and coming novel "50 Ways to Make Gravy"
my primal journal:
_-J o u r n a l_--------- ---- ---- --- --- -- -- -
Sigh. I need to go to Whole Foods and Benign Poltergeist has done away with my checkbook. The person to find it gets a dollar. No, make that two dollars.
Perhaps before I offer cash prizes, I should make sure my wallet has been left unscathed.
I just found it. Clever, Benign Poltergeist, clever. I also found a whole cache of missing items, like the iPod nano that's been AWOL for over two years. And a gift certificate to REI, old book notes, an unopened three-pack of pens, and swim goggles.
Thank Valhalla, I can shop. The house is so low on food today that I've eaten three meatballs and an iodine pill. HULK NEED FOOD.