I think fashion/media/consumers are what drive beauty standards. While some men and some women do promote/subscribe to unrealistic standards, most of us only hold ourselves to these unrealistic standards. I am pretty critical of myself, particularly my weight, but other people not so much. To me sexiness is an attitude more than anything. It is about being comfortable in your own skin (a good sense of humor never hurts). I have always had a knack for looking at a person and identifying what makes them beautiful in both the superficial and subterranean sense. Yet with myself I see a blob of hideousness.

Don’t get me wrong my perception of self shifts day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute. One minute I can think I am fine. The next moment I am absolutely repulsive. The shifts in perceptions can be really swift and it doesn’t take much for me to get down on myself. Like many people I struggle with being healthy vs satisfying my vanity. I have learned though that vanity is insatiable by its very nature. There is always going to be something I don’t like about myself or something about my physique that just flat out bores me. My averageness bores me. Which is a horrible thing to say but how many people get to that healthy medium and think fuck it I am going to revert to my old habits and put it all back on? Sometimes people think I am going to get healthier and healthier until they’ve literally made themselves sick. I remember when fiber became the big thing. The health gurus advised everyone to get 25-30 grams daily. Lots of people jumped on board only to give up after a few weeks. Others thought 25 grams pfft I’ll get 60 grams and be even healthier. Anyone who has suddenly increased their fiber knows what it does to your stomach, it’s not pleasant and if you are a woman it can also mess up your periods. For some reason a gradual increase to 25 grams of fiber was just unfathomable to most people. I myself clock in at an average of 45 grams of fiber daily. In my case I just really like fiber-rich foods. Other than white rice all the grains I enjoy are brown. I like hearty foods, fuck fluffy prissy bread πŸ˜› Balance is hard.

I have weighed exactly the same thing for almost 4 months. I suspect that my scale determines weight based on the size of one’s feet. I have put the scale down and had my weight pop up before I even stepped on it, is it psychic? Can a scale be possessed by ghosts? I often wonder if I should bother weighing in at all because it effects my moods so negatively and it is damn right discouraging.

As for my diet I have made the changes I spoke about. I have greatly reduced my sugar intake, we have much less junk food in the house to avoid the mindless binges. I am cooking more. I am eating more parsley. I am having a protein shake when I work out. The shake has really helped my performance and it has also helped keep my appetite in check. While I don’t actually count calories I did check my caloric needs. My caloric needs for weight maintenance are 2,129 and for a gradual loss 1,809. So nothing extreme there and honestly from past check ins my homemade meals tend to be around 500-600 calories each. Breakfast is sometimes a bit less and then I have the shake and sometimes a small portion of plain nuts for a snack if I get hungry between meals. I mostly drink water, sometimes soy milk for breakfast, sometimes ginger tea, and rarely 1 cup of blueberry or cranberry juice. I don’t think my caloric intake is outrageous but I am left to assume based on my progress that I must be eating my maintenance calories daily instead of my weight-loss calories that are my scale really has been possessed. If there was one culprit it might be that I am not measuring my carb portions. I did measure them for years so I would get used to seeing a serving size but it is possible I have allowed that creep up. It is a little hard to tell how much rice is on a plate. Or maybe I have increased my protein in order to build muscle. I don’t really want to be measuring, weighing, counting and all crazy like in front of my daughter though. So I have decided on a more natural approach because as long as I am not overweight then I am probably not overeating. Plus I have to be able to maintain this for life so I need to get in touch with my intuitive self.

As for my exercise. I love it. I do find that I sweat a lot less than I did at the beginning even though I am going hard. I have a very fast cardio recovery rate. I had it tested some time ago and it was in the elite athlete range, which I just don’t understand as nothing about me says elite athlete. I have been tested twice now for Bradycardia because my heart rate is low but they have decided both times it must be because I exercise regularly. I am starting with a heart rate of about 55 bpm and during exercise it gets to about 80 bpm, though sometimes it doesn’t even change. I have been through an entire kickboxing class with a bpm of 55. I have been tested and I am sure I will be again because every time I get an EKG they check it just to be safe. I usually feel great during and after a workout. I don’t pass out. I don’t feel any chest pains. Hubby suggests I find exercises that I almost can’t do if I want to challenge myself more. I think he might be on to something.

I have decided to increase my weights. I like to increase my weights slowly because of my shoulder issues. I increased them today actually while I definitely noticed I felt my workout went great. I was feeling particularly strong today. I want to shift my focus from weight goals to fitness goals. That is the hope anyway.


2 responses

  1. I wonder when we cross the line between healthy and vanity. I enjoy being healthy, eating healthy, exercising to maintain energy but also to keep those nice muscles on my arms and legs because as old as I am I want to look better when I straddle my motorcycle wearing nice fitting jeans. I guess that is vanity and like you it shift from one day to another and sometimes I simply avoid the mirror all together (and hide the scale) πŸ™‚

    • I think some degree of vanity is normal and even healthy. I want to look good too but sometimes we get caught up in the media and in extremes and it leads us to take unhealthy and self-destructive measures and that’s when vanity goes wrong. The thing is I am looking and feeling better. I definitely see changes but if the scale doesn’t say what I think it should I second guess all the positives and start to look at only the negatives (even if it means inventing and exaggerating things). I take the numbers way too seriously and so I try to avoid it on this days when I know I am feeling vulnerable.

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