Mad is the new black

I went to the gym very begrudgingly this morning.  There were two reasons I was so belligerent – one was because I didn’t feel like going which is no big surprise.  I find that what I want to do most these days is sit in front of the TV and just turn my brain off.  If it seems like me trying to escape, you would be right.  What exactly I’m trying to escape from, I’m not entirely sure, but there it is.  The second reason is I’m still pissed off that I have to do this at all.  This, in turn, makes me angry because I thought I had worked through that.  Clearly, I have more work to do before I finally get it through my thick skull that I need to take care of myself physically.

When I originally started working out at the beginning of the summer, I was very motivated and I knew that doing this would be a positive change.  I wasn’t stupid in that I didn’t expect instant results.  I also figured that there would be a fair amount of two steps forward, one step back.  I’m fond of saying that the wagon exists for the sole purpose of falling off of it and getting back on.  And until recently, I did a pretty good job of getting myself back on the wagon.

Then I got my lipid panel results and that’s when the real discouragement set in.  I had been working for 5 months and that was what it was?  I alternated between thinking “Jesus H, what was it before I started doing this?” and “Well, all this work was clearly for naught.”  Because I’m a pharmacist and I’m a stubborn as hell when it comes to taking meds, I vowed that I would improve this with lifestyle changes.  Well, as we all know, change is hard and lasting change is a bitch.

I think right now, despite my best efforts, I’m stuck in the “mad” phase of dealing with this.  I’m mad at people that don’t have to worry about this (not really, but you know what I mean.)  I’m mad at people that can eat right and exercise and it’s no big deal to them.   I’m mad at my genetic make-up.  This is all fine and dandy, but it is kind of like Joan Crawford being mad at the dirt.  It doesn’t change anything.  It doesn’t make me healthier – in fact, it probably does the opposite by screwing with my emotional health.

The thing is that I have made real progress in improving what I eat but I am still angry that so many things are now off limits.  I know that I get to eat a lot of very good (not to mention very good looking things) while trying to eat in such a way that it is healthy for my heart and overall state of wellness, but sometimes I get pissed that I can’t eat French fries.  I get angry that the only feasible option at the cafeteria at work is the salad bar because everything else is loaded with fat and calories.  I’m ticked because we’re going to a Halloween party on Saturday night and I have no idea how I’m going to eat there with all the things that I used to love about parties like that now verboten.  That’ll be me eating a carrot stick in the corner I guess.  And let’s not even think about how holiday eating always screws everything up.  Nothing like trying to start a diet going into the Christmas season.

It feels like at every turn, I’m set up to fail. I don’t sleep well so I don’t feel like going to the gym, even though I know full well that exercising increases my energy level.  I can make a million excuses to not go and a hundred million future plans to go “later.”  What it ultimately boils down to is I’m not all that dissimilar from the hoarders.  When I’m watching them, the answer is so obvious to me that they need to get rid of shit, but the answer is a bit cloudier to them.  Many of them intellectually realize that throwing things out is the right decision, but when it comes down to dealing with the emotional side of it, its not as easy as all that.  I’m that way with food and exercise.  I know it’ll be good for me.  I have objective evidence that says I need to make a change.  But ironically, the very thing that should motivate me (my lipid panel) is the thing that’s let all the air out of my tires.  Why even try?  It won’t make a difference.  I could walk out the door today and have an aortic dissection and be dead before I even know it.   Or it can be something as mundane as, “well, I’m never going to look like the guys that work out, so why even make any attempt?”

I have some work to do on my emotional brain, that much is clear.  The other thing that’s clear is that I’m going to have to push through this and hopefully come out on the other side with a better attitude.  Right now, it sure doesn’t seem like it.

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6 Responses to Mad is the new black

  1. Brendan says:

    Sorry to hear that you’re in a rough patch. Keep strong and perservere. You want to be in good health when the Global Super Zombipocalypse comes.

    • Dan says:

      Thanks. I think it’s just a passing thing, but it is still very hard. It’s cliche, but nothing worth having is easy. I also figured throwing up about it here where no one is obliged to reply was the best forum for it!

  2. Mary35 says:

    Boy, we are in the same boat. I am in the process of getting back on the wagon, as I have passed critical mass. I resent exercise as well, and I think it’s ridiculous to try to find a form of exercise I love. Um, right. I frickin’ hate all exercise and every single sport. Wouldn’t it be great to eat whatever we want?

    • Dan says:

      It would be fantastic just to be able to eat whatever we want and for the first 30+ years of my life, I was able to do just that. I think I’m mourning the loss of that as much as anything. It happens to everybody at some point.

      As far as trying to find exercises I really like, my dad has always told me that weight-lifting is the easiest thing to talk yourself into because you really don’t have to do all that much to make a difference. I enjoy cardio workouts as well, but I’m a bit more +/- on those – it depends on my mood.

      We’ll get through this! 🙂

  3. John Hill says:

    I know we’ve already talked about this, but sometimes it just takes a little switch to flip in your brain. For me, it was the revelation that if I can’t get in shape now, there’s no way it’s happening in 20 years.

    • Dan says:

      That’s me as well – I said that my goal for my 40s is to not be an unhealthy person in my 50s. I see way too many of those in my line of work. And I especially don’t want to kick off before I get my daughter raised.

      The switch will flip eventually. I think it did earlier this summer, but it got flipped back!

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