So, what happened?


Next week is a family reunion. I am excited, I had a great time last year, and I always enjoy spending time with the extended family. Even if the large groups can get on my introvert nerves a little some times. And it is an Anniversary of the 40th year of these gatherings, and I always prize celebrations like this, I like to mark milestones. But there is one thing that I am not looking forward to.

The last time the larger group got together I was skinny, probably at my peak conditioning. Now, not so much, as I have regained a fair amount of the lost weight. As a result, at some point I will have to explain what happened. That was a fun question to answer when I was explaining how I lost weight, not as much fun when I am explaining how I gained it back.

But it really isn’t that hard to explain. It took a lot of work to lose all that weight. And a lot of obsessive exercise and dieting. That’s what that boiled down to. The reality is that I like to eat, and what I like to eat isn’t always the healthiest for me to eat. And I have never had the highest metabolism in the world, and that has not sped up as I have gotten older. So the only way for me to get that weight off and be as fit as I was was for me to make diet and exercise pretty much the core of my life.

Well, last year two things happened. First, injuries and genetics caught up with me. I got a stress fracture, and my arthritis in my toes caught up with me. That made it hard to maintain the exercise regimen. And without that my eating habits cuaght up to me. Second, and more importantly, I realized that I just wasn’t happy with the level of commitment I had to maintain to keep my dieting and exercise going. Letting that Obsessive Compulsive side of my personality take control had some real negative side effects.

As a result, I am not getting as much exercise as I was before, and not paying that much attention to my eating habits. But my mental outlook is much better. When I get up, and find that the dog has knocked over the trash can, and pooped on the floor while waiting for me to get up, I don’t freak out. When I realize that I need to get the kitchen picked up, make lunch and eat in a short time, I don’t panic. That is what my improved mental outlook is doing for me.

Do I wish I had the mental ability to maintain the focus on health and not let it affect the rest of my life? Sure, I admire those who are able to do so. But I cannot. There are other parts of my life that require focus, parts that give me mental joy, and where my obsession does not overcome the rest of my life. That is the long and the short of it. I had a choice: zero in on health stuff and exercise, or zero in on the rest of my life, and I chose the rest of my life.

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